Tuesday, October 10, 2006




The annual pre-season NCRRS conference will be Saturday, October 14, at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island, from 9:30 to 3:00.

The program will derive from the IRB’s Aide Memoire for elite referees and the promotion criteria for referees published by USA Rugby. The program will comprise a comprehensive course for referee improvement, beginning with this meeting and continuing through our monthly society meetings, December – April.

There will be classroom work, field work, a panel with some NorCal rugby coaches, and also our society AGM.

Please make every effort to attend.


Rugby coaches should be aware that all certifications under the existing three levels of coaching competency will expire in 2008. Re-certification will be necessary between now and then in order to remain current.

Will new courses will be offered Saturday, November 4th and Sunday November 5th at the SF/Golden Gate Rugby Club on Treasure Island.

The USA Rugby Coaching Development Program will offer two sessions, Introducing Rugby and Developing Rugby Skills. The conference will be held from 9 AM until 5 PM on Saturday and 9AM to 4 PM on Sunday. Lunch is provided both days and a happy hour social will take place after the first session Saturday night. This is the ONLY coaching clinic of its kind in Northern California this year. New and experienced coaches a like should make every effort to attend these sessions.

Please visit https://usarugby.learn.com/
to sign up for the Coaching Clinic. Save $100 by registering now!!


After our conference on October 14th, there will be games enough for interested referees every weekend until Thanksgiving. And then it really picks up.

Please let us know which weekends you’d like games, every Saturday from now through December 16. The season doesn’t start this year until January. We’d like to be able to assign at least a few weeks out.

Only six people have responded with availability. They can’t do all the games…


The Berkeley All Blues defeated Oregon Rugby Sports Union Saturday, 46 – 10, to take the #1 seed in the sweet sixteen.

The nine-time defending champions will travel to Columbia, South Carolina, the weekend of October 28-29.

The final four will be played two weeks later at Walt Disney World.

SACRAMENTO AMAZONS 12 – San Francisco Fog 5 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Pretty fall day in Sacto and a good early effort by both sides. A crisp first half (in which all the points were scored) followed by some uneven play. But all is well that ends well.


Nevada 0 – ALUMNAE 50+ Referee: Russ Wilkening
Reporter: Sam Reagle

I was a bit concerned about the weather as I crossed the Sierras on the way to Reno. The visibility was about 3 car lengths as I drove through a bank of fog which brought back memories of my last trip here in March with Gary Malpas of the East Midlands. That day's games were played in white-out conditions, today’s fog burned off as I descended into Reno revealing a clear sunny day.

Though I was slotted to referee both the 11am Women’s game and the 1pm Men’s game, Russ called asking if he could do the first game so he could play in the second. Hopefully, he will provide a report because, as touch judge, I only remember that the Alumni won handily.

NEVADA 34 – Alumni 22 Referee: Sam Reagle

Before the game, I was surprised that most Alumni were expecting the Collegiates to win stating "They always do". Elsewhere, it has been my experience that it is the Alumni who tend to win these games given their experience and larger pool of players. On this day however, the prophecy was true, but not without a battle from the veterans.

This was a good hard fought game between two teams that both played good multi-phase rugby. They played 4 20-minute periods. The collegiates scored first 2 minutes into the game, then answered back with a try after each Alumni try. For most of the first 60 minutes, it was a one-try game with the Collegiates clinging to very slim leads. 3 minutes into the final period, the Alumni tied it up at 22 all, but 4 minutes later the Collegiates took the lead for good with a converted try and another at full time. The absence of penalty kicks is a tribute to the spirit in which this game was played. After this game, the Alumni played another 20-minute period against the UNR underclassmen where they shined 19 -0.

(Editor’s Notes:

(On this same day, Todd Clever was tearing up the field and the opposition for the Eagles at Stanford. His brother Chris was there to watch. We daresay that these two former stalwarts of the Wolfpack would have made a difference on the day in Reno.

(We are also reminded of the Stanford alumni game which we refereed in 1991, the only time we have had the privilege of calling this fixture.

(It was tied 36 – all at what should have been full time. Then-coach Franck Boivert came onto the pitch to say, “Do you know who pays for this program?”

(Recall that tries were four points in those days. Suffice it to say that enough ‘extra time’ was played for Dennis Shanagher to score a converted try and the alumni to win 42 – 36.

(And guess who presently is the Chairman of the Stanford Rugby Foundation?)


The Fiji Day Sevens will be played in Rohnert Park on Friday, October 13 and the next day.

Please respond if you can join Mike Gadoua and Bruce Carter this Friday to ref some SEVENS.



David Williamson took the lead in entertaining the officials who were in Pelicanland for the USA – Uruguay match this past week.

On Tuesday October 3, David took RFU referee Rob Debney and English touch judge Martin Fox to the Monterey Peninsula for a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where they met briefly with Bruce Carter. The group continued down to Carmel for a walk on the beach.

Pete and Leah Smith hosted dinner Tuesday evening at their lovely home in San Jose. Pete grilled New York steaks, filet mignon, and asparagus. This was accompanied by a rice dish and bottled beer.

On Wednesday, David picked up Debney and Fox at their Santa Clara hotel and drove them to San Francisco for a tour of the Ferry Building, Pier 39, and Fisherman's Wharf. They took the cable car up Hyde Street and walked down Lombard Street. The group then met Welsh touch judge Leighton Hodges and his wife Sam at the Argonaut Hotel and loaded up their luggage. David drove them across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Vista Point for photographs, and up to the Marin Headlands for the view through the bridge to SF. The next stop was Dixon Smith's house in Novato. Dixon agreed to conduct a Wine Country tour. After a discussion of alternatives, the group decided to proceed to Sonoma County to combine a bit of California history with wine tasting. They visited the Viansa and Sebastiani wineries, plus the Sonoma Mission. On the walk around the square, they continued wine tasting in a corner shop featuring boutique wines. On their return to Novato, they picked up Dixon's wife Christine. Dixon then hosted a dinner for everyone at Moylands, a brew pub in Novato. David returned the officials to their hotel.

On Thursday evening, Pete Smith donated his Sharks tickets and obtained two more tickets to host the officials to the season opening match. The match was one of the tour highlights. The group continued their revelry into the early morning hours.

On Friday evening, David hosted a meal at an Italian restaurant in Sunnyvale for the officials, (including Leighton's wife), Scott Wood, Paul Bretz, Pete Smith, and Pete's wife Leah.

On Saturday, Paul Bretz and David met the officials (including the Scottish Performance Evaluator Dougie Kerr) at their hotel for a meeting and transport to Stanford. After the match, Paul hosted the group to a drink at the Old Pro before heading to the post-match dinner at a Palo Alto restaurant. David returned Kerr to the hotel around 10:30 pm. Paul and the rest of the group remained at the restaurant.

On Sunday, the tourists returned home.


It was a perfect day for spectators on Saturday – nothing but blue and mid-seventies with no wind. The players might have gotten a little warm…

The major goal was accomplished: the US won and secured a spot in Pool A in next September’s RWC in France. But the game wasn’t much to write about.

Well, let’s qualify that: Paul Emerick and Vaha Esikia (formerly San Mateo) each scored two tries to light things up, and Todd Clever (formerly Nevada) was a monster on the day.

But Uruguay created so many stoppages by lying down – literally – at scrum time with ‘injuries’ to numbers 1, 3 and 8 that it might as well have been gridiron. The game began at 2 PM and finished at four minutes to four.

As so often happens, their opponents got into a similar mindset. The Eagles did their share of wandering up to lineouts and certainly did not ever look to be trying to force the pace.

In the midst of yet another invasion of the pitch by the multitude in colored vests, one wag observed that this might be the first game in history where they ran out of water.

But, looking ahead – the Eagles will have pool matches on September 8, 12, 26 and 30. They will be in Lens (up near Belgium), Montpelier (near the Med!), St. Etienne (about two hours’ north, up near Lyon) and then Montpelier again.

For those who can’t take the month off, a week in the wonderful South of France could incorporate the matches against Samoa and South Africa.

Porter, Agius, Woodberry

A beautiful day at Stanford and the World Cup Qualifier were the twin draws Saturday. Here are three long-time stalwarts of the Northern California rugby scene, friends for many years: Bryan Porter, Tanc Agius and Robert Woodberry.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris