Tuesday, June 05, 2007




June 16, fifteens:
Rugby will be played at the Campbell Highland Games on June 16. There will be three games. Referees get festival admission, food and drink.

Please let us know if you would like to do one or more of these matches. So far no-one has put a hand up, so don’t be shy!

June 23, fifteens and Sevens:
The Fog Fest will be played at Treasure Island on three pitches. We have three refs already and could use three more.

The first iteration of the Palo Alto Sevens will also take place on this day of our annual banquet. This fast-paced tournament needs a minimum of nine referees.

Make your plans now and let us know where to expect you.


The Mission RFC has the Palo Alto Sevens Tournament website updated:


There are two videos with highlights of last summer’s events. Sharp-eyed fowl will notice plenty of Pelican cameos throughout both videos.

This is the official site to get the latest news on the tournament.

Teams can register for the competition online using PayPal.


Rich Anderson and Joe Androvich will be traveling to Calgary for their high school championships this weekend.

We wish them well and will look forward to reading about their experiences.


San Francisco/Golden Gate lost to Belmont Shore in the super league semifinals this past weekend. Congratulations to SFGG for another top four finish.

Belmont Shore will play the Chicago Lions for the title this Saturday in San Diego, in conjunction with the DI, DII and DIII men’s club championships. Paul Bretz will referee the SL final.

In DIII, Mission will be defending their title against the team they beat last year, the Boston Irish Wolfhounds’ third side. This game will be Sunday.

In DI, the Olympic Club will be playing Austin, and Hayward meets Cincinnati in the semi-finals on Saturday.

We wish all of our NorCal teams well, and are privileged to have been able to referee the competitions that got them this far.


Sunday, June 3:
PACIFIC COAST GRIZZLIES 22 – Midwest Thunderbirds 12 Referee: Dana Teagarden
Touch Judges: Deb Hart, Lois Bukowski
Venue: Rocca Field, TI, SF
Weather: overcast, wind out of the NW

Always a pleasure to watch high-caliber women's rugby in the Bay Area. The Pac Coast Grizzlies, coached by Alex Williams and Jen Crawford, jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after barely a few minutes gone by. They had the wind at their back and better connections and rucking in the first half of this game. Handling was dicey for both sides, and discipline inside the red zone was inconsistent. The Grizzlies dominated the first half with possession and territory, but lost a player to the bin for her repeated infringements with 10 minutes to go; Thunderbirds capitalized and captured their first try during this time. End of Half: Grizzlies 22-5

Second half was a much different game. The Midwest showed the tenacity and execution they are known for. They had much more ball in hand and enjoyed a 2 player advantage as the Grizzlies lost their first half yellow to a red for more repeated infringements and another player to yellow for the same. Midwest's defense stifled the Grizzlies, but the T-birds were unable to capitalize offensively and as such only came away with a converted try in the second half.

Standouts for the Grizzlies were scrumhalf Rose Whitmore (Cal, All Blues) with timely and accurate kicking for space and to put T-birds under pressure. Also flanker Chris (?) Beckett for relentless, tough nosed defense including a beautiful blocked kick and recovery.


Monday, May 28:
BA BARACUS 29 – Teddington 13 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Team-Supplied
Pitch: Job Corps Field, Treasure Island
Weather: Cool and windy
Attendance: 60 (estimate)

Responding to Pelicus' call (via a 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning email), I loaded the kit into the boot and set off to the Bay Area. Teddington Antlers is on tour to California in celebration of two milestones: The men’s team (stags?) has been around for 40 years and the ladies team (does?) have been in existence for 20 years. Their first stop was San Francisco where they enjoyed the sights, sounds and libations of the greater Fisherman's Wharf area.

You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.

Maybe as a result of this evidence, the Antlers troupe arrived on Treasure Island sporting eye patches and arm sleeves emblazoned with skull-and-crossbones. "Take no prisoners" may have been the cry of the morn but, in fine Barbary Coast fashion, Baracus had different plans.

During the first 20-minute period, the Antlers attacked with ferocity, tenacity and voracity scoring two penalty goals. The team from the City responded for the next twenty minutes scoring a penalty goal and two tries (one converted) to enter the half leading 10-6.

The second half opened with the wily and crafty tourists increasing its level of shrewd play and devilish behavior attempting to exploit the opposition's weakness and the referee's attention to such detail. An errant Baracus pass allowed the Antlers to kick the ball into in-goal resulting in a race to the finish. By a finger, literally, the Antler(s?) won the race with yours truly on scene to award the try (*pat-on-back*). Undeterred, the hosts switched gears and, in what might be best described as a demonstration of the upcoming summer sevens series, passed the ball back-and-forth to score two converted tries before the whistle sounded for the end of the period.

While both teams valiantly tried, the fourth period was held scoreless. The sounds of parched voices ("Sir, how much time remaining? The beer is getting warm.") echoed in the forwards as the backs decided to play a knock-on/forward pass-styled game. The final whistle sounded and the merry band went up the hill to picnic on Yerba Buena.

It's the loss of others that they could/would not be available for this match. Hopefully they will have the opportunity later in the week to see the Antlers. Unfortunately, I will be out of town for "work".

MONTEREY 24 – Teddington 13 Referee: Larry Freitas
Monterey, with the help of a few Aptos Beachdogs, beat the touring side Teddington Antlers by the score of 24 to 13 on a midweek cool and breezy evening in Marina's Preston Park.

The visitors played well enough to start the match, taking advantage of a penalty to kick a goal for 3 points and an early lead. At half time they were up 10 to 7 after scoring a try, with Monterey countering late in the half.

As the game wore on Monterey started to run through and over the tiring opposition. Teddington had just played some thirty-six hours earlier, and then during the match, several players went out with injuries, one serious enough to warrant a ten minute first half stoppage and a wait for an ambulance to stretcher off Teddington's inside centre.

A Teddington prop was replaced by an elderly gent well into his fifties who had been enjoying the game from the touch line. Finally, Tim Horobin of Aptos came in as a replacement "guest" hooker late in the game. The match ended with a try for Monterey after another Teddington penalty kick had brought the point spread closer.

I have to say that Teddington's fly half sure had a great boot; one kick to touch seemed to hang in the air over a hundred feet up. So much of our rugby seems to be what is referred to as "course" rugby, because something's wrong with the pitch, or the players are all wearing different shirts, or soccer posts are being used: Preston has goal posts for Pop Warner football and soccer, and they are very near to a fence on either end, so the goal posts were therefore on the dead ball line, and the English side were concerned before the match if they'd end up forgetting where to touch down during play.

A women's match followed, a scratch side of some current and former players from UC Santa Cruz, Cal, Chico State, and former Siren players versus Teddington's side, which included some women who had not played in quite a few years, and two former England internationals.

The social at the Bulldog in New Monterey was classic: singing, food, and drink, and a chance to exchange Santa Clara and UCSC rugby logo T shirts for an England rugby cap and a Teddington Antler tie.

WOMEN’S MATCH: MONTEREY (SANTA CRUZ) 34 – Teddington 3 Referee: Isaac Caselis
This game started after the men's game at about 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday the 30th of March at Prescott Park.

The game started quick enough with the English moving the ball from the forwards to the backs running it to the 22 of Santa Cruz, a penalty against Santa Cruz gave the English an opportunity to score first with a penalty kick.

From that point forward it was all Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz having the larger pack was able to move the ball up and down the field at their will. Santa Cruz was able to score three tries before the end of the first half. The score at half time was Santa Cruz 17 & Teddington 3.

The second half was not much better for the English team. Santa Cruz was able to finish a strong and complete masterful game, with the lead from their two powerful centers. Santa Cruz was able to score 3 additional tries in the second half. The English women, putting their bravest foot forward in a gallant effort were unable to muster any offense.

Final score was Santa Cruz 34 and Teddington 3.

FRIDAY, June 1 at Crocker Amazon:

SAN FRANCISCO FOG women 35 – Teddington Antlers 5 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
Pity the Teddington English travel party who, probably expecting California's promise of sun, surf, and frolic, found themselves huddled in the foggy misery of a late San Francisco afternoon. Your humble correspondent, early as usual, much doubted a timely kick off, but this was the case as all parties straggled in and a match of Rugby was on its way.

The FOG ladies proved to be a capable, well drilled bunch who added further chill for the visitors by delivering a powerful performance. Although Teddington is a sophisticated team - I particularly liked their cross field kicks for tries in the corner which never materialized - the aptly named FOG were too much for them. The San Francisco ladies packed a punch in the pack, and displayed winged feet in the backs. This resulted in three tries by the end of the first half, all of them converted since they were all scored underneath the posts.

The second half was more of the same. The FOG added some depth and mass to their pack (as if they had been needed!), and kept up the original game plan - obtain possession through the forwards and spin it to the back for an additional two converted tries. Although they added fresh legs, the FOG ladies were kept challenged by a Teddington side that refused to give up. The fact that only 12 players were on at any one time created many gaps behind their pack, a fact amply exploited by the San Francisco side. A late try by the visitors was testimony of their true grit and spirit, and one wonders what they could have done with a full and rested side. Particularly impressive was their slightly built back player with pinkish hair who was often saluted with hearty tackles by sturdy FOG players. She always got up from these thumping tackles with no apparent sign of discomfort, and actually moved to the hooker position on the second half! Great stuff!!

Notwithstanding the cold, the horrible pitch conditions, the injuries and the less than stellar score, all involved seemed to have a great time. Although not able to partake, I was happy to anticipate for Teddington what was to come, a heaping helping of the FOG's legendary post-match hospitality."

Fog 0 – TEDDINGTON ANTLERS 28 Referee: Mike Gadoua
Pelicus Potior Septenae

The Teddington Antlers (TA) popped over the pond with a women's and men's side, along with a trainer named Aileen, who also doubled as a supermodel.

Starting with a game in SF, TA went down to Monterey, played another game, and then returned to SF to play Friday night against the Fog. I had torn my hamstring playing touch the day before at the Marina Green, so I knew that I wouldn't be moving at full speed; however, I haven't had full speed for the last five years. As with all supermodel trainers, Aileen, volunteered to massage some heat into my hamstring and tape it up. For that ten minutes, I felt like I was on a warm tropical island in the south pacific.

After melting from her hands and heat, I had to put myself back together and face the cold cruel weather of a SF summer. Kickoff occurred around 8pm at the Crocker Amazon playground.

Cold and windy, TA's kicker adjusted and made some spectacular kicks using the wind to hook the oval ball through the uprights. Within 20 minutes into the half and the failure for the lights to come on, the game was called for safety reasons and the teams, delighted with the idea of hitting the pub early, the players and pretty much everyone there, formed the post-match tunnel.

However, this congratulatory tunnel was a first for me, while the men shook hands, the ladies elected to spank, pinch and/or grab your tail end as you walked through. I survived the tunnel and beers were thrust into my hand; perhaps as part of the ritual, because I knew I couldn't survive too much of their demonstrated appreciation. Maps to the pub were handed out along with promises to continue the party at another venue. As I started dumping gear into my kit bag, a roar of applause filled the park as the lights emitted a ray of hope.

Within minutes, the pitch appeared like daylight and the players resumed their positions where the last scrum would have occurred. The game continued, along with some Baracus players, TA scored the points but the Fog played well against the experienced Antlers.

Before the sounding of the final whistle was completed, TA's spectators, reserves and women re-formed their gauntlet. By this time, the women's team had demonstrated their prowess in drinking by consuming copious quantities of beer. My attempt to appear too busy by talking to the coaches failed to work as the members of the Shawnee line of punishment called and waited for the referee. While the thought of running through the tunnel crossed my mind, I pictured the escalation of the event to me being actually tackled - so I walked as slow as possible through the seemingly long line of torture to the old familiar relief of handshakes and "good game ref" from the men.


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 www.bullvalleyrestaurant.com

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.


A Raft of Otters
It’s not rugby-rugby-rugby every weekend here in Northern California.

Lots of folks visit the coast in our part of the state and hope to see a sea otter in the wild. Here’s a tip: just pull off Highway 1 as it crosses Elkhorn Slough at Moss Landing, halfway between Santa Cruz and Monterey.

Even better: rent a kayak and go out and meet not just one, but a whole raft of otters!


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris