Tuesday, December 19, 2006




Forwarded from Bjorn Stumer:

My computer crashed over the week end and I lost all of the information stored in it. Could you therefore please send a message out to the flock and ask those who wrote me with their kit choices and sizes to write me back. Sorry about this, which happened just a couple of days after the deadline for the orders. All is well otherwise and I got quite a few checks already.


About half of our members have replied with their availability for the first five weeks of the imminent season. We have enough to assign January 6, but after that there are at least thirty games – often forty or more – each weekend.

Please let us know if you can referee each of the following Saturdays, and whether you can travel that weekend. ‘Travel’ refers to driving more than an hour or so from where you live.


If you do not answer this request, you will not be assigned games. We cannot run the risk of assigning people who have not positively averred; it is very difficult to change games around once the complex schedule is made.

Please use this format. Just cut and paste and fill in the blanks:

Referee Yes/No If yes, Travel Yes/No
January 6
January 13
January 20
January 27
February 3


Five at Treasure Island:

Fog 7 – EAST PALO ALTO 55 Referee: Lois Bukowski
The Job Corps field on Treasure Island has been upgraded. The Fog realized that if a rugby pitch were laid out oriented directly north-south (instead of what our grandmother would have called catty-wampus), it could be made very close to full size. This is a significant improvement at a site that sees a lot of action during the season.

EPA found their groove in the second half. After a slow-starting 12-7 lead at halftime, the boys from the Peninsula invoked their "creative" style of rugby to roll over the Fog in the second frame. Creative in this usage means: 7s style rugby but with 15 men playing. Through the legs, no-look passes, overhand cross-field tosses, juking and jiving, all were fair game. This resulted in an entertaining match that had the referee guessing as much as the opponent which way to run to keep up with these guys.

GOLDEN GATE HS 31 – Trinity College (Australia) 17 Referee: Chris Parkhouse
Some pre-season lack of understanding and/or indiscipline on the part of the players led to a flurry of cards, almost all for technical and repeated infringements, the referee showing a full house (three yellows and two reds).

Or perhaps that hand would be better declared as a royal flush!

SF Golden Gate D1 – ST. MARY’S Referee: Paul Bretz
Touch Judge: Chris Arnold, Jim Crenshaw
Video Coach: Bruce Carter

St. Mary’s is in, if not mid-season form, at least late pre-season form. Having played a number of friendlies and made it into the various national rugby rankings, they defeated Gate’s first division club side with a combination of fitness and pace.

A good crowd was on hand, what with the touring side in town and a Christmas party planned for the clubhouse in the evening.

Having an authentic rugby clubhouse and grounds has certainly added luster to the NorCal rugby crown.

And now the club is joining forces with a Gaelic football team. Two pitches for that sport will be built immediately to the west of Rocca Field.

SFGG U-23 36 – St. Mary's seconds 12 Referee: Bruce Carter
Touch Judges: Jim Crenshaw, Paul Bretz

Gate’s U23 team is turning into quite the feeder team for their club. They would certainly fare well in the men’s D2.

This year, the Diablo Gaels are also fielding an Under-23 side, the Lamorinda Gaels.

Both of these teams will be playing a full schedule, mostly against D2 colleges.

Berkeley RFC 10 – SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 85 Referee: John Coppinger


Baracus 0 – OLYMPIC CLUB 52 Referee: Pete Smith
Game on indeed! The O Club are a team to be reckoned with this year.

Jon Kohler, Tony Petruzzella and Chris Clever may be the best back row in the country. Carl Hanson has dropped 20 lbs and is fit and powerful from the second row yet is smaller than his second row mate. Toss Brian McClannahan in the front row and you have one of the best packs around.

Having a quality coach like Ray Lehner with the talent on that team is going to translate into a lot of wins this season.

If they have a weakness it is their backs. They are talented, but not outstanding and need to work together a little better as too many passes missed their mark. When they did string some passes together, they were very effective.

The BA Baracus are a very good division 2 club and my guess is they will make the playoffs again this year assuming their key players can stay healthy and they can integrate some of their young stars into the run-on 15.

As for the game itself, it was very entertaining and closer than the 52-0 score would indicate. The O Club were too much for Baracus in the first half, opening up a 37-0 lead with a blue-collar playing style.

The second half had Baracus playing 'downhill' and the game evened out with the O Club only managing two tries. Petruzzella converted one of the tries and added a penalty kick. Baracus would have scored had their winger not knocked on in the try zone while attempting to center and two other breakaways for Baracus where run down from behind keeping them scoreless.

The game was a wide open affair with very few penalties and no foul play. All in all it was the perfect end to a good preseason.

I do have to mention that Baracus did manage a try in the 'third' half, but it took 103 minutes of play before the O Club surrendered any points.

San Mateo 22 – SACRAMENTO LIONS 30 Referee: Joe Leisek
Fiesta Meadow Park, San Mateo

A pre-season scrimmage played with intensity and drive, with seemingly more at stake than bragging rights going into the new season.

There was lots of open, running rugby, many phases of play, hard tackling, and breaks after two 20-minute periods in each half to cycle players into the game.

Sacramento took a 13-12 lead into halftime, and then promptly fell behind early in the second half. However, the visitors came storming back to take the lead and held off some furious San Mateo attacks to earn the win.

Very impressive display by two excellent, well-coached teams.

Fresno 5 – SEAHAWKS 33 Referee: John Pohlman
Fresno hosted San Jose in a final preseason match. I loaded up the car around 8:00AM for the three hour drive to Fresno. It was overcast and around 50 degrees. Once on the road I wondered if I should have brought rain gear, but it turned into a beautiful day for rugby.

The drive to Fresno over the Pacheco Pass is certainly lovely. The Fresno Club is friendly and usually play a hard, clean game. So, the game had all the making of a fun preseason tune-up for the players and the ref.

When I arrived around 11:30 San Jose had about 20 players milling around. Checked in with Kevin Meeks who is back as head coach of the Seahawks. It was decided to play 2 40's and then we'll see.

Fresno had only 12 players at Thursday's practice, but Mark and Greg agreed to 2 40's and then we'll see. Like I said Fresno is friendly.

At game time both teams looked to have close to 25 players. Fresno was missing at least 5 or 6 of the starters from last year.

The first half started fast with a San Jose try scored by the #8 at 2 minutes. Fresno reorganized their defense and held on until the 20 minute mark when a Seahawk lock scored. Followed by two quick tries by San Jose's wings.

Fresno's fullback finished a nice back play before half. First half 35-7 San Jose.

Both teams substituted a lot of players at half time. The game was not played at the same pace as the first half. San Jose's conditioning was superior and they continued to take advantage of Fresno mistakes. Final San Jose 52 Fresno 7.

San Jose asked for another 25 minutes and Fresno agreed even though they only had 16 players still available to play, again that friendly thing.

The last 25 was dominated by San Jose who had more players. Final 33-5 San Jose.

James Hinkin kicked 11 conversions out of 12. Not too shabby.

Thanks for the tune-up.

[Editor’s Note: We should add that is has been a very good week for James Hinkin. He was recently announced as Employee of the Year for James Hinkin & Associates for the eighth consecutive year!

[However, the competition must have been keen as he only won by one vote.]

Marin 7 – SANTA ROSA JC 9 Referee: Sandy Robertson
The pitch was at most 50 yards wide, there was little space to be found so the teams played a match that consisted primarily of blasting it up the gut, kicks for territory and mauling. Santa Rosa took the opportunities it was given, making 3 penalties, the third coming after Marin put up a converted try.

SANTA ROSA 42 – Petaluma 17 Referee: Ray Schwartz
For Pete's Sake Field
Comstock Middle School, Santa Rosa

Completing my preseason tour of North Bay/Nor Cal DIII rugby... I went to Santa Rosa, somewhat oddly without Kat. I would be staying overnight at her Uncle Jim's ranch, but Kat was staying home to work (and shop) in anticipation of the holidays. I had arranged a Fungus Foray through the Sonoma Mycology Society to occur Sunday morning at Rancho Markwest. And so the trip shaped up, and included a match...

A local derby, with Petaluma barely scraping 15 together before kickoff, and Santa Rosa showing numbers and youth. The sideline ropes were discarded on the ground, as if dumped off the back of a truck just inside the gate to the field. Since the match started with few spectators I said nothing, by the end of the first 30, emotions were on the boil and a crowd had gathered, all along one sideline. I spoke quickly to the home team and they were kind enough to sort this aspect out.

Chilly but not too cold, moist but not too slick, the field was actually a pleasure to run on, and I would suspect to play on as well. Yet I seemed to get a lot of grousing from the players, rather than the joy I normally experience. At the end of the day, I realized that nearly 90% of this was spewing from one particular Leghorn. He was continually behind play, but somehow felt compelled to comment on it. I tried to let the match flow, and each side realized long periods of continuity. It felt good at times, but too many players were interested in slapping the ball at the ruck, coming in from the side, bridging, and leading with their head (rather than to fend a tackler w/ their hand or arm).

It didn't look good for Petaluma from the start; however they were neatly competitive, with the first 30 minutes ending 10-5 in favor of the home team. The Captain Adam, his brother, the young scrum-half, and Scott Dennison led their fight. Santa Rosa played a team game, doing a decent job of spreading the ball around. I asked Alan Petty, the Elsie Allen HS coach, for feedback after this first period, and he commented that it looked like a "Superman Contest," players leaving their feet, flying into piles. He wasn't wrong, but I had only ‘managed’ that aspect on the pitch, and it would improve a bit.

The next 30-minute period was similarly competitive, with Santa Rosa scoring 3 tries to the Leghorns’ 2, and ending at 27-17. But the final 20 minutes were all Rosa, with Gary Parsigian notching his 3rd try of the match.

The party was pleasant enough. Good to rework some old friendships (Afa Wongking gifted the ref a proper Samoan lava lava!) and build some new ones. Patrick Caraher is old friend of mine from days at Belmont Shore, and he coached Rosa last year. Patrick has moved on now to Colorado, but I was pleased to find Tim Gunderson, Rosa's Captain stays in touch, and misses him too.

The Fungus Foray was a lot of fun the next (frosty) morning. Just like my matches and match reports, I won the prize for quantity over quality, as I hauled in the most fungus off the mountain! In the end, the conclusion was, "most mushrooms don't taste very good!"


These are still good reads:

Cal Poly SLO 19 – ST. MARY’S 28 Referee: Pete Smith

It was a cold and rainy morning in San Jose, but I knew the 3 hr trek south to San Luis Obispo would likely reveal enough sunshine for Cal Poly SLO and St. Mary’s to play up to the pre-game hype that had made it the game of the week on the west coast. It is hard to complain about the 2 ½ hour drive through the Salinas Valley knowing that St. Mary’s would have to drive even farther.

Unfortunately, the ref for the B side game had fallen ill and the two teams would have had to find a volunteer until…my cell phone rang, it was JC Van Staden. JC’s game had been cancelled due to bad weather and he “dressed and ready for a game somewhere”. I told him the B side match in SLO was uncovered and with but a moment of hesitation, he was on the road from Lodi. The effort makes JC the early favorite for Pelican of the Year with the regular season yet to start.

The weather in SLO was cool and cloudy and fortunately the rain had passed through the day before leaving the field moist, but firm. CPSLO and SMC traded early penalties with SM converting theirs and taking the early lead 3-0. CP just poured it on from there and dominated the next 35 minutes. Their speedy winger broke through for what would have the first try of the game only to knock on 5 meters deep in goal. He atoned for himself minutes later dotting his next effort down and putting CPSLO ahead 7-3.

CPSLO scored again, extending their lead to 14-3 with just a few minutes to go. SMC pressured CPSLO on the ensuing kick off, forced a turn over and scored just before half time to bring the score to 14-10.

The second half saw CPSLO again take control of the game with another try and a second would-be try disallowed due to a double movement. The SMC fullback saved his team’s bacon not once but twice with try-saving tackles and hard work getting back on his feet and creating the turnover. SMC, to their credit, never gave up and continued to work hard, having their efforts payoff with a hard-fought try by the scrumhalf on a pick and dive around the base of the ruck tightening the score to 19-15. With about 15 minutes left in the game SMC converted another penalty making it a one-point game 19-18.

The game was fast and furious as it was, but it went into overdrive for the remainder and more than lived up to its advanced billing. With 3 minutes left in the game SMC had knocked on 10 meters from the CPSLO goal line, scrum to CPSLO. They won the hook and the ball was delivered to the flyhalf only to have his clearing kick charged down in goal and the speedy flanker dove on top of the fruits of his labor: try SMC! The conversion made it 26-19 SMC with just less than 2 minutes to go. The ensuing kickoff went deep into SMC territory only to have SMC run it out of their own 22, a Gael breaking the line and chipping ahead and being taken out by the CPSLO fullback well after the kick. Penalty 15 meters out in front of the posts. SMC converted the penalty as time expired, bringing the final tally to 28-19.

Seconds: CAL POLY 29 – St. Mary’s 12 Referee: JC Van Staden

My game SF GG and Chico u/23 got canceled on me 10 am Saturday morning. I have not got dressed for nothing, so I got hold of Pete Smith that invited me to do Cal Polly and St. Mary’s 2nd teams, in San Louis Obispo. What a drive…

Well, after 5 hours on the road, we kicked of @ 3h02pm. From the kick off the game was on. Starting with great pace CP move the ball through the hands and secure numerous malls and rucks. The 1st scrum came only in the 8th minute of the game. Have to confess; I knew that by looking at the clock, hoping it was halftime. The 1st half score got opened by CP, scoring a converted try. CP managed to run in another, but got answered back with some great composure and persistence by SM. St. Mary’s scored the equalizer with seconds to spare on the clock, after CP struggled to keep their composure and lost one of their flankers to a yellow card for repeat infringement.

The second half belongs to CP, who scored 17 unanswered points. With powerful scrums and turnover lineouts, CP had SM on their back foot, and the defense just could not keep up with it.

I’m sorry I missed the 1st game, because with two such second sides, the varsity does have to have great depths in their rugby.

Riverbottom Rugby Field

San Luis Obispo RFC 17 – Pasadena 18 Referee: Andy Doukas

The Rugby Gods gave us a pardon and stopped the rain, leaving the pitch in great condition and temperature for the day. A day that started out on a somber note with a few minutes of silence for the passing of Don Talley, our great benefactor to the field of which we have played on for many years, Riverbottom.

Pasadena with two sides traveling down on a tour bus were well organized and coached by Michael Bryant. The game started with good play and strong defenses from both sides, only a penalty kick to Pasadena separated the teams. Pasadena then started the trys, putting up 3 unconverted to SLO's 1 and we ended the half.

In the 2nd half, SLO found their stride and came back strong with two trys and left them just a point behind Pasadena. SLO battled for those few precious points to put them on top to no avail, many attempts at goal and plenty of ball possession came up short. A well-played match from both sides, except for an ungentlemanly punch after the match. A red card that brought down the great performance of his teammates.

2nd Match

SLO 2nd's/AG/Cal Poly 3rd's.17 – Pasadena 2nd's 0
Referees: Alan Jeffrey & Andy Doukas

Our new referee, Alan, shadowed me for the first half and then took the whistle for the 2nd. Many first-time players on this three-team combination had the benefit of some quality players to lead them in play. Pasadena's 2nd side played well, stopping any points for the first part of the match. Then fatigue started in and the depth of the other side had Pasadena on their back foot and the points started rolling in. The finish of the game saw Alan catching his stride as a referee and Pasadena making a good defensive stand. Great attitudes from all sides made this an enjoyable game to watch and referee. Many thanks to SLO, Pasadena, Cal Poly & Arroyo Grande players & coaches.


You can now register with USA Rugby for 2007 participation. The amount is $55. This will be tax-deductible if you are a member of the referee society:

You can complete payment on-line. You’ll need to print out the waiver, sign it, and get it to our Treasurer, Jim Crenshaw.

Delta Supply
1248 E. Oak Avenue #D
Woodland, CA 95776


The Pacific Coast RFU Operating Agreement for the Referees Society has been approved. Elections for a President and a Secretary/Treasurer will be held in the next few weeks.

All of our members who have CIPP and Level One certification will be eligible to vote. You will be contacted regarding nominees and balloting.


The Level 1 and 2 Evaluator courses are proving to be very popular – so much so that Dixon Smith has signed on to help Mike Malone conduct them.

These will be held beginning Friday evening, 12 January 2007, and continuing through Sunday, 14 January 2007, in San Francisco, CA. The fee for participation in this course is $150.00. This course will include a practical assessing and coaching exercise on Saturday, 13 January. Details of the requirements for participation in the course are found at http://www.usarra.org/courses/evalcourse.html.

The registration fees will be paid by the Society for any NCRRS members.

Parties registering for the course should plan on a start time of the Friday evening session at 6:00 p.m. and running until 10:00 p.m. The Saturday session will run all day and require participants to prepare a Level 2 evaluation report Saturday night for presentation to the class Sunday morning. The Sunday session will be completed no later than 1:00 p.m. The exact location of the training site is still to be determined and will be disseminated at a later date.

Persons wishing to participate in the course should register with the course's lead trainer, Mike Malone, at mgmalone@comcast.net or
(415) 472-2091


Saturday, January 6 in San Francisco – Dixon Smith

Sunday, January 14 in Sacramento – Matt Eason

Contact the instructor if you would like to take this course.

Pre-Christmas Cheer

Jim Crenshaw, Bruce Carter, Kevin Cramer (SFGG U23 Coach) and Mike Caravelli (Golden Gate High School Coach) relax after a good day of rugby at the SFGG clubhouse.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris