Wednesday, April 11, 2007




The Promotion Committee of the NCRRS is proud to announce the advancement of Rich Anderson to C1, with Chris Tucker and Cary Bertolone to C3. Congratulations!

Rob Hendrickson has accepted the position of Recruitment Officer for the Society. Ours thanks are due to Jake Rubin for his service in this capacity the past few years.

If anyone expresses interest in becoming a referee, get their e-mail address or other contact information and send it to Rob:


Last week’s NCRRS meeting was again well-attended, quite a change from a few years ago when only a dozen or so would show up in April. The subject was Touch Judging, to prepare our members to be able to best assist the many high-level games that will be played in Pelicanland in the coming weeks.

Donal Walsh also entertained us with two presentations. One concerned the role played by the NCRRS in the development of the modern Law book (pivotal!) and the other the psychology and physiology of the referee always being the away team.


The week after the college finals at Stanford will feature the NA4 competition and the Pacific Coast High School Invitational.

Ed Todd will be coordinating referees, touch judges and ancillary officials for both all of these events. He sent along this missive:

"The iRB is requiring referees appointed to iRB sanctioned matches to be prepared to deliver sessions to local referees. Per Trevor Arnold's email below, the RC referees for the NA4 are coming prepared to do so. Would it be possible to have a Society meeting that Tuesday night? May 8? I would expect the 4/5/6 talk from Trevor (so it would be good to have those people present) and another session from Alan Gray."

Trevor Arnold will be known to most of you who have been to Canada. We are certain that he can instruct fourth, fifth and sixth officials like nobody’s business: another means to pump up your rugby referee résumé.

Everyone who would like to be a 4/5/6 for the NA4 matches, and at the collegiate championships, should reply as to which dates they would be available:

May 4
May 5
May 9
May 12

And plan to be at Stanford on Tuesday evening, May 8!


Pacific Coast Playoffs – College, Men’s D1
At Saint Mary’s


ST. MARY’S 46 – Stanford 18 Referee: Joe Androvich
Assessor: Bryan Porter

Central Washington 8 – UC DAVIS 15 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Stanford – Central Washington Referee: Joe Androvich
No report received.

ST. MARY’S 27 – UC Davis 25 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Pacific Coast Playoffs – College, Men’s D2
For Pete’s Sake Field, Santa Rosa



Is there a reason to hold this tournament anywhere else? I can't think of any, unless it's to rotate other PCRFU tournaments here.

This was a wonderful weekend of rugby at a great venue. When they first learned they would host this event, the volunteers of the For Pete's Sake Foundation set to work. The results showed: the field was in great shape, food and beverage vendors served the crowds, and people seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Congratulations to the hosts on a job well done.

It was also a great weekend to visit with Pelican friends: Kat Todd-Schwartz, Ray Schwartz, Jake Rubin, Mike Gadoua, Mike King, Cary Bertolone, and John Tomasin. In addition, the local rugby community was out in force.

And there was rugby!

Saturday, April 7
UTAH VALLEY STATE COLLEGE 13 (1) – Santa Rosa Junior College 8 (1)
Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judges: Mike King, Cary Bertolone
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz

An extremely intense game that featured a lot of forward play and tactical (and not-so-tactical) kicking by both sides. While there were some inspiring moments, the ball stayed pretty close to the pack, with not as much passing out wide as I had expected. The SRJC backs often tried kicking for territory, especially short chip kicks that were largely ineffective due to swarming defenders. The irony is that the home side features several skilled players who know how to work with ball in hand.

By my reckoning, SRJC had the ball more often, and certainly had opportunities to win the game. A heartbreaker for the local lads, but Utah Valley's stout defense and perseverance paid the ultimate dividend: Victory and a trip to the finals.

Before the game I learned that Utah Valley State plays BYU and the University of Utah twice each during their season.

HUMBOLDT STATE 37 (4) – Western Washington 15 (2) Referee: Mike Gadoua
Touch Judges: Mike King, John Tomasin

The teams came out to play Rugby and both teams demonstrated excellent defense. The first half ended 12 to 10 to the local boys. However, the Nor Cal team continued their defense, holding the visitors to only one additional try in the second half, but flipped a switch and scored 27 points to finish the game.

Sunday, April 8

HUMBOLDT STATE 47 (6) – Utah Valley State College 12 (2)
Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judges: Mike King, Cary Bertolone
Number Four Official: Jake Rubin

Humboldt State really knows how to approach these kinds of tournaments. They have created such a successful program over the last few years that they seem to play best with the most at stake. They came out blazing, playing at a pace clearly above Utah Valley, scoring their first try four minutes into the game. The first half was all Humboldt, ending at 30-0. However, Utah Valley deserves credit for really making a game of it in the second half.

Best wishes to Humboldt State at the Elite Eight in Florida.

I very much appreciated the touch judging help of Mike King and Cary Bertolone. Mike ran touch for all four games in the tournament! Also, thanks to Kat Todd-Schwartz for her fine coaching tips, and to Jake Rubin for serving as Number Four Match Official for Sunday's final.

SANTA ROSA JC 32 (4) – Western Washington 29 (4) Referee: Mike Gadoua
After pounding games on Saturday, the local boys from Rosa engaged visitors from Washington State; and again, pounded each other for 80 minutes. Many of the players were recovering after a night of celebrating the institution of Rugby, but by the second half, the players’ minds had cleared and both teams realized that they were playing serious rugby. The first half ended 10 to 5 with the visitors up; but by the 80 minute, the score was tied. The teams took turns attacking well inside their oppositions’ 22 meter line. Lapses in judgment caused penalty points as both kickers were talented in putting points on the board. About nine minutes into the sudden death overtime, a visiting player made an overly assertive error in judgment, and unfortunately, inside his own 22, which ended the game with a penalty kick to Rosa.

Pacific Coast Playoffs – College, Women’s D1
At Stanford


CHICO STATE over Nevada by forfeit.

STANFORD 99 (15) – Humboldt State 0 Referee: Scott Wood
Touch Judge: Sandy Robertson, Nikos Najarian(?) Humboldt State Coach
Videographer: Bruce Carter

The pitch was fast and firm allowing Stanford to exploit Humboldt's periphery. Humboldt played very well in the middle and aggressively contested rucks and scrums. Stanford led 66-0 at the half. It is too bad that Humboldt was not afforded a chance to play a second match on Sunday.

CALIFORNIA 50 – Oregon State 8 Referee: Lois Bukowski
Touch Judge: Sandy Robertson
Videographer: Bruce Carter

Saturday was a beautiful rugby day; cool, but not too cool, dry, with just a little sprinkling. Cal jumped out to a 2 try lead in the first 12 minutes. They were recycling good ball at the breakdown and their backs seemed just more athletic than OSU could handle. A yellow card vs. Cal with 23 minutes gone made things more interesting as OSU went on to convert that woman advantage to 5 points. A penalty kick later brought them to 19-8, but Cal closed out the first half scoring with a converted try at just 2 minutes to go.

Cal continued their pressure in the 2nd half, nice crashes and loops, with some excellent help from the forwards passing in the tackle and generally all around good 15 person rugby. They rattled off 3 more tries in the second half to close out the scoring and OSU could not answer.

UC DAVIS 44 (7) – Univ. of Oregon 13 (2) Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Forward play was sloppy on both sides, but led by their fly-half, UC Davis crafted some nifty moves in the backs to win comfortably.

Sunday: Final for PCRFU #1-2 seeds
STANFORD 43 (7) – Chico State 30 (4) Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Touch Judges: Sandy Robertson, Rich Anderson
Sin-bin manager: Scott Wood

In front of an interested crowd at 10am on a sunny Sunday morning, two of the top women's college teams in the country battled for the #1 seed to the national sweet sixteen. Stanford started out strong, running the ball out wide at every opportunity to score 5 quick-fire tries in the first half. Chico managed two tries of their own in the first half, but could not finish as efficiently. Halftime score was 29-15 to Stanford. In the second half, Chico State kept the ball closer to their forwards and pounded forward for multiple phases. Stanford was still dangerous with the ball in hand, particularly through their captain (fly-half), inside center, and back three, but Chico dictated the tone in the rucks. Both teams showed no fear running at each other with plenty of hard hits and powerful drives. Chico's captain (scrum-half) scored a try to bring her team within 36-30 with less than a minute to play. After gaining possession from the ensuing kick-off, Chico earned a penalty near halfway with no time on the clock. Chico tapped the ball and inexplicably kicked deep, straight to the arms of the Stanford fullback who mounted a counter-attack to the right wing. Despite her teammates' pleas to kick the ball to touch, the Stanford wing sprinted 75 meters around three defenders to score under-the-post in the 82nd minute.

By winning the PCRFU championship for the second consecutive year, Stanford earned the #1 seed to nationals. Chico finished runner-up in PCRFU, also for the second consecutive year, and earned themselves a #10 seed to nationals. Both these teams should be commended for a fantastic display of committed, entertaining rugby; they will represent California well at nationals. Much thanks to the TJ's and Scott Wood for their help during the match.

California 5 – UC DAVIS 26 Referee: Scott Wood

Touch Judges: Rich Anderson, Sandy Robertson
#4: Aruna Ranaweera

This match featured a fair amount of running, good poaching at tackles, numerous scrums won against the head, and some really good pass-in-contact play by both teams. The Aggies' advantage was continuity not only in their starting XV but also with substitutes. Cal put together a beautiful weak-side maneuver to score a last-second try from a scrum 15 meters out.

OREGON STATE wins by forfeit since University of Oregon decided to leave after the Stanford/Chico State match.

Pacific Coast Playoffs – College, Women’s D2
At UC Santa Cruz


UC SANTA CRUZ by forfeit over Santa Clara

WESTERN OREGON 26 (4) – Sacramento State 19 (3) Referee: Sam Reagle
Touch Judge: Deb Hart
This was an exciting game between two proud teams. Both sides struggled to control the ball in the first half as the pitch was soggy in spots from an overnight misting of rain. The Wolves of WOU missed several opportunities due to poor ball handling, but appeared in control, though only leading 7-0 at the half. The second half started well for WOU with 2 tries in the first 7 minutes on poaches of Hornets' passes for easy tries, but the Hornets answered back with 3 hard-fought tries of their own over the next 20 minutes to end regulation tied 19-all. The Wolves reasserted themselves in the overtime scoring one minute in and shutting the Hornets down for the win. Jen Williams (#13) of WOU had a banner game scoring 2 tries and setting up the game winner with a long run down the left side before dishing off to her winger.


UC SANTA CRUZ 36 – Western Oregon 7 Referee: Sam Reagle
It's hard to say if the previous day took its toll on WOU (UCSC had a bye) or if UCSC is just that much better, but the Slugs were noticeably more aggressive, dominating most scrums and driving the Wolves backwards for most of the day. Halftime score: 31-0. Both advance to the next round of play-offs in Florida: the Banana Slugs as the #1 seed and the Wolves as #7.


Diablo Gaels 10 (2) – HAYWARD 58 (8) Referee: Don Pattalock
Touch Judge: Rich Anderson
Pepsi Field, Hayward CA

Hayward appeared to be hitting their playoff stride by dominating all phases of this match. Lead by Captain Elti Fuahala with a hat trick of tries, Hayward used their size advantage up front to crash through the Diablo defensive line and utilized speed out wide to outstretch the defense for 8 tries. Diablo, young and committed, threw themselves into every tackle, but ultimately there were not enough tacklers to go around (around the very big Hayward players!). Diablo was rewarded for their efforts with two nicely worked tries late in the match which came from fast restarts and great leadership from captain and halfback John Kunz. Thanks to Rich who ran the lines for me.

Seconds: Diablo Gaels 5 – HAYWARD 26 Referee: Rich Anderson

Seahawks 15 – SACRAMENTO LIONS 31 Referee: Tony Latu
Venus-Watson Bowl, San Jose
Touch Judges: John Pohlman, Chris Bush
Kick Off---1:40

Someone forgot to cut the grass, and someone also forgot to tell the Lions that the kick off is at 1:00. At the sprit of the game SJ returned the favor to Sac and waited until Sac players arrived at the field. Apparently, SJ was late at their first meeting in Sac. As soon as they changed the game starts with no time to warm up. Sac looked flat from the start, but SJ self-destructed and kept Sac in the game. And you don't give these Sac boys any chance to run the ball back. SJ frustrated the Lions, but somehow the Lions found ways to counter attack.

SJ is a better team than their records show.

Seconds: Seahawks 27 – Sacramento Lions 27 Referee: Chris Busch
Evaluator: Mike Malone

SF/Golden Gate forfeits to SAN MATEO

Friendly Match:

San Jose State – Univ. of San Francisco Referee:


SOUTH BAY EXILES 47 (7) – Los Altos 21 (3) Referee: Chris Fisher

Varsity: DE LA SALLE 43 – Live Oak 12Referee: Edward Barfels
DLS scored twice in the first 5 minutes to take a 12 point lead. Live Oaks defense tightened up and DLS did not score for the next 20 minutes. However, DLS's offense was just too much for the Live Oak's Defense and the half time score was 29 to 0. The second half started like the first with a DLS score. Live Oak did manage a good string of loose plays to score twice; with the last score going to DLS.

Frosh/Soph – DE LA SALLE 31 – Live Oak 0 Ref: Barfels
Live Oak borrowed 4 players from DLS and a good game was played. DLS scored 19 points in the first half and 12 in the second.

Silicon Valley 5 – APTOS 27 Referee: John Pohlman
Silicon Valley hosted Aptos in a Skyhawk Conference playoff game at Watson Bowl this past Saturday.

Silicon Valley had won an earlier match and their overall record made them the favorite.

But as they say on any given day…

Aptos started fast putting pressure on Silicon Valley driving into their 22. Inside center and captain Andy took a quick tap penalty, two stiff arms later he dotted down the opening try.

Both teams settled down and played good defense. Silicon Valley continued to make mistakes/penalties at the tackle. Andy, who has been accepted to Notre Dame and Cal. scored again off a penalty at the 22 minute mark. Both of these tries were quick taps, two stiff arms, turn the corner and drive in for the try. No other player on either team was strong, fast or determined enough to score these.

Silicon Valley continued to play hard and were rewarded with a try at the 25 minute mark.

The second half Silicon Valley turned up the pressure. Making good tackles and keeping the pressure on. Silicon Valley’s often hectic pace lead to some turnovers.

They would isolate themselves or just try to do too much.

Andy continued to dominate the scoring with two more tries in the second half.
Silicon Valley at times controlled and dominated possession. But again their frenzied pace would lead to a mistake turnover or penalty.


In response to many e-mails of concern, I thought it best to respond in this forum regarding my injury.

At the society meeting last week, I was giving a demonstration of some touch scenarios when I needed to jump.

Now, I know I’m getting older and my left heel has been bothering me since September of 1991, but earlier I’d hit a long drop-goal on the first attempt and I was feeling my oats. So, I jumped.

The Achilles tendon chose this moment to detach from the calcaneus.

There is a reason the ancient Greeks chose to attribute this particular infirmity to the fastest runner, the bravest leader, the best fighter of them all: it respects neither strength, training, fitness nor planning, is not amenable to the modern pharmacopoeia, and afflicts those who otherwise seem to have no weaknesses.

Let me not get carried away here. Alexander the Great of course slept with a copy of the Iliad under his pillow and styled himself the reincarnation of Achilles. I am merely a middle-age physician who ran for pleasure, for escape, for the scenery, for solitude and for weight control for too many years. But I was betrayed by a specific weakness of the flesh which honor, determination, discipline and even faith cannot overcome.

Yep. This confirms my genome: 46 XY, male human. No exceptions to the usual rules to be made in my case. Dang it.

X-rays revealed that the tendon is densely calcified its last five centimeters, as a result of years of chronic tendinitis and comprehensive neglect: I never lay off when it was hurting, for the joy of running always outweighed the pain of the degrading, tearing fibers all these years. A typical day for most of my refereeing career was to run touch for every game but the one I reffed.

The last five years many of you have known me on the touchline with a camera. But for the fifteen prior to that I never sat and watched a game I could run touch for.

The good news is that the tear is not complete; I have no need to submit to the surgeon’s ministrations. A ‘ski boot’ cast, which can be removed for bathing and sleep, should both provide the necessary support and enforce the necessary rest.

A return to refereeing is a remote possibility for me. Alienation from rugby referee coaching, development and administration is not.

And to the friends I have made through this sport, so many that I cannot easily answer the concerns expressed in their e-mails other than in a public forum such as this, we remain bound together by the call of the oval ball until such day as we line up for Heaven’s XV, not merely to referee but to play this great game once again.


From government files:

Transmission from to

Begin intercept:

Today, during the college D2 final in Santa Rosa, the following exchange occurred:

(HSU coach berates referee about 10 meters from referee's right ear. Referee glances over in coach's direction, blows his whistle quickly to signal a time-out, and walks over to the coach.)

Referee: Did you bring binoculars today?

Coach: No, why?

Referee: Because you're going to need them to see the rest of the game. Are we clear?

Coach: Yes, sorry, won't happen again.

Thanks, Jim, for giving me the best lines. I have wanted to use that one for ages!”

End intercept.


Bay Area Touring Side (BATS)
40th Anniversary Reunion, 1967-2007

Where: Stanford's Steuber Family Stadium
When: May 4-5, all-day, at the hospitality tent adjacent to the fields.
Dinner Saturday evening TBA.

Web Site:

We're asking our rugby friends to pass the word on to the old BATS, and come by and say hi if you're there.

Organizers: Rich Hennum, Chip Howard


SFGG is hosting the 2nd annual Grand Rugby Banquet with Dean Richards as the keynote speaker. Richards, the legendary England #8, had 48 English caps, 6 caps for the Lions, and played in the 1987, 1991 and 1995 Rugby World Cups. He was the director of rugby for the Leicester Tigers from 1998-2003, and is the current directory of rugby for the London Harlequins RFC.

When: Friday, July 13th 7:00 PM
Where: San Francisco Italian Athletic Club, San Francisco, CA
Who: SFGG members and friends of the club, as well as other members of the NorCal Rugby Community
Cost: $120 for three course deluxe meal and open bar; table of 10 is $1,200
Benefiting: Bay Area Youth Rugby

This event will benefit our strong Youth Rugby programs. It is sure to fill up fast, so reserve your spot now by contacting Robbie Flynn at 415-235-1819 or

Any referees who are interested in attending should reply to Bruce Carter. If there is enough interest, we will buy a table.

We had two tables of referees at the inaugural event, in November of 2005, when Rueben Thorne was the guest speaker.


By Alan Petty:

On the day before Easter 2007, Santa Rosa resident Jesse Williams was killed in Iraq. He is survived by his father Herb his mother Janice Leonnie, along with Jesse's wife Sonya and his 11 month old daughter Amaya.

He was also a student of mine, to whom I introduced to the sport of rugby. Knowing Jesse and loving him, I cannot stop crying, such a wonderful person is gone.

My first teaching job in Santa Rosa was at Santa Rosa Junior High, Jesse was in my 8th grade history class. He was a bouncy young man who voluntarily sat in the front of the room and asked questions constantly. While school work was not his favorite endeavor he seemed to enjoy my storytelling and I enjoyed him very much. When most people see an over-active young man they see a problem, I saw a rugby player.

We started a little touch rugby club at Santa Rosa Junior, Jesse was always there. He was talented and energetic, like so many of my boys. We played a couple of games against some other kids from other schools, but basically we played because rugby is fun; the love of the game.

He went on to star for Santa Rosa High School. Jesse was part of the teams that gave the Lobos many tough games in the late 90's. Playing outside center between future Eagle Tim Omi and Christopher Golis he did very well and boy did he let us know it. He was a fine competitor and fun to play against. Jesse stayed in touch with me at Elsie Allen, occasionally dropping by, at his convenience, if class was in session or even during rugby training. I guess that he felt comfortable around us so he kept coming around. He was especially close to Terrence McCarter whose family has been a key part of EAHS and Lobo Rugby.

When he joined the army, he came by the classroom to show off his uniform and came back to play touch with us several times after that. When he married, he married into the Lobo Rugby family and his visits became more frequent. Jesse spoke to one of my classes about his first tour to Iraq. I can recall telling the class, "Here are some questions that are inappropriate to ask," then Jesse got up in front of the room and said that no question was out of bounds and answered anything that the kids wanted to know.

When people talk to me, they are surprised at first because I refer to so many people as "my kids." Jesse was one of "my kids" and while I cannot fathom the loss felt by his father, mother, and wife, the pain I feel is beyond description. A love, a bond forged by brotherhood, and a collision sport... now one of us is gone.

Godspeed Jesse Williams

Seder and Promotees
Chris Tucker and Cary Bertolone are recognized for their promotions while Bruce Bernstein, Jake Rubin and Ray Schwartz celebrate a rapid Seder.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris