Tuesday, February 27, 2007




Assignments through March 31 have been submitted to the Webmaster for publication.

Bear in mind that we have a number of unassigned referees for most of these weekends. Do not be discouraged if you do not see your name there. Several things can happen:

- Games are added
- Referees become unavailable – the frailties of the flesh
- Exchange opportunities materialize for out-going refs
- High school matches are not listed. We will assign available refs to HS matches as we are able
- If all else fails, you will be greatly appreciated as a touch judge. With playoffs approaching,
polishing up your TJ resumé will open up some excellent opportunities for you. Pick a good game
and ask the ref if you can run the line


The Champagne Classic will be held in San Diego March 10-11. We have been asked to send two referees.

Lois Bukowski will be one. We have had a cancellation, so one spot is open.

We have the flexibility to cover your already-assigned match for March 10. Please respond if you’d like to referee some of the best women’s club and college sides in the USA!


There will be a Society dinner at the Pyramid Alehouse in Berkeley on Saturday, March 17. Make plans now to attend and let David Williamson know how many will be in your party:


Drinks and appetizers will begin at 6:30, buffet dinner at 7:30; Society members pay $25 each, with the Society covering the balance.

Our guests will be:

Victoria: Colin Dyer and Dave Valentine
Eastern Rockies: Larry Johnson
Virginia: Simon Smith
Potomac: Rich Kempton (assessor)


Bjorn Stumer will be ordering more of the new Society jerseys, both the gold and the navy blue versions.

Bear in mind that you need to order up, size-wise. People are finding that the size that normally fits them is one to three sizes too small.

Probably best to add two sizes to what shirt fits you off the rack. If the one you get is too big or too small, you aren’t stuck with it: we’re doing some horse-trading, get you another, and someone else will have your original order.

Let Bjorn know:

Color – size you want – how many.



Peter Watson visited Northern California this past weekend to help us out with referee coaching and evaluating. Coming from Boston, where the snow was falling, he did not complain about the ‘cold snap’ that had locals commenting.

Peter was met by his old friend Bruce Carter at SFO Friday morning. After the ‘traditional’ Friday visitor’s lunch at The Stinking Rose in North Beach, they toured Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower, Fort Point, and the 800-foot elevation overlook in the Marin Headlands that faces back over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco, certainly the most photogenic city in the world.

After that it was down to business: from Dixon Smith’s house the three drove up to Santa Rosa together to watch Matt Eshoo referee Elsie Allen against Montgomery.

Then they met with Mike Gadoua for dinner at Moylan’s in Novato, an Irish pub with a very eclectic menu.

Peter faded away gradually while talking with Dixon and Christine, excusing himself due to the East-West time differential for some well-deserved rest.

Saturday morning Peter spotted a coyote just beyond Dixon’s back fence, not something they see in New England neighborhoods apparently. After breakfast Setanta was nice enough to show the Ireland – England Six Nations match live on the computer.

Peter and Bruce then took to the road again, destination Treasure Island, but with a detour to see Witter Field.

Jerry Figone was on hand and was kind enough to show them around. Peter had been to the Bay Area a number of times but had never seen either Witter or Rocca Field.

As they arrived at the Golden Gate clubhouse, Rod Chance had just finished refereeing the girls high school match, Berkeley versus Mother Lode. Players were beginning to get ready for the SFGG U-23 – San Jose State game, to be refereed by Don Pattalock.

Peter was nice enough to offer to do a coaching report on Don. This was immediately before the SFGG – OMBAC super league preseason game, with Peter doing a level two evaluation on Tony Latu.

Afterwards, Tony brought Peter to the Hayward Eden Park pitch from whence Dixon him to his sister’s house in Woodside.

Peter then did another level two evaluation on Joe Androvich Sunday on the Stanford – UC Davis game and then flew home.

That’s two level 2s and two coaching reports in less than 48 hours – truly value for our exchange dollar!

We trust that our referees are aware that coaching reports and written evaluations are legal tender in the promotions market, as well as pamphlets for improving. A chance to be watched is a chance to show that you deserve more competitive assignments.

Thank you to Peter and the New England Rugby Referee Society for being such good exchange partners.


Saturday, February 17:

Seconds: San Mateo 21 – SF/GOLDEN GATE 31 Referee: John Coppinger
On the field turf at San Mateo High, ill discipline cost San Mateo as SF/GG scored 4 penalty goals in the first half to take a 24-7 halftime lead. Shortly after the second half k/o, SF/GG lost a prop after he smacked heads with his flyhalf leaving both players with blood streaming. At that point, each side played on for while with uncontested scrums and 13 players a side until I decided it was too dark to continue and blew it up w/ 20 minutes to go.

Wednesday, February 21:

At Cal’s Witter Field:
CALIFORNIA 32 – Univ. of British Columbia 17 Referee: Paul Bretz
Touch Judge: Pete Smith, Joe Androvich

At Treasure Island’s Rocca Field:
California women 0 – UNIV. OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 46 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Touch Judge: Paul Berman

Blistery TI (but not cold if you were from Canada). Our northern friends deftly, adroitly, relentlessly moved the ball around- better than the Cal Bears. They also supported well and curiously used a lot of squeeze ball, mostly correctly. However, Cal gave a good effort-they tackled hard for 80 minutes and never quit.

Thanks to Paul Berman for TJing and wise words.

Saturday, February 24:

Super League Preseason Match:
SF/GOLDEN GATE 23 (4) – Old Mission Beach AC 21 (3) Referee: Tony Latu
Touch Judges: Giles Wilson and Bjorn Stumer
Assessor: Peter Watson

Two weeks ago I found out that I have been assigned to ref. a s-league pre-season game. Our reigning champions, the San Diego OMBAC and our NorCal best, San Fran Golden Gate (SFGG). I was excited, nervous and looking forward for this game. But when Saturday morning arrived, it was just another rugby day. I dragged my 10 yr-old son, Tomasi with me. Not only to watch game, but also enjoy the day at TI.

If this was a pre-season game, then I can't wait to see these teams meet again. It was everything but preseason. A very Fast and Furious game. There were no special moments, every moment was special. The long break away, long kick, pick and drive, well coached and well executed by both teams.

But at the end one team rose to the occasion, and this time it was the SFGG. But remember, OMBAC is still the team to beat.

Thanks to Giles and Bjorn for running touch and to Peter for taking his time to fly from the East Coast to watch my game.

OLYMPIC CLUB 34 – San Mateo 20 Referee: Bruce Carter
Touch Judges: Jim Crenshaw, Isaac Caselis
Evaluator: Dixon Smith
Interested Observer Listening in on the Radio: Bryan Porter

I was totally jacked to be refereeing first versus second in the NorCal men’s D1. Having done my first such 1 v. 2 match in the spring of 1989, at the end of my first season of refereeing, I can say that the butterflies are still as many and still as active.

Due to the weather, the game was laid on for 3 PM at Hayward’s home pitch. A late start ensued due to an U-14 game between Hayward and Lamorinda, refereed by Isaac Caselis.

Interesting start: San Mateo’s kick did not go ten meters. Olympic won the scrum, ran a switch move and scored a converted try not one minute into the match.

And then, when the first half ended with a San Mateo player earning a red card and his team down 15 – 3, it might have looked like a long way back.

But this high-speed, high-intensity game continued with O Club’s first half tackle-related penalties coming home to roost. One player went to the bin for his third different infraction (not rolling away, playing the ball from the ground, not allowing the release), and another for the team’s fourth holding on when isolated. These overlapped by seven minutes, during which time Albert Tuipulotu started making inroads and San Mateo started making big ground.

They deficit was reduced to seven points and stayed there most of the second half, with everything seeming to ride on every possession. But it was the Olympic Club who scored the last try to put the game away.

Seconds: Olympic Club 40 (6) – SAN MATEO 51 (9) Referee: Mike Gadoua
O Club started well, but once San Mateo settled down, they started performing.

SEAHAWKS (4) 25 – Diablo Gaels (4) 24 Referee: Mike Gadoua
This was a squeaker, the deciding point being a James Hinkin penalty kick versus a conversion.

Seconds: Seahawks 5 – Diablo Gaels 31 (5) Referee: James Hinkin
The rain was timed perfectly by the Rugby Gods as the weather held at San Jose’s Watson Bowl until some sprinkles appeared at the end of the B side match.

Both sides turned up to play in an exciting contrast of styles and strengths. San Jose appeared to have the edge in the forwards – being especially dominant in the scrums – but lacked finishing in the back line.

Diablo seemed overwhelmed at times in the forwards but their back line – featuring Eagle legend Vaea Anitoni – were able to convert the ball they had into points.

The first half saw San Jose controlling territory and possession but they were unable to score. 2 tries (one converted) by Diablo saw them to a 12-0 halftime lead.

The second half saw more of the same as breakaways from distance saw the fleet Gaels outpace and outmaneuver the Seahawk defense. San Jose had plenty of chances but were always let down by an errant pass or a knock on.

The second try of the half for Diablo actually came from the restart of the first try as poor tackling and a lack of defensive discipline from San Jose allowed Diablo to take the kickoff all the way back to where it came from.

A third second half try sealed the match as the Diablo #10 swerved his way for 50 meters with Vaea Anitoni at his side shouting for the ball and then shouting encouragement as all tackle attempts missed.

San Jose was finally able to use its forward dominance to generate a try from a lineout and maul as captain, warrior and #8 Mike Wynyard was able to stretch out and dot down for the score. Final score: San Jose Seahawk B – 5, Diablo B – 31.

HAYWARD 34 (6) – Sacramento Lions 24 (4) Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Touch Judges: Eric Rauscher, Bruce Carter
Assessor: Bryan Porter
Saturday night brought a blustery cold night in Hayward for the Hayward Griffins Sacramento Lions matchup. The game started a little after the advertised 5pm start, as it was a little after 6:30 when we finally got going.

The Lions mounted a ferocious attack right off the kick off, resulting in a knock on by the Griffins about half a meter from their own goal line. The Griffins stole the hook and managed a clearing kick to touch to get them out of trouble. It was a portent of the evening for both teams, the Lions having at least a couple of long breakaways, only to either knock or be caught before they could score and the Griffins taking advantage of the Lions hard luck. The Griffins scored 2 unconverted tries and one converted try to take a 17 to 0 lead at halftime.

The Lions offense got it together in the second half, but the Griffins offense was also clicking as first the Lions scored and then the Griffins scored, back and forth throughout the half. The Lions scored 4 tries (2 converted) and the Griffins scored 3 tries (1 converted).

Seconds: Hayward – Sacramento Lions
Not played. It was after 8 PM when the first side match finished.

Sacramento – Fresno Referee: Joe Androvich
Evaluator: Matt Eason
No report received.

Seconds: Sacramento – Fresno Referee: Colin Wallace
Peer Coach: Ray Schwartz
No report received.

SANTA ROSA 24 (4) – Baracus 12 (2) Referee: Sandy Robertson
It was a very competitive run in the rain. Both teams spent some time kicking for territory, but they both also spun the ball, rucked and mauled with abandon.

Seconds: Santa Rosa – Baracus
No referee assigned

SF/GOLDEN GATE U-23, 49 (9) – San Jose State 12 (2) Referee: Don Pattalock
Touch Judges: Bjorn Stumer, I. Birchall
Referee coach: Peter Watson

With the breeze blowing on TI from the bay, these two energetic teams were intent on playing a wide-open game of rugby. With neither team contesting the rucks, play moved quickly from phase to phase (sometimes too quickly for the offside defenders). SFGG exhibited better execution, skills and fitness on the day.

I will pose the question AGAIN: Why are these kids not in the league?

Mendocino – Vacaville Referee: Dave Buckey
No report received.

CHICO 20 (3) – Humboldt 10 (1) Referee: Sam Reagle
Weather: 45 degrees, rain, mud

Humboldt arrived around noon after their long drive from the redwoods into a steady mist of rain that was only cold when you stood around. After completing the pregame rituals they were ready to play so we kicked off a few minutes early. We soon forgot about the conditions and a very good rugby game took place. Sure, there were a few dropped passes, but most went backward so there were long sequences of non-stop exciting rugby for these two well-coached teams.

Chico scored first with an unconverted try only 4 minutes into the game. The remainder of the half was full of wide-open, multi-phase rugby with the conditions favoring the defenses until Humboldt scored a converted try and then added a penalty kick just before halftime to end the half up 10-5.

The defending division III champions showed their fitness in the second half of the second half after Humboldt appeared to tire scoring 2 tries and a penalty kick to finish the game at 20-10.

This was a wonderful game to referee. No foul play and players who actually apologized after being called for testing the referee’s knowledge of the Law. Chico were gracious hosts at The End Zone afterward.

Reno – Redding Referee: Dylan Gill
No report received.

APTOS 14 (1) – Stanislaus 10 (2) Referee: John Pohlman
My second game of the day was at California State University-Monterey Bay. Aptos was hosting Stanislaus. The temperature had warmed up to the 60's.

I arrived around 12:15. Both teams were kitting up. The field was well marked except no line in goal and no posts. The soccer goal would need to work.

This was a game between two well matched teams. Stanislaus has some big forwards and wanted to maul all day. Aptos preferred rucks and working the ball in the backs. I knew I would have a challenge at the tackle. Both teams try and slow the ball down defensively.

Two minutes in Stanislaus tried killing the ball and I awarded my first penalty. Aptos made the kick. At six minutes a Stanislaus flanker played the ball while on the ground. Aptos made the kick. At fourteen minutes Stanislaus killed another Aptos ball. A formal warning and Aptos made the kick. Aptos 9-Stanislaus 0.

Stanislaus got the message and listened to direction which really helped their penalty count.

Stanislaus Captain and #10 Brian Lynn scored on a nice run. Aptos 9, Stanislaus 5. Stanislaus big center Brandon Yost broke a couple of tackles for another try at 16 minutes. Aptos 9, Stanislaus 10.

The rest of the first half saw some strong tackling. Both teams had opportunities but needed one more good pass to finish.

Second half started with some good drives for Aptos. Ten minutes in Aptos had scrum middle field about 30 meters out. The Stanislaus front row chatted a bit too much. I gave the penalty and newly substituted hooker Mark Horobin took the tap, broke a number of tackles and scored in the corner. Aptos 14, Stanislaus 10.

Stanislaus forwards won a couple of scrums against the head and the game seemed to change momentum. Stanislaus forwards were mauling the ball down the field with good results. At 24 minutes an Aptos flanker drove in from the side and killed a Stanislaus drive. It was time for a yellow card. Stanislaus could not take advantage of the extra forward due to some strong Aptos tackling.

At 36 minutes an Aptos player came off-side to kill a Stanislaus play. The second yellow.

Stanislaus had all the possession and opportunity the rest of the game but could not score. Final Aptos 14 Stanislaus 10.

PETALUMA LEGHORNS 10 (1) – Fog 3 Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Kenilworth Park
Weather: Global warming gave way to global wetting
Pitch conditions: High grass (no, not that kind), low grass, some places without mud, more with

This is a different Fog team than I refereed several years ago. Intense, aggressive attacks and unrelenting defensive efforts kept Petaluma in its territory for much of the first half. Nonetheless, this was an atypical D3 industrial-grade match featuring players failing to roll away at tackles and unwilling to release the ball. The Fog scored first with an early penalty goal. Near the end of the half, each team donated a player to the sin bin for play patty-cake instead of Rugby. The Fog entered halftime leading 3-0.

Petaluma must have eaten their Wheaties during halftime as they were more disciplined at the breakdowns but the Fog did not give up as they fought well and tackled hard. At the 65th minute, Petaluma converted a penalty try as Fog suffered from its players repeatedly failing to properly retreat. Five minutes later, Petaluma scored a penalty goal to extend its meager margin to 10-3. A last-minute attack by the Leghorns was well defended as the Fog forced a knock-on to finish the match.

BERKLEY 6 – Marin 0 Referee: Giles Wilson
Job Corps field, Treasure Island

Playing on a very short field with wide, low goal posts would suggest scoring but after a 2 week layoff for both sides the first 30 minutes was spent managing several injuries to both teams. Berkeley had elected to play into the wind and ended upturning around tied at 0-0. Both teams took a couple of shots at goal but there were few other threats of scores.

Marin were able to disrupt the Berkeley scrum in key situations; the loss of Comstock changed the balance later in the game with Berkeley able to apply some pressure of their own. Lineouts were scrappy with both sides mis-understanding the value of the gap to their own throw – a healthy wind didn’t help either.

In the second half Berkeley scored an early penalty; this was followed by a near miss from Marin before Berkeley closed the scoring with a second penalty – final 6 – 0 with no tries scored.

Mission – Santa Clara
No referee assigned

ST. MARY’S 62 – Chico State 24 Referee: Paul Bretz
The Saint Mary's Gaels hosted Chico State and showed that they are one of two teams to beat in Nor Cal Division 1. The score of 62-24 does not reflect the fact that Gaels had to earn every try.

Chico contested the tackle zone at every opportunity and stole a number of possessions at tackle. Unfortunately for Chico the visitors could not consistently turn poached ball into points. Additionally the Gales took advantage of poor lineout technique and stole at least 5 of the Wildcats’ throw-ins.

As a side note Northern California can boast of another fantastic playing field. Thankfully there is no more "Moraga Mud" to worry about. The newly turfed field is fast, pool table flat, and wide with twenty meter in-goal areas.

Seconds: St. Mary's – Chico State
Assigned referee no-show

UC Davis 0 – CALIFORNIA 88 (14) Referee: Joe Leisek
IM Fields, UC Davis

A very gray, chilly day in Davis. Arrived early to watch a bit of Paul Berman's match, visited briefly with Kat Todd-Schwartz and Jackie Finck. Always great to see fellow Pelicans.

Checked in with both teams, thinking about the fact that the two head coaches, Steve Gray and Jack Clark, were Eagle teammates in an international match against Canada in June 1979.

No time for reflection, however, once the game started. Cal romped in a 14-try rout. The visitors displayed a balanced, efficient attack: seven tries in each half, four conversions in the first half and five in the second. Cal's backline did most of the first-half damage, while the second half featured scoring by forwards and backs.

Both sides played many reserve players: Cal did so partially because they had played UBC earlier in the week, and Davis because they were slated to play Stanford the next day. Among many excellent Cal players, two were freshmen: winger Dustin Muhn (three tries) and flanker Tom Rooke (two tries). Muhn's strong, slashing running was impressive, as were Rooke's rumbles through the Aggie defense.

STANFORD 27 (5) – Sacramento State 10 (2) Referee: Pete Smith
Stanford came out like a house on fire and stunned Sac St with 4 tries in the first half to take a 22-0 lead. Sac St was lack luster in the first half and Stanford played the first half almost entirely in the Sac St end. Stanford took advantage of every Sac St mistake with tries from missed tackles out wide. Sac St. stuck with their pick and drive style hoping to wear down Stanford, but by the time Stanford started to show fatigue, it was too late.

Sac St. outscored Stanford 2 tries to 1 in the second half, but it was Stanford who got the bonus point. I must say that the bonus point system does keep the teams playing hard to the bitter end. With little or no time left-Stanford have an electronic field clock- both teams continued to fight for another try and it was Stanford who could have ended the game that played aggressively to score their final try in extra time.

Seconds: Stanford 17 – SACRAMENTO STATE 62 Ref: Smith

Sac St. enacted some measure of revenge in the B side game winning easily 62-17? (I have to check my score card to see if the score is accurate). Sac St. used a handful of their A side to round out their B team and out-played Stanford the entire game. As has been the staple of US rugby for the past 20+ years, JC Students can play for the University team, but not on their A side thus keeping down several players that would otherwise be playing at a higher level. I had heard a rumor of a U23 team forming in the Sac area that might change the opportunities for some of these players.

From a referee perspective, it was an absolute dream day. Aside from great rugby weather, overcast and a cool 60 something degrees with a light breeze played on arguably the best rugby surface around. The teams gave me a great game. I think I had about 20 penalties total on the day between both games; about 5 each in the four halves with the count probably at about 10 total to each team. I didn’t have a scrum in first game in either half for at least 10 minutes. Considering Sac St.’s pick and drive style leading to well over 100 tackle/ruck/mauls, I consider this almost amazing. I attribute it to 3 things. First and foremost, it was good coaching from both teams. These players knew and understood the laws and were determined not to give away penalties. Second, the players listened when things weren’t perfect and by listening to my pointed instruction were able to reverse their undesirable actions allowing me to keep my whistle in my pocket. Lastly, not to blow my own horn, but I was able to use my voice to be proactive in stopping penalties before they happened, was able to play advantage out of a handful of other penalties and worked hard on considering the materiality of any offense thereby managing the offence without using the whistle. There were stretches of continuous play (no penalties, scrums or line-outs) on several occasions between 5-10 minutes.


HUMBOLDT STATE women 20 (3) – Univ Nevada Reno 5 Referee: Mike King
The first match of the day in Arcata started shortly after the scheduled time as the Reno team had just arrived. At the whistle both sides came out hard and dedicated to victory. Humboldt was able to score first and convert, after which Reno came back with its only score of the day. Some excellent loose play and counter-attacking by Humboldt led to another try and a penalty goal before the half. Unfortunately, several players went down with injury for both sides. This hurt Reno far more since it came with no reserves. Although both sides fought hard, the visitors were unable to overcome the first half and allowed another try in the second frame.

Seconds: Humboldt State 10 (1) – UN RENO 15 (3) Ref: King
In an abbreviated, 10-per side match, the Reno ladies were loaned a few subs and attained some redemption. The less experienced Humboldt players, gained valuable game time and played with dedication and drive, almost scoring several more times. Only a few lapses in the defense allowed long breakaway runs for scores by the visitors.

HUMBOLDT STATE 50 (8) – UC Santa Cruz 11 (1) Ref: King
“Torrential” is a good word to describe both the beautiful North Coast rain that marked much of the match and the pounding attack of the home side in loose play. The first score followed one of these attacks, and was converted with ease. The home side succumbed to some complacency and was whistled within the amazing range of the kicker for Santa Cruz. A similar trade of scores, left the Banana Slugs still within range shortly before half. Another try by the Green and Gold spread the gap to 19-6. The deluge of tries continued in the second half, often from driving runs into the teeth of the defense. It was obvious that the visitors were tough and well-coached, but this was just not their day. Final tally 50-11 with UC not giving up and driving all the way to near the HSU try line, only to be finished by a clearing kick after full time had expired. HSU kindly provided the following: a brace of tries each for DuVair and Nelson, with Montgomery, Millett, Tupou and Callagy scoring one each. Leigh kicked 5 of 8 conversions.

Seconds: Humboldt State 5 – UC SANTA CRUZ 7 (officiated by a local supporter who pitied the drenched referee)
In very sloppy conditions with somewhat sloppy handling and some very sparkling moments.

U of San Francisco 7 – SANTA CLARA 52 (8) Referee: Don Pattalock
TJ’s: Injured team representatives

Played on the turf at USF’s soccer field, conversion to a rugby pitch is simply handled with a roll of duct tape!

The SCU program is returning to past form with strong coaching, solid organization and team depth. SCU dominated all phases of this match despite USF’s solid defensive pattern. SCU executed several different LO options as well as running a variety of set plays for the base of the scrums.

Two enjoyable teams to referee.

UC Davis women 15 (2) – CALIFORNIA 17 (3) Referee: Paul Berman
Venue: Russell Field, UC Davis.
Weather: Sunny and clear, wonderful for this time of year.
Comments: The pitch was firm & clearly lined, roped, flagged & goal posts padded.

From this whistler's vantage a game of two halves. Davis taking the bear by the nose ring, scoring a try within the 1st minute of play, straight from the return of kick-off. Aggies agile number 13, outside centre Robin Souza weaved her magical way across the try line in a scintillating opening gambit. A try converted convincingly by her captain Cameron Stewart. 13 minutes later with the Aggies bit between their teeth scoring again through their full-back, number 15, Alicia Ford. In the 38th minute Cal's number 12, inside-centre Irene Gardner broke free with a scything angled run to open her side's account. In the waning seconds of the 1st half Cameron Stewart slotted a penalty goal pulling her teammates 8 points clear at the break.

During the halftime interval the Cal Bears Men's squad, including their coaches arrived in numbers, instantly appearing to lift the resolve of their women's squad.

Proving there is nothing so dangerous as an angry bear, Katie Chou, Berkeley's powerful No. 8 & captain drove almost single handedly to the try line in the 44th minute. This try seemed to inspire her den mates. In the 80th & final minute of play a wonderful text book run down the touch-line try was scored in the corner by Berkeley's impact player/replacement left wing, wearing number 22, Kathy Sprawls (I presume).

A humdinging nail biter, saw the home side Aggies pipped at the post. What a super match!

Point spread: Aggies - 2 tries, 1 conversion goal, 1 penalty goal; Bears - 3 tries, 1 conversion goal

Seconds: UC DAVIS women 12 – California 7 Referee: Jackie Finck
Touch Judge: Paul Berman
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Weather: approx 65 F, wind=0, 100% cloud cover, 0 precipitation

The second side played a fantastic full game; w/ better skill level in the second half. Both teams were evenly matched during open play. Ironically, so too were their jerseys.

CHICO STATE women 25 (4) – Stanford 5 Referee: Deb Hart
It was cold and starting to rain at 11:00 am when I arrived in Chico and it was more of the same for the rest of the day. But both teams came to play and play they did.

Chico scored first in the third minute passing the ball out wide and bringing it in from about 30 meters. Chico scored another try before Stanford answered with a try of their own, but Chico pressed and scored another two tries before the half.

The second half started quickly as well with Chico scoring five minutes into the second half. Chico completed the scoring with one penalty kick.

This game was intensely played with lots of good, multi-phase play.

One of Stanford's locks, Kira Grecko, broke her leg about half way into the first half. She was taken to Stanford Medical Center. I'm sending her best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Seconds: CHICO STATE 17 – Stanford 0 Ref: Hart
The second side also played in the cold and wet weather, although with shortened half times. The score was 17 Chico, 0 Stanford.

UC SANTA CRUZ women 31 (5) – Sacramento State 5 Referee: Larry Freitas
Referee Coach: Tom Martinez
Played under threatening skies at the Cal Santa Cruz campus, the Slug women powered over the Hornet women of Sacramento State by a score of 31 to 5.

Five first half tries were scored by UC Santa Cruz, with Natalie Jacuzzi scoring one of the tries as she came into the backline between the centers and burst through from just inside the Santa Cruz half to zig and zag to the goal line, leaving the Sacramento backs grasping to tackle.

Meghan Healy orchestrated from her flyhalf position well, usually passing off, and at other times taking the option to kick into space, with the Santa Cruz backs charging down field. The Santa Cruz pack controlled rucks and mauls, winning ball time and time again.

Jacuzzi again scored on another gallop early in the second half, giving the home side a 31-0 advantage. To the State forwards’ credit, they also won a good share of ball, especially in the second half, but didn't threaten until the last quarter of the match, with Lorae Simpson, their scrum half, taking advantage of the weakside on scrums and shortside on rucks to create some moves and long runs into Santa Cruz territory.

Eventually Alexis Viera-Potter scored a try some four minutes into injury time, the final whistle coming after the failed conversion.

I would venture to predict that UC Santa Cruz could do well in the playoffs again this year, with one third of last year's starters gone, but having those positions filled by players who were replacements the last year or two, indicative of the depth of this side.

St. Mary's women 18 – SAN JOSE STATE 20 Referee: Paul Smith
Referee Coach: David Williamson
No report received.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sacramento State 30 (5) – ST. MARY’S 46 (7) Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Sunday's festivities found the Sacramento State Hornets hosting the St. Mary's Gaels. The rain stopped just before game time and the sun came out for most of the afternoon.

The Gaels scored an unconverted try in the first 2 minutes and a converted try a couple of minutes later. The Hornets came back with an unconverted try a couple of minutes later. The Gaels came right back with another converted try and seemed to be in control. The Hornets weren't giving up, as they scored an unconverted try, a penalty kick and a converted try to take a 20 to 19 lead. The Gaels got back on track and scored 2 converted tries to make the halftime score St Mary's Gaels 33 Sac St. Hornets 20.

Things slowed down a bit in the second half, with the Gaels scoring an unconverted try and then a converted try to take a comfortable lead about half way through the second half. The Hornets still had some fight left in them and managed an unconverted try, but the Gaels kicked a penalty kick at about the 30 minute mark to keep pace. The Hornets scored an unconverted try with a couple of minutes left, but it was not nearly enough as the Gaels won 48 to 30.

Seconds: SACRAMENTO STATE 34 (6) – St. Mary’s 24 (3) Referee: JC Van Staden
Big game! Sac got on the score board in the 10th minute, just to get answered right back with a St. Mary's try. Big tackles, hard scrumming, and fearless rucks and mauls put the stamp on the 1st half. With 2 tries to each they set the table for the second half to be spectacular.

Sac ran onto the field with a change in plan though. After both teams had a final warning for going offside in general play, Sac put St. Mary's on their back foot, with a few up-and-unders behind their line of defense. St. Mary's let the ball bounce 3 times too many and with the luck of the bounce, Sac scored 3 unanswered tries.

Both teams showed very good composure, and 6 out of the 9 tries scored came from advantage.

A ‘thumbs up’ to both coaches, for coaching and prepping these second teams. These guys know what rugby is about.

Stanford 12 – UC DAVIS 44 Referee: Joe Androvich

Seconds: Stanford 0 – UC DAVIS 56 (10) Referee: Sandy Robertson
The UCD 2nd squad had too much pace, size and skill for a fairly inexperienced Stanford side, running in 7 tries in the first half. UCD dominated scrums and stole a number of Stanford's lineouts. They had Stanford on their heels much of the day and so were able to open find plenty of gaps and overlaps


Saturday, February 17:

SF/GOLDEN GATE U 19, 52 – Alameda U 19, 5 Referee: John Coppinger
At Rocca Field on TI. Brilliant day for rugby and SF/GG put on a great display of recycling the ball and support play. Alameda, although overmatched, never quit.

Friday, February 23:

Varsity: ELSIE ALLEN – Montgomery Referee: Matt Eshoo
Evaluator: Peter Watson
Videographer: Bruce Carter
Additional Referee Coach in Tow: Dixon Smith

The Referee Coaching Triumvirate, all with national portfolios, turned out to watch Matt Eshoo at the fabulous Lobodome.

Even the weather cooperated: if you have been to the Lobodome you will know what a difference there is between a one MPH wind coming from the west (the pig farm) versus a complete absence of wind. The pre-match zephyrs stirred no more after Matt’s first whistle.

The Lobos have an announcer who has very much a professional-announcer’s voice. He peppers his observations with audio clips played from his laptop. The forlorn and haunting howl of the Lobo was heard repeatedly as the home XV took advantage of every Montgomery miscue.

Note to future opponents: kicking to the EA deep backs should be considered a miscue.

Coach Allen Petty sees to it that statistics are kept on his team. They are 46 – 1 at the Lobodome, which will be upgraded to an artificial surface marked for rugby after the current season.

Click here: Lobo Rugby

Of note on this evening, DJ Hunt scored four tries to surpass Chris Bergstrom as the all-time leading Lobo points scorer.

JV: EAHS – Montgomery Ref: Eshoo

VACAVILLE 26 – Christian Brothers 24 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Friday night we had a real barn burner as Vacaville high school hosted Christian Brothers high school under the lights in Vacaville. The first half, Vacaville scored a converted try early and Christian Brothers scored one late to make the score 7 all at halftime.

The second half, Vacaville came out on fire and scored 2 converted tries in the first 10 minutes to take a 21 - 7 lead. C/B was down, but not out, as they scored a converted try about 10 minutes later and scored another at the 30 minute mark to tie it up. A couple of minutes later C/B kicked a penalty kick to take a 3 point lead. They couldn't hold it though, as Vacaville scored an unconverted try with less than 2 minutes left. C/B tried to come back, but Vacaville held on for the win.

JESUIT 60 – Davis 0 Referee: Sam Reagle
Weather: Perfect, Dry

Jesuit completely dominated this game against Davis and showed why they are the defending HS National Champions. Davis played well, but couldn't match the athleticism and speed of the Marauders.

I didn't catch his name, but the Davis fullback was a shining star repeatedly making open field tackles to thwart scoring opportunities. Sometimes Jesuit scored anyway, but his play was nonetheless worthy of note.

BURBANK ISLANDERS 43 (7) – Jesuit Varsity II 3 Referee: Scott Wood
Burbank's strength and speed outmatched Jesuit's tenacity.

BERKELEY RHINOS 32 (6) – Oakland Military Institute 0 Referee: D. Williamson
Enthusiastic East Bay high school players enjoyed Friday afternoon rugby on a full-sized, fully-grassed pitch on Treasure Island. The setting and the field were a real treat for the young players from Berkeley, El Cerrito, Richmond, and Oakland. What a way to end the week!!

There was lots of open-field running by both teams, with Berkeley providing most of the offensive pressure. The Rhinos scored three tries in each half, paced by its captain, #8 Pierre Mays, and #7 Levi Jacobs, who scored two tries each.

In the post-match gathering, everyone noted how much the OMI team, led by fly-half Cody, had improved in only its second year of rugby.

Saturday: February 24:

TRI-VALLEY VIKINGS 24 – Antioch 10 Referee: Barry Sheppard
Report by Giles Wilson:

TV started asleep and spotted Antioch a 10 point lead before deciding to play a little rugby as a team. After that window, the game became much more even with TV working well at lineout and the defensive pattern improved. With that change, TV started to get go forward which they built on eroding the deficit and going into the lead.

A short 10 a-side JV game followed; TV prevailed 4 tries to 1 (no kicks).

Under 15s: Hayward 32 – LAMORINDA 37 Referee: Isaac Caselis
On what was probably the best game of the day, it was an ALL HAYWARD affair. As Kyle Davis, coach of Lamorinda and former Hayward Griffin winger and Olo Fifita, as guest coach for Hayward-because Loma could not pull himself away from the barbeque area. Isaac Caselis also former Hayward player was the referee for the match.

The 15 year old bracket has shown great strides in the grasping of the rules of the game. From kick off, Lamorinda was ready to spin out wide and fast. Great discipline by Hayward showed them bending but not BREAKING. The rucks were highly contested on both sides, with both teams winning their own rucks. Hayward rucks were spent out fast to the player that was willing to run against the grain and finding room to run. Lamorinda backs were up to the challenge by executing great tackles. Support was slow for Hayward and Lamorinda took advantage by running up the middle. The forward pack was very well coached.

Tries by Dominic, Jonathan and Conor for Lamorinda. Tries by Vita, Ben and Mike for Hayward made the score at half time 24-22 in favor Lamorinda.

In the second half both teams were willing to spin it out wide to the speedy backs with a fair amount of success.

The adrenaline-filled scrums were hotly contested with both teams winning their own scrums. The last 10 minutes of the game became a see-saw affair with both teams scoring on their possessions. At the end of forty minutes the score was tied 32-32. The kickoff for the following men’s match had already been pushed back 15 minutes, so we were allowed ten minutes more to play.

Lamorinda with possession from kick off went all hands drill from forwards to backs. They moved the ball to Hayward's 22 with a 40 yard run by Miles with an eventual knock on that gave possession to Hayward. With 1 minute remaining a scrum won by Hayward that led to a heartbreaking knock on by Hayward's backs.

Lamorinda then proceeded to score off of the scrum with the 8 man for the last-whistle victory!

On a personal note Loma is still at the BBQ and Miles (the kid with the 40 yard run) is my nephew-He gets that from me!

Live Oak 7 – DE LA SALLE 54 (10) Referee: John Pohlman
My first game on Saturday saw Live Oak hosting De La Salle in Morgan Hill.

When I arrived around 9:00 AM Live Oak was warming up and DLS was kitting up. The temperature was in the low 50's and the field was in good shape with the necessary barriers.

DLS has two players playing on the under 19 team. Fullback Moupin and Prop Sagehorn. These two lead a very athletic Spartan side.

DLS was too experienced for a young Live Oak team. DLS seemed to finish every opportunity. Usually Moupin led the charge. DLS scored 6 trys in the first half.

Live Oak never gave up. A few substitutions seamed to slow DLS, who scored another 4 trys in the second half.

A Live Oak forward poached a ball and rambled 40 meters for a try.

Then I was off to Monterey for Altos versus Stanislaus

Frosh/soph: DE LA SALLE 26 - Live Oak 12 (2) Referee: Edward Barfels
DLS scored first at about the four minute mark. Live Oak scored about mid way thru the 30 minute half tying the score at 7-7. However, just before the end of the half DLS scored again, but missed the conversion. Half time was 12-7 for DLS.

DLS dominated most of the second half; scoring 2 tries with conversions to take a 26 to 7 lead. With about 8 minutes left in the game Live Oak came out of a ruck and had a 4 on 2, allowing the Live Oak forward to score a final try.

PITS 43 (8) – Alameda 0 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
PITS hosted Alameda for an A side and B side scrimmage on Saturday morning under blustery skies. This was PITS' first game of the year, and Alameda did a better job of containing them in the first half than the second. Both sides tried to get the ball out wide, although PITS had considerably more success at it, and neither side resorted to the kicking game for either offensive or defensive purposes. They meet up again at the end of the HS season for their league game.

SILICON VALLEY 38 (5) – College Park 12 Referee: Chris Fisher

VALLEY CHRISTIAN 15 – Aptos 10 Referee: Chris Fisher

Sunday, February 25:

Varsity: LAMORINDA 23 – Golden Gate 8 Referee: Joe Saccomanno
On a rare Sunday night game, Lamorinda played Golden Gate High School team in Orinda. Lamorinda dominated play and won 23 to 8.

Pre-Game Festivities
Bjorn Stumer, Peter Watson, Bryan Porter and Don Pattalock enjoy the comforts of the Referee Changing Room at the SFGG clubhouse on Treasure Island.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, February 20, 2007




The Promotion Committee of the NCRRS has recognized Don Pattalock’s efforts and abilities on pitches around Pelicanland and awarded him the grade of C1.

Congratulations, Don. Now the tough games begin, more challenging and more rewarding.


We won’t have the East Midlands group in town on this odd-numbered year, but we will have five exchange referees and one assessor.

This calls for a party!

We will reprise last March’s dinner at the Pyramid Alehouse in Berkeley on Saturday, March 17. Make plans now to attend and let David Williamson know how many will be in your party:


Drinks and appetizers will begin at 6:30, buffet dinner at 7:30; Society members pay $25 each, with the Society covering the balance.

Our guests will be:

Victoria: Colin Dyer and Dave Valentine
Eastern Rockies: Larry Johnson
MARFU: Jason Wallach
Virginia: Simon Smith
An Assessor to be named.


Well it’s the middle of March but it feels just like summer
And I wouldn’t call that a California bummer
Cause it’s the days like these when I remember you most
It’s like a low pressure system coming in off the coast
The waves crash down and I wondered just where you are
And you took me so far, so far

So Far, The Orange Peels

Are you in love? Would you like to be in love? How about feeling like you’re in love, with happy times, road music, driving the legendary highways of California pursuing your dream?

Just call up The Orange Peels on your car stereo or iPod next time you’re following the bouncing ball and you’ll be there:

Lyrics about San Francisco, the peninsula, San Jose, 101, the Northern California coast, the weather coloring our emotions but never darkening our moods, love rising no matter that the barometer be falling…

(We trust that the exigencies of meter account for the lyricist’s placing the definite article before a roadway’s numeral in referencing it, which is of course the shibboleth of a Southern Californian , in Circling the Sun. These guys are from San Jose; in Pelicanland we say ‘101’, not ‘the 101’)

This is pure power pop for optimists. Post-modern penthouse narcissists and angst-ridden dwellers in irony’s cellar won’t find their minor-chord dissonance and dissatisfaction here.

The disks Circling the Sun and So Far have more hooks than a sheet of Velcro.

Points of reference? From the early nineties we are reminded of two British bands, the Lightning Seeds and the Trashcan Sinatras. Early eighties? Probably LA’s The Three O’Clock comes closest. The playful use of images from and allusions to nature suggest the best of XTC over the past three decades.

With these sounds and these thoughts did the now-retired Lone Pelican motor down the Salinas Valley Saturday morn, newly-wed and confirmed in the priesthood of happiness.

It was later in the winter than our traditional early-season trip to Arroyo Grande, brighter and greener, a brand-new day for a brand-new man.

The plows were out. The asparagus was coming in. Acres of sprinklers lent arcs of rainbows that kept station but never quite caught up with our pot of gold.

The crooked Mission bells lining 101 handed us off, one to the next, safeguarding the journey, wedding bells to the Lone Pelican No More.

Suffice it to say: it was pleasant. Flow was setting in well before kickoff. And this was at the top of the Cuesta Pass, where it was 65 degrees at 10 AM.

Less than ten miles later, passing through San Luis Obispo, it was 82 degrees! Time to pull over and drop the top, the Pelicanmobile shedding its winter coat.

And not a moment too soon: the drive to Arroyo Grande’s new pitch is spectacular.

Daffodils turned their sunny faces to us as we motored past the old pitch, nothing to sneeze at despite the Spring-like pollen count. Further east, through citrus trees so heavily laden their fruit bent down begging to be picked, to Talley Fields.

Arroyo Grande have outdone themselves. Actually, they’ve outdone most of the rugby clubs that we are aware of. You have to go to Stanford to find a comparable playing surface. And the first donor name listed on the parking lot sign announcing the pitch: Pelican Ref Andy Doukas.

A new field of dreams: pool-table green, pool-table flat; lots of room behind the end-to-end sideline ropes; full in-goals; room for another generous pitch forming an L with the first one; and a clubhouse to be built at their juncture.

Lagniappe: there is also an elevated farm road running alongside, a perfect perch for video-coaching aficionados!

On the day, Pete Smith refereed a SoCal collegiate match, Cal Poly hosting UC San Diego, followed by Arroyo Grande and the Sacramento Capitals. It was Rugby Heaven come to Earth.

It wasn’t just warm: it was barefoot, shirtless, breeze-stirring warm.

It was a day for the Lone Pelican to foreswear his loneliness and join the ranks of the happily married. Henceforth: The Pair-Bonded Pelican!


The assigned referee did not show up for the UC Davis – Chico State women’s match Saturday. This was due to a misunderstanding borne of trusting to e-mail among multiple parties in scheduling.

The referee in question has apologized to the home team’s coach. Thanks to Rod Chance for bailing the game out.

Several points need to be emphasized for all of our readers:

College and club matches have priority over high school matches for NCRRS referees. There are a lot of reasons for this, which we will not recapitulate here.

Confirm with the home team the time and place of the match. Do not be distracted by others who ‘speak’ for them.

Official appointments are those received from Bruce Carter and Pete Smith. If you are ever in doubt, USE THE TELEPHONE.

The assignments posted on Pelicanrefs.com are useful as a first approximation. So many changes occur after the initial appointments are made that the website cannot be kept real-time accurate.

Every club, college and high school absolutely should have a level-one certified referee in good standing to referee their games when the assigned referee does not turn up, or one cannot be assigned. We do not have a reserve supply of referees sitting by the telephone on Saturday mornings; quite the contrary, we could use another five to ten referees on any Saturday during the season.

We make every effort to cover scheduled matches, but we are volunteers of limited numbers, subject to injuries and misunderstandings, with jobs, and families, and ‘lives’.


Wednesday, February 14:

Sacramento State 22 (4) – CALIFORNIA 65 (10) Referee: Jim Crenshaw
UC Berkeley came up to Sacramento to play Sacramento State on Wednesday. The weather was in the mid 60's, clear and no wind - perfect!!

The first half was almost all Cal, scoring 4 converted tries and 1 unconverted try. Sac State scored an unconverted try just before halftime to make the score Cal 33 - Sac State 5.

Sac State started the second half with a number of fresh players and put up a converted try 3 minutes into the half. Cal answered with an unconverted try about 5 minutes later. Sac State scored an unconverted try about ten minutes later that was answered by Cal almost immediately. Sac State scored another unconverted try at the 25 minute mark, but that was all they could muster. Cal scored a converted try a couple of minutes later and two unconverted tries to finish the match.

Saturday, February 17:

San Mateo 19 – SF/GOLDEN GATE 37 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Seconds: San Mateo – SFGG Referee: John Coppinger
No report received.

Diablo Gaels 12 – HAYWARD 46 Referee: Paul Bretz
Hayward completely dominated play as they scored the first two tries of the match and the last two tries of the match. Final score was 46-12. Diablo failed to meet Hayward at the gain line and so Hayward was always going forward, both offensively and defensively. Diablo had some good runs but the runners always seemed to get isolated and once they were taken to ground turnovers were the result.

Seconds: Diablo Gaels 26 – HAYWARD 39 Referee: Joe Androvich
Assessor: Bryan Porter

SACRAMENTO LIONS 38 (6) – Seahawks 25 (3) Referee: Joe Leisek
Danny Nunn Park, Sacramento

A brilliantly sunny day, ground firm underfoot, and two experienced, well-coached sides in a D1 clash. We are so lucky to referee in Northern California. The game was fast-paced and free-flowing in spots, with several tries scored and many changes of possession and long runs upfield...by both teams. The sides exchanged converted tries fairly early in the match. Sacramento would score two more in the first half, with San Jose keeping it close via the accurate boot of wing James Hinkin. The halftime score was 19-13 to the hosts. The second half was also close, but more in Sacramento's favor (three tries to two), as the hosts' speed and strength seemed to wear their opponents down a little. Sacramento's lineup includes lock Adam Casias, '06 NA4 player and former USAF All-American who was invited to this weekend's USA Rugby World Cup training camp.

Seconds: SACRAMENTO LIONS 36 – Seahawks 24 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Touch Judge: Joe Leisek
Referee Coach: David Williamson
Danny Nunn Park, Sacramento

I arrived minutes before Joe's scheduled A Side kick off with some anticipation, but soon that turned as the Seahawks lacked numbers, and even jerseys. The jerseys arrived, after being held up in traffic, but as the A Side match ended, I was flabbergasted by the San Jose coach's claim that there would be no 2nd side match. I had confirmed with their Administrator Vivian during the week. I confirmed with the Lions on the day. I confirmed with every player who arrived late from the 'Hawks. I made it a point to not bother the coach as his focus, rightly so was on getting his side ready to compete in the A Side. I encouraged him to overcome any and all consternation at the thought of his side fulfilling its obligations. A second run would be good for all! It was made to happen in good part due to Lion's Coach Nam Nadruku lending the 'Hawks a nearly full backline.

25 minutes was settled upon for the time of each half, as San Jose kicked off in brilliant sunshine on a relaxing warm afternoon, with some 100+ fans still present to enjoy the show. The Seahawks got on the board first and keep going until they took a 24-nil lead early in the second half. From there the Lions started scored and never stopped until they reached 36. Action was end to end and side to side (at times), but in the end the gas had run out of everyone's tank... in fact when I ended the match a few minutes early, the players thanked me. Of special concern was my right knee, apparently injured in San Diego the weekend before. It may be taking me out of action for a while.

CAL POLY 88 – UC San Diego 5 Referee: Pete Smith
Videographer: Bruce Carter
Cal Poly is cutting a swath through their SoCal opposition. The conditions lent solace to the visitors at Talley Fields.

Arroyo Grande 12 (2) – SACRAMENTO 86 (13) Referee: Bruce Carter
Break up the Capitals! These guys are awesome, and they traveled more than 300 miles with two full squads. Their Sac State connection is paying dividends.

Seconds: Cal Poly – Sacramento Referee: Andy Doukas
No report received.
Your ‘reporter’ watched this game but was too smitten by the air, the surroundings, the ‘scenery’ and the scenery, and engrossing conversation with Pete Smith and Bo Kelly to be able to say more than that it was a fun match to sit alongside.

Fresno 39 (5) – SANTA ROSA 41 (6) Referee: Tony Latu
Venue: Granite Park, Fresno.

Rosa warmed up at 1200 while the home team was still collecting their players. At 1230, Fresno finally got their team warming up. Rosa looked great during pre-game stretch. Kicked off at 1300 and Rosa looked flat. Fresno controled the first 30 mins and they scored 25 points to 15 at the break. Rosa woke up at the second half and it was a GAME. Unfortunately one won and one lost. Rosa scored with 2 min. to go and they won 41(6) to 39(5).

Santa Clara 15 (2) – SF/GOLDEN GATE U-23, 18 (2) Referee: Chris Fisher

California – USMA Canceled due to East Coast weather.
Global warming seems to have shut down all of the metropolitan New York airports. It must have been that the tarmac was too soft. We're still trying to sort this out. It might have been the lack of ozone interfereing with something or other. Or sunspots? We're sure it's a crisis.

ST. MARY’S 36 (5) – UC Davis 10 (1) Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Moraga, CA
Weather: Beautiful, clear blue skies
Pitch condition: Newly refurbished and freshly blessed

Saint Mary’s College officially celebrated the re-opening of the newly renovated Patrick Vincent Memorial Rugby Field on Saturday with a pre-match blessing of the pitch. The Gaels hosted the Aggies on a solid, low cut and fast pitch. St. Mary's scored quickly off their opening drive. Penalties were abundant in the first half as the teams attempted to control the ball at the breakdowns. St. Mary's entered the half leading 12-3. The Aggies scored a converted try early in the second half to come within two points. However, the Gaels' Tate Soinilla and Volney Rouse were able to create opportunities in the Aggies' backline to finish the match 36-10.

Seconds: St. Mary's 15 (3) – UC DAVIS 38 (6) Referee: Giles Wilson
A beautiful day, an SMC alumni gathering for the opening of the new field; a spirited game was played with quite a few players learning the game.

UCD played better defense and were more organized in the first half scoring 4 tries (2 conversions) to zero. After a stern half time chat, SMC came out with better focus and determination. They quickly scored a couple of unconverted tries before UCD got back in the act. In the second half SMC scored 3 unconverted tries to 2 converted tries for UCD.

Sacramento State 19 (3) – CHICO STATE 58 (10) Referee: Sam Reagle
Conditions: Warm, dry

The simple story of this game is that one team listened to the referee and the other never seemed to get the message. Though there were no penalty kicks attempted the entire game, both sides had their share of indiscretions early on. Sac State started very strong, driving over a try in the opening minutes. 5 minutes later, the Hornets scored another converted try in similar fashion despite a couple of defensive infractions. The Wildcats got on the scoreboard a few minutes later and the Hornets scored again at the 22 minute mark to lead 19-7.

Then, almost immediately after speaking to both captains about repeated offenses, the Hornets were offside again and received their first of 4 sinbins during the game. The Wildcats, on the other hand, still committed an occasional penalty, but noticeably picked up their game both in play and in obeying my instructions. I can't help but second guess myself about what I should have done differently, but Chico State got the message and Sac State simply didn't.

Chico State scored the next 9 tries.

Thanks Bryant for running touch the first half and your words of support.

Seconds: Sacramento State 17 – CHICO STATE 29 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Proof positive of global warming-a hot February day in Sacto. And proof that our game is wonderfully thriving in the heartland; this was a seconds match but it was fast, thoroughly contested and well played. I compliment both programs.

The first 10 minutes were almost continuous furious red zone pressure by Chico. They ultimately scored, kept the pressure on, and had a comfortable 17-5 lead at mid game. The second half saw a reorganized Sac – finally in agreement with the ref on offside – come roaring back and coming within 7 points before Chico got an insurance try. Thanks to Kat Todd for her constructive coaching.

NEVADA 43 (7) – SF Fog 0 Referee: Don Pattalock
Touch Judges: P. Ulibarri/G. Walsh

Two good coaches, two good friends (Kenny Bousfield and Bruce Anderson) prepared their respective teams for a true bracket buster friendly under unbelievable skies in Reno. The Fog, uncharacteristically, traveled with only 16 players for this match. Nevada came out hard and controlled the breakdowns as well as the gain line for the majority of the match. Nevada’s athleticism overwhelmed the mostly inexperienced Fog side. Good day for all.

Nevada 2 – Reno
Not sure if this was even played.

HUMBOLDT STATE over San Jose State by forfeit

U of San Francisco 7 (1) – MARITIME ACADEMY 24 (4) Referee: Mike King
Referee Coach: Dixon Smith

What a nice way to end a balmy, sunny day in San Francisco, on the wonderful surface of the USF soccer field. Several sustained drives by Cal Maritime were thwarted by the hard tackling USF side early in the match. The home side even scored first on a nice breakaway converted try. Near the end of the first half the score was evened, and Cal Maritime took control for most of the remainder of the match. What the less experienced USF side lacked in knowledge and size, they made up for in desire. A well fought encounter by all, and just before the SF fog and chill engulfed the field shortly after the final whistle.

UC Davis women 0 – CHICO STATE 39 Referee: Rod Chance

Humboldt State women 0 – CALIFORNIA 48 (8) Referee: John Pohlman
The schedule had me doing two games at Humboldt State this weekend. Humboldt State Woman versus Cal. at 10:30 AM and Humboldt State Men versus San Jose State at 1:00 PM. The San Jose State team has been depleted due to injuries and some losses. On Thursday I was notified the men's game would be forfeited due to lack of numbers by San Jose.

The woman's game was moved to 11:00AM.

I arrived around 9:30 and both teams were out warming up. After discussing a fan barrier the field looked great. Humboldt had not seen the sun for days. Today looked like the fog may lift.

Sure enough at kickoff the sun popped out. Temperature around 52 and great field conditions.

The first half was very well contested. Lots of great defense, multiple phases and three trys for Cal.

Captain, #8 and workhouse Katie Chow scored the first try at eleven minutes. Cal's defense was the difference. They frustrated Humboldt sucking in players, whoops a turnover and a 80 meter try by winger Leslie Edwards. Another defense stand resulted in the final try of the half by center Martha Zulli Camacho.

Half time score 19-0.

At half time I looked up at the ski to see the fog flying in as borne by a hurricane. This livened up the Humboldt players. They saw this as a sign of a changing tide.

But, Cal's fitness and defense kept Humboldt in check. Cal scored five trys in the second half. Another long run by Leslie Edwards netted her second try.

Katie Chow was my player of the game. Putting in the hard work with tackles, cleaning out the sets and charging runs.

Seconds: HUMBOLDT 12 – California 0 Ref: Pohlman
The seconds played two 20 minutes halves. Humboldt won 12-0.

Nevada women 0 – STANFORD 66 Referee: Rich Anderson
It was a Chamber of Commerce Saturday at the University of Nevada-Reno. The sun was shining with just a hint of snow on the hill tops. The #10 in the country Men's basketball team was beating Northern Iowa (Is Iowa large enough to have a North?) And the Women's rugby team was preparing to host the #1 team in the Country, Stanford.

Stanford took care of business with a very efficient 66-0 performance. The Reno squad, however, deserves some praise. Although they have a young and inexperienced group, and knew they were in for a rough afternoon, there they were, 25 strong an hour and a half before the match. There enthusiasm did not wane during or after the match. If they can keep together that energy and commitment, their improvement will be quick. As for Stanford, they looked well loaded for the remainder of the season.

SAC STATE women 36 (6) – St. Mary's 10 (1) Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Sacramento State women hosted St Mary’s women for a 10:00 game under cloudy skies but otherwise great conditions. Sac State consistently spun the ball out wide to their winger who St Mary’s found was very tough to stop. St Mary’s’ try came in the final seconds of the second half and involved a controversial stiff arm to the head of the would-be tackler which came dangerously close to being a palm of the hand to the face, but calmer heads prevailed and St Mary’s was awarded the try.

SAN JOSE STATE women 102 (16) – Santa Clara 7 Referee: Sandy Robertson
The Santa Clara women came to San Jose with a rugby league side--just 13 players. They played gamely but the overlaps were there throughout the match and San Jose took full advantage: running hard, finding the gaps, spinning it wide and offloading well when tackled.

Monday, February 19

Chico State women 26 (4) –UNIV. OF BRITISH COLUMBIA 31 (5) Referee: Tony Latu
That's right, it was a Holiday but we still play rugby in Norcal. Chico’s next game is Stanford and this is a great tune up game for them. UBC gave Chico something to think about when the meet the best of the West. Our Canadian friends ran wild on our home girls and won a close game by 5. The final score UBC 31(5) to 26(4). I'm sure Alex will look at the film and have the team ready by Sat.

What a week for me, 3 games in 5 days hundred of miles apart. From Galt to Sacramento on Thursday, Galt to Fresno on Sat and finally to Chico on Monday. This is what refereeing rugby it's all about; adventure, seeing new counties and meeting new friends.


Monday, February 12
De La Salle 12 – LAMORINDA 14 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Touch Judges: Ed Barfels & Chris Parkhouse

As Chris pulled a hammy a few weeks ago, Coach Paul Still asked me if I'd stand in the day I got back from the USA 7s in San Diego. Why not? Can't get enough rugby!

The drive from sunny Sacramento at rush hour was made easy cruising down thru the Delta on Hwy 160. But it turned ominous as I could see Mt. Diablo becoming enshrouded in low clouds. I turned off Hwy 4 onto Bailey Road to slip through a mountain pass and come in the back way but weather turned to a white-out briefly. 70 miles in 70 minutes I pulled up to DLS relaxed and good to go. Changed in the locker room and then out to conduct the prematch formalities at 6 for the 6:15 kickoff.

What a cracker of a game! The two sides seemed to truly dislike each other, and the parents were really getting into it too. Hard hitting and well played all the way, with plenty of occasional bone-headed rookie high school mistakes along the way as well. The first half ended 7-7. Just before the half I had to bin an overly-aggressive and under-coached forward from Lamo. He was repeatedly joining rucks from the side and tossing his hands in for good measure. Moments later DLS might have scored from a 5 meter tap and go, but for the back who missed my prematch request for a clean tap; tap cleanly he did not, and the opportunity turned into an opposing scrum just like that.

The second half remained tied for a long while until DLS broke thru, with their scrumhalf noting he was unmarked from a scrum on the far left. He raced up the touchline and was able to dot down under the posts, but the conversion missed the mark. Later the same SH took a tap and go from a standing start and passed the ball forward right infront of me! Another needless turnover. DLS then nearly scored a clincher, but the one attacker was perfectly held up in goal as the Lamo wing was able to tackle so that his body remained squarely under the ball. Lamo came roaring back, scored a try to tie, and neatly slotted the conversion from the right side to take the lead. With under 30 seconds left DLS was awarded a scrum at their 5-meter line. They won possession and advanced the ball with hard running, rucking and through several Lamo penalties until play died at midfield.

The field turf football field under the lights is so excellent in some ways, but I would say DLS would have been better off on a full pitch, as Lamo played the hard pounding, straight ahead game better that DLS, while Spartans had better backs out wide, but rarely was the support present in time to preserve continuity. Lamo has an excellent front lineout jumper who won a lot of possession up high, taking most of his own throws and stealing a good few. DLS's front row, lead by U-19 Derrick Sagehorn is big and powerful, but the hooker still was not cleaning winning the put in. Early in the season for two very good clubs. Lamo's Tony McKenzie is hoping to improve all year and is gunning for Jesuit!

Thursday, February 15

For Pete's Sake Field, Santa Rosa
MONTGOMERY VIKINGS 25 (4) – Windsor-Healdsburg 0 Referee: Cary Bertelone
Touch Judge: Mike King
Referee With Notebook: Joe Leisek

Cary's first game as a referee. Long a fixture in the local rugby community, Cary formerly played with the Santa Rosa men's club and coached the Montgomery high school team.

He is one of the newest Level 1 grads and is now prepared to referee high school games and even take the next step: NCRFU assignments. MIke King showed up in his kit to offer touch judging support and I showed up in a peer coaching role. Despite the recent rains, the surface was in fine shape...kudos to Lynn Meister and everyone involved.

Cary managed things well and produced a game that the players seemed to enjoy. Since it was the first game of the Redwood Empire Conference season, there were a fair number of handling errors and offside, but Cary contained it and played advantage well. Good stuff!

Christian Brothers 8 (1) – JESUIT 41 (7) Referee: Tony Latu
Christian Brothers hosted our National champ Jesuit at Florin Reservoir in Sacramento. This is the home turf for the Sac Capitols.

It was a great start for CB as they drew the first blood. But the outside center for Jesuit did a hat trick and did the job. Jesuit won 41(7) to 8(1).

Friday, February 16

Aptos 12 – EAST PALO ALTO 48 Referee: Bruce Carter

Friday night lights at Aptos High School found another good crowd to watch a young home side (nine players in their first game) take on a dynamic East Palo Alto.

Two nice tries through heavy traffic early in the second half by EPA #8 Maliu Penitani sealed the deal.

ELSIE ALLEN 29 (5) – Marin 15 (3) Referee: Mike King
Both sides were ready to do battle under the lights in Santa Rosa, no quarter given. Early attacks by Elsie Allen were repelled with vigor and the tides turned for awhile, with repeated forays by Marin deep into the home side territory. The match was evenly drawn for much of the first half. As time progressed, the home side began gaining momentum and forged into the lead. Marin was undaunted and continued to pressure when it could. Neither team could be blamed for leaving anything on the field at the conclusion of the match.

SANTA ROSA – Sonoma Referee: Dixon Smith
Santa Rosa looked very strong as they hosted Sonoma at For Pete's Sake Field in Santa Rosa. Both teams stayed on their feet and recycled the ball extremely well. But the larger Santa Rosa backs, with good support from the forwards, were able to score five tries in both halves while denying Sonoma a score.

Varsity HS Action, Friday
Davis 10 – MOTHER LODE 22 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Pioneer Park, Davis

Lovely, warm afternoon, with two sides good to go, the grounds looking sharp but for some rather large gopher holes in the far end zone... not to self, bring sand next time!

Mother Lode seemed to get confidently on a role midway through this first half, going up 22-0. The forwards punched through once and again, and then their flyhalf scored on a nifty dummy thrown a midfield, allowing him to scamper all the way in untouched. Soon after a fourth try, I felt the need to yellow card a forward guilty of repeat infringements at the rucks. The Davis Captain, a tall, young lock, scored from a penalty play as Mother Lode's discipline broke down just before the half. Davis would score again early in the second half to make a game of it, and upped their intensity admirably to compete all around the pitch with the boys from El Dorado Hills. But the Blue Devil's hooker, who had never played before, developed a bad habit of collapsing the scrum. As there was no appropriate front row sub, we went to uncontested scrums, and whereas the action continued, the scoring stopped. Good game, played in high spirits!


GG – Elsie Allen Referee: John Coppinger

Golden Gate JV 10 (2) – HAYWARD U-19 39 (7) Referee: Bruce Bernstein
SFGG held their own in the scrums, rucks & mauls but Hayward's backs were older, bigger & faster & dominated when they had the ball out. Their flyhalf, wing & outside center, Roy Helu, Jr. are about the best at that level I've seen--most of the time my eyes couldn't keep up with them.

GG HS Frosh/Soph – Alameda JV Referee: Paul Smith

Exiles 15 (3) – Peninsula Green 56 (10) Referee: Sandy Robertson
Peninsula Green started fast, with 3 tries in the first 10 minutes and had 36 points at the half. They dominated possession and territory throughout the match, but in the 2nd half the Exiles took the opportunities that arose and put 3 tries on the board.

DAVIS High School Girls 62 – Berkeley 0 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
A typical Northern California wintery day in the Valley-low 70s and blue skies. Not close, but good spirited and fun. Davis used an experienced and disciplined back line to wonderful effect; Berkeley gave a bunch of new players their first taste of rugby.

SILICON VALLEY 16 – Los Altos 3 Referee: John Pohlman
The high school league has started this week. Silicon Valley was hosting Los Altos in Sunnyvale for a 5:30 PM start.

This was Silicon Valley's eighth game this season to Los Altos' second.

The pre-season schedule helped Silicon Valley. They just seemed a bit more polished. I use that word loosely because this was far from and error free game.

Silicon Valley scored with two penalty kicks and a try for the first half. Center Phil Rasuaki scored on a multiple phase attack. Fullback Kevin Pierale was dead on for the penalty kicks.

This was a pretty fast well contested half.

The only score in the second half came at 32 minutes when Silicon Valley's second row Justin Lundepes scored on a forward drive. This was in the end zone which had no lights. Fortunately Justin was alone with the ball grounded when I finally spotted him.

All in all, these were two well coached athletic teams. If both teams clean up their mistakes at the tackle they will be competing for a playoff spot.

Monday at Treasure Island

Varsity: De La Salle – EA Referee: Pete Smith
JV: DE LA SALLE 8 (1) – Elsie Allen 7 (1) Referee: Joe Saccomanno
Frosh/soph: De La Salle – EA Referee: Edward Barfels


Wednesday, February 21:

At Cal’s Witter Field:
3:30 PM: California – Univ. of British Columbia Referee: Paul Bretz
Touch Judge: Pete Smith, John Pohlman

At Treasure Island’s Rocca Field:
4 PM: California women – UBC women Referee: Bryant Byrnes

If you’d like to run touch, be a fourth official, or just show up and watch these excellent matches, contact the referee for details.


The RFU's Ed Morrison and USA's Ed Todd writes:

USA Rugby and the RFU are pleased to announce an innovative opportunity for referees in the United States to talk with Ed Morrison, the former iRB referee and England's elite referee development officer.

As part of the Churchill Cup RFU Alliance, Ed will join USA Rugby's Referee Development Manager, Ed Todd on a monthly conference call, to which a number of referees will be invited to participate. Each month a different topic will be explored, the basis for which will be questions asked by conferees.

Our first topic will be "managing the scrum". Following topics will be announced in the referee's area of www.usarugby.org.

Here's how it works: the conference calls, which last about 30 minutes, will take place on the last Monday of each month at 6:00 GMT (10:00 Pacific, 11:00 Mountain, 12:00 Central, 1:00 East). Referees across the U.S. are invited to submit their questions to Ed Todd etodd@usarugby.org no later than one week in advance. From the submitted questions, eight will be selected and the authors invited to participate in the call to ask Ed Morrison, and share in the dialogue that follows, as moderated by Ed Todd.

Be make sure no one misses out, each call will be recorded and made accessible on the USA Rugby website at www.usarugby.org.

Be sure to take advantage of sharing in this unique opportunity to learn from the best, enjoy many insights and - perhaps - a few seasoned tales.

Just Married
Your loyal scribe is hijacking this feature this week, stealing it for our own proud purposes.
Linda and Bruce Carter renewed their vows on their 25th anniversary, said vows having lapsed through a misbegotten divorce fifteen years ago.

Some couples tragically grow apart while together; Linda and Bruce magically grew together while apart.

And so it was that they were married February 13 in the living room of their still-in-escrow home, empty but for the love of God, children, grandchildren, and each other.

Their first wedding was in Las Vegas on a Hastings RFC roadtrip. It was performed by a guy in a candy-apple-red leisure suit who called the groom ‘Melvin’. The latter was by a Minister who blessed their new home and gave them communion.

Linda read from I Corinthians 13; Bruce read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, February 13, 2007




We have sung the praises of this event the past three years when it was in the LA area. It has now become much better in many, many ways.

You should stop reading right now and mark your calendars for the second weekend in February, each of the next four years, to be in San Diego for this event.

They play at PETCO Park. It is located in the historical hotel-restaurant-bar Gaslight District, a cheap and easy cab ride from the airport. You don’t need a car and all your rugby buddies from across the decades will cross your path in short order.

The organization is fantastic. The event is promoted. Folks in San Diego know about it – it’s on the radio, on banners hanging from streetlights, in the sports pages.

The atmosphere is continuously electric for two days. The IRB has managed to 'bottle' the famous vintage of the Hong Kong Sevens and ship it 'round the world.

It is professionally-run from start to finish. If you want to visit the Rugby Festival across the street but also want to see the Eagles play at 4:38 PM, you can rest assured that if you return to your excellent seat at 4:38:01 the kickoff will still be in the air.

And you would have seen lots of Pelicans involved: Paul Bretz running touch for all the big games, Ed Todd orchestrating the sideline support, Aruna Ranaweera controlling sin bins, Scott Wood running the clock.

The Clever Traveler provided superlative support: convenient flights, a fun and romantic hotel, and great seats.

Harry and Robyn also ‘provided’ the highlight of the year: the biggest, best and most effective hit this seasoned Sevens watcher has ever seen.

Todd Clever is beginning to compete with Vuka Tau as the best Sevens player the USA has produced, in the opinion of your correspondent. Todd wins ball; he rucks with the power of two or three; he destroys prepared defenses; he runs for breakaway tries down the center of the pitch.

But the play that will remain in memory yet green happened in the Eagle’s decisive victory over Kenya; it was a hit that made ESPN’s Plays of the Week.

Kenya was trying to create an attack from their own end after the final hooter had sounded. One pass floated a bit.

Todd lined the receiver up. The instant this unfortunate’s feet touched the ground he was subjected to a bilateral kidney biopsy accompanied by the simultaneous administration of anesthesia.

The ball popped into Jone Naqica’s hands for a fabulous try and a round of delirium for the house.

This is truly great stuff.


We can’t pretend to recount the many renewed acquaintances and chance meetings that occur at such an event. Find someone who was there: they invariably ran into an old teammate from days long past, their first rugby coach, or a respected opponent now suddenly a best friend.

The PETCO Jumbotron reflected the atmosphere. The Olympic Club’s international ‘bunnies’ caught a lot of air. Then too, there were the on-field terpsichorean efforts of Toshi Paloma in a dance-off, lost only at last minute when the other finalist, a sylph in a stars and stripes bra, dropped trou to reveal a matching bottom.

But a middle-aged star was born when the camera focused on a certain Pelicus Scriptoris moving to his own Muse. Our hero had the presence of mind to turn and kiss his fiancée Linda, for all the Sevens world to see.

The wedding is Tuesday, February 13.


Dana Teagarden is now and forever more the first woman ever to referee an IRB match.

And not just one. Dana was initially appointed to France – Chile and Fiji – West Indies. Further assignments would depend entirely on merit.

We lost count of how many matches she controlled. At least seven. Eight? More? We know for a fact that she refereed the Bowl Final!

Your faithful writer first met Dana when she and Tom Coburn ran touch for us on May 1, 1998 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This was a representative match that ended 16 – 16, formerly an embarrassing memory but now a proud moment of “I knew her when”.

One further thought: no doubt this summer Dana will be working a local Sevens in SoCal between two forgettable squads. A player will give her grief over a call.

She’ll look at this hapless sap and think, “I’ve been on the pitch with Fiji… stuff it, buddy.”


Last year, the Safety Protocols were introduced in response to threats and attacks directed at NCRRS referees and touch judges. These garnered national media attention and constituted an existential crisis for the game in NorCal: referees were thinking twice about how best to spend their Saturdays.

These protocols are signed by the teams and by the referees. They are designed to ensure safety of match officials by enlisting sustentative and visible efforts on the part of the teams in furtherance of this goal: crowd restraints and sideline monitors. They also define a process for not beginning a match or for abandoning one in progress if the protocols are not met – and provide support for the referee in such circumstances.

But you have to apply them to benefit from their provisions.

Non-compliance has been noted and reported to us by observers.

There are several things to bear in mind:

NCRRS performance review officers (coaches, evaluators, assessors) have been asked to note non-enforcement of the protocols by match officials.

If a criminal or tort proceeding arose out of a match you officiated where the protocols were not in effect, you would be hard-pressed to explain why you disregarded standard, agreed-to procedures which you signed. It is possible that you would be denied liability coverage by our insurance carrier in such circumstances, and a judge and jury would not look favorably on a match official who ignored basic safety considerations.

The protocols are easy to enforce:

- Arrive at the venue an hour early and ask the first person you see from the home team, “When will be the sideline barriers be in place?” If he doesn’t know, you can tell him that the correct answer is, “Before kickoff.”
- When you ask the coach/captain who their touch judge is going to be, also ask for the sideline monitor
- If you notice people within the barrier during the match, stop the game and ask the monitor to move them back

You might also need to remind the home team that failure to comply with the crowd restraint provisions means they lose the match.

The ‘barriers’ do not have to be ropes strung between poles. The sideline barrier has to be an identifiable line behind which non-participants must remain. It can be: a ski rope or garden hose lying on the ground; the far side of the running track that surrounds the pitch; a line of kit bags, placed every five meters a sufficient distance back from the touch line.

At a field with grandstands it is simplicity itself: everybody sits in the bleachers.

The Pelican Refs have done a very good job of introducing the new scrum engagement protocols across the board. We can certainly handle something as basic and as easy as the Safety Protocols.


The Redwood HS conference will begin play on Friday, February 16, with games for the next seven weeks.

Joe Leisek coordinates refs for these games. Let him know if you’d like a run on any of these Fridays. Most of the games are played at 4 PM, but some are later.


Thursday, February 8
Cal Poly 13 – BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 36 Referee: Andy Doukas

This was the highest level match I have refereed, and it was a great honor to be asked by Cal Poly’s head coach, Nick Massman, to officiate.

[Editor’s Note: Andy did not poach this game. The SCRRS was not able to provide a mid-week referee in SLO. Andy then asked the NCRRS and we also had to demur.]

We couldn't have asked for better conditions, moderate temperature from an overcast day and a full size, brand new pitch in the countryside of Arroyo Grande.

When I arrived to the field both teams were in intense preparations and I knew I was in for a serious match from two top collegiate teams. From the first blow of the whistle to the last, both teams exceeded my expectations of play and pace. BYU was the first to get on the board, quickly moving down the field from continuous passing out of the tackle and a nice dummy to slip in for a try. Cal Poly came back with a nicely executed chip kick right in the try zone and raced to touch it down. BYU continued the pressure, powering in the scrums, and at times throwing wild passes in the tackle. Cal Poly’s fullback (and captain), placed a nice kick, retrieved for a break away but BYU’s amazing speed from the winger chased him down. BYU put up two more trys but gave up a penalty kick from off-sides in the line-out, half time score BYU 19 – Cal Poly 8.

The second half seemed to start faster than the first, both coaching staff making good adjustments. A quick try from BYU and then answered by Cal Poly. Good pressure by both defenses, Cal Poly using kicks over the attacking defensive line with success. BYU scored from a well executed maul from a line-out. A tremendous effort and well played match from both sides, I'm very grateful to have taken part and thank both teams and coaching staff for having me.

Friday, February 9
Stanford 0 – CALIFORNIA 60 Referee: Dave Pope
Touch Judge: Pete Smith
Assessor: Bryan Porter
On a rainy, wet day at Stanford, Cal was too strong, winning 60 - 0. Early in the game both teams had trouble holding on to the wet ball. Cal's aggressive defense made sure Stanford never had an easy time holding on to the ball. Stanford's cause was not helped when their loose head prop went down in the very first scrum with a pulled muscle. I'm not sure how Stanford would have fared in the scrum, but as it was, they were constantly under pressure. On the day and considering the conditions, Cal looked quite impressive.


UC DAVIS 29 (5) – Nevada 19 (3) Referee: Jim Crenshaw
A rainy windy Saturday at UC Davis, perfect for a rugby match!!
A tale of two halves. UC Davis won the first half 17 to 5.
UN Reno won the second half 14 to 12, but not enough to win the match.
Final score UC Davis 29 (5 tries, 2 converted), UN Reno 19(3 tries, 2 converted)

Seconds: UC Davis 2 – San Jose State Referee: Chris Bush
No report received.

UC Santa Cruz 0 – SANTA ROSA JC 20 (4) Referee: Sandy Robertson
The rains last week were sufficient to have UCSC close its pitch, so late Friday afternoon the match was switched to Santa Rosa. Around 12:15 PM the referee arrived to a pitch that had two full teams warming up amid some puddles and steady rain. The teams were anxious to get going; nobody saw any reason to wait for the official start time.

The 2 sides came out hard, with Santa Rosa able to kick for territory and capitalize when in the Santa Cruz end, scoring 3 tries in the first half. Santa Cruz's defense stiffened in the second half; they threatened the Santa Rosa line but were unable to touch down.

U San Francisco 5 – HUMBOLDT STATE 24 (4) Referee: Lois Bukowski
Time of game: 5pm
Field conditions: Light rain falling on USF's soccer stadium, firm turf, no flags
Saturday night rugby! Even with the precipitation, it was a great day for rugby…isn't every day?

Both sides settled in after kickoff. It took a little over 10 minutes for Humboldt to strike first. Their athletic backs put together a nice movement off a scrum center with the winger on the overlap. 10 minutes later, the rain had stopped falling and the sun peaked out from some spotty clouds and lo and behold, a full, large rainbow sprouted from one end of the field to the other. We were literally somewhere "under" the rainbow and the boys from up North took the sign and ran with it. Another nifty backline play saw their winger touching down again. The ended the scoring with a center crash after a series of nice pick and jam phases by their forwards. USF continued to pressure, but never seemed to get any offensive ball to work with. When they did, their flyhalf usually relieved pressure by booting it strongly downfield. They took several swipes at goal, but even playing a man up the last 10 minutes of the half would not net them any points. We headed into halftime 17-0.

Humboldt continued its scoring ways about 10 minutes into the second frame. They spun the ball across the field and their big #8 weaved and crashed through traffic to put it down near the corner. USF played hard the entire game, but never could link very effectively with their forwards and backs. They were finally rewarded with merely 5 minutes left in the game off a nice break by the flyhalf who offloaded to his support that dove over the line for the last score of the match. This was a fun, wet game of rugby!

STANFORD women 44 (8) – Humboldt State 3 Referee: Sam Reagle
I awoke at 6am and was on the road toward Stanford by 6:45 to do 2 games in Palo Alto. When I arrived just after 9am Griff informed me that the B-side game scheduled for 10am had been cancelled due to the rain, but that the A-side game would was good to go at noon. It's never been a ritual of mine to eat right before a game, but with 2 hours to kill, I went to breakfast.

This game pitted last years' Women's Division 1 National Champion against a determined, but slower Lumberjack side. Both teams battled for field position for the first 10 minutes, but the Cardinal backs finally broke thru the line and it was off to the races with tries at 9, 13, 19 and 36 minutes to go into halftime leading 22-0. The lumberjacks played solidly and tackled well when they had the chance, but just couldn’t keep up with Stanford.

The second half was a carbon copy of the first. Another 22 points for Stanford with a shutout looming until the very last minute of play. Both teams were practically penalty-free the entire game, but during a strong final attack by Humboldt State, a Stanford forward picked up the ball while rucking. The Lumberjacks stroked the penalty kick from about 15 meters out to end the game.


23rd Annual Kick Off Tournament
February 3rd
Granite Regional Park, Sacramento
Ray Schwartz, Referee Liaison

With apologies to the Senate for the late report, this has been an amazing time, what with our tournament including Thurs-Sun festivities last week, our Society meeting Wednesday, and then 3 fabulous days in San Diego. Somehow I need to get back to work…

Anyway, the progress and success to report since my stepping up to help the KOT Organizing Committee about 14 months ago, is pretty darn cool. And the very best part of the news has everything to do with my wife Kat! If not for Kat, I wouldn’t have been in Edmonton for the Women’s World Cup last September. From that trip, two key elements for success at this Tournament fell into place.

At an Edmonton pub I met Cam Wilton, the President of the Leprechaun-Tigers RFC, who would then work closely with me, and then Ravi Perera (Fullerton Youth) and Rod Chance (Mother Lode) to bring a touring side of 56 to California, including a full boys and girls U-19 side. This pending tour, plus the addition of a new, 5th field available for us to utilize at Granite Park, made it possible for the KOT Organizing Committee to open the door to include Girls HS rugby for the first time.

At St. Alberts, during the USA v Australia RWC match, I reacquainted myself with Don Whidden, the top Rugby Alberta Referee Development Officer. We then spoke several more times over the next two weeks of my trip to Kat’s hometown. With Don I set into place a vision of him possibly sending some young referees down to help us with our little High School rugby tournament. Little did I know at the time that Don himself would travel, and bring along three of Edmonton’s top Premiership Referees! Sandy Nesbitt, Todd Van Vliet and Paul Cassidy each handled (5) 30-minute matches with grace and professionalism, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves in the process.

Our Tournament also grew in other very significant and Pelican friendly ways. Matt Eason, who we all know as working tirelessly in many other capacities has, by sheer force of will, also started a U-15 competition this season in the Sacramento Valley. Three new sides got to enjoy their first live rugby experience at KOT (Rob Salaber is back coaching, now at Dixon U-15!). We flew in Eagle Mark Griffin from NYC and www.PlayRugbyUSA.com, who we paired perfectly with Josh Fitzgerald, a tireless young coach and kit supplier in our community. They ran all the U-15s through a free 80-minute clinic in the early morning, giving these young ruggers new skills and confidence going into their first-ever contact games. Later in the morning, and again in the afternoon, Mark and Josh ran a free and open Tykes Clinic that drew attendees from as far away as Stanford and Chico.

We held an Old Boys game as well, the SOBs v the Bald Eagles, which brought many old friends back to see the spirit of the volunteers working this event. Several brought their kids to the Tykes Clinic as well. We also brought in Bill Burch of Lineout Video to run a team of videographers. We erected 30’ high scaffolds on our two Varsity fields were Bill and his crew could work from. Sylvain Doreau, a former Mission/Baracus player, and current ILM film expert, was present shooting a documentary in Hi-Def. But back to the referee’s story…

From a point last year when told our Referee Society could hardly cover all League matches, let alone send a single ref to our HS event, I set out to solve this problem. I was able to find 4 refs who flew in to help with last year’s event. Plus I was able to talk Joe Androvich and Colin Wallace into refereeing their first games. For this year, two of the four travelers from 2006 (Carla Cross, Minn., and Pete Barry, Erie, PA) happily returned, and brought Nate Scholnicoff and Judd Worrall along as well. Judd is the Allegany RRS President. Don Whidden (+3) signed on, as well as John Lawson (ERRRS) and Dan Drasher (Minn.). Then Dan “Gilligan” Hattrup came out to “recruit” for his Regis College side in Denver. Plus, I made certain to get Cam Wilton (the LTs President) a game.

Locally, I (easily) convinced KOT veteran Don Pattalock to come down from Reno (his mother lives nearby, and he helps run the Bald Eagles), JC Van Staden reffed 5 matches (including Islanders v Jesuit), Joe Androvich and Colin Wallace were excited to return (and Colin seemed to improve greatly). My dear friend Bruce Bernstein signed on. And local youth ref workhorses Michael Taylor, Rod Chance and Mike Villierme joined relatively new ref Dave Buckey and brand new Jackie Finck. We had a few fall out, but at the last minute, Heath Hathaway came aboard and ran touch for 7 games.

Our Society blessed KOT by assigning Ref Coaches Dave Williamson and Kat to attend, who worked well with Don, and together saw to it that all refs received the much-welcomed benefit of expert coaching advice. And then from the very first games, the quality of the people I was able to recruit shown through. Everyone worked as a team. There was never a gripe. The number of games that went off with two referee touch judges was, to me, just absolutely stunning. It seemed to be about 1/2 of all matches enjoyed a team of 3. The volunteerism and support we all lent was inspirational.

And so with 12 travelers and 11 local refs (some working only one or two games), I set out to assign all 63 matches scheduled (completing this Tuesday night, well in advance). I showed up Saturday morning early with a solid plan, and as is the case with all tournaments, had to adapt to some last-minute changes, but all was well.

We left the last 4 Varsity matches unassigned, to be awarded based on merit and fitness on the day. Upon consulting with the Ref Coaches, Carla, who picked up our Silver Division Final last year, got one, while Paul, Todd and Sandy the last three, with Sandy Nesbitt more than capably handling the Varsity Gold Final where Jesuit beat SFGG U-19 10-0, to avenge the opposite result from just a week earlier.

Please visit www.kickofftournament.com for complete results, to read our Program online, and to see the newspaper and TV clips!

I continue to be amazed at the impact our turning so many top games over to Sandy, Todd and Paul had on our event, and on our rugby community. Everyone was blown away, truly! The compliments continue to role in. In the end, the quality of the product; the game on the field, is what truly matters, and we took care of business! The kids, the coaches and the parents, couldn't have been any happier!

I cannot possibly be more pleased at the fact that we (KOT) were able to offer high quality referee coaching to almost all who attended and refereed a match. The value returned to those who sacrificed their day, and in some cases, a good part of their week, to attend and help us, was truly marvelous.

And that just made it all the more easier to keep things fun, humming along and, in the end, entertaining for all; at the dinners, the banquet, the Sunday brunch... the Sacramento Valley Rugby Foundation supplied all with engraved, commemorative whistles and moisture management embroidered (periwinkle) polo shirts. Our Programs turned out great. And Hoppy Brewing (at 6300 Folsom Blvd.) helped us throw a great dinner after the event. Stay tuned; the 24th Annual will be even better still…!

UC Davis 17 – Sacramento State 17 Referee: Don Hattrup (ERRRS)
Thanks for the game. I'd heard from folks at the Kick Off Tournament that Sac State was having a good year and that Davis had been riddled with injuries. As a result, I'd been told to bring my running shoes.

The game started off with the teams testing the referee -- each side had a couple quick penalties as they probed the boundaries and then they settled down to play the game. The second Davis penalty led to Sacramento State bombing a kick downfield, and driving the maul-from-lineout over for their first try. Sac quickly followed up with a converted try before we hit the ten minute mark. The first scrum (at 13 minutes) went off without a hitch -- the new engagement sequence was more trouble for the referee than it was for the players. Davis built off of the platform and were able to work their way down the field, scoring a few minutes later. Their continued pressure resulted in a sin bin for a Hornet lock, who collapsed a maul that was making its way toward the in-goal. The first half ended on a high note for Davis as they scored with a minute to go bring the game to 12-10 in favor of Sacramento at the break.

The second half started off all Davis. They converted their third try to pull out into the lead for the first time in the match. As both teams wearied, rucks got sloppier, handbags started flying, and the rivalry between these neighboring schools manifested itself in ways unbecoming rugby players. After the pugilistic backs put aside their differences of opinion over hair care products, the game got back on track with multiple linebreaks for both sides. Only the astute whistling of the referee prevented four or five tries as final passes were either knocked on or adjudicated as having been thrown forward. Davis assisted with the prevention of try scoring by collapsing a maul with 5 minutes remaining -- their first choice hooker spent the rest of the game in the bin as a result. With a minute remaining, Sac was making a last ditch effort to win the game -- Davis had put the ball into their scrum and it seemed over until Sacramento was able to drive it around past 90. The Davis hooker began to complain about the call and the reset scrum was discarded in favor of a penalty for dissent. Sacramento tapped quickly, took the ball through two phases and did not convert their try to bring the scoreline to 17-17 at the final whistle.

Our Canadian visitors appreciated the scoreline, as I purchased the requisite libations which were shared among the group back at the hotel. Just doing my part to keep up international relations among the fine folks of Colorado and the Republic of California & our northern neighbors.


Varsity: GOLDEN GATE 45 – Marin 3 Referee: John Coppinger
SF/GG U19 comprehensively defeated Marin U19 45-3 at a wet and windy Job Corps field at TI on Saturday. The score at the half was 21-0.

The field was narrow, a factor that probably kept the SF/GG score from being higher as SF/GG looked to take the ball wide with support. Marin played hard, but struggled with the laws.

JV: Elsie Allen 5 – JESUIT 32 (6) Referee: Mike King
Referee Coach: Mike Malone
A well-played encounter on a wet field that became very sloppy by the end of the match. Jesuit fielded a more experienced side with greater numbers to substitute. They played with dedication and balance, using both forward and back play to their advantage. They put 4 unanswered tries on the board by half time. In the second stanza however, the greener home town boys showed their mettle, by holding Jesuit to fewer points and scoring one try of their own. They played with the heart and physicality that is the trademark of Lobo Rugby. Both schools should be very proud of the manner in which their young men comported themselves.

Varsity: ELSIE ALLEN 25 (3) – Jesuit 8 (1) Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judge: Mike King, Trevor Payne

Brent Musberger might've said: "I'm looking liiiive at the 2007 Mud Bowl at the Lobodome in Santa Rosa."

Two of the nation's best high school rugby programs battled each other and the elements in an intense pre-season friendly. Despite the conditions, both teams were obviously committed to letting the backlines have a go. Lots of fierce tackles, several impressive mauls (primarily by the hosts), and some rumbling upfield runs by players from both teams.

Jesuit seemed to have the momentum in the very early going, but the hosts scored first, just past the six minute mark, with a penalty kick. Momentum began to shift in their favor, as the Lobos would go on to score two tries in the half to Jesuit's one try and one penalty kick.

The best period of the game was the last 20 minutes of the first half, when both teams played some good rugby in the rain and mud. With Elsie up 15-8 at the half, the game was still up for grabs.

But the visitors were held scoreless in the second half against a very strong defense, while Elsie tallied with a penalty kick and a converted try from a Jesuit mistake in goal.

Players I especially enjoyed watching: Lobo flyhalf Patrick Drauywa, who possesses speed and a veteran's presence; and number eight Michael Phipps, whose strength and skill are the linchpin of the Lobo forward pack.

Live Oak 10 (2) – DELTA 24 (4) Referee: Chris Fisher
Good natured game played by two evenly matched sides.

JV: LIVE OAK 56 – Delta 0 Ref: Fisher


Two previous visitors to Pelicanland have been assigned U19 Women’s Internationals:

April 1: USA – Canada Referee: Nicola Reynolds
April 8: England – Canada Referee: Melanie Ryding

Congratulations to our dear friends!


Some of us are children of the Information Age. Others grew up during the Space Age. And some of our readers recall the gung-ho days of the Aviation Age which preceded them both.

This video will delight and entertain us all, dreamers and doers alike:


Samoa Sevens Supporters
Mose Timoteo and Toshi Paloma will be seen among the happy faces as Samoa nearly defended their Wellington Sevens title of last week, meeting Fiji in the Final.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris