Monday, April 16, 2007




We are critically short this coming Saturday – and all of the games are big. We need every referee we can get, pronto.

Here’s what the NCRRS needs to cover:

Super League game – touch judges
Two CR1 games- refs and TJs and Match Commissioners
Four USA men’s D1 college playoffs at Cal – TJs, fourth officials
Four high school playoff games – refs

We are four people short, and there’s no-where to give. If you have not previously relayed your availability and would be able to help out, please let us know right away.

From having thirty to forty referees available every week during the season, suddenly we have fewer than twenty, just when the games count the most.


USA Rugby Referee Development Officer Ed Todd has announced that there will be a meeting at the Doyle Family Rugby Clubhouse at Stanford University on Tuesday evening, May 8.

All NCRRS members are invited. Consider it our May meeting. Dinner will be provided.

Trevor Arnold, Ed’s counterpart with Rugby Canada, will speak about the role of fourth, fifth and sixth officials. This will follow-on nicely to our touch judging sessions at April’s meeting.

Alan Gray, a Canadian National Panel Referee, will also speak. The topic is not available at present.

The Referee Development Committee will meet at 6 PM, with the Society meeting from 6:30 to 8:30.

Please respond if you plan to attend. And please plan to attend if you are going to be a #4, 5 or 6 at any of the upcoming events.


Half of the sweet sixteen will be taking place at Witter Field on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley.

Friday Cal Poly will play the Univ. of Minnesota, and BYU will meet Wyoming.

Saturday will be the consolation and final of that first group, with games also between Cal and New Mexico, followed by Harvard and San Diego State.

Sunday will be the third- and first-place matches of the second bracket.

If you want to make Friday or Sunday a Rugby Day, this is your chance!


The NCRRS annual banquet will be held on Saturday, June 23, probably in San Francisco. Mark your calendars now. Plan a date night. It is always something to look forward to!

Pete Smith will of course be presenting our annual awards, and we will be celebrating thirty years as a legal entity.

This same weekend a Level 3 Referee Course will be in progress in San Francisco. Those attendees and instructors will of course be invited to attend dinner with us.

We are also looking for volunteers to billet the level 3 students. These are, of course, all B-level refs with bright futures. They will need a place to stay Friday and Saturday nights, June 22 and 23.

Please respond if you would be able to help out with hosting.


Just in time to be completely outdated with the advent of the World Cup and many Law changes that are almost certain to follow, the one-hundred lawbooks that we ordered last November have arrived.

Jim Crenshaw has them. He certainly cannot be expected to mail them out individually to our members, but if you have paid NCRRS dues this season, you are entitled to one.

Distribution will have to be worked out. Let’s assume Jim puts them in the trunk of his car – then we’ll have to go from there.


SF/GOLDEN GATE 54 – Charlotte 7 Referee: Dave Peters
Touch Judge: Jim Crenshaw, John Pohlman
Assessor: Mark Koiwai
Spectators watching the Game, not the Officials: Bruce and Linda Carter

With only the one-point loss to Denver marring their otherwise-perfect record and playing in the toughest division in the Super League, Golden Gate needs to earn maximum points from every contest that they can.

Against winless Charlotte, they managed to do so in the first half Saturday, with four tries just before the whistle.

And five more were added in the second half for good measure.

Your reporter sat among a contingent of Charlotte supporters who were repeatedly moved to comment, “They have a lot of really fast guys.”

The key game in the Red conference will be this coming weekend, as SF/GG hosts undefeated Belmont Shore.

…for everyone but the Bay Conference in high school…

The Olympic Club and Hayward have finished the season at 9 – 3, while the Sacramento Lions and San Mateo are both 7 – 5. The unofficial order of finish, based on point differential, is as just listed.

(One note about the importance of exact and accurate score-keeping and reporting by referees: Sac Lions lead San Mateo by two points in the point differential.

(If the protest by Haggis/Park City were upheld and they got to participate in the CR1 playoffs, San Mateo would miss out on the post-season by a single conversion kick in any of their games.

(We mention this because the scores reported OFTEN differ from the scores we see in on-line match reports. Sometimes we get three different scores from the ref and the two TJs. We always ask the ref in such cases and frequently the answer is, “I think I might have had it wrong. I don’t have my score card any more, so go with what Goff/AMR/Gainline/the TJ/the coach of one of the teams said.”)

If Haggis is not given entry into the USA playoffs, the CR1 games will be as follows:

April 21:
Olympic Club – Las Vegas Referee: Dave Pope
Hayward – Santa Barbara Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Belmont Shore – San Mateo
Huntington Beach – Sacramento Lions

April 28:
San Mateo – Huntington Beach
Sacramento Lions – Belmont Shore
Las Vegas – Hayward
Santa Barbara – Olympic Club


Sacramento Lions 8 – HAYWARD 15 (2) Referee: Don Pattalock
Touch Judges: Scott Wood, Mike Villierme
As the rain fell on the pitch at Florin Reservoir I had several flashbacks of training in the rain and mud on this pitch and having to hose off after training just to be let into the house to take a hot shower. Fortunately for all the pitch held up well under the spring rain. The Lions started at full throttle and kept Hayward under pressure and pinned in their own 22 for the first 10 minutes of the match, coming away with an unconverted try and a penalty. Hayward started to wake up and the game became exciting with lots of attacking by both sides. Hayward struggled to find their momentum due to the weather and the aggressive Lion defense. In the end, Hayward scored 2 tries (one was a 60 meter intercept) and came away with the win. Good luck to both teams next week in the CR1 playoffs. Big thanks to Tony Latu for arranging the TJ’s and all the help and advice from Scott and Mike on the lines.

Seconds: SACRAMENTO LIONS 15 – Hayward 12 Referee: Mike Villierme
Touch Judges: Don Pattalock, Scott Wood
The Sac Lions and Hayward B sides played two twenty minutes halves, the 1/2 time lasted long enough for the players to switch direction and kickoff again. Sac fielded fifteen fresh players while Hayward played with about half of the A side. Those fellows had to be tired as they had played all 40 minutes of the first game, a track meet of a game albeit played on the bog we call Danny Nunn Park.

Sac and Hayward B's went at it, sometimes forwards dominated play or oft times it would spin out for the backs to take off on a long break. But, due to a precipitation cycle run amok here in the Sac town, too many knock-ons, too many scrums kept the score a relatively low 15 to 12, Lions prevailing.

Thanks to Don Pattalock and Scott Woods for their invaluable touch judging and counsel. And thanks to Tony Latu for allowing me to ref the match. It was a close call Tony. I was itching to have a run with the Old Boys and McGeorge Alum playing on the park next to us!

Good luck to Sac Lions and Hayward as they begin round 1 of the D1 playoffs.

SAN MATEO 31 (5) – Olympic Club 17 (2) Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Touch Judges: Dave Pope, Eric Rauscher
The match started 15 minutes late as San Mateo had misplaced both the corner flags and goalposts. Morning rain was not a factor with the artificial turf, but a strong wind and use of football goalposts made kicking for goal difficult. Both teams often employed driving mauls and chip-kicks over the defense. Despite even exchanges in the loose, San Mateo led at halftime 14-3. Due to repeated infringements, San Mateo played with 14 men for about 20 minutes around half-time. Olympic Club was able to mount sustained pressure and score two breakaway tries through their backs out wide to take the lead, 14-17. Once San Mateo returned to full strength, however, they mounted a series of powerful pick and drives that led to three unanswered tries. To Olympic Club's credit, they foiled several San Mateo tries with committed goal-line defense. Olympic Club also had numerous forays deep into San Mateo territory, but they squandered their momentum with knock-ons and turnovers. At the end of the day, San Mateo won comfortably by playing with intensity and purpose.

Seconds: SAN MATEO 20 (4) – Olympic Club 43 (7) Referee: Dave Pope

DIABLO GAELS 36 – Seahawks 20 Referee: Joe Androvich
Evaluator: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Seconds: Diablo Gaels 14 – SEAHAWKS 22 Referee: Chris Tucker
Evaluator: David Williamson
With both squads of players depleted by the long season, the "2nds" game featured many familiar faces from the 1st XV contest. San Jose managed to win the consolation match which eventually became a trench war between two tired sides. Need to work on recruitment in the off-season....

SFGG U-23 – UC Santa Cruz Referee: Sandy Robertson
No report received, but we do know that after a close first half, SFGG ran in a number of tries to put the game away in the second.

SANTA CLARA women 36 – Stanford B 17 Referee: Pete Smith
Score is from memory, but should be pretty close. It was a great game. I had THREE penalties total. One for not releasing, one for offside as the ball was charged down and then played by an offside player and the last was offside on the backline after a lineout was stolen by the opposition. It is amazing what intelligent women who listen can produce if you work with them. I probably talked them out of 6-8 more penalties, played advantage out of at least 3-4 more and everyone had a great time. Once again, it is the sort of game that keeps me refereeing.

San Jose State 26 – ALUMNI 56 Referee: Pete Smith
SJSU’s best player was their coach Dean White who made several tackles, mostly of the text book variety, and really led his team encouraging them to stay in the game for all 80 minutes.

Word has it this is the first ever alumni game that didn’t have a major or even minor altercation in it. Players and spectators were giving props to the ref for that; I figure it was just too cold and wet to want to fight anyone.


HAYWARD 73 – Tri-Valley 5 Referee: Lois Bukowski
Felt like I was watching 7s.


On Sunday April 15, the Dixon Youth Rugby Classic for Under-15s players featured great sportsmanship, good coaching, lots of parent support, and excellent rugby. It's very encouraging to see five teams of young, enthusiastic players. The tournament was conducted under sunny (but very windy) conditions in one of Dixon's parks large enough for two full-sized pitches.

Tournament Director Rob Salaber and the Dixon team supporters did a great job of organizing the tournament--making sure each participant received a medal, and the players for the first and second place teams received trophies. Food, snacks, nearby rest rooms, and well-marked fields rounded out the event.

The teams were Lamorinda, Cougars, Dixon, Islanders, and Land Park. Lamorinda finished first; Cougars second. Referee Convener Ray Thompson ran touch for numerous games, while referees Bryant Byrnes, Michael Taylor, Brick Reagle, and Dave Williamson (pictured below) handled two matches each.

Lots of smiles.


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.

Dixon Youth
Ray Thompson, Sam Reagle, Dave Williamson, Michael Taylor and Bryant Byrnes pose in Dixon.


For the Senate
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