Sunday, December 30, 2007




Here’s a present to you from some incendiary geniuses. These guys have figured out how to characterize the music that appeals to you from a list of your favorites, and to deliver an endless variety of songs by other groups, many you’ve never heard of, that you will almost certainly enjoy.

It’s free. Here’s hoping you don’t own any stock in satellite radio – it just became worthless…

So here’s the deal: create a new channel, and name it for your party. As your guests arrive, ask them for their favorite group or song, and then enter this information.

You’ll have a custom-designed evening of music, every song of which will appeal specifically to someone in the room.

If it’s a dance party, simply limit the choices to dance bands/tunes.

(We’re assuming everyone has a computer providing input into a stereo system or a wireless home network that includes powered speakers.)


There are no games this weekend (January 5-6) of which we are aware.

Referee appointments have been made for January 12 and 19. These have been forwarded to our webmaster and should be up in a day or two.


Please check the Club Contacts ( and notify Scott Wood of any changes:

Without current information, referees (and opponents) will have trouble getting in touch with you.

We appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.


The dominance of Northern California rugby teams in national competitions and the prominence of NorCal players in national teams were well-established at the outset, with the first championships and select-sides in the 1970s featuring the Old Blues, Cal, and lots and lots of Pelicans.

Other areas have had successful and legendary sides. But the multiplicity of champions in the NCRFU is incredible.

Let’s look at the colleges:

California has won 23 of 28 division 1 men’s titles. Stanford went to the final four three years in a row. UC Davis also memorably joined Cal and Stanford at the final four – at Witter Field, no less – in 1997.

In men’s D2, Stanford and Sacramento State have won national championships.

Chico State and Humboldt State have come in second. Nevada has also been to the final four.

Women’s D1: Stanford has three titles and Chico State has one. Stanford has four more appearances in the final four, and UC Davis has one.

In division 2, UC Santa Cruz has a championship and a runner-up. Nevada has been runner-up and San Jose State has also made the final four twice.

For those scoring at home, that’s thirty out of sixty-three national titles. That’s six different university teams winning national champions, and thirteen earning appearances at final fours (Stanford men in two different divisions).

Or boys high school:

Four different titlists with seven titles over 27 years: Jesuit (3), Redwood (Marin)(2), Lamorinda and Burlingame. Del Campo and Elsie Allen have finished second. Los Gatos has also been to the final four.

You can play this game at home, given the various websites that list these champions.

These facts attest to the concentration of dedicated rugby folk in Northern California, to the hours and the years they devoted, the practices and the pitch-lining, the work and the washing of kit. The Pelican Refs come from a well-feathered nest, indeed.


…would be a breakdown of the number of different teams (clubs, schools) that have produced national players at the various levels. Here’s guessing that there are probably at least forty such in Northern California, and it could easily be fifty.

These ruminations are inspired by the selection of Milemoti Pulu from East Palo Alto for the USA Sevens side that participated in the IRB event in Dubai.

Thinking back to our own playing days, there were two players who captained the Eagles who came out of Monterey: Mike Saunders and Brian Vizard. Others who played for the club include Junior Eagle Mike Minafo, Sevens Eagle Greg Teliczan and women’s World Cup player, Eagle Betsy Hill, not to mention almost a dozen military members who made the national Combined Services team over the years.

Got some time to devote to research?

In fact, we’re willing to bet that a majority of all the colleges and clubs that have fielded teams in the NCRFU over the past thirty years have produced at least one Eagle. There’s no way that any other LAU comes close.


Paddy O’Brien sits down and gives you twenty minutes on the ‘new Laws’:

Enjoy learning about them if you will, but remember these are not in effect in the USA.

Thanks to Bjorn Stumer for forwarding the link to this three-part series.


Tony Latu sends this in:

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian referee took out his gun and fired warning shots in the air after a local soccer match turned unruly following the suspension of a player, a newspaper said Tuesday.

The referee, who was also a policeman, ran to his patrol car to get his gun after players mobbed him for showing the red-card to one of them, the New Straits Times said.

"We are investigating as to whether the policeman was justified in taking out his firearm and discharging it, and also why he had it with him during the match," it quoted Hussin Ismail, police chief in the southern Johor state, as saying.

The policeman was taken into custody for suspected misuse of firearms.

Five players, aged between 23 and 40, were also being held for questioning and could be charged for rioting, the paper said.


Now is the time to register for 2008. You need to renew your CIPP through USA Rugby and pay your NCRRS dues.

When you pay CIPP on the USA Rugby website, list your ‘team’ as the Northern California Rugby Referee Society. Print out the liability waiver, sign it, and mail it with your $10 annual dues to:

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


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:

This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.

Xmas 2007
Pelicus Epicurus, his wife Kate and Ron Myers V spent Christmas week in Carmel and took in the always-new Monterey Bay Aquarium with Scriptoris.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, December 18, 2007




The Pelican Society is making some of the presentations from our Society Meetings available as podcasts. Paul Bretz has the wizardry to make this happen.

This first installation includes talks by Bruce Carter about Dealing with Injuries and Paul talking about Advantage and Materiality.

You need iTunes to view these videos. This is a free download, and it happens to be the best music-management software you can get whether you have a portable music player or just want to use a computer as a jukebox. We can certify it as idiot-proof: the Fact-Checker uses Apple software and products without the slightest catastrophe.

We would like to think that referees in parts of the oval planet who do not belong to active teaching societies may benefit from these efforts.


You might save a few bob if you already have CIPP for 2007 by waiting until next month to renew for 2008. They are going to pro-rate the fee to the new fiscal year, which is August 1 to July 31.


So far we’ve heard from 23 referees as to their availability in January. That leaves about 50 who have not responded, less than a one-third strike rate from our end.

We’d like to do the January assignments in the next week or so. But it’s tough without responses: for example, we have 31 league games and two tournaments on January 26. Of the 23 refs who have responded, only 20 are available that day.

We have no way of knowing who is available without you responding to this e-mail. IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND YOU WILL NOT BE ASSIGNED ANY GAMES – IT IS THAT SIMPLE.

There are tournaments with Sunday games the weekends of Jan 19 and 26.

We also need to know whether you can travel to a game. ‘Travel’ means more than 60-90 minutes each way from your home. Don’t worry: if you say you can travel every weekend, you won’t get remote games every weekend, but you will allow much-appreciated flexibility in the scheduling.

Here’s the suggested format to reply:

Jan 5 Yes/No Travel?

Jan 12 Yes/No Travel?

Jan 19 Yes/No Travel? Sunday?

Jan 26 Yes/No Travel? Sunday?

Thank you!


There aren't any rugby games scheduled in NorCal the rest of the year. You'll have to spend time with loved ones, work for yourself, or do something for someone else in this holy season of giving.

Things could be worse: you could be intimately involved with a lesser sport.


Now is the time to register for 2008. You need to renew your CIPP through USA Rugby and pay your NCRRS dues.

When you pay CIPP on the USA Rugby website, list your ‘team’ as the Northern California Rugby Referee Society. Print out the liability waiver, sign it, and mail it with your $10 annual dues to:

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


Wednesday, December 12

Silicon Valley Alumni 12 – NEW SOUTH WALES COUNTRY U19 62
Referee: Pete Smith

Silicon Valley 0 – NEW SOUTH WALES COUNTRY U19 seconds – 51
Referee: James Hinkin

Silicon Valley ran out against NSW County B U19 side Wednesday night and put up a respectable fight in spite of the scoreline. The point total was more indicative of the finishing ability and support than the general run of play as NSW were generally forced to work for their points, but work they did and it paid off. NSW showed their superior teamwork in the 3rd minute when a penalty led to an attacking lineout 5m from the line. A throw to the front came back to the hooker who strolled unmolested in for the try. He then calmly slotted the conversion from the sideline – a fact he let every NSW kicker who missed know about throughout the evening. SV had several rookies playing who haven’t quite made the change from football yet so the armless tackles were in evidence and the rucks were entered from the side. The penalties kept coming and SV never had a chance to get off the back foot. The half ended with NSW up 24-0.

The second half started poorly for SV as yet another shoulder charge with no attempt at wrapping produced a yellow card. The man advantage was used well by NSW and three more tries were run in. SV seemed to finally get the message and the tackling was much better which produced and even spell in the game. Ten minutes from time, however, NSW broke free again and scored another two tries. The SV team was getting frustrated with the scoring and started infringing some more. NSW was getting frustrated with the infringements and were giving the referee opinions and interpretations of the law as applied to the match, resulting in some penalties for back chat. The game ended, however, with both sides tired but smiling as they shook hands and prepared for the A side match.

Saturday, December 15

FOG 29 – Shasta 18 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
A pretty winter day at TI. And Division 3 is getting better. The Fog, which has always had the numbers, is now fielding a stronger first fifteen. The Highlanders are finally getting the numbers, including some young legs.

The first half, particularly the first 20 minutes, were all Fog (post-match I heard a lot about the rust of the long drive from Redding.) But after that, a very nice and evenly played match broke out. After straightening out the offside line at rucks, mucho multi phase play. And the young wheels in the Redding backfield ripped off some sweet long runs.

I was sorry to miss the Fog drink up; always great fun. A must for our new refs.

SFGG DEV XV 5 – Berkeley 3 Referee: Steve Gray
Evaluator: Dixon Smith
Videographer: Bruce Carter
Thanks for all the help the Society is giving me, by the way. Being a ref is very difficult & I do appreciate all the help I can get. I do believe we learn more from our disasters then our victories & so I think I learned a great deal yesterday.

Seconds: SFGG DEV XV 22 – Berkeley 0 Referee: David Heath
Referee Coach: Sam Reagle
Videographer: Bruce Carter

Competitive game played in great spirit. SFGG had some great back play but Berkeley defended doggedly - good game.

Editor’s Note: Dave comes to us from Wales, sent to Pelicanland for five years courtesy of his employer, Chevron.

Dave had to get a hall pass from his wife since they have family in town from across the pond. They have already discovered what many of us found out years ago: if you move to Kansas loved ones will call and write; but if you move to the Bay Area they will come to visit.

SANTA ROSA JC 17 – Santa Rosa 15 Referee: Joe Leisek
For Pete's Sake Field, Santa Rosa
Touch Judges: Chris Bustamonte, Trevor Payne

In what was billed as the first ever match between these two clubs, the outcome surprised most of the spectators and perhaps most of the players as well. This was a nail-biter than wasn't decided until about 78:30 into the match.

It was a cool, cloudy day, perfect for rugby, on one of the best pitches in the Pacific Coast. The volunteers who built this field have now installed a long wooden bench along the entire length of the pitch. The game drew one of the largest crowds I have seen at FPS.

It would be easy to assume this was a match between a raw, youthful side and an experienced, older side. Yet the JC side featured a couple of older players, and the men's club has its share of youth. But nearly everyone on the field had lots of rugby experience.

Basically, it was a Redwood Empire Conference alumni game, with Elsie Allen High School players figuring prominently on both sides--including both captains, Balamcab Guitierrez (JC) and Ian Davis (men's club). Lobo coach Alan Petty watched from the sideline, as did former Elsie assistant Terry Brennan. One of the men's club's new coaches is Sean Peters, who also assisted Coach Petty at Elsie. Dennis Bruno, who coaches the Santa Rosa/Cardinal Newman team with Lynn Meister, was also present.

There were players from all of the North Bay high schools on the field, including Dominic Patrick, who played center for the Santa Rosa/Cardinal Newman team and has now shifted to front row for the JC.

(Both touch judges were Elsie grads who played for the JC and the men's club. Thanks to Chris and Trevor for their excellent help.)

The game itself was fast and hard-hitting, with the first 17 minutes featuring very few stoppages of any kind. The first half ended at 5-3 to the senior side, but each side missed scoring opportunities due primarily to hard defense.

With the start of the second half, it looked as though the men's club might start putting the game away. They scored a try very early in the half and seemed to be moving forward more often. But the JC kept right with them, retaining possession well and not allowing the men's club backline too many opportunities. Finally, with time running down, JC forward and Elsie grad Manny Lopez scored a try that was converted by fullback Will Cooper.

Santa Rosa had the kickoff, which was knocked on, ironically, by Lopez, but they kicked away possession at the whistle.

Congratulations to both teams for giving the spectators an exciting game. I hope it was as much fun to play as it was to referee.

Humboldt – Aptos Not sure if this game happened. They didn’t ask for a referee.


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:

This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.

Rocca Field Flock
At Rocca Field: David Heath and Dixon Smith, the Chevron wing of the NCRRS, are accompanied by Sam Reagle, Steve Gray, Bryant Byrnes and Bruce Carter.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, December 11, 2007




The Referee Development Committee of the NCRRS is pleased to announce the following promotions:

David Heath to C3
Dan Wilson to C3
Preston Gordon to C2

Congratulations! It is particularly pleasant to have some new birds in the flock.


Please send in the Saturdays you will be available to referee in January, bearing in mind that there may only be one or two games on Jan. 5.

We have no way of knowing who is available without you responding to this e-mail. IF YOU DO NOT RESPOND YOU WILL NOT BE ASSIGNED ANY GAMES – IT IS THAT SIMPLE.

There are tournaments with Sunday games the weekends of Jan 19 and 26.

We also need to know whether you can travel to a game. ‘Travel’ means more than 60-90 minutes each way from your home. Don’t worry: if you say you can travel every weekend, you won’t get remote games every weekend, but you will allow much-appreciated flexibility in the scheduling.

Here’s the suggested format to reply:

Jan 5 Yes/No Travel?

Jan 12 Yes/No Travel?

Jan 19 Yes/No Travel? Sunday?

Jan 26 Yes/No Travel? Sunday?

Thank you!


Now is the time to register for 2008. You need to renew your CIPP through USA Rugby and pay your NCRRS dues.

When you pay CIPP on the USA Rugby website, list your ‘team’ as the Northern California Rugby Referee Society. Print out the liability waiver, sign it, and mail it with your $10 annual dues to:

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



This was pretty cool – being able to watch the games live, for free, on the Internet.

The National Guard sponsored the competition and USA Rugby streamed the games through its website. This writer has been privileged to watch Mose Timoteo play rugby a number of times, including more than ten years ago in a military championship in North Carolina, but this was the first time he got to sneak a peek at his laptop in the office and watch another clever reverse pass or perfectly-timed feed.

To add to our satisfaction, we got to see the Pacific Coast win two games and re-claim the title, of which they’ve held the Grizzly’s share since its inception.

Congratulations to Coach Mike Saunders (a former Monterey rugger) and all the Grizzlies!


NEVADA 23 – Chico State 22 Referee: Max Marsden (RFU)

Where do you start ... I turned up to a game on a synthetic pitch with a covering of about an inch of snow hiding all but a few choice lines that had be groomed. The adjacent synthetic pitch (the football practice field) had been totally cleared of snow but apparently as the UNR football coach doesn't think much of the rugby game he'd made sure that our game pitch was still under a healthy layer of snow. That plus the -4 degrees C and howling wind didn't do any thing to spoil a great game. I thought I was walking into a friendly match but I was soon put right by the home captain who first words where "Ref I want you to know you're walking into a grudge match - I'll do my best to control the boys - but it is what it is". This warm welcome most certainly focused the mind in the cold.

The game was a great one - played with passion and big hits amongst what was for the most part a very well natured contest with little agro from either side. The forwards hit up well and the big Chico pack probably had the beating of their opposite numbers for the first half (or ‘period’ as it read on the score board!). The Chico possession allowed some dangerous runs from their backs and they went into half time winning by about 10. In the second half as it looked like Chico could easily close the game out, one moment of insanity which lead to a penalty try (without yellow card; IRB shock horror!) brought about a spirited come back from the UNR wolf pack team - lead impressively by their hard working scrum half and captain. In the dying seconds of the game UNR went over to score a final try and won the game 23-22.

As a guest to Nevada/Californian rugby I was hugely impressed by the spirit in which the game was played. There was great support for the match and both sides were gracious in victory and defeat.

It was a fantastic experience and one I'll remember for a long time back across the pond.

Also I had to come back on to referee the second team game as Phil injured himself running touch in the first game and Russ who stepped in - did the same thing in the second half of the second game. I was offered gloves to ref in and giggled at when I took my tracksuit off to referee the game (apparently referees don't have to wear shorts!!)

Seconds: Nevada – Chico State Referee: Phil Ulibarri

A cold, snowy and icy field met Chico State at Nevada-Reno Friday night, but British panel referee Max Marsden was up for the game as were both collegiate sides regardless of the treacherous conditions. "We'd never play this game in the UK," Marsden intimated, "but both sides want this grudge match to play on, so off we go."

First game touch judges Russ Wilkening and Phil Ulibarri (scheduled second game ref) both came up lame with hamstring injuries so Marsden was forced to call approximately 50 minutes of the second game as well. Ulibarri slipping on ice in goal during the first match and Wilkening chasing down a 50 meter try by Chico's Eric Heiden in the first twenty minutes of the second game. Marsden's ability to keep pace with the collegians is obviously attributed to his young age, trendy hair style (see photo), and practice outrunning snow bunnies at Lake Tahoe hot after the British physio's accent!

Chico State dominated most of the first game play with a powerful pack pushing UNR off the ball at a majority of the scrums, but Nevada kept it close with penalty kicks and eventually pulled ahead in the last quarter with some opportunistic breaks when a cold and frustrated Chico side failed to close out the full 80 for the win.

UC Davis – Vacaville Dogs Referee: Paul Berman
Touch Judge: Donal Walsh
No report received.

Reno – Sacramento Capitals MOVED TO JANUARY 12

Arroyo Grande 12 – SAN LUIS OBISPO 14 Referee: Pete Smith
Going into this game, I knew it was going to be a referee challenge not for the speed of the game, but for the temperament. Safe to say these teams have a mutual disliking for each other.

Arroyo Grande is 20 minutes south of San Luis Obispo, but they play in the NorCal league and SLO plays in the SoCal League. Read that as these two teams don’t even want to be in the same league as the other club. My hope was that we would have a high scoring game and my fear was that it was going to be the war by the shore.

Unfortunately my hopes were dashed and my fears realized as these two teams went after each other for all 80 minutes. I had to pull every management trick in my bag out for this one and still felt like this game was always one incident away from an all out brawl. The game was close at halftime with SLO in front 7-0 behind a try resulting from a charge down.

AG, as you can guess, never let up and continued to pressure SLO. SLO scored again on a break down and an overlap to put them ahead 14-0. AG’s pressure finally paid off with an unconverted try 14-5 and again with minutes remaining to pull it to 14-12. AG had a chance with a break by their winger down the far side, but SLO was able to track him down, find touch and that was that.

I lost track of the penalty count, my guess is that it was higher than the combined scores. It is tough to tell what kind of season either of these teams is going to have because the game was so choppy neither really had a chance to show what they can do other than tackle and get testy. I can’t remember a game where I spent more time talking to players/captains as that game. How the game didn’t erupt into more than boys being boys causing me to hand out more cards than Hallmark, I’m not sure.

Oddly enough, at the end, both teams were reasonably happy. They both knew what this game was going to look like and in the end, no injuries, no cards and no fights. I will say that having refereed both of these teams in the past, this game is not typical and not representative of the type of game they are both capable of playing.

BARACUS 57 – Stanislaus 12 Referee: Bridget Tannian (New England)
Touch Judge: Anna McMahan
Videographer: Bruce Carter

Bridget Tannian was in town on business. We are nothing if not empathetic with referees who wish to pick up a game while on the road, having done our fair share of it over the years.

It was a glorious day on Treasure Island until the sprinklers came on. And of course they came on at 1 PM.

But – they play rugby in the rain, even when it’s coming up out of the ground, and so the match proceeded.

Baracus had a nice multiple-phase attack that usually eventually found one of the two guys who could outrun everyone else on the pitch, and there the tale was told.

Seconds: BARACUS 3 – Stanislaus 0 Referee: Anna McMahan
Videographer: Bruce Carter

This was an abbreviated game won on a penalty-kick drop-goal with no time remaining. The skeleton crew from Modesto were very good sports to allow the Baracus seconds a run.

DIABLO GAELS U23, 65 – San Jose State 5 Referee: Paul Bretz
Touch Judge: Eric Rauscher

DIABLO GAELS 53 – Fresno 7 Referee: Tony Redmond
Touch Judge: Eric Rauscher

Despite a very heavy pitch that reminded me of many grounds in Ireland, a better-drilled, more skilful and fitter Diablo Gaels team exerted pressure on Fresno from the start and continued all through the match. The only break came just before half-time where some defensive errors allowed Fresno to score beside the posts, but apart from that it was all one-way traffic.

Fresno’s cause wasn’t helped by the fact that they were short of competent front rows. The game was pretty easy to referee and the only real problem was a yellow card in the second half for the Gaels #6 for “careless use of the boot” on an opponent’s head – the card would have been red in a more serious game or if I had thought that there was malice in the action rather than incompetence.

The only other issue to report was some “help” from Paul Bretz, who had refereed the previous game and stayed to watch the first half... after the Gaels’ second try, Paul commented that my whistle could have been louder. My retort was that at my age, I am so happy if I can get there to award scores that occasionally my whistle tone suffers! Enjoyable all round…

Maritime Academy Alumni Game
STUDENTS – Alumni Referee: Randy Boose
Evaluator: Sam Reagle

Quoting Charles Dickens, "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times". Taking into account nobody was hurt more then usual cramping everybody came out ok. It was also a blast on my end; I definitely look forward to doing this again.

(Editor’s Note: This was Randy’s first match, and he never played the game. We are happy to read that his trepidation was mastered!)

UC SANTA CRUZ women 57 – Fortuna HS SoCal 11 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Fortuna High School girls drove down to Santa Cruz for a campus tour and friendly against the Slug women minus their seniors. As this is still pre season for the Slugs, and soccer had not yet released their lower pitch, the match was played on the upper field opposite the pool which was hosting a regional youth swim tournament.

Notwithstanding the score, the Fortuna girls played hard and well, consistently exhibiting the best open field tackling this ref has ever observed in HS girls play. The Slugs got a good run and a chance to hone their kick-and-chase game.

Marin – USF Canceled


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:

This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.

New England Reunion
Anna McMahan and Bridget Tannian renew their acquaintance from Boston days on Treasure Island, where Anna played for Beantown until Bridget’s whistle any number of times.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, December 04, 2007




In this busiest of months for evening and seasonal events, don’t forget to set aside next Tuesday evening for the regular meeting of the NCRRS.

We will be meeting at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island from 7 to 9 PM. Dinner will be provided beginning at 6.

Society REO David Williamson has put together another informative and entertaining syllabus for the 2008 season. This session will cover During the Game, Laws 7-12 and 22.

Bruce Carter will be talking about the referee’s role in dealing with injuries, especially those that are potentially serious. He would like attendees to prep for his presentation by reading the article entitled Play On, Eternally, which comprises the second half of this week’s HP.


The NorCal college men's D1 began this weeknd. St. Mary's, UC Davis and Chico State won. Cal had the bye.

MARITIME ACADEMY 65 – Stanford seconds 5 Referee: Paul Bretz

ST MARY’S 53 – Sacramento State 12 Referee: John Coppinger
Touch Judges: Eric Rauscher, Tom Zanarini
Led by captain and #13 Kevin Swiryn, who scored four tries on the day, St. Mary's ran past Sac State 53-12 Saturday in Moraga. (St. Mary's 17, Sac State 7 @ 40 m.)

St. Mary's demonstrated that the side has taken training very seriously as they simply wore out a game and committed Sac State side as the match progressed.

The match was played in generally good spirits with relatively few penalties, a tribute to both coaching staffs.

Thanks to Tom Zanarini and Eric Rauscher for running touch. Also present were Jim Crenshaw and Rich Anderson. Thanks to Jim and Rich for their coaching of the referee.

Seconds: ST. MARY’S 30 – Sacramento State 27 Referee: Tom Zanarini

BERKELEY 61 – U. of San Francisco 7 Referee: Dave Heath
Assessor: Bryan Porter
Game was played in good spirit and Berkeley's forward power and slick back play eventually overwhelmed a spirited USF side.

Very much appreciated Bryan Porter's presence on the touchline to give me support and advice.

Berkeley B Side 10 – SAN FRAN STATE/MISSION 50 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
What started as a pretty competitive game turned out to be a blowout by some moxie Fijians who are tabbed to play for the Mission, assisted by a very fast new winger for State who scored almost every time he touched the ball but not before outrunning or juking half of Berkeley's 2nd side.

(In retrospect this combined team should have played against Berkeley's first side; but who knew!)

East Palo Alto 19 – SACRAMENTO LIONS 26 Referee: John Pohlman
East Palo Alto Razorbacks hosted the Sacramento Lions this last weekend.

Bruce asked me on Thursday if I could do the game. I already had a game on Sunday at Stanford and was planning a relaxing day of gardening and honey-do's. (By the way, fellow ruggers, December is the honey-do month which should make the others into rugby months. We can dream).

I thought Razorbacks hosting the Lions versus Honey-Do's.

I arrived around noon at East Palo Alto's field. Sacramento was caught in traffic so the game was pushed back to 1:30.

Dave Topou is running the E.P.A. high school program and since Rob Holder was in Florida at the ITT's Dave took over the men's team for Saturday. The Razorbacks have been promoted to D-2 for this year. They had over thirty players warming up when I arrived.

One of the fans asked who I thought would win. I explained that Sacramento being a current D-1 team and EPA just moving up to D-2, I thought EPA may have a hard time with the speed of a D-1 opponent.

The Lions arrived with good numbers, probably close to thirty. I talked with the coach Nam and he said they were just getting going on the season. Nam went on to say how proud he was of the Hayward team and how their national championship had inspired all the Polynesian teams, especially Sacramento.

It was decided to play four 20 minute periods. The Lions started fast with a try in the first five minutes by one of their massive props. The rest of the first period was hard running and harder tackling. The lions controlled most of the next period. A yellow card to EPA's prop for repeated hands in allowed Sacramento to score another try right before half time.

Both teams made some subs. EPA's seemed to be younger and faster. EPA scored. Sacramento scored. EPA scored two more. If you ever wanted to see what it would look like to have a 300 pound razorback fight a 300 pound lion, that was the last twenty minutes.

Sacramento's leadership and discipline allowed them to score the last try and mostly control the end of the match.

A fun game to watch, play and referee.

The players from both teams gathered together after the game. They prayed. They wished each other good luck. They made a commitment to show and gain respect in THE Northern California Rugby Community.

Thanks, it's great to see the spirit of rugby.

Fresno: OVER 36 – Under 29 Referee: Bruce Carter
The defining age seemed to be about 35, with exceptions made for props. The older guys included three or four who used to play against the ref, who is now in his twentieth year refereeing full-time.

Fresno has a new pitch and plenty of commitment. The Fresno Regional Sports Complex is 110 acres of athletic fields, parking and picnic grounds. Two of the fields, which are adjacent, are full-size for rugby and one of these has rugby lines burned in.

The bathroom building next to the field includes male and female referee changing rooms with showers.

More than fifty players took the field in the course of the game, which was a see-saw affair.

The old boys scored from the kickoff after a series of quick rucks and then a spin to the wing. They did this again immediately after the water break at twenty minutes.

(Yes, while the Midwest was being paralyzed by a snow storm and our East Coast friends were preparing for their turn, rugby players in California needed a water break. It was in the low sixties, bright and sunny, no breeze. The sidelines featured skin.)

Meanwhile, the young boys scored two tries from the base of the scrum on missed defensive assignments – no post, pillar or guard dog.

The seniors scored again in the second half but then appeared to run out of gas: three tries were run in by the youth within about six minutes.

However, what had happened is the really old boys had been on the field all at the same time. ‘Balance’ was restored with the insertion of players like Dan Wilson and JoJo McKenzie. JoJo called for the ball, flyhalf Jeff Annas got it to him, and JoJo ran in under the posts for a famous victory.

UC Santa Cruz – Aptos Referee: Pete Smith
No report received.

Women’s College Round-Robin at UC Davis
Referees: Bjorn Stumer, Rob Hendrickson

Report by Bjorn Stumer:
"Saturday is a rugby day! And so it was at UC Davis were the Davis women hosted a mini rugby fest with Sacramento State and University of Nevada-Reno in attendance. Fellow ref, Rob Hendrickson and I handled the whistle for the four one-hour matches from 11am until 5pm (with some breaks in between).

UC DAVIS 12 – Sacramento State 5 Ref: Stumer
A very even match between two impressive and capable sides. There was no score in the hard fought first half, marred at the 29th minute when Sacramento's number 10 grabbed a ball runner by her pony tail - quick whistle and a yellow card for dangerous tackle. The guns came out in the second half with Davis scoring two tries, one of them converted. Sac was equal to the task, but could only respond with one unconverted try. A great match between two strong and committed sides. Great forward work by both teams with Davis' loosehead and Sac's propping captain and number 8 particularly impressive.

UC DAVIS 27 – Reno 0 Refs: Stumer/Hendrickson
As Rob had to leave, he and I split halves. The Davis ladies showed their power and depth by dispatching Reno 27 (17) - 0. A one sided match which spoke more of Davis' strength, than of Reno's weakness. To their credit the Reno ladies never gave up and gave the hosts a good run.

UC Davis seconds 0 – SACRAMENTO STATE 25 Ref: Stumer
Although tired, the Sacramento women were too much for Davis' B-side. Sacramento's running and cohesion were truly impressive, and it was only due to Davis' determined defense that the score was not higher.

Overall a great day of rugby. As usual it is a delight to officiate for women, who always seem to display good skills and sportsmanship. Davis were great host on their scenic pitch. A goodish crowd of supporters in attendance and plenty of sun on tap. Fun was had by all!"

Report by Rob Hendrickson:
UC Davis women hosted a friendly round robin tournament with Sac State and Nevada women on saturday. The weather was cool, and at times breezy, which led to some interesting clearing and up and under kicks almost becoming up and back kicks. Kickoff was at 11, and the games were 30 minute halves. Davis started against Sac State (Bjorn's game), followed by Nevada v Davis, a lunch break, and continuing (I did first half, Bjorn completed).

NEVADA 12 (2) – UC Davis women 0 Ref: Rob Hendrickson
Davis played back to back matchs and had the depth to face off against Nevada and come close to tying it up at two tries apiece, but for being held up and knocking-on in goal. What really impressed me was both team's ability to recycle the ball at rucks and then swing the ball out wide to their wings. While both teams have some work to do on their scrums, it looks like this will be a competitive season.


Stanford women seconds 0 – ALUMNAE 72 Referee: Sandy Robertson

A rookie-laden Stanford Women's second side took on an alumni team consisting of Stanford stalwarts from the '80's through their recent championship sides. The current Stanford team had a close-up view of the skills and open play support that have been Stanford's trademark.

Stanford men seconds 0 – ALUMNI 14 (tries) Referee: John Pohlman

STANFORD women 83 – California 5 Referee: Chris Tucker
Videographer: Bruce Carter

A speedy and well-organised Stanford team ran rings round a Cal team that is still a work in progress. The partisan crowd of Alums gathered to watch a try fest that wasn't even slowed by the reduction in Stanford's force to 13 players, the first for some dubious "rucking" and the second for repeated disdain for the location of the back foot at the ruck. To their credit, the Cal women put together some sustained pressure for 15 minutes later in the game which resulted in a second half try. However, generally speaking, a rush defence where only 2 out of 4 of the backs are rushing is not going to end well, and the score tells the tale.

(Videographer’s note: Chris is right. A ‘half rush’ defense gives the team with the ball a four-on-two, followed by another four-on-two.)

Stanford Men 14 – CHICO STATE 24 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Touch Judges: John Pohlman, Bruce Carter

Stanford took a 14 - 0 lead but could not hold on to it. Chico State worked out the kinks in their kicking and found some hands in the backline in the second half.

Nevada 19 (3) – UC DAVIS 27 (5) Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judges: Phil Ulibarri, Russ Wilkening
John Sala Intramural Field, University of Nevada, Reno

A sunny, cool day on the UNR campus, with breathaking views of the mountains to the east. And speaking of views, in the distance approaching the pitch, I saw a man wearing what looked like an NCRRS jersey. It was Russ Wilkening, there to play for the UNR second side. Russ also graciously agreed to run touch for the first match. He and new ref Phil Ulibarri formed a set of referee TJs, which we all appreciated very much.

The game was played on a very fast all-weather surface, which of course led to many fast breaks and some interesting bounces and rolls of the ball. Davis had the early advantage, both in terms of possession and territory, and in fact went into the half with a 17-0 lead. Their scrummaging, ball retention, and backline had UNR on their heels for much of the half. That being said, the hosts' defense was very good. They are tenacious and quick.

UNR came back in the second half and made the most of their opportunities to score three tries and pull within eight points at full-time. Davis seemed to ease up on a gas a little late in the half. They also lost a player to a yellow card for last 10 minutes. Much credit for UNR's comeback is due to their scrumhalf and captain, Carl Zmaila.

After the match, I watched Phil referee a very exciting game that ended in a one-point victory for the visitors. Seeing me watching and taking notes, a man approached and asked: "Were you here to also critique the referee for the first game?" When I informed him I was in fact the referee for the first game, he said: "Ohhh, then I guess I won't be too critical."

This was my introduction to Chris Nolan, former Hastings teammate of many NCRRS referees and a former referee himself. His son played fullback for Davis in the first game.

Seconds: Nevada 30 – UC DAVIS 31 Referee: Phil Ulibarri
Referee Coach: Joe Leisek


A camp for developing Pacific Coast referees was held in conjunction with the Scottsdale tournament this past weekend.

Jacqueline Fink, Joe Androvich and Don Pattalock attended from NorCal, along with our REO David Williamson.



Paul did not submit an exchange report, so now he is fair game as this ‘music video’ will show:


I wrote this after witnessing two fatal head injuries in rugby games. It is re-printed here as a companion piece to my talk at the NCRRS meeting Tuesday, December 4. I would also like to think that rugby folk everywhere might benefit from reading it.

By Bruce Carter
From The Pelican's Beak
Volume VII, Issue 4
November 1999


Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.

Ulysses, Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Two Men of Rugby

My friend was a prop, an outdoorsman, a naval officer. My friend loved rugby. My friend played for Monterey. My friend was there for his mates. My friend had his last conscious moment on the pitch, betrayed by his own flesh, and went home the next day. His loved ones had the heart to know that life support was not part of his plan.

My friend was a wing, a family man, a churchgoer. My friend loved rugby. My friend played for Reno. My friend was there for his mates. My friend had his last conscious moment on the pitch, betrayed by his own flesh, and went home two days later. His loved ones understood that God was calling and that life support was not part of the plan.

A hundred miles and six years apart, they lay upon the grass. “Play on” suddenly was not to be. Pulse and respiration, basic functions of the most primitive ganglia, continued apace. Their faces shaded from the sun by caring teammates, their pupils slowly dilated as other brain centers felt the incipient, inexorable building up of pressure. One of them had a seizure, billions of neurons railing in concert against the dying of the light. Life was sublimating back into the ether.

Counting the minutes to the screaming arrival of the professional messengers of hope was all that I could do. Ambulances and medical centers were the last hope on this mortal coil for these two men.

My friends had had a fatal attraction to the game they now are playing in heaven: they both played despite serious previous head injuries. Fate then dealt them a final concussion.

A Fatal Attraction

Rugby players are notorious for disregarding their own safety. Like soldiers under fire, they are willing to sacrifice themselves for their teammates, to help the side at their own expense. Then too, the pressures of another week in the working world want release come Saturday. As battle looms, the loins gird and the body’s humors rise. Once more unto the breach, indeed.

Compounding the potential for foolhardiness is the fact that concussion, the most common serious injury of rugby players, first ravages the very faculty upon which the player’s survival now depends: his judgment.

Jeopardizing a trick knee for the old school is one thing; wagering one’s life for the Siren of athletic success is another matter entirely. In this world, all that we have are life and each other. The forces of physics can converge on the cranial vault and steal these away in the closing of an eye.

A second concussion, one that occurs before the disruption of a previous head injury has been repaired, finds the blood vessels of the brain especially vulnerable. The second concussion, perhaps otherwise only a minor blow, can lead to bleeding. There is no room for the accumulation of blood within the skull except by compression of the spongy gray and white matter. The brain literally cannot function under this pressure and may die.

We referees are charged with keeping the game safe for the players. We occasionally have to evaluate whether a player should be allowed to continue.

The only specific guidance with respect to injury that the Laws give is an instruction from the IRB:

“A player who is suffering definite concussion should not participate
in any match or training session for a period of at least three weeks
from the time of injury, and then only subject to being cleared by
a proper neurological examination.”

A vital part of every referee’s kit bag then is the knowledge of how to tell when a player has been concussed.

A Key Question

You should consider concussion whenever a player may have had a head injury, which includes broken noses, black eyes and dangerous tackles. Ask him if he hit his head, if his head hurts, if he was ‘dinged’. Did he see stars; was he woozy; was he knocked out? Does he feel steady on his feet?

It is good to establish that he knows who he is, where he is, and what he is doing, but players with significant brain injuries can deduce the answers to these questions intellectually even while their memories are not functioning properly. They look around, see people in striped jerseys, see the graceful eucalyptus of Golden Gate Park and say, “I’m playing rugby at the polo field.”

I recommend one key question in addition to the others. Ask the player, “How did you get to the game today?” This tests recent memory, the most sensitive indicator of cognitive damage. Remote memory (“What is your name?”) and immediate memory (“What are you doing?”) may be deceptively normal in a person who will struggle for words and look to his teammates for help in knowing how he got to the pitch. If he says he drove, ask him who was with him. Ask him where his car is.

Incorrect answers or bluffing in response to any of these questions mandate that the player leave the game.

The American Academy of Neurology Guidelines

This is a brief summary of the best data available, presented for the on-the-spot use of lay (non-medically-trained) referees. You can easily access the source materials on the internet, starting with the Academy’s site at or from any search engine. Concussions are graded from 1 to 3 for the purpose of determining when an athlete should be allowed to return to play.

Grade 1 and 2 concussions do not involve loss of consciousness. Both of these are players who were ‘dinged’ or ‘stunned’ or ‘knocked for a loop’. They had an interval wherein they were aware that their own brain function was not normal. THIS IS THE ONLY REQUIREMENT TO ESTABLISH THAT A PLAYER WAS CONCUSSED: IN RESPONSE TO A HEAD INJURY, HE HAD ALTERED AWARENESS. The force or nature or angle of the blow need not be considered. THE PLAYER SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE PLAYING.

When he can resume playing then varies according to the severity of the injury.

GRADE 1: If the player’s symptoms are completely back to normal within five minutes and he is fully functional, this is a Grade 1 concussion. This player can return to activity after fifteen minutes of rest. As a referee, you have to trust someone on the sideline to determine whether the player is back to normal, but the player could take part in a subsequent game the same day.

When I suspect that a player might have had a head injury but lack evidence, I ask the coach or trainer to keep an eye on the player and to sound the alarm at any abnormal behavior.

If a player has had more than one Grade 1 concussions, he needs to be out at least a week. When you hear that this is the second ‘head shot’ of the tournament or that he ‘had one of these earlier’, require him to leave the game. Strongly advise him and the responsible members of his team that he should be formally evaluated by a physician prior to practicing or playing again.

GRADE 2: If any symptom or finding persists more than five minutes this is a Grade 2 injury. This means that if the player feels ‘off’ or ‘different’ or anything at all besides normal, or appears unsteady or unfocused after more than a few minutes have passed, the situation is worse than in Grade 1. This player should not play again for at least a week, subject to a professional evaluation. If he has had multiple Grade 2 injuries, or a Grade 1 followed by a Grade 2, the recommended rest interval will be longer.

GRADE 3: ANY LOSS OF CONSCIOUSNESS, HOWEVER BRIEF, CONSTITUTES THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF CONCUSSION. This player is out of the game and should be seen by a doctor prior to resuming any physical activity. This applies even to the player who is sitting up and seems to be thinking normally when you talk to him, but who admits, “I think I was out for a second.” No athlete has ever falsely believed he lost consciousness during a match.

If a player is unconscious for more than one or two minutes, call for an ambulance. Lie him flat on his back and do not let his head move relative to his body – that is, stabilize his neck. As he starts to come around, restrain him from sitting up suddenly. Have someone familiar to him talk to him reassuringly as you await the EMS response.

To summarize what is already a very brief precis, ANY alteration of mental function after a head injury means the player has been concussed and should go off. If the player did not lose consciousness and is back to normal within five minutes, he can resume playing after fifteen minutes of rest.

All of those with more pronounced and/or prolonged symptoms should not be active for at least a week. If you are refereeing them in a tournament, try to ensure that they don’t play again. Beyond that, you can strongly advise them to seek medical attention before resuming any exercise.

Direct this advice at the player’s friends and his coach as much as at the player.

Play On, Eternally

I want to emphasize enlisting others on the player’s team in order to see to it that he obtain medical follow-up. I have learned that it is largely pointless to educate players about conditions and symptoms that should keep them from playing. Your average rugger will play anyway.

It is more effective to focus on educating players about the conditions and symptoms that should keep their TEAMMATES from playing. They care more for each other, in some ways, than they care for themselves.

Rugby is family. The circle draws tighter when one of us leaves. In a moment of grace we know our own mortality. We pause and ponder this enchanted spark of life, experiencing awe normally denied us.

Then the discomfit of self returns and we cease to muse. We want to play on. There is a game on next Saturday.

My two friends understand that we wish to play on, but they already have all the company they need for now.

Look out for your mates.

December Kickoff
For decades, the NorCal rugby season began at Stanford on the first weekend in December with the Stanford Tens.

This year the regular season kicked off for the men's colleges in early December, and one of the three games was played down on the Farm.

At the end of a four-game Sunday of rugby Chris Tucker and Jim Crenshaw flank Stanford assistant coach Josh Sutcliffe on one side, while John Pohlman takes the other.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, November 27, 2007




In this busiest of months for evening and seasonal events, don’t forget to set aside next Tuesday evening for the regular meeting of the NCRRS.

We will be meeting at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island from 7 to 9 PM. Dinner will be provided beginning at 6.

Society REO David Williamson has put together another informative and entertaining syllabus for the 2008 season. This session will cover During the Game, Laws 7-12 and 22.


These courses are offered primarily in the autumn. Invariably, the week after the last one we get half a dozen requests for another from widely scattered point of the compass. So: if you know someone who’s been talking about taking the course, put them on to this one:

The Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society will host a Level 1 Officiating Course for all persons interested in becoming rugby referees on Sunday, 2 December 2007, at the Bay Club, 150 Greenwich Street, San Francisco, CA. The course will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m., while wrapping up at the conclusion of an open book law test at approximately 5:00 p.m. The course fee is $35/student. Persons wishing to register for this course should contact Mike Malone at or (415) 472-2091.



Wednesday, November 21

Having read Aruna's report from the prior NCRRS exchange and heading Bruce Kuklinski's advice, I was well prepared for cold and rain ("have your winter woolies packed plus some wet weather gear"). Much to my delight, it was clear and sunny for most of our time on Vancouver Island. Paul Berman and I traveled north to Victoria, BC, for the annual Pelicanrefs exchange. We were supposed to meet in Seattle for the short flight to Victoria but Paul's plane from Oakland was delayed. Apparently he had made the dash to the gate but was denied boarding and had to wait for the next flight. After an uneventful trip, I was met at the airport by my host, Keith Morrison, and, having ascertained that Paul would arrive well after noon, we toured the local area and enjoyed lunch in Sidney at a pub overlooking Haro Strait. After a bit of a delay in customs, I'll leave that short-story to Paul, we drove to Victoria. Keith provided a tour of the city prior to dropping Paul off at Bruce Kuklinski's.

Thursday, November 22

Keith and I collected Paul for the drive up to Shawnigan Lake School. The views were tremendous. We stopped at Goldstream Creek to watch salmon in their final minutes of life spawning in the water as sea gulls feasted on the sashimi smorgasbord. After a brief stop overlooking the Saanich Inlet, we arrived at Shawnigan Lake School, a private coed boarding school for grades 8 to 12, for the Vancouver Island Junior Boys' Championship. What a sight! Rugby pitches on three terraces with a clubhouse overlooking the featured field. Keith introduced me to several Shawnigan coaches who wanted to pick my brain as they are touring Northern California this coming March(?) with matches at Jesuit and Lamorinda, and possibly SFGG and/or De La Salle.

Due to a recovering knee injury, my assignment for the weekend was to referee-coach some of the local talent. The first match I watched pitted #3 seed Brentwood against #6 seed Claremont. Matt Ward, a young up-and-coming referee with a lot of potential and former guest of Joe Leisek, had a good run in which Brentwood had a decisive 36-10 victory over Claremont (more about Claremont below). The next match featured #1 seed Shawnigan Lake School against #8 seed Vic High, refereed by Dave Hopps. Dave has a good feel for the flow of the game and facilitated a match in which Shawnigan dominated Vic High 71-0. We drove back to Victoria where Bruce hosted us for dinner at St. Michael's University School prior to drinks at a local pub.

Friday, November 23

We returned to Shawnigan Lake for the second day of the Junior Boys Competition. Another beautifully clear and sunny day, albeit a little cooler, for rugby. This time I watched Ashley Anderson referee #6 seed Claremont versus #7 seed Ladysmith. Due to the low angle of the sun, surrounding trees, and global warming, the ground was too frozen to play on so we relocated to the upper-upper field. Kudos to the groundskeeper for lining the pitch in record time. In less than 45 minutes, he had marked out a pitch in accordance with the Plan as if he were filling in a template. Unfortunately, there was not time for installing posts so it was decided the touch judges would act as uprights with the tops of their flags representing the crossbar. Ladysmith, featuring a Gregan-like scrum half, appeared to be the dominant team but went into the break with a paltry 5-0 lead. At halftime, Claremont must have eaten Wheaties with Red Bull as they came out on fire for the second half. Claremont got the ball out of lineouts and scrums much quicker. With quick ball, their wing (also a football quarterback) was able to exploit the defense scoring one try and setting up another. With less than two minutes remaining, Claremont was awarded a penalty just outside Ladysmith's 22 and elected to go for a penalty goal (remember, no posts, only TJs). The ball was straight and high enough to avoid any controversy and Claremont won 13-12. After the match, we returned to the main pitch to watch Paul referee a quarter-final match.

We returned to Victoria where John De Goede, along with his lovely wife Krista and Big BBD Digger, hosted dinner at their house. Joining us were Keith, Bruce, Ashley, and Sam Langridge, another local referee. Great food and conversation last well into the evening.

Saturday, November 24

Woke up to an overcast sky and a forty percent chance of sharing Aruna's experience with precipitation. Off to the pitch for an 11:30 a.m. match between hosts University of Victoria Women and Nanaimo Women. Unfortunately, the visitors only traveled with nine so U Vic graciously loaned players and it was agreed they play three 20-minute chukkers. Rob Rodvik refereed this affair, his twelfth match ever, and got in a good run as U Vic put up 58 points to nil.

Paul had the next match, a Div 1 quarter-final between U Vic Norsemen and Port Alberni Black Sheep (whose city was hit by TWO tsunamis in 1964 during the Good Friday Earthquake). I will leave the details of the match to Paul. From the "It's a Small World" department: Paul pointed out the U Vic coach was a former Cal assistant coach. Additionally, I noticed that the Port Alberni coach looked very familiar. Being cursed with short- and long-term memory issues, I could not place him. After the match, I approached him and he said, "You look familiar. Do I know you?" To which I responded, "I'm from California." As soon as he said "I'm Jaz. Did you referee in Hawaii?” it clicked. All it takes is a key to unlock the door for the memories to return. Jaz Purewall and his team, some of whom were playing on this Saturday, participated in the Hawaii Harlequins 40th Anniversary Tournament at which Bruce Carter, Dixon Smith, Peter Hansford, and I refereed. Unfortunately, we had to get Paul off to the Velox ground for him to run touch for John De Goede.

Velox hosted Cowichan in a bottom-of-the-table "love fest" which started with off-the-ball niggling and went downhill from there. Exciting stuff to watch from the far-side spectator's section. Paul may write more about this. After the match, we retired to the Velox clubhouse for warm conversation and cold beer.

Dinner that evening was at Irish Times Pub, located in a building constructed in 1896 for Bank of Montreal. Due to certain undisclosed logistical issues, Keith and I went to Darcy's Pub for a pint before joining everyone. This crowd of never-strangers, just people whose name we have yet to hear, included Keith Morrison, Bruce Kuklinski, Paul "Sergeant York nee Captain America" Berman, Sam Langridge and friend Colleen, Chris Brown, and John and Krista De Goede. Great food with excellent conversation during which we solved whirled peas and cured cancer but forgot to write down how. We parted ways with open invitations extended to all who venture into Northern California.

Sunday, November 25

Keith and I had brunch in a local cafe then toured about town where I was shown the sites and soul of Victoria. Still no rain or snow but definitely beautiful vistas. We picked up Paul and returned to the airport where Keith debriefed Paul on the previous days, then through customs (twice for Paul), flying off to the mainland and back home looking forward to the next opportunity for an exchange.


I had a good time reffing the NY 7's. Got picked up by Jem McDowall at the Ramada NYer @ 7:30 AM this past Saturday to begin reffing at 8:20 AM. Started with a Men's Social game immediately followed by a Collegiate (Mens) game. Then a few hours break for me to check out the Premier games, see Taisho an iRB panel ref from Japan ref, and talk to an old buddy from the Long Island Rugby Club who was their VP & had his 18 year old son play for their Premier team.

Got back to reffing 4 more games in afternoon--all Men's Club, a notch below the Premier & almost every team, except maybe one was from Canada, who were all very good both at rugby at being border-line illegal with their style of play.

Then watched every final game in the stadium, which was artificial turf & featured a team from London made up of pros winning and a women's team of combined New Zealand & SoCal players winning the woman's bracket.

Had a great dinner at a new rib place called Hill County with 3 local refs, along with the Japanese ref, who flew just to ref the tourney & the week before helped the US 7's team practice in Florida.

Hit the party at Connelly's & the next day saw the high temp for the tourney was 38 degrees.

Also had a good time shopping, going to the MOMA, and seeing more old friends (about 5) and family.

I would recommend that anyone go ref this next year, as NY Rugby Club will continue to strive to make it better. Thanks for my opportunity to go & ref, Bruce Bernstein


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:

This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.


ARROYO GRANDE 24 – Cal Poly 3rds 5 Referee: Paul Phillips

The AG side was much older and had more experience over CP but CP stuck with them in the 2nd half. A few penalties resulted from lack of experience but overall a very well played match by both sides. Both sides were lead by their number 9s as captains. AG's captain, Ben, kept his players in line. Jack for CP had his hands full just trying to lead his team but did an admirable job.


For the first time in his working life, beginning with delivering newspapers at age ten, Pelicus Scriptoris now has the weekends off.

Something most people take for granted has now come to pass for PS. Expect to see him and his ref-cam at Sunday events in the future.

He remembers the days of refereeing the circuit, flying home from Boston, Florida and even Winnipeg after doing a game on Saturday to work on Sunday, not to mention the tournaments foregone.

Simple economic analysis led to this: the practice does better when he’s there and the difference is more pronounced on weekdays than it is on weekends. Through our efforts do we improve our lot in life.


We have wrestled with whether to include this link, a sad tale involving one of our friends.

But many in the Pelican community know the protagonist, and all others need to realize the gravity of the task we are entrusted when given control of a match of rugby football. It is a position of responsibility and an honor to receive, not to be taken lightly. Nor should the participants ever be shown anything other than respect by the referee.

Those who used to enjoy Herb Caen’s namephreaks will appreciate the chairman of the disciplinary hearing.

This is also a good time to remind folks that HP is e-mailed to you as a Blind Copy - so you might as well resist the temptation to send out clever comments to everyone: they won't get them.

Thank you to Kurt Oeler of for this helpful solution!

Skip and Barb and a Player to be Named Later
Pelicus Migratus lived up to his nomenclature, dropping in for an overnight visit at HP headquarters in Salinas last week.

Skip and Barb Vaughn also had some news to impart, semper bonis avis indeed: while consulting avian omens before departing on their California adventure, a stork flew by on the favored right side.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, November 20, 2007




An Editorial by Bruce Carter

A Petaluma player who was still on NCRFU suspension dating to last season played in the Chico Holiday Classic, even after he was informed at the site that he was not eligible to play.

Worse than that, the Petaluma rugby club allowed him to play for them after they, too, had been informed that he could not.

The NCRFU, the PCRFU and USA Rugby exist to administer and foster the growth of rugby in this great land. One of the many ways they do this is by protecting the safety of its participants from those who do not play the game safely or fairly. Those who flout its laws and administrative sanctions are especially pernicious.

It is a shame when one individual can make an entire team look bad by a rash act, but this is not the case here: the team was culpable in the rash action.

We would like to think that our sport has evolved beyond the level of sandlot softball or pickup basketball.

The NCRRS supports the NCRFU in whatever action is to be taken against this individual and this team. If our protective policies are to retain any credibility and to serve as deterrents against malicious acts, that action should not be light.


The Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society will host a Level 1 Officiating Course for all persons interested in becoming rugby referees on Sunday, 2 December 2007, at the Bay Club, 150 Greenwich Street, San Francisco, CA. The course will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m., while wrapping up at the conclusion of an open book law test at approximately 5:00 p.m. The course fee is $35/student. Persons wishing to register for this course should contact Mike Malone at or (415) 472-2091.


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:

This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.


At ORSU Fuller's Farm, Portland, Oregon
Report by Aruna Ranaweera:

Saturday Nov 17
Semifinal #2
ARIZONA All-Stars 10 (2 tries) - Utah All-Stars 0 Referee: Ranaweera
Touch Judges: David Pelton (Washington), Shawn Waterman (Oregon).
Number 4: Bernie Brown, Jason Shelton
Evaluator: Peter Buckley

In a 3:30 pm semi-final rematch of last year's Grizzly final, Arizona (mostly Red Mountain) took on Utah (mostly Haggis) for the right to play NorCal who had eked out a 5-3 win over the Pacific Northwest in the first semi-final. Although the Portland sky was dark gray, the rain stayed away. Even then, the ORSU field was quite muddy from the previous night's thunderstorms. Both teams had very good athletes who were not afraid to make heavy contact: the tackle count was very high. However, Arizona played as a team, while Utah tried to do too much individually. Despite the wet ball, Arizona was able to run the ball wide with pace, while Utah usually plowed straight through 3-4 defenders before running out of support. The last quarter of the match was played under lights as it got dark. Of the four teams on day 1, Arizona looked the most potent.

Much thanks to Peter Buckley for his post-match feedback.

Sunday Nov 17
Grizzly Final
PELICANS 41 (6 tries) - Arizona All-Stars 5 (1 try)
Touch Judges: Shawn Waterman (Oregon), Gareth Kautz (Oregon).
Number 4: Jason Shelton, Eric Zimmerman
Evaluator: Peter Watson

Sunday was a cold 40 F day with steady rain: very different from California! Despite the difficult conditions, both teams played positive rugby. Arizona missed their fly-half due to injury and were not as cohesive as on Saturday. NorCal, on the other hand, looked like a team on a mission, rucking with authority, and winning quick, clean ball, which opened up gaps in the Arizona defense. The NorCal forwards constructed several quick-moving mauls which they drove 20-30 meters, setting up attacking platforms for their backs. Arizona hung on bravely, but could not keep up with NorCal's intensity and pace.

Much thanks to Peter Watson for his post-match feedback. Also, lots of thanks to the Oregon referees for their hospitality, especially Shawn Waterman who graciously hosted me in Portland.


Sacramento State - University of Calgary Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

CAL MARITIME ACADEMY 24 - Univ. of San Francisco 5 Referee: Mike Villierme
Evaluator: David Williamson
Weather, misty and cool, no breeze
Friday night lights, a rugby redux

The Keelhaulers have about 40 players and all were suited.

USF had just fifteen players, number fifteen arriving just at kickoff. Before the end of the match, several Keelhaulers were donning USF jerseys to spell slightly injured or exhausted opposite numbers.

Keelhaulers scored first at about the 1 minute mark and in such easy fashion one could think that this was going to be a try fest for CMA. USF ultimately played tough defense the rest of the way but CMA proved to be more disciplined with ball and had fresh legs to insert throughout the night.

The Keelhaulers scored four tries, two converted. USF scored one try.


In years past, we have often been forced to short-change this event referee-wise, due to a plethora of games and a paucity of numbers on this particular weekend.

In 2007, however, a resurgence of numbers is occurring in the NCRRS: the flock is growing. Despite a number of optional and enforced retirements and at least one relocation, we have had some referees migrate in and some new folks pick up the whistle for the first time.

The Chico tournament was served by eight referees: Don Pattalock, Jim Crenshaw, VC Van Staden, Mike King and Chris Tucker among the "old hands"; Dan Wilson, Jim Read and Guy Walsh among the new.

1.) Our first report is by head referee Don Pattalock:

Great pre-season tournament with lots and lots of rugby and a great time as well. With a bullpen of 8 referees (Crenshaw, King, Pattalock, Read, Tucker, Walsh, Wilson and Van Staden), ranging from cherry-popping new Jim Read all the way to "seen that a 1000 times" Jim Crenshaw, the 24 game tournament went off with teams of 3 working each match. I think all the referees enjoyed the great support and feedback from the touchlines and we should all be better referees from all the work.

Chico State 17 (2) - BA Baracus 17 (3) Referee: Don Pattalock
TJs: Van Staden, Tucker

I know, I know. It's a tie. Both teams played with great passion and heart, yet were able to enjoy the match from start to finish. The teams traded tries throughout the match. With 7 minutes to go, Chico State elected to go for poles from a penalty at the 10m line. After taking some jeering from Baracus for kicking a penalty in a tournament, Chico slotted the kick and tied the match. With time running out, the referee did everything in his power to break the tie, including allowing a very marginal "flat" pass at full time. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could change the outcome. A tie was born. Fortunately; none of the referee stayed around after the tournaments, so no "payment" was required.

Women: CHICO STATE 25 (5) - Cal Poly SLO 0 Ref: Pattalock
TJs: Van Staden, Tucker

Chico State women again look excessively deep. This match was a little sloppy with lots of younger players on both sides. The Chico runners broke tackles and were able to outpace the inexperienced SLO defense.

RENO 20 (4) - Vacaville 0 Ref: Pattalock
TJs: Crenshaw, Read

As the sun was setting, the last match of the day was filled with hard hitting, hard running and good rugby. Reno, after struggling with their discipline in the previous match, elevated their game and played a straight ahead match that was a little too much for the young Vacaville team. Reno looks to be re-emerging as a contender with lots of numbers at training, retuning Eagles (Nelo Lui) and many other older, and talented, players who played when I was a player and then later as I migrated to the position of coach. Fitness and discipline will be their challenges; they should have no trouble with the talent or experience.

2.) Report by Dan Wilson:

It was dark and foggy as I sat at the Park and Ride just north of Sacramento waiting for Jim Crenshaw and Chris Tucker to meet me at 0600 AM. With the connection complete, we headed the hour and a half up 99 to Chico. Jim proceeded to slowly reveal just how long he had lived in the Sacramento area by sharing stories of places they went and things they did in college and beyond. From racing in LA on Friday nights to driving just south of Chico for Saturday night races, he brought the area to life. I did not even know what a butte was prior to that drive. It made the time and drive fly by and was thoroughly enjoyable.

Field 2 Game 1: CHICO STATE 22 - Redding 5 Ref: Wilson

I had the joyous pleasure of having the first game on field two, the field that was even less even with more gopher holes than field one. Chico State played Redding with the start being only a 15 minute behind schedule, kickoff at 815 AM. I think I warmed up a total of 10 minutes, five minutes more than Redding. It was a close game in the first half with Chico up by two unconverted tries, but the second half revealed fitness and understanding of basic ruck and maul law issues with the Redding team. Chico ended up winning but the game was closer than the score, 22-5, revealed.

Field 2 Game 5: VACAVILLE 29 - Harlots 5 Ref: Wilson

Being my first entirely D-III game, I was impressed with the fitness and teamwork that Vacaville demonstrated. They hit the holes well with support and intelligently spun the ball when the overlaps were created. The Harlots were playing defense the entire game with the major hindrance for Vacaville being their own hands. The most impressive maneuver of the day was when Vacaville had a ruck at about the 30-meter mark and as the ball was spun to the fly-half, the tight head prop came from the weak side and crashed inside. Number 10 was able to see him and deliver the ball, totally catching the Harlots off guard. It was a beautiful move and nice to witness. The Harlots scored with under one minutes remaining to get onto the board. Final score, 29-5 in favor of Vacaville.

I touched a total of six games and thoroughly enjoyed watching the rugby taking place. It is good to see that there is good rugby outside of the usual suspects, D-I and Super League. I have to admit that the most impressive team of the day was the Chico State women's team. I would be willing to bet that they could beat a few men's teams, including one close to my heart in the Central Valley. They were clinical in how they worked.

We left just after the final whistle, around 530 PM, already in darkness. The drive back again flew by discussing the day and overall guidance by Jim regarding refereeing, the society and Nor Cal overall. It was dark when I picked up the guys and it was dark when I dropped them off. Overall, a long but fantastic day.

3.) Report by Jim Read:

Women: CHICO STATE 40 - UC Davis 5 Referee: Jim Read
TJs: Pattalock, Van Staden

This early match showcased the women of Chico's fast paced and hard running style of rugby. The wildcats scored quickly and often through phased forward and explosive back play. Although Davis answered back with their own score midway through the first abbreviated half, the match was won by a deeper and more experienced Chico St. side.

PETALUMA 21 - Redding 7 Ref: Read
TJs: Van Staden, Tucker

From the onset, both sides showed their skills through structured buildups and fast paced mid-field play. Petaluma struck first, but the more experienced Redding side answered back shortly thereafter. From that point on, Redding made Petaluma work for every point. It just seemed like Redding couldn't find a rhythm against their opponents. Early season fitness became an issue towards the end of this match shown by penalties, and there was certainly no shortage of scrums.

CHICO 17 - B.A. Baracus 0 Ref: Read
TJs: Tucker, Pattalock

This score does not reflect the hard work put in by Baracus during this match. Both teams were very dangerous with ball in hand, but without a few misfired passes and unfortunate bounces, the score could have been very different. From kickoff, the men from Chico capitalized on mistakes to good effect, scoring in the first thirty seconds. Subsequent scores came from fast counter attacks and good attacking platforms through the hard running of their mid-fielders. B.A. would put together quality phase rugby, but finishing was the missing piece for the men from Baracus. This match was a true pleasure to referee.

4.) Games refereed by Guy Walsh:

RENO 13 - Baracus 7
REDDING 12 - Fresno 5
Women: HUMBOLDT STATE 15 - Cal Poly SLO 7

5.) Games refereed by Mike King:

RENO 27 (4) - Petaluma 7 (1)

HUMBOLDT STATE 20 (2) - UC Davis 12 (2)
CAL POLY SLO 5 (1) - UC Davis 0

SANTA ROSA JC 76 - Univ. of the Pacific 0 Referee: Joe Leisek
For Pete's Sake Field, Santa Rosa

A day that started out overcast and cool turned sunny and warm about halfway through the first half. It was warm on the field no matter what, as the hosts ran forward and retained possession throughout, sometimes in spite of their own mistakes. Santa Rosa tallied even tries in the first half, five in the second.

As always, very good backline play by the JC, which this year in particular looks like a Redwood Empire Conference Alumni All-Star Team. Flyhalf Patrick Drauywa and hooker Josh Inong were standouts, as were Domingo Balderas and Dominic Patrick. All four are former Redwood Empire players.

UOP tackled well and never gave up in spite of the lopsided score. Visiting coach Joshua Giddens says their goal is to make it back into the NCRFU next season.

San Jose State - SEAHAWKS Referee: Sandy Robertson
Seahawks--oodles of tries; San Jose State--1 try

The two teams got together next to Spartan Stadium for a scrimmage and the Hawks used their experience and physical superiority to dominate the play. The field was well lined, but without posts and at with 150+ yards of open space at one end those in attendance were treated to one movement that went 20 yards or more past the endline before the referee noticed something wasn't quite right.

Stanford 19 - UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY 34 Referee: Joe Androvich

STANFORD Women 27 - UC Santa Cruz 22 Referee: Anna McMahan

On another beautiful day for rugby the UC Santa Cruz women's team met a mixed A/B Stanford side on Stanford's lovely pitch. The game was tied at the half with two tries and one conversion apiece, but Stanford's slightly superior fitness helped them edge ahead by one try in the second half. Both teams played with intensity, and the game was marked by open play and committed defense. Stanford's 8 and 10 stood out, as well as UC Santa Cruz's 1.

Fog 7 - BERKELEY 28 Referee: Rob Hendrickson

Berkeley and the Fog squared off for a pre-season friendly on Treasure Island, with the game starting at noon, just as the fog was lifting. Both teams have large squads this year, enabling them to field competitive A side and fun B side teams. However, you could tell it was still pre-season by the level of fitness, which contributed to pile-ups at the breakdowns.

Berkeley scored 4 unanswered tries and spent a majority of the first period in the Fog's side of the field. The Fog had difficulty clearing the ball out of their territory, and Berkeley kept hammering away, scoring their tries on line breaks near the 22 and solid running from there. Berkeley fielded a new pack in the second half, and the possession game shifted to mid field, with the Fog scoring their try near the end of the second half.

Seconds: Fog 14 - BERKELEY 33 Referee: Paul Berman
Venue: Job Corp Field, Treasure Island, San Francisco
Weather: Occluded front, at times a wee bit nippy as one would expect this time of year.
Comments: The pitch was relatively firm under foot.

A game played in high spirit by two local division III sides eager to give their abundance of rookies a go. Kudos to their recruiters, great to see these clubs with such healthy numbers. Note, several Fog lassies enjoined the action from the outset.

Fast & furious stuff if not always shapely. Many of these folks will by mid-season be hardened veterans. Both sides played tough, Berkeley having the better of the 1st half predominantly through their forwards with 4 tries - No. 8 Barry Hull 17th minute, full-back Kudra Kalema 21st minute, lock Arnd Lillie 27th minute & tight-head prop Kevin Bubbles 40th minute, all converted ably by Aaron Keho. The 2nd half saw Fog push back resolutely with a brace of tries (two) through their virgin blond outside center 42nd & 80th minutes, both converted & 1 unconverted try from Berkeley's inside-center Richard Fawae.

A wonderful epicurean's delight was had by all at the after match party, impressively hosted by my old Berkeley pals at the edge of the field. Well above & beyond the standard fare of bangers & beer we were treated to pork & tri-tip steak, roast pork, freshly home-made salads & California red wine. Thank you laddies & lassies, simply scrumptious.

Point spread: Berkeley - 5 tries, 4 conversion goals; Fog - 2 tries, 2 conversion goals

Arroyo Grande - Cal Poly SLO Referee: Phillips

CAL POLY SLO 40 รข€“ UC Davis 27 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judge referees Any Doukas and Paul Phillips.

Some of the many advantages of being a Pelican referee are:

--great competition
--great rugby pitches
--great rugby programs with lots of success
--great scenic drives to and from games.

The last two weeks I have had the best view of four of the top twenty collegiate programs in the country.

Last week St. Mary's hosted Humboldt State.

This week my best gal, wife Eileen, joined me for the drive to Arroyo Grande to officiate the Cal Poly versus UC Davis game.

I arrived around noon to see Paul Phillips officiating the Arroyo Grande versus Cal Poly thirds.

Talking with the Cal Poly coaches I commented on their great numbers. They said many of the second and thirds were not there and not fully committed, yet. He went on to explain the top 30 meet Mondays and Wednesday morning for conditioning. This is the commitment of the top programs. If you aren't out-training your marker, you are giving him an advantage.

Beautiful day for rugby. The fog clearing. Temperature around 70. The game was played at Talley Fields in Arroyo Grande, AG's home fields.

This a perfect field. Fully regulation, great grass, spectator ropes, fully marked with regulation goal posts.

Yippy I Oh, let's play rugby.

I anticipated a competitive, fast game played by well coached conditioned athletes.

I was right.

The game started clean and fast. Cal Poly's number 8 poached a Davis ball which led to the first try ten minutes in. Cal Poly's winger broke free two minutes later for their second try. Cal Poly's forwards controlled most of the early possession allowing the center to dot down again at 26 minutes. Cal Poly looked in control from the score card, but this was much closer than 19-0.

Davis got on the board with a penalty kick, followed by two trys by their fullback. The second try came from a yellow card professional foul by the Cal Poly #4 Luke. Davis scored from a quick tap, recycled possession and the fullback powering over.

Half time Cal Poly 19- Davis 15.

Some quick feedback from my outstanding Pelican touch judges along with some pointed comments from Eileen proved positive at half time.

Four minutes into the second half Cal Poly's forwards were rewarded with a try by their number 3.

Davis dug deep and controlled play for the next twenty minutes. Davis freed their number 14 for try's at 15 and 18 minutes. One of the tries was converted.

Score Davis 27 Cal Poly 26.

Both teams reverted to playing big play rugby. Trying to force too many 50-50 balls. Knock-ons and handling errors produced 6 scrums in 10 minutes.

Both teams had scoring opportunities during this portion which looked like tries.

Cal Poly had a try negated by a knock-on in goal.

Davis's hooker drove to the two inch line. A ruck pushed the ball in goal with Davis's captain and flyhalf with the ball in hand as the pile unfolded.

I called for the video replay, which was inconclusive, yeah I wish.

Poly settled down and produced another try at the seventy minute mark. Cal Poly scored one more at the forty minute mark. There was about three minutes of injury time which Davis controlled pushing Cal Poly into their twenty two. Unfortunately the game had to end.

Cal Poy 40 Davis 27.

Great game. Great sportsmanship. Great touch judges.

Thanks to all.

Seconds: CAL POLY 57 - UC Davis 12 Referee: Andy Doukas

A warm day in the Arroyo Grande Valley and AG Rugby's home pitch bringing heat & fatigue. Cal Poly coming with strength in numbers and experience controlled much of the match. Good playing by Cal Poly's #8 and captain running off the scrums. Experience showed in Cal Poly's backline with passing and kicking ability. Davis fought hard and with determination throughout the game gave them two trys. It was a tough day for the referees with the comments from the sidelines but on the field the players acted with great respect. Thank you to captain of Davis, Andrew, and Captain Matt of Cal Poly for making this an enjoyable game to referee.


UCSC - Combination Seconds St. Mary's/Colorado Referee: Sam Davis
No report received.

ST. MARY'S 82 - Loyola Marymount 21 Referee: Paul Bretz

Santa Clara 5 - COLORADO 86 Referee: John Coppinger
Touch Judges: Ed Barfels, Roberto Santiago
Assessor: Bryan Porter

In the first round of the Pat Vincent Cup, Colorado ran by, through, and around an undermanned and inexperienced Santa Clara University side 86-5. (40-5 @ 40 min)

The ease of the victory probably didn't help Colorado when they ran into a very physical and organized SMC side the next day.

It was a very pleasant and unseasonably warm day on the beautiful SMC pitch.

Thanks to Ed Barfels and Roberto Santiago from running touch and Bryan Porter for the coaching/assessment. Ed Todd also provided some discrete half-time suggestions, while Sam Davis provided some not-so-discrete comments.

It was good to see a lot of rugby folks about.


LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 55 - Santa Clara 0 Referee: Rich Anderson
Assessor: Lois Bukowski

The consultation bracket of the Pat Vincent Cup at St Mary's featured two Jesuit institutions, Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara. The Southern California team proved stronger with a 55-0 victory.

Championship: ST. MARY'S 36 - Colorado 29 Referee: Paul Bretz
Touch Judges: John Coppinger, Ed Barfels

St. Mary's defeated Colorado 36-29 in a very entertaining game in the final match of the Pat Vincent Cup. St. Mary's has a very athletic team this year and seem to have more speed as a whole than they did last year. Their pack controlled the set pieces and denied Colorado with clean set piece ball. Ian Todd, the fly-half for Colorado, had to work to distribute ball. When he was given good ball he was able to release his back line with effective results.


Submitted by Paul Berman:

NCRFU HS Girl's AGM, SUN 4 Nov 2007, Santa Rosa, California

The Northern California "Cinderella League" springs to life:

The High School Girl's season will run 9 February through 19 April 2008 (venues & match schedule to be determined).

The Pacific Coast High School Invitational Tournament, Stanford University 10 - 11 May 2008.

Season opener:
Friendly Kick-off Tournament hosted by Alameda (date to be determined).

Season closer:
End Of Season High School Girl's Championship Tournament hosted by Davis (date to be determined).

Wonderful news:
The league is expanding from 6 to 8 teams.

Santa Rosa will provide two teams, while Fortuna have been elevated to league status.

There are sound rumours of a 9th programme forming in or around Benicia.

History is made!

I'm thrilled to announce NorCal rugby history has been made with the election & appointment of Suzanne Iwatate - Davis Lady Devils HS Girl's Principal Coach '07-'08/UC Davis Coach '07-'08/NCRFU HSG Secretary '07 as our first ever women Northern California Rugby Football Union High School Girl's League Commissioner '08. Congratulations Suzanne, may this become the norm & not the exception.

Thank you:
Sefesi Green - NCRFU HSG League Commissioner '07/Sacramento Amazons U-19 HSG Principal Coach '07 for setting the league on such a wonderful course.

New appointment:
Tina Watts - Fortuna HSG Principal Coach '07-'08/U-19 Pacific Coast Grizzly Girl's Secretary '07 the league is safe in her extremely capable hands. No doubt she will do a fabulous job as League Secretary '08.

Another first:
An enormous thank you to Tasha Bishop, Ellen Owens & Alex Goff for having the vision to create a U-19 Pacific Coast Grizzly Girl's programme, you are truly heroes, the best.

Marvellous news:
Congratulations to Amy Field & Santa Rosa as NorCal's newest high school girls team coach & girl's programme respectively. Santa Rose with two teams thus becomes the hub, centre of gravity for NorCal girls' rugby.

Wonderful replacement:
I'm delighted to welcome my esteemed colleague & friend Lois Bukowski to our Island sisterhood. Lois has agreed to lift the mantle of leadership with Alameda Riptide RFC in my stead. Go Riptide!!!!!!

The NorCal High School Girl's League has never looked so robust!

Warmest good wishes to you all for a fantastic 2008 season. May your Thanksgiving celebrations be joyous, Santa be generous, New Years resolutions be fulfilled & "celebration of lights" illuminate your path.

Go High School Girls Rugby!!!!

Todd's Sixthieth
Ed Todd turned sixty recently. Some old friends and teammates gathered round the grill to chew the tasty fat that the years provide.

Joyce Porter, Ed Todd, Bryan Porter, Helen Marcus, Bruce Carter, David Williamson

Photo by Ed's wife Berry


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris