Monday, May 28, 2007




Referee volunteers have been slow to come by, which is a real disappointment in the best Society in the USA.


MONDAY, May 28 on Treasure Island:
1 PM Baracus v. Teddington Antlers (London)

FRIDAY, June 1 at Crocker Amazon:
6:45 PM Fog v. Teddington Antlers
8 PM Fog v. Teddington Antlers
(One of these is men, one is women – we have not yet been informed as to the sequence.)

We remember the days when competition to referee touring sides was keen. What has happened? Can there ever be too much rugby? We can't ALL be injured.


Dana Teagarden will be refereeing the women's Grizzlies against the Midwest on Treasure Island Sunday morning, June 3, at 11 AM.

Paul Bretz will be one of the touch judges. If you would like to be the other, or simply to enjoy some great rugby on an 'off' weekend, drop on by!


Make your plans now to attend a celebration the 30th anniversary of the NCRRS Saturday, June 23, at the Bull Valley Restaurant, 14 Canyon Lake Drive, in Port Costa.

The restaurant is located in a wonderful hidden valley, approximately 3 miles east-southeast from Crockett, just across the Carquinez strait from Benicia.

(510) 787-1135

The Society will have the entire restaurant for this occasion, and will pay for dinner for members who are active referees or coaches/evaluators. There will be four choices of entrees and house wine is included. The cost to guests and dates will be $30.

We will have the facility from 6 until 9 PM. We’ll plan on dinner at 7, with speeches and awards to follow. Formal attire is appropriate but not required.

If the conversation and camaraderie do not recognize a nine o’clock curfew, across the street is the Warehouse Cafe, boasting over 400 bottled beers from around the world & voted “one of the 50 best bars in the USA.” With a dart board, pool table, stuffed animal heads, old fashioned Wurlitzer jukebox & cast of local characters, it is a memorable place.

Please let Paul Berman know if you will be attending, and how many will be in your party. Paul will let those who contact him know what the menu options are.


PCRFU Chairman Frank Merrill and his wife Clarice participated in annual ceremonies at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC earlier this month. The occasion was the addition of the name of their son, Richard Allen May, to the Memorial, during National Police Week.

Frank and Clarice, being persons of faith and optimism, have turned their grief into good works.

Here is a list of heroes: a list of the peace officers who fell in the line of duty in 2006:

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund - Facts and Figures - New Names for the Wall - 2007

In the course of the ceremonies, Frank met with the President:

“Did my best to put USA Rugby into the mainstream – at a White House meeting, I gave a jersey signed by the Men’s National Team to President Bush at the National Fallen Officers Memorial Service. It had my son's Police Badge pinned to the jersey. The President spent at least 2-3 minutes talking with me about rugby – we spoke of his love for the game and how much he treasured his days on the field while at Yale.

“I also suggested (ahem, I gave him a written schedule) that he should come to France to see our RWC team in action. He said to me, in exactly this response, "Yeah, I have to get to France to meet the new guy over there" - (Pause, where I suggested, again, coming to the RWC, where I remind him that the RWC is Sept/Oct) - and he said, "Maybe I can put that off until this fall."

”President Bush was and is a rugby man - mentioned twice about how much the game meant to him when he was in college and has extremely fond memories of playing. Still watches at times and mentioned about how well ‘our team’ (his words) did at the San Diego event (Sevens).

“We talked about the game and he asked whether Rich had played - I said no, Rich had to struggle to weigh 152 lbs. (@ 6'2") in order to make the minimum weight to get into the Marine Corps. But he was a longtime supporter of both me when I played and his brother Michael who plays at Central Washington University who liked rugby players as friends, many of them.

“The President appeared genuinely touched by me giving him the jersey. I had placed a pin of Rich's police badge on the jersey, which the President touched when I showed it to him. We talked about the game and how I had been working on building a field in Rich's honor in East Palo Alto, where Rich was a police officer and where he was killed.

“Someone next to me asked, "Why rugby?" - to which the President answered that "Healing from grief takes many forms - some heal inwardly, others heal outwardly, and it doesn't matter which form your healing takes, only that you get better and get well." Truer words have never been spoken.

“The President urged us to continue to do whatever it takes to change the world, one mind at a time. And the President felt, as I do that there is nothing disrespectful in thinking about rugby at the time of remembering my son, as he said, "I don't personally know, but I can imagine, whatever it takes to get you through one day at a time." My thoughts as well.”

Summit Meeting
Frank Merrill, his wife Clarice, granddaughter Lauren, Rich’s widow Diana behind her, granddaughter Brittany, daughter Amy and President Bush.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, May 22, 2007




A dinner to celebrate thirty years of the Northern California Rugby Referee Society will be held on Saturday, June 23, at the Bull Valley Restaurant, 14 Canyon Lake Drive, in Port Costa.

The restaurant is located in a wonderful hidden valley, approximately 3 miles east-southeast from Crockett.

(510) 787-1135

There is plenty of parking in a free lot overlooking the Carquinez Strait & the city of Benicia on the far side.

The Society will have the entire restaurant for this occasion, and will pay for dinner for members who are active referees or coaches/evaluators . There will be four choices of entrees and house wine is included. The cost to guests and dates will be $30.

We will have the facility from 6 until 9 PM. We’ll plan on dinner at 7, with speeches and awards to follow. Formal attire is appropriate but not required.

If the conversation and camaraderie do not recognize a nine o’clock curfew, across the street is the Warehouse Cafe, boasting over 400 bottled beers from around the world & voted “one of the 50 best bars in the USA.” With a dart board, pool table, stuffed animal heads, old fashioned Wurlitzer jukebox & cast of local characters, it is a memorable place.

Please let Paul Berman know if you will be attending, and how many will be in your party. Paul will let those who contact him know what the menu options are.


The Teddington Antlers, with men’s and women’s sides, will be touring Northern California next week. Teddington is basically next door to Twickenham.

Their first match will be against Baracus on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, at 1 PM on Treasure Island. They are trying to get a women’s game laid on for the same day.

Both of their sides will be playing in Monterey on Wednesday, May 28, and again in San Francisco at Crocker Amazon on Friday, May 30.

The Monterey Wednesday games will begin at 5 or 5:30 PM, and the Crocker Amazon Friday games at 5:45 PM.

These games will, of course, need refs. Let us know if you are available for any or all of them.


Last weekend, Paul Bretz did the Chicago Lions playoff victory while Pete Smith and Aruna Ranaweera worked the high school championships.

Paul will also be refereeing the Super League final in San Diego June 9, while Pete and Aruna will be at the women’s U-23 all-stars in Minnesota the following weekend.

Referee: Mike Gadoua

The referee for the Shinty game (before the Rugby) was running around with a microphone. At stoppages, he'd explain to the crowd what the penalty was, or what happened.

The whole purpose of the Shinty and Rugby was to demonstrate Scottish sports, along with other Scottish athletics.

He handed me the microphone after his game. I explained that I probably would not be able to explain things during the game. By this time, they were throwing the caber on the field next to us.

As they were adding uprights to the goals, I explained to the spectators, which by now had grown, about the two variations of Rugby, and specifically pointed out that the Sevens version originated in Melrose Scotland.

A gentleman whom I had met earlier in the day, Jimmy Doyle and his wife who are from Melrose, were in the front row and seemed to enjoy the commentary. In hind sight, I should have introduced him to the crowd.

I told the crowd that we were going to play two 20-minute halves of XVs, and then a few games of Sevens. I must have said something entertaining, because the crowd did laugh at one point. I finally excused myself to referee the games and got applause.

Unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, we had no Sevens players out of 40 players at the event.

The only way one could figure out whether the game being played was Sevens or XVs, was to count the number of players on the field.

Mr. Doyle was very understanding.

oh, well,

Play On,

On behalf of the Vikings and Gaels, I’d like to thank our ref, Mike Gadoua, for taking the time to referee our game. After a week of searching for a local ref to no avail, Michael stepped up and committed to our game. He came all the way from San Rafael, and not only did our game, but also got a little more exercise by doing the sevens game too. Adding to the challenge was the field, which had no 5 meter lines, and the 22 meter lines were marked at 30 meters! Also, he grabbed the mike and explained the game to the crowd. He probably would have done the Shinty game if they asked him!

It was not easy to ref our game, with the mixture of a division one, division two and high school players all playing at once, he called a good, clean, safe game.

Mike, thanks for your efforts,

Rich Hennum


Four teams representing three of the NCRFU high school conferences (two from Sacramento, one Bay and one Redwood team) met at Pioneer Park in Davis for a round-robin tournament.

Mike Villierme supplied a canopy, chairs and cooler. Rod Chance arrived with touch flags intent on working the sidelines for each match. Chris Tucker arrived to the "green" city by riding his bicycle across the Causeway. Ray Schwartz was spotted early on but rumor has it that J.C. Van Staden got him up for a Zin Fest. Jake Rubin arrived in his finest suit after attending a Bat Mitzvah in Davis.

Kudos to Michael Taylor for coordinating the event. There is a lot of promising talent and ability in these kids. One of the hardest things to do is inculcate continuity amongst players who have only played together on one or two occasions. For the most part, the players were savvy enough to stay with their support and minimize being isolated at contact.

SACRAMENTO A 13 – Bay 3 Referee: Chris Tucker
Touch Judges: Rod Chance, Mike Villierme

Redwood 0 – SACRAMENTO B 22 Referee: Scott Wood
Touch Judges: Rod Chance, Chris Tucker

SACRAMENTO A 12 – Redwood 10 Referee: Mike Villierme
Touch Judges: Rod Chance, Scott Wood

SACRAMENTO B 48 – Bay 0 Referee: Chris Tucker
Touch Judges: Rod Chance, Mike Villierme

Redwood 0 – BAY 35 Referee: Scott Wood
Touch Judges: Rod Chance, Mike Villierme


SF/GOLDEN GATE 38 – Old Blue 20 Referee: Richard Parker
Touch Judges: Dave Pope, John Pohlman
Fourth Official: David Williamson
Assessor: Dixon Smith

Golden Gate won their home super league quarterfinal and now travel to Long Beach to play against Belmont Shore on June 2.


Santa Clara University 27 – Alumni 27 Referee: John Coppinger
There was a fair-sized Alumni presence at Bellomy Field on the Mission Campus in Santa Clara on Saturday as SCUTS (Santa Clara University Touring Side*) faced off against the SCUTS Alumni; however, it was a much younger than usual SCUTS Alumni group that actually laced up the boots and took to the field against Coach Chris Kron's club.

For some reason, the SCU administration limits the SCUTS to 8 matches a year, a paltry number that certainly limits the chance for substantial improvement. (*There are also no tours, rendering the SCUTS name a historical note at this point in time.)

Hopefully, the new coaching regime of Chris Kron and Scott Rees, a team commitment to the playing of the game (and not just the social side of things), and a renewed Alumni effort at supporting the SCUTS led by Ross Malinowsky (former PAXO Grizzly) and Rich Kelly (former Mission RFC Grizzly and Peninsula Green Coach) will persuade the administration to abandon this shortsighted policy.

In years past, the tradition was for the Alumni match to be played the night after the SCUTS end-of-year party, which generally gave the Alumni a distinct advantage. Times have changed. This year, the arriving alumni found SCUTS running drills. Coach Kron announced his squad's intention to treat the match as a full-on and at pace match and, until the end, the match was played at pace and with an intensity that has generally been lacking in the 30 years that I have been an Alumni participant in the fixture.

Also, I believe, this is the first time that anyone asked the NCRFU RRS to appoint a referee to the fixture. Thankfully, Bruce appointed me (SCU Class of 77). Since I was appointed by the RRS, I felt I could not allow one of the major traditions of the Alumni match to continue, that is that the Alumni could not be penalized for anything short of murder. The only concession I made to the Alumni was to allow them to play with the wind the entire match, which the sides agreed would be divided into 4-twenty minute periods.

Despite the Alumni generally being mostly recent grads, the first try was scored by my undergraduate teammate and classmate, Terry Ryan (former Mission player and current Palo Alto Old Boy), who added the conversion with a dropkick from the touch line. Terry would add two more conversions.

Generally the match was pretty tight, although the SCUTS controlled the ball for long periods while the Alumni scrambled to play defense and had the occasional breakout.

After three periods, the score was 27-22 in favor of the Alumni. B/c of the need to get the Women's game underway, the fourth period was shortened to 10 minutes. I know we started with 15 alumni at the kickoff b/c I counted the Alumni players on the pitch at the request of the SCUTS' captain, who remembered that the Alumni often resort to 16, 17, or, occasionally, 18 players in the later stages of tight matches.

Thirty seconds into the last period, there was a knock-on. When we set the scrum, the Alumni hooker was missing. Apparently, he just decided he was done and departed shortly after kick off without so much as "an excuse me." Without a volunteer to step in at hooker (which is so typical), I handed my referee's shirt, whistle, and watch to Rick Kelly, as Rich Anderson (Class of 82, current Pelican, and mere spectator in this match) declined the whistle not wanting to interfere with his mental preparation for his pending Canada exchange (either that, or not wanting to mess up his comb-over).

A couple of tackles, one carry of the ball, 5 or 6 rucks and a few scrums quickly reminded me why some of us eventually take up the whistle.

The Alumni generally controlled the ball for the remaining nine minutes and moved into the SCUTS 22 when the ball was spilled by the Alumni in a tackle with no time left. Referee Kelly allowed advantage and SCUTS raced down the field with a two on one break. As the Alumni fullback made the tackle, the SCUTS ball carrier made a desperate pass to the trailing SCUT (the singular of SCUTS) only to have the ball float behind the receiver where it fell into the hands of Referee Kelly, who, defying the Laws of the Game (and nature) took the pass, darted towards the Alumni try line, and deftly played the ball to the trailing SCUT, who scored between the post to level the score at 27-27. In another blatant disregard for the Laws, Referee Kelly blew the whistle for full-time without allowing the SCUTS' attempt at the conversion. Oddly enough, no one seemed annoyed and attentions soon turned to post-match matters, including a tribute to Fr. Richard Coz, S.J., the long-time faculty proctor/confessor/moderator/advocate of SCUTS over the decades.

Larry Freitas, Pelican and Class of 76, played and also referred the Women's game. The Women were coached by Pelican Chris Fisher. Among the distinguished SCUTS Alumni present on the day was former NCRFU President/O Club Commissioner Mike Strain, who didn't play b/c he had to attend to his daughter, who likes cookies.

All in all, a good day.

Santa Clara University women 15 – ALUMNAE 19 Referee: Larry Freitas
The women's alumni-varsity match at Santa Clara University proved to be quite entertaining, with San Francisco Women Fog's Bridget Madell ('03) leading the Alumnae to a 19 to 15 victory with her swerving running, passing, and kicking skills.

Coming off a victory over the Stanford B side a month earlier, the Mission Campus side proved their mettle by scoring three unconverted tries in the second half of a fifty minute match, running out of time as they had the tiring Alumnae on their back foot for the last ten minutes.

There were some long passages of open play in this game, and very few penalties. With a mostly freshman squad, Santa Clara Women should improve next year, but they do lack size and numbers. This was the initial Chris Fisher Kiwi Cup Match, and most of the Alumnae were made up of players from the '02 and '03 squads. Some of the guys stuck around to watch after the men's alumni-varsity match.

UC Santa Cruz – Alumni
No referee available (insert sad-faced icon here)


Last week these pages reported that the Mission RFC would not be defending their USA Rugby D3 championship next month, that they had lost to Louisville.

This information was gained from Sunday night and was double-checked on Monday.

It was also wrong: they defeated Louisville May 13. Mission will be joining Hayward and the Olympic Club in San Diego June 9 to contend for titles.

If SF/GG can beat Belmont Shore on June 2, four of the twelve teams playing for crowns in San Diego would be from NorCal!


May 18-19
National High School Championships
Murray, UT (near Salt Lake City)
Report by Aruna Ranaweera:

NCRRS representatives Pete Smith and I flew into Salt Lake City on Thursday night where we were welcomed by our Pacific Coast referee colleagues, Jon Moore and the Ormsbys, Mark and Andrew. We were later joined by SoCal colleagues Dana Teagarden, Jason Harper, and Josh Tameifuna, and head referee Davey Ardrey from Nebraska, amongst others.

Tournament matches on Friday were played as 22.5 minute halves, which was a good idea in the high altitude and 90F degree sun. The tournament was played on two full-size rugby fields with a covered grandstand, electronic scoreboard, and mountain backdrop.

The level of play was pretty impressive: these high school rugby players are very well-coached: the tackle/ruck transitions were particularly smooth with quick ball availability and players on their feet. Several college and national coaches were seen on the sideline, scouting talent no doubt.

Josh Tameifuna provided very useful coaching advice to all the referees.

Each match played on Saturday (25-minute halves except the final which was 35 min halves) determined a national seed, from 1 to 16. I refereed the 3rd/4th place match, an intense contest in which Penn HS from Indiana beat Kansas City Jr Blues 22-19 in Overtime.

In the championship final refereed by Davey Ardrey in front of over 5000 people, Salt Lake's Highland HS defeated defending champions Sacramento's Jesuit HS 24-8, after leading 10-5 at half. The Highland team was quite impressive, with a decidedly Kiwi/Polynesian look and haka to boot.

I understand there's a Disney movie that'll be released about Highland sometime this summer called "Forever Strong". Overall, this was a fun, educational tournament to referee.


Thanks to Paul Berman for this report:

Pacific Coast Invitational Tournament, High School Girls Open Division
Steuber Family Rugby Field, Stanford University, Palo Alto, SAT-SUN 12-13 May 2007

SAT, 12 May 07

U-19 NorCal 1, 50 (8) – Hart (SoCal) 0 17:15, Field 3

U-19 NorCal 2, 3 – Fullerton (SoCal) 10 (2) 16:15, Field 3

U-19 NorCal 1, 24 (4) vs. Fullerton (SoCal) 0 10:20, Stadium, Field 1

U-19 NorCal 2, 15 (3) vs. Hart (SoCal) 0 08:50, Field 3

SUN, 13 May 07

1st Place Game U-19 NorCal 1, 17 (3) – Fullerton (SoCal) 0 13:30, Field 3

3rd Place Game U-19 NorCal 2, 12 (2) – Hart (SoCal)/U-19 NorCal 1 (Combined) 17 (3) 10:40, Stadium, Field 1
(Note: In the "true spirit" of rugby fellowship, all 5 tries scored by Nor-Cal players.)

U-19 Nor-Cal 1 3 3 0 0 91 0
U-19 Nor-Cal 2 3 1 0 2 30 27

Key: P - Played; W - Won; D - Drawn; L - Lost PF - Points For; PA - Points Against

U-19 Nor-Cal 1 & 2
Players 38 total:

22 Alameda Riptide RFC
Alex Perl, Allyson Santa Maria, Amy DeSmidt, Ashley Hom, Cassi Rayford, Danielle Bince, Flora Diamond, Katy Denton, Laura Baptista, Lynn Ensminger, Marlene McDonnell, Megan Basler, Natalie Avalos, Peliala Collins, Rachal Marra, Rachel Revey, Rebecca Pan, Rosalie Gordon, Sally Brownson, Teresa Ortiz, Tiare Salausa, Tirana Salausa

13 Mother Lode RFC
Aja Dabaghian, Alex Liebergot, Alexis Johnson, Alissa Jenkins, Beth Fasl, Gillian Chance, Jessica Davis, Jill Larson, Julie Larson, Justine Jonutz, Katelyn Ernst, Medina Noori, Taylor Harmon

4 Santa Rosa Lobos RFC
April Moran-Reza, Christina Trevino, Mariele Ponticiello, Selene Lugo

Tina Nesberg, Rod Chance, Paul Berman

Thank you for your dedication. Thank your Mother's for their understanding. Thank you for your commitment to the sport of Rugby Football Union.

CONGRATULATIONS to Sefesi Green, Commissioner, Nor-Cal High School Girls Rugby07 & Sacramento Amazons Principal Coach07 on your nuptials 12 May 07. You were with us in spirit. May the rugby gods always smile on you & the oval ball always bounce in your direction.

Go Nor-Cal Lassies!
Paul Berman
Alameda Riptide RFC Principal Coach07


People of a certain age with minds of a certain bent are celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the Summer of Love, which occurred in San Francisco in 1967.

Your writer had just turned into a teenager when this apparently spontaneous ‘event’ occurred. A continent away in Montgomery, Alabama, at the time, he remembers the summer of 1967 for one particular thing: the release of Sergeant Pepper, which he faithfully listened to in its entirety every morning before breakfast that summer.

But others recall that time in a different light.

Bryan Porter recently related to us at our April society meeting a particularly memorable game that he refereed at the polo field in Golden Gate Park in 1967. The Human Be-In was being held at the other end of the polo field.

The pitch was ‘invaded’ by a parachutist distributing LSD.

Joe Leisek has found photographic proof of the rugby game taking place that day, but alas, the referee is not to be seen:

Many of our readers came to the sport in the seventies or even the eighties, when rugby football carried a counter-cultural cachet. But have a look at the players in 1967, then go watch a game now, and you will see that we have come full circle.

At the Davis Under-17 Tournament:
Rod Chance, Scott Wood, Jake Rubin, Chris Tucker and Mike Villierme.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Monday, May 14, 2007




There are alumni games in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara May 19. Please respond if you would like to referee.

Monterey is also hosting a touring side from England on Wednesday, May 30, at 5 PM. If you’d like to play hooky, get off work early and enjoy a mid-week game on the Monterey Peninsula, let us know.


The Olympic Club and Hayward both won through and will be in opposite semi-finals for the men’s D1 championship. O Club beat New Haven and Life University. Hayward won over Baltimore Chesapeake and Pearl City.

The other semi-finalists will be the Austin Blacks and Cincinnati Wolfhounds.

San Mateo defeated Long Island but then lost to the Austin Blacks in the quarter-finals.

The Sacramento Lions lost to Pearl City in the round of sixteen.

In D2, the contestants will be Raleigh, Tulsa, Los Angeles RFC and Red Mountain, which is a Pacific Coast team.

[correction] Mission defeated Louisville in the national semi-final and will be defending their title against the Boston Irish Wolfhounds third side in D3.

These playoffs will all take place in conjunction with the Super League final the weekend of June 9-10; not a bad weekend to plan to be in San Diego!


Here at The Pelican Desk, we’ve been burning the wicks late into the night since early in the New Year. We average about a hundred rugby e-mail a day for the first third of the year, but by now it has tapered off to ten or twenty.

Getting home from four trips to Stanford in barely over a week, we were tempted to throw down the kit bag, the laptop, the overnight bag and the video equipment container and declaim to Mrs. Scriptoris, “Well, the season is finally over!”


But it’s not over. In addition to the alumni games already referenced, the women’s Grizzlies will be playing two Sunday morning matches at Rocca Field on Treasure Island in the next few weeks: against the SoCal Griffins on May 20 and against the Midwest Thunderbirds on June 3.

Jim Crenshaw will referee on the 20th and Dana Teagarden on the 3rd. If you would like to run touch for either of these excellent games, please let us know.


Jesuit will be defending the national high school title in Salt Lake City this coming Friday and Saturday.

Pete Smith and Aruna Ranaweera will be among those referees fortunate enough to work this event.


The single best thing to happen in Pacific Coast refereeing in this writer’s memory occurred over the past season: a written charter was approved and implemented to provide for the election of PCRRS officers and define their conduct of office.

For the first time in at least twenty years, there is a defined process for referee advancement that is not dependent upon the opinions of non-evaluators. No-one is in a position capriciously to bar promotions, or to insist that Referee A cannot be promoted without the simultaneous promotion of Referee B.

The woeful under-representation of Pacific Coast referees on the national scene should be remedied within three to five years. We certainly have plenty of good referees working up and down the tables, only needing a good match and a fair shake to show their stuff.

Here in Northern California, things are even better. More than a dozen Pelicanrefs were up to the task of refereeing in the best Division One competition in the USA. Witness the fact that four of our teams were in the top sixteen nationally, three of those in the top eight, and two of those are in the top four.

The flock is flying higher:

Our members received a total of 42 above-grade evaluations since October. A number of them were promoted; we are chagrinned to admit that we do not keep track of the number of promotions. Some were promoted twice.

Paul Bretz, Pete Smith, Lois Bukowski and Aruna Ranaweera have all received national appointments this year.

Dixon Smith, Bryan Porter, Mike Malone and David Williamson all do national-level evaluations, including reporting on USA Panel referees.

A number of folks have officiated in one capacity or another at USA and IRB sponsored events. In addition to those already listed, this group includes Scott Wood, John Coppinger, Matt Eason, Rich Anderson, Joe Androvich, Giles Wilson and Bruce Carter.

One of our members, Giles Wilson, is president of the NCRFU and another, Matt Eason, is RDO for the PCRRS.

This does not even begin to address the work many of our members do to promote rugby in Northern California in a great variety of ways.

So, what should we do about this most propitious situation that we find ourselves in?


Mark your calendars for the NCRRS 30th Anniversary Banquet! The site is still being selected, but will be in either San Francisco or Oakland/Berkeley.

This will be the first day of the Palo Alto summer sevens, so it’s the one time we won’t be having our justly-famous post-Sevens picnic.


The oldest continuous summer Sevens in the United States will be played this year on June 23, July 7 and 21, and August 4.


The Third Annual Pacific Coast High School Invitational was held at Stanford this past weekend.

Frank Merrill, Ray Schwartz and Paul Simko have labored to improve this tournament each year. The fact that two NA4 games were played in conjunction on Saturday only added to the luster.

Teams from the Pacific Northwest, SoCal and NorCal played on three pitches for more than twelve hours Saturday, and then finished up on Sunday.

The was the first event administered by the new Pacific Coast referee executive. Dave Pelton was at the club championships in South Carolina, but Matt and Eason and Jon Moore were on-site.

Referees were invited from around the PCRFU and from SoCal. A number of Pelicans also devoted their weekend to running touch for the referees, so that teams of three were provided to all matches.

The PCRFU and a number of donors ensure that a barbecue in Masters eucalyptus Grove is provided free to participants and supporters Saturday afternoon.

Ed Todd took advantage of the assembled rugby teams to invite four young refs from across the USA to work as part of a focus group for the weekend. Joe Androvich was one of these, as well as Dave Bryant from Indiana who refereed a couple of games here two years ago.


Both US teams won on Saturday and are currently sitting first and third on the table. A good crowd was on hand, augmented by those attending and playing in the high school event. You can read about these games on the various rugby websites.

Pete Smith ran touch for the Falcons – Canada West match.


The first-ever May meeting of the NCRRS was attended by 17 members and a number of guests last Tuesday.

Two of our Canadian guests gave informative and worthwhile presentations. Alan Gray of their Panel went through a laundry list of pointers a tips, learned through experience and presented in the hope of helping others avoid having to learn things the long way.

Trevor Arnold, the RDO for Rugby Canada then spoke about the role of the fourth, fifth and sixth officials. With Pelicanland being fortunate enough to host so many high-profile events, this was welcome intelligence indeed.


Get out your calendars and start planning. We will need refs for the following:

June 16:
- Try for Other women’s Sevens tournament in Sacramento
- Three-team round-robin (fifteens) at the Campbell Highland Games

June 23:
- Fog Fest on Treasure Island – Harlot-style fifteens on three pitches, all day long
- Palo Alto Sevens
This will be a day when we need everyone. The Fog Fest could use about ten refs, while the Sevens always require twelve to fifteen. Look at it this way: run around all day and get a good appetite for that evening’s
- Society Banquet

July 7:
- Palo Alto Sevens
- 4th Annual Old Boys: NorCal versus Nevada at the Dunsmuir Railroad Days
This one looks like a great rugby excuse for a summer weekend in the Mount Shasta area.

It is an excellent place to bring the family for a summer weekend getaway: lots of fishing, hiking and whitewater sports; lots of campsites, RV parks and hotels in the area.

However with the Railroad Days event and a 10,000 person run/walk event going on in Mt. Shasta City that weekend, it is suggested that the referee make arraignments early.

Let us know if you are interested, and here are some links:
Lake Siskiyou Camp Resort :
Railroad R.V. park:

July 22:
- Palo Alto Sevens

August 4:
- Palo Alto Sevens

September 1-2:
- Reno Tournament – back from the dead and ready to dance! This used to be one of the highlights of the year, and there’s no reason it cannot return to its former prominence.

Your writer remembers refereeing the final one year where the Monterey Bay Rebels defeated Aspen, just two weeks after Aspen had won their own tournament.

We have sent inquiries as to the date of this year’s Tri-Tip Sevens but have not heard back yet.

If anyone knows of any other Sevens tournaments to be played in Northern California this summer, please let us know.


It’s happening again – we had a number of great photographs to choose from, but our computer and our camera are once more not on speaking terms.

Picture a sunny day, rugby in the background, and smiling referee friends all around…


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, May 08, 2007




By this time next week, your faithful scribe will have commuted to the rugby pitch at Stanford University four times in eight days: once for the USA Rugby Collegiate Championships, once for a meeting of the Pelicanrefs, once for the IRB’s NA4 competition, and once for the Pacific Coast High School Invitational.

Not bad for a guy who suffered an ostensibly career-ending injury a month ago!

Such is the concentration of quality rugby events in the Bay Area.


Mike Gadoua has been selected to represent the Pelican Refs at the Cape Fear Sevens, the premier Sevens event on the East Coast. Mike will be enjoying the fine Southern hospitality the first weekend in July.

Rich Anderson and Joe Androvich will be flying to Calgary, Alberta, for their high school championships the weekend of June 8-9.

Best of luck to these lucky birds!


The third annual iteration of this event will take place at Stanford University this weekend.

Tournament Director Ray Schwartz has arranged for a solid lineup of teams to compete over two days on three pitches, all day Saturday and Sunday.

Referees for this event have been assigned by the new Pacific Coast referee executive. However, if you would be interested in helping out with running touch, please respond.

An old friend of NorCal rugby, Josh Tameifuna, will be on hand to help coach some of the young referees who have been invited.

Ed Todd will assemble a group of four young USA referees with promise to work the event. Ed, Jerry McLemore and Bruce Carter will be coaching this group, which includes Joe Androvich.

There are two high school games on Friday evening involving visiting Chuckanut Bay, one in Oakland and one in Aptos.


The second round of the NA4 continues at Stanford this week.

There will be two games on Wednesday, at 4 and 6 PM. These will be refereed by Paul Bretz and Chris Draper. This will be some great rugby if you find yourself playing hooky in this incredible weather that Pelicanland is enjoying.

Chris played for Cal, and began refereeing in the Potomac Society after graduating and moving to Washington, DC. From there he spent several years in Scotland and made it to their national panel. Chris lives in Texas now.

Pete Smith will be one of the touch judges for these games. Rich Anderson and Bruce Carter will be the fourth officials, Scott Wood will be number 6, Matt Eason will be the match commissioner, John Coppinger will be the citing officer, and Dixon Smith will be the IRB match official performance reviewer.

For those who recall the days of The Pelican’s Beak, we are approaching the days predicted by Ed Todd when the officiating team would be approximately the size of an entire referee society.

The NA 4 continues with two more games on Saturday, also at Stanford, at one and three PM.



The NCRRS will be having a rare May meeting on Tuesday evening, May 8, at the Doyle Family Rugby Clubhouse at Stanford, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

One of the presentations will be on the duties of a fourth official.

We hope to see you there!


The University of California defended its men’s D1 title on Saturday, defeating BYU 37 – 7. Congratulations to the Golden Bears from Berkeley!

In another rematch from last year’s title game, the Stanford women lost to Penn State by one, 22 – 21. The Stanford backs scored all of their points in the last ten minutes, Penn State having essentially controlled the ball in the forwards for seventy minutes and finally run out of gas.

The women Slugs of UC Santa Cruz also failed to defend their title, losing the D2 match to Iowa State 26 – 19.

Paul Bretz and Pete Smith refereed at the event, with touch judging by Jim Crenshaw, Joe Leisek, Lois Bukowski, Sam Reagle and John Pohlman.


USA Rugby sponsored a recruiting tent for coaches and referees. Rob Hendrickson, Mike King and Lois Bukowski volunteered their time to spread the gospel of the whistle.

This effort will be repeated this coming weekend at the NA 4 and the Pacific Coast high school event.


At Rocca Field:

Golden Gate OB 3 – HAYWARD OB 17 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
A fun and exciting afternoon of old boys rugby at Treasure Island, sadly marred by some unnecessary violence that resulted in a red card given to a Hayward player for punching & stamping. Although the Senors put in a good fight and spent quite a bit of time inside Hayward's 22 the visitors, having a large Islands contingent, had too much gas & walked away with a 17-3 win.

The match was played in three periods, two of which I refereed, with a third done by Paul Berman. Bruce Bernstein played for Hayward as well as one of the new refs, whose name I cannot remember. So 4 refs on the pitch at all times - a definite first for me.

Overall, beside the violence, a pretty good day out.

SF/GOLDEN GATE 45 – Santa Monica 16 Referee: Chris Draper
Touch Judges: Dave Pope, Sam Reagle
SF/GG controlled the tempo most of the game scoring 3 tries (one converted) and 3 penalty kicks against 1 try and one penalty kick for Santa Monica to end the first half up 26-10. The second half was more of the same with the home club managing several long driving mauls to add another 4 tries (one converted) versus 1 and a penalty kick for the visitors.

With this victory, SFGG has earned a home quarterfinal to be played on May 19. We will be needing TJs for this one.


Jesuit will be going to Salt Lake City to defend their national high school championship. They will also be shooting for their fourth title in nine years.

JESUIT 15 – Lamorinda 3 Referee: Tony Latu
Touch Judges: Ray Thompson and Rod Chance
Venue: Jesuit High School, Sacramento
Weather: Perfect for Rugby
Field Announcer: Dr. David Miller

Jesuit displayed two vertical banners at the entrance to their field. One said Jesuit Rugby; the other one said USA CHAMP-1999, 2004 and 2006. And this game was another chance for Jesuit to go for another title. But Lamo was in their way, and they frustrated Jesuit the whole game. Lamo drew first blood on a penalty kick and they looked dangerous most of the first half. But they could not cross the line. Jesuit did cross the line at the 30th minute of the first half.

The second half Jesuit put pressure on Lamo and they scored another one in the second half. Lamo fought back but it was too little too late. Jesuit moved on to Utah by winning the game 15 - 3.

What a game, unfortunately only one can move on. If both teams went to Utah and competed in Tier A, only Highland would stand in their way. And they would both rank in the top THREE.

Maybe one day we will send the BEST 16 Teams in the country to the National.


Link sent in by Mike Sagehorn:

Making It Work
John Coppinger, Scott Wood, Referee Tim Luscombe and Tammy Cowan work the sidelines while UC Davis plays Stanford in the national semi-final.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, May 01, 2007





LAMORINDA 46 - Hayward 24 Referee: Joe Androvich
Videographer and Reporter: Bruce Carter
Interested Spectator: Bryan Porter

A good crowd gathered at Miramonte High School to watch this 9 AM contest. The air was already warming up, still and heavy, with musical accompaniment overflowing from the swim meet down the hill.

Many of the songs drifting in on the wind were from the sixties: the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, that sort of thing.

Today’s high schoolers were born around 1990. Lennon was already ten years dead, and all of this music was twenty years buried.

This writer can attest with certainty that in his day, people in high school did not listen to music from twenty-plus years before their birth. That would have been songs like Happy Days are Here Again, Puttin’ on the Ritz, Stormy Weather, and Night and Day. No, we were listening to the Beatles and the Grateful Dead.

But one thing has changed: we weren’t playing Rugby, at least not in this country. These kids are playing some fine rugby.

Lamorinda is playing some very cohesive rugby. They scored a try from a maul from a five-meter line-out right off the bat, and followed this up with three more tries in the first twenty minutes. With their #19 and his knife-like runs, and #21 with his looping runs, Hayward had to play a lot of fractured defense.

But Hayward weathered the storm, began to retain possession of their own, and scored both the last try of the first half and the first try of the last half.

Lamo scored again, but then Hayward scored two tries to pull within seven, 31 – 24, with about fifteen minutes left.

And that was it: three more unconverted tries by the home XV put the game on ice.

JESUIT 35 – East Palo Alto 14 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
It was way to hot to play 15's last Saturday, but East Palo Alto traveled to Jesuit to play a semi final match anyway.

Jesuit scored a penalty kick and an unconverted try before EPA scored a converted try about half way through the half. Jesuit was awarded a penalty try at about the 25 minute mark and then another converted try about 5 minutes later. EPA scored a converted try just before halftime to make the score at halftime Jesuit 22 - EPA 14

The sun took its toll on both teams, with Jesuit scoring 2 penalty kicks a converted try about half way through the 2nd half, but the heat was ever harder on EPA, as they couldn't get on the board.


Would you be interested in refereeing at the Cape Fear Sevens, one of the premiere Sevens events in the USA. This year it will be played July 7 – 8. Let us know if you’d like to partake of the Southern hospitality and the best annual Sevens east of Palo Alto.


MARFU Exchange

Scott Wood traveled to referee in the Mid-Atlantic RFU the weekend of April 21:

I woke up early enough to make the 6 a.m. flight to Norfolk via Atlanta. Many bleary-eyed passengers on the uneventful flight. Took top honors in the on-flight trivia challenge.

I was met at the airport by David Chapman and Steve Myers. We drove to the lovely and austere Airport Ramada (you won't find this place very high on Zagat's list). Apparently there was a staff shortage and the room was just finished being cleaned when we arrived. Steve and I settled in and the three of us worked out plans for dinner. A brief tour of the local streets led us to rule out the spaghetti warehouse in favor of a local-to-America Chicago-style restaurant. We returned to our lodgings and watched the Red Sox upset the Yankees prior to turning in.

The wireless connection at the hotel could not fulfill my Saturday morning Super 14 fix so I had to make do with a book. After breakfast at a nearby house of international pancakes, we set off to the pitch with directions provided by David and the turn-by-turn assistance of Steve's cell phone provider.

The curtain raiser featured HMS Ocean (a visiting British ship) versus Old Dominion Alumni/Norfolk Blues/etc refereed by VRU's president, Jeff Anderson. Both teams fared well and the locals were able to put points on the board but in the end, the British Navy was able to win the battle (we still won the war).

Steve had the first of the two MARFU D2 Club Men semi-finals with Brandywine facing Raleigh. This was a contentious match with early scoring by both teams. Eventually, Raleigh was the victor.

NORFOLK BLUES 27 – Severn River 3 Referee: Scott Wood
Touch Judges: David Chapman, Jeff Anderson
Assessor: Jim Thompson

My match was between the host club, Norfolk Blues, and Severn River. Due to its lower seed, Norfolk was the visiting team. Both teams are well coached and, for the most part, maintained adequate discipline. Norfolk had several scoring opportunities rebuffed including a five-meter scrum pushover to which Severn's scrumhalf quickly put his hand on the ball before Norfolk's eightman or scrumhalf had any idea he could do so. Norfolk entered the half leading 5-0.

The second half started quickly. Severn kicked to Norfolk who spun the ball wide and the wing(?) tore up the sideline. A quick pass inside and the flyhalf(?) raced in to dot down the try. As I whistled the try, I saw the TJ's flag pointing infield to signal foul play. After a brief consultation with the TJ, it turns out that Severn's 14 tackled Norfolk's wing(?) late and dangerously. At least I did not have to wave off the try... Off to the bin went a player and wide went the attempted conversion.

During the subsequent ten minutes, Norfolk was able to score two additional tries (one converted). During one of their drives, Norfolk kick for touch from a penalty. The ball sailed over the touchline, curved, and was going to land in play when Buffoon-Spectator #1 decided to reach out and catch the ball. Unfortunately, the barriers did not run the full length of the pitch but I'm not sure that would have prevented this idiot from standing there. As he had one foot in touch, we had to go all the way back to midfield for the ensuing lineout. Suffice it to say, the sideline was cleared of everyone except the touch judge.

With both teams at full strength and the heat of the day bearing down, play settled down into a series of broken plays, knock ons, and pile ups. Severn was able to score a penalty goal and Norfolk crossed the goal line once more to finish out the match 27-3.

After a debrief with the assessor, we repaired to the motel for showers prior to dinner. David and Don met us for some legendary local fare at Fellini's. As the story goes, the food is so good the owner died protecting his recipes. Okay, bad joke, but great food (and displays of art and memorabilia).

Consolation match
BRANDYWINE 23 – Severn River 22 Referee: Scott Wood
Touch Judges: David Chapman, Jeff Anderson
Assessor: Don Musacchio

Severn put in a side primarily comprised of B-side players whereas Brandywine started ten or eleven players that participated in Saturday's match. Brandywine was able to capitalize off Severn's penalties scoring three penalty goals. Halftime score: Brandywine 9, Severn River 0.

Severn came out of halftime on fire scoring quickly in the right corner. Shortly after, Severn was on the attack when it was awarded a penalty five meters from goal. Brandywine's tighthead tackled high and hard resulting in a penalty try and a ten-minute visit to the sin bin. Leading 12-9, Severn River found renewed vigor and scored another two tries before the sinbinned prop returned.

Now back to full strength, Brandywine went on the attack charging up the middle of the pitch. Brandywine had a ruck within five meters of Severn's own goal. A quick pick off the ruck was destroyed by an infringing Severn River player as their #22 bored into the side of the piece effectively sealing his fate in the bin as a penalty was awarded.

Brandywine was able to capitalize off its one-man advantage scoring a converted try to gain the narrowest of leads 23-22. With the clock ticking away and both teams at full strength, Severn River went on the attack. Severn kicked the ball into Brandywine's 22 where errant ball handling and a poor kick resulted in a Severn line-out 15 meters out. As the teams were forming, my watch ticked off the final seconds. Unfortunately, Severn throw-in was not straight and the match ended with a whimper.

Thanks go out to all concerned for their company and time, be it running touch, assessing, playing, coaching, and any other endeavor that made for an excellent weekend.

Met NY Exchange:

Don Pattalock went on exchange to New York City:

Subject: NYC Exchange Travelog
April 20/21/22 2007
Host Union: Rugby Referees Society of New York

From the time I first received the invitation for this exchange, I could have not been more pleased with the opportunity and the venue. Having been around several players and teams from NYC, I knew that the rugby would not disappoint. Kat promptly put me in touch with TA Fitzpatrick who would be my host for Saturday and ultimately my assessor for the main match of the weekend.

I was originally scheduled to depart Reno early on Friday morning; unfortunately a work conflict caused me to have to change to a red-eye which had me landing at JFK at 2am. TA provided me with an appropriate hotel 0.25 miles from JFK. So I hopped a cab and told the driver which hotel, which he seemed to struggle with its location. None the less, we were off and like a blind foreigner in a strange neighborhood, we were lost. The cabbie shut off the meter while is searched for the directions. Looking for some simple instructions since the hotel was only 1/4 mile from JFK, like "take exit 23 turn right on A St 500 yds on your left", the simple directions were not to be had. Instead, the directions were a FULL paragraph of small type! Luckily, we turned around and actually saw a sign to the hotel and arrived with a somewhat humbled cabbie wishing me luck.

Saturday morning arrived with building excitement for my match and a gorgeous day on tap in NYC. A quick breakfast at the hotel and I was out front to be picked up by TA for the day’s rugby. TA gave me the locals tour back into the city with a quick stop into the "Irish Riviera" to get a couple of the best sandwiches in the City. This was a tiny little deli that makes huge hero sandwiches on giant everything bagels! With heroes in tow, we headed off to Randalls Island for the rugby. Randalls Island is located at the base of the Tribourough Bridge and has more than 30 playing fields. With just over an hour to kick-off, it was time to put away the tourist gear and get serious.

I had been assigned a Division 1 match featuring NYRFC v NYAC B. Before the match, I was introduced to my billet for the night, Dr. Peter Rizzo. How perfect for a NYC exchange, staying with a guy named "Rizzo" in the west Village! Both sides were eager for the match and somewhat intrigued by the visiting referee. The game was played at high pace with exceptional ball handling. The difference in the match was the deft kicking by NYRFC's Uruguayan halfback. I had actually played at his home club in 2005 in Montevideo and we quickly determined that we had mutual friends at the Montevideo Cricket Club. MVCC is also the home of the Los Christians RFC of "Alive" fame. NYRFC 40 NYAC 25.

Following the match, I was quickly swept off to another pitch on the Island where the Village Lions were hosting their annual family day. I was asked to cover a Lions B v NYRFC/NYAC mixed squad friendly in front of the home crowd. Fortunately, another local ref arrived and covered the match and most likely saved my life as I had 2 other matches to run later in the day. In addition to the Lions family day, it was also Dominican Day and the baseball diamond that backed up to the pitch was washed with loud Dominican music that added to the festive atmosphere. I enjoyed the opportunity to stroll the sideline with TA discussing my match and general rugby refereeing. At the conclusion of the Lions match, we grabbed Rizzo ( who is the coach of Columbia Women's RFC) and offered to drive him up to the campus. So off we went "uptown".

Having delivered Rizzo safely to his awaiting team, we quickly turned back for "downtown" and the new Pier 40 sports complex where I was to run touch for the Super League match between Old Blue and St. Louis Bombers. Pier 40 is a new facility located on a refurbished pier on the Hudson River in Greenwich Village. TA and I continued our rugby conversations overlooking the pitch from 2 stories above as the poles were erected and the flags were put in place. Jem McDowell had the whistle for the match while Greg Nelson and I had the lines. In a 67 - 15 track meet, all three of us had plenty of sprint work to keep up with the Old Blue attack through the nonexistent STL defense.

Following the SL match, I had my third and final match of the long day; Old Blue B v NY Japanese. The Japanese provided several new challenges for me, one they hardly spoke my language, were 50 - 75 lbs a person smaller and played in a fashion that helped me understand the Kamikaze mentality. I was provided with 2 referee TJ's (Greg Nelson and Patrick Wickman). Having run over 6 miles in my previous two matches, suffered through 9 hours of travel and living on 5 hours of sleep, needless to say that my legs were not what you would call fresh. To make matters even more challenging, NYJ would not roll out of the tackles and did not respond in any manner to my voice commands to do so. After several penalties and a sin bin, my TJ suggested that I physically touch the players I needed to roll. Well I did this and it worked brilliantly! Now, it’s late in the match, I'm truly knackered and now I physically need to be at every tackle to touch the tackler to get them to comply. I set the final scrum and hoped for a quick end to the match, unfortunately for me what ensued was a period of 4-5 minutes of open play that had me praying for a knock on just to end the match. Old Blue 27 NY Japanese 5.

Following the match, Mike Cobb, Greg Nelson, Patrick Wickman and I headed over to the an Irish pub for the post match festivities. After a few Guinness and the other half of my hero sandwich, it was 1 AM now and I was sorely needing sleep, so I grabbed a cab and headed to Rizzo's. Settling in at Rizzo's, the Motrin quelled the leg cramps and I indulged in a well earned night of sleep.

The next morning, Rizzo and I headed into the Village for breakfast with the law book in hand to discuss a few subtleties in the application of the law. Following breakfast we strolled along the west side greenbelt enjoying the weather, sights and sounds of Manhattan. Rizzo had a U19 match to referee so I thanked him for his hospitality and I was on my own in the Village. I grabbed a calzone in a little pizza shop, enjoyed my free time for as long as I could then grabbed a cab for JFK feeling the wonderful aches of a great exchange full of fantastic people, exciting rugby and a wonderful city.

Thanks to the NorCal society for providing me with the opportunity to experience a different society, assessor and teams. Also a big thank you to Bjorn for making the effort to get me additional NCRRS swag as gifts for my hosts.


This is unprecedented, truly remarkable: all four NorCal teams won both of their contests against the top four SoCal teams.

As a matter of fact, San Mateo beat the odds nine ways from Sunday. Having just squeaked in due to Haggis being excluded from the process at a late hour, this team which finished fourth in our league had to play Southern California’s first and second place finishers.

Not only did San Mateo beat them both, it was by a combined score of 95 – 12! This was enough to earn them the top of the five seeds awarded to CR1.

Given that Santa Monica won it all last year, CR1 gets the top seed overall.

So, in two weeks, San Mateo has vaulted from being a last-place entrant in the regional playoffs to being the number one seeded team in the USA playoffs.

Congratulations to Coach Alatini Saulala and his players, and best of luck to all of the NorCal teams in the playoffs.

SAN MATEO 55 – Huntington Beach 7 Referee: Pete Smith
Touch Judges: Joe Leisek, John Coppinger
No report received.

SACRAMENTO LIONS 22 – Belmont Shore 10 Referee: Paul Bretz
Touch Judges: Don Pattalock, Sam Reagle
No report received.

Las Vegas 5 – HAYWARD 48

Santa Barbara 9 – OLYMPIC CLUB 26

Five teams qualified to move on from CR1, which comprises SoCal and the Pacific Coast:

San Mateo
Olympic Club
Sacramento Lions
Santa Barbara

The sweet sixteen will be played in South Carolina on May 12-13.

Unfortunately, we won’t have four NorCal teams in the final four: Hayward and the Sac Lions are in the same pool.


The regular season wrapped up in the Bay Conference:

DE LA SALLE 26 – Golden Gate 22 Referee: Chris Parkhouse
A very tough game played between two well matched sides in what must have been 100C on a very sunny Saturday afternoon. De La Salle had the better of the first half a built a 19-5 lead on the back of three tries and two conversions. Golden Gate rallied late in the second half running in two tries in quick succession as De La Salle seeming relaxed and failed to make their tackles. With two minutes to go it was a four point game with Golden Gate in the driving seat. They were not able to further capitalize and De La Salle held out for a narrow win. Needless to say because of the heat I had a water break in each half!

Freshmen: De La Salle 15 – GOLDEN GATE 28 Referee: Edward Barfels
The first half of the game was a little slow. SFGG scored one try with conversion to take a 7-0 half time lead. The second half both teams scored three tries each. The heat took its toll on the players and their ability to tackle. SFGG made all of their conversions and DLS missed all of theirs. The final score was SFGG 28 - DLS 15.

JV: De La Salle 26 – GOLDEN GATE 27 Referee: Edward Barfels
The first half of the game was dominated by DLS. They scored three tries to take a 19-0 lead. SFGG scored a try just before the half to cut the lead to 19 - 7 at half time.

Wow what a second half was played. SFGG came out of half time fired up. They scored two tries and a penalty kick to take a 24 - 19 lead with three minutes left in the game. SFGG committed a penalty at their own 7 meter line and DLS scored to take a 26 – 24 lead. The crowd was noisy and spectators had to be removed from the field before the final two minutes could be played. SFGG regained their composure and played good rugby for the last two minutes. They drove to within 10 meters of the goal and DLS committed a penalty. SFGG converted the penalty kick on the last play of the game to win 27 - 26.

Friday, April 27
Sonoma Valley HS 19 – TNT 19 Referee: Joe Leisek
Arnold Field, Sonoma

Friday was the sixth annual Rugby Under the Lights, a fundraiser for the Sonoma Valley High School club program. This year's game drew an estimated 400-plus fans. Sonoma hosted TNT, the combined Windsor-Healdsburg high school club team.

The crowd was treated to an entertaining, spirited high school rugby match. Sonoma seemed in command for much of the first half, but kicked away a lot of possession. This allowed TNT to remain close. Sonoma kept the game just out of reach for the visitors until the final moments.

Finally, with seconds remaining, TNT wing Kyle O'Donnell scooped up a loose ball and sprinted 70 meters to score under the posts. This try electrified the crowd and, in fact, both teams! With the conversion, the match was over and players from both teams shook hands (including many Sonoma players who congratulated O'Donnell on his effort). They were all rewarded by a big ovation from the crowd.

Joe Saldana scored two tries for the hosts, with Joe Randa also scoring one. Sam Whittiton kicked two conversions. For the visitors, tries were scored by Jamal Russel, Dion Pieri, and O'Donnell. Jack Freyer kicked two conversions.

The game was played in honor of Scott Piazza McFarland, son of David McFarland, one of the Sonoma Valley High coaches. Scott was also a former high school teammate of Sonoma Valley head coach Kevin Brown, who organized the event.


Collegiate championships in four divisions will be decided at Stanford this Friday and Saturday.

Paul Bretz and Pete Smith will be refereeing, while Jim Crenshaw, John Pohlman, Joe Leisek, Sam Reagle and Lois Bukowski will be running touch.

Scott Wood and Bruce Carter, along with Tammy Cowan, will be serving as # 4/5/6.

There will also be a referee recruiting booth, sponsored by USA Rugby, attended by Rob Hendrickson and Lois Bukowski. (If you would be able to spend some time helping out in this effort, please let us know.)

SF/Golden Gate will be hosting Santa Monica in the super league, with a playoff spot on the line, at Treasure Island at 3 PM on Saturday.

Chris Draper, who played rugby at Cal, will be refereeing, with Dave Pope and Sam Reagle as touch judges.

There will be a curtain raiser for this match: the SF/GG SeƱors will host the Hayward Old Boys at noon at Rocca Field. (If you would like to referee this one, please let us know.)

The High School Final will be played at Jesuit at 2 PM:

Jesuit – Lamorinda Referee: Tony Latu

Please contact Tony if you are available to run touch:



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


The delightful directions to England referenced here last week were brought to our attention by Scott Wood.

The Field of Dreams
Dana Teagarden, Paul Bretz, Mark Zetterberg and David Williamson are happy to be at Witter Rugby Field in Strawberry Canyon on the campus of the University of California.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris