Tuesday, November 27, 2007




In this busiest of months for evening and seasonal events, don’t forget to set aside next Tuesday evening for the regular meeting of the NCRRS.

We will be meeting at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island from 7 to 9 PM. Dinner will be provided beginning at 6.

Society REO David Williamson has put together another informative and entertaining syllabus for the 2008 season. This session will cover During the Game, Laws 7-12 and 22.


These courses are offered primarily in the autumn. Invariably, the week after the last one we get half a dozen requests for another from widely scattered point of the compass. So: if you know someone who’s been talking about taking the course, put them on to this one:

The Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society will host a Level 1 Officiating Course for all persons interested in becoming rugby referees on Sunday, 2 December 2007, at the Bay Club, 150 Greenwich Street, San Francisco, CA. The course will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m., while wrapping up at the conclusion of an open book law test at approximately 5:00 p.m. The course fee is $35/student. Persons wishing to register for this course should contact Mike Malone at mgmalone@comcast.net or (415) 472-2091.



Wednesday, November 21

Having read Aruna's report from the prior NCRRS exchange and heading Bruce Kuklinski's advice, I was well prepared for cold and rain ("have your winter woolies packed plus some wet weather gear"). Much to my delight, it was clear and sunny for most of our time on Vancouver Island. Paul Berman and I traveled north to Victoria, BC, for the annual Pelicanrefs exchange. We were supposed to meet in Seattle for the short flight to Victoria but Paul's plane from Oakland was delayed. Apparently he had made the dash to the gate but was denied boarding and had to wait for the next flight. After an uneventful trip, I was met at the airport by my host, Keith Morrison, and, having ascertained that Paul would arrive well after noon, we toured the local area and enjoyed lunch in Sidney at a pub overlooking Haro Strait. After a bit of a delay in customs, I'll leave that short-story to Paul, we drove to Victoria. Keith provided a tour of the city prior to dropping Paul off at Bruce Kuklinski's.

Thursday, November 22

Keith and I collected Paul for the drive up to Shawnigan Lake School. The views were tremendous. We stopped at Goldstream Creek to watch salmon in their final minutes of life spawning in the water as sea gulls feasted on the sashimi smorgasbord. After a brief stop overlooking the Saanich Inlet, we arrived at Shawnigan Lake School, a private coed boarding school for grades 8 to 12, for the Vancouver Island Junior Boys' Championship. What a sight! Rugby pitches on three terraces with a clubhouse overlooking the featured field. Keith introduced me to several Shawnigan coaches who wanted to pick my brain as they are touring Northern California this coming March(?) with matches at Jesuit and Lamorinda, and possibly SFGG and/or De La Salle.

Due to a recovering knee injury, my assignment for the weekend was to referee-coach some of the local talent. The first match I watched pitted #3 seed Brentwood against #6 seed Claremont. Matt Ward, a young up-and-coming referee with a lot of potential and former guest of Joe Leisek, had a good run in which Brentwood had a decisive 36-10 victory over Claremont (more about Claremont below). The next match featured #1 seed Shawnigan Lake School against #8 seed Vic High, refereed by Dave Hopps. Dave has a good feel for the flow of the game and facilitated a match in which Shawnigan dominated Vic High 71-0. We drove back to Victoria where Bruce hosted us for dinner at St. Michael's University School prior to drinks at a local pub.

Friday, November 23

We returned to Shawnigan Lake for the second day of the Junior Boys Competition. Another beautifully clear and sunny day, albeit a little cooler, for rugby. This time I watched Ashley Anderson referee #6 seed Claremont versus #7 seed Ladysmith. Due to the low angle of the sun, surrounding trees, and global warming, the ground was too frozen to play on so we relocated to the upper-upper field. Kudos to the groundskeeper for lining the pitch in record time. In less than 45 minutes, he had marked out a pitch in accordance with the Plan as if he were filling in a template. Unfortunately, there was not time for installing posts so it was decided the touch judges would act as uprights with the tops of their flags representing the crossbar. Ladysmith, featuring a Gregan-like scrum half, appeared to be the dominant team but went into the break with a paltry 5-0 lead. At halftime, Claremont must have eaten Wheaties with Red Bull as they came out on fire for the second half. Claremont got the ball out of lineouts and scrums much quicker. With quick ball, their wing (also a football quarterback) was able to exploit the defense scoring one try and setting up another. With less than two minutes remaining, Claremont was awarded a penalty just outside Ladysmith's 22 and elected to go for a penalty goal (remember, no posts, only TJs). The ball was straight and high enough to avoid any controversy and Claremont won 13-12. After the match, we returned to the main pitch to watch Paul referee a quarter-final match.

We returned to Victoria where John De Goede, along with his lovely wife Krista and Big BBD Digger, hosted dinner at their house. Joining us were Keith, Bruce, Ashley, and Sam Langridge, another local referee. Great food and conversation last well into the evening.

Saturday, November 24

Woke up to an overcast sky and a forty percent chance of sharing Aruna's experience with precipitation. Off to the pitch for an 11:30 a.m. match between hosts University of Victoria Women and Nanaimo Women. Unfortunately, the visitors only traveled with nine so U Vic graciously loaned players and it was agreed they play three 20-minute chukkers. Rob Rodvik refereed this affair, his twelfth match ever, and got in a good run as U Vic put up 58 points to nil.

Paul had the next match, a Div 1 quarter-final between U Vic Norsemen and Port Alberni Black Sheep (whose city was hit by TWO tsunamis in 1964 during the Good Friday Earthquake). I will leave the details of the match to Paul. From the "It's a Small World" department: Paul pointed out the U Vic coach was a former Cal assistant coach. Additionally, I noticed that the Port Alberni coach looked very familiar. Being cursed with short- and long-term memory issues, I could not place him. After the match, I approached him and he said, "You look familiar. Do I know you?" To which I responded, "I'm from California." As soon as he said "I'm Jaz. Did you referee in Hawaii?” it clicked. All it takes is a key to unlock the door for the memories to return. Jaz Purewall and his team, some of whom were playing on this Saturday, participated in the Hawaii Harlequins 40th Anniversary Tournament at which Bruce Carter, Dixon Smith, Peter Hansford, and I refereed. Unfortunately, we had to get Paul off to the Velox ground for him to run touch for John De Goede.

Velox hosted Cowichan in a bottom-of-the-table "love fest" which started with off-the-ball niggling and went downhill from there. Exciting stuff to watch from the far-side spectator's section. Paul may write more about this. After the match, we retired to the Velox clubhouse for warm conversation and cold beer.

Dinner that evening was at Irish Times Pub, located in a building constructed in 1896 for Bank of Montreal. Due to certain undisclosed logistical issues, Keith and I went to Darcy's Pub for a pint before joining everyone. This crowd of never-strangers, just people whose name we have yet to hear, included Keith Morrison, Bruce Kuklinski, Paul "Sergeant York nee Captain America" Berman, Sam Langridge and friend Colleen, Chris Brown, and John and Krista De Goede. Great food with excellent conversation during which we solved whirled peas and cured cancer but forgot to write down how. We parted ways with open invitations extended to all who venture into Northern California.

Sunday, November 25

Keith and I had brunch in a local cafe then toured about town where I was shown the sites and soul of Victoria. Still no rain or snow but definitely beautiful vistas. We picked up Paul and returned to the airport where Keith debriefed Paul on the previous days, then through customs (twice for Paul), flying off to the mainland and back home looking forward to the next opportunity for an exchange.


I had a good time reffing the NY 7's. Got picked up by Jem McDowall at the Ramada NYer @ 7:30 AM this past Saturday to begin reffing at 8:20 AM. Started with a Men's Social game immediately followed by a Collegiate (Mens) game. Then a few hours break for me to check out the Premier games, see Taisho an iRB panel ref from Japan ref, and talk to an old buddy from the Long Island Rugby Club who was their VP & had his 18 year old son play for their Premier team.

Got back to reffing 4 more games in afternoon--all Men's Club, a notch below the Premier & almost every team, except maybe one was from Canada, who were all very good both at rugby at being border-line illegal with their style of play.

Then watched every final game in the stadium, which was artificial turf & featured a team from London made up of pros winning and a women's team of combined New Zealand & SoCal players winning the woman's bracket.

Had a great dinner at a new rib place called Hill County with 3 local refs, along with the Japanese ref, who flew just to ref the tourney & the week before helped the US 7's team practice in Florida.

Hit the party at Connelly's & the next day saw the high temp for the tourney was 38 degrees.

Also had a good time shopping, going to the MOMA, and seeing more old friends (about 5) and family.

I would recommend that anyone go ref this next year, as NY Rugby Club will continue to strive to make it better. Thanks for my opportunity to go & ref, Bruce Bernstein


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:


This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.


ARROYO GRANDE 24 – Cal Poly 3rds 5 Referee: Paul Phillips

The AG side was much older and had more experience over CP but CP stuck with them in the 2nd half. A few penalties resulted from lack of experience but overall a very well played match by both sides. Both sides were lead by their number 9s as captains. AG's captain, Ben, kept his players in line. Jack for CP had his hands full just trying to lead his team but did an admirable job.


For the first time in his working life, beginning with delivering newspapers at age ten, Pelicus Scriptoris now has the weekends off.

Something most people take for granted has now come to pass for PS. Expect to see him and his ref-cam at Sunday events in the future.

He remembers the days of refereeing the circuit, flying home from Boston, Florida and even Winnipeg after doing a game on Saturday to work on Sunday, not to mention the tournaments foregone.

Simple economic analysis led to this: the practice does better when he’s there and the difference is more pronounced on weekdays than it is on weekends. Through our efforts do we improve our lot in life.


We have wrestled with whether to include this link, a sad tale involving one of our friends.

But many in the Pelican community know the protagonist, and all others need to realize the gravity of the task we are entrusted when given control of a match of rugby football. It is a position of responsibility and an honor to receive, not to be taken lightly. Nor should the participants ever be shown anything other than respect by the referee.


Those who used to enjoy Herb Caen’s namephreaks will appreciate the chairman of the disciplinary hearing.

This is also a good time to remind folks that HP is e-mailed to you as a Blind Copy - so you might as well resist the temptation to send out clever comments to everyone: they won't get them.

Thank you to Kurt Oeler of Gainline.us for this helpful solution!

Skip and Barb and a Player to be Named Later
Pelicus Migratus lived up to his nomenclature, dropping in for an overnight visit at HP headquarters in Salinas last week.

Skip and Barb Vaughn also had some news to impart, semper bonis avis indeed: while consulting avian omens before departing on their California adventure, a stork flew by on the favored right side.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, November 20, 2007




An Editorial by Bruce Carter

A Petaluma player who was still on NCRFU suspension dating to last season played in the Chico Holiday Classic, even after he was informed at the site that he was not eligible to play.

Worse than that, the Petaluma rugby club allowed him to play for them after they, too, had been informed that he could not.

The NCRFU, the PCRFU and USA Rugby exist to administer and foster the growth of rugby in this great land. One of the many ways they do this is by protecting the safety of its participants from those who do not play the game safely or fairly. Those who flout its laws and administrative sanctions are especially pernicious.

It is a shame when one individual can make an entire team look bad by a rash act, but this is not the case here: the team was culpable in the rash action.

We would like to think that our sport has evolved beyond the level of sandlot softball or pickup basketball.

The NCRRS supports the NCRFU in whatever action is to be taken against this individual and this team. If our protective policies are to retain any credibility and to serve as deterrents against malicious acts, that action should not be light.


The Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society will host a Level 1 Officiating Course for all persons interested in becoming rugby referees on Sunday, 2 December 2007, at the Bay Club, 150 Greenwich Street, San Francisco, CA. The course will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m., while wrapping up at the conclusion of an open book law test at approximately 5:00 p.m. The course fee is $35/student. Persons wishing to register for this course should contact Mike Malone at mgmalone@comcast.net or (415) 472-2091.


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:


This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.


At ORSU Fuller's Farm, Portland, Oregon
Report by Aruna Ranaweera:

Saturday Nov 17
Semifinal #2
ARIZONA All-Stars 10 (2 tries) - Utah All-Stars 0 Referee: Ranaweera
Touch Judges: David Pelton (Washington), Shawn Waterman (Oregon).
Number 4: Bernie Brown, Jason Shelton
Evaluator: Peter Buckley

In a 3:30 pm semi-final rematch of last year's Grizzly final, Arizona (mostly Red Mountain) took on Utah (mostly Haggis) for the right to play NorCal who had eked out a 5-3 win over the Pacific Northwest in the first semi-final. Although the Portland sky was dark gray, the rain stayed away. Even then, the ORSU field was quite muddy from the previous night's thunderstorms. Both teams had very good athletes who were not afraid to make heavy contact: the tackle count was very high. However, Arizona played as a team, while Utah tried to do too much individually. Despite the wet ball, Arizona was able to run the ball wide with pace, while Utah usually plowed straight through 3-4 defenders before running out of support. The last quarter of the match was played under lights as it got dark. Of the four teams on day 1, Arizona looked the most potent.

Much thanks to Peter Buckley for his post-match feedback.

Sunday Nov 17
Grizzly Final
PELICANS 41 (6 tries) - Arizona All-Stars 5 (1 try)
Touch Judges: Shawn Waterman (Oregon), Gareth Kautz (Oregon).
Number 4: Jason Shelton, Eric Zimmerman
Evaluator: Peter Watson

Sunday was a cold 40 F day with steady rain: very different from California! Despite the difficult conditions, both teams played positive rugby. Arizona missed their fly-half due to injury and were not as cohesive as on Saturday. NorCal, on the other hand, looked like a team on a mission, rucking with authority, and winning quick, clean ball, which opened up gaps in the Arizona defense. The NorCal forwards constructed several quick-moving mauls which they drove 20-30 meters, setting up attacking platforms for their backs. Arizona hung on bravely, but could not keep up with NorCal's intensity and pace.

Much thanks to Peter Watson for his post-match feedback. Also, lots of thanks to the Oregon referees for their hospitality, especially Shawn Waterman who graciously hosted me in Portland.


Sacramento State - University of Calgary Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

CAL MARITIME ACADEMY 24 - Univ. of San Francisco 5 Referee: Mike Villierme
Evaluator: David Williamson
Weather, misty and cool, no breeze
Friday night lights, a rugby redux

The Keelhaulers have about 40 players and all were suited.

USF had just fifteen players, number fifteen arriving just at kickoff. Before the end of the match, several Keelhaulers were donning USF jerseys to spell slightly injured or exhausted opposite numbers.

Keelhaulers scored first at about the 1 minute mark and in such easy fashion one could think that this was going to be a try fest for CMA. USF ultimately played tough defense the rest of the way but CMA proved to be more disciplined with ball and had fresh legs to insert throughout the night.

The Keelhaulers scored four tries, two converted. USF scored one try.


In years past, we have often been forced to short-change this event referee-wise, due to a plethora of games and a paucity of numbers on this particular weekend.

In 2007, however, a resurgence of numbers is occurring in the NCRRS: the flock is growing. Despite a number of optional and enforced retirements and at least one relocation, we have had some referees migrate in and some new folks pick up the whistle for the first time.

The Chico tournament was served by eight referees: Don Pattalock, Jim Crenshaw, VC Van Staden, Mike King and Chris Tucker among the "old hands"; Dan Wilson, Jim Read and Guy Walsh among the new.

1.) Our first report is by head referee Don Pattalock:

Great pre-season tournament with lots and lots of rugby and a great time as well. With a bullpen of 8 referees (Crenshaw, King, Pattalock, Read, Tucker, Walsh, Wilson and Van Staden), ranging from cherry-popping new Jim Read all the way to "seen that a 1000 times" Jim Crenshaw, the 24 game tournament went off with teams of 3 working each match. I think all the referees enjoyed the great support and feedback from the touchlines and we should all be better referees from all the work.

Chico State 17 (2) - BA Baracus 17 (3) Referee: Don Pattalock
TJs: Van Staden, Tucker

I know, I know. It's a tie. Both teams played with great passion and heart, yet were able to enjoy the match from start to finish. The teams traded tries throughout the match. With 7 minutes to go, Chico State elected to go for poles from a penalty at the 10m line. After taking some jeering from Baracus for kicking a penalty in a tournament, Chico slotted the kick and tied the match. With time running out, the referee did everything in his power to break the tie, including allowing a very marginal "flat" pass at full time. Unfortunately, there was nothing that could change the outcome. A tie was born. Fortunately; none of the referee stayed around after the tournaments, so no "payment" was required.

Women: CHICO STATE 25 (5) - Cal Poly SLO 0 Ref: Pattalock
TJs: Van Staden, Tucker

Chico State women again look excessively deep. This match was a little sloppy with lots of younger players on both sides. The Chico runners broke tackles and were able to outpace the inexperienced SLO defense.

RENO 20 (4) - Vacaville 0 Ref: Pattalock
TJs: Crenshaw, Read

As the sun was setting, the last match of the day was filled with hard hitting, hard running and good rugby. Reno, after struggling with their discipline in the previous match, elevated their game and played a straight ahead match that was a little too much for the young Vacaville team. Reno looks to be re-emerging as a contender with lots of numbers at training, retuning Eagles (Nelo Lui) and many other older, and talented, players who played when I was a player and then later as I migrated to the position of coach. Fitness and discipline will be their challenges; they should have no trouble with the talent or experience.

2.) Report by Dan Wilson:

It was dark and foggy as I sat at the Park and Ride just north of Sacramento waiting for Jim Crenshaw and Chris Tucker to meet me at 0600 AM. With the connection complete, we headed the hour and a half up 99 to Chico. Jim proceeded to slowly reveal just how long he had lived in the Sacramento area by sharing stories of places they went and things they did in college and beyond. From racing in LA on Friday nights to driving just south of Chico for Saturday night races, he brought the area to life. I did not even know what a butte was prior to that drive. It made the time and drive fly by and was thoroughly enjoyable.

Field 2 Game 1: CHICO STATE 22 - Redding 5 Ref: Wilson

I had the joyous pleasure of having the first game on field two, the field that was even less even with more gopher holes than field one. Chico State played Redding with the start being only a 15 minute behind schedule, kickoff at 815 AM. I think I warmed up a total of 10 minutes, five minutes more than Redding. It was a close game in the first half with Chico up by two unconverted tries, but the second half revealed fitness and understanding of basic ruck and maul law issues with the Redding team. Chico ended up winning but the game was closer than the score, 22-5, revealed.

Field 2 Game 5: VACAVILLE 29 - Harlots 5 Ref: Wilson

Being my first entirely D-III game, I was impressed with the fitness and teamwork that Vacaville demonstrated. They hit the holes well with support and intelligently spun the ball when the overlaps were created. The Harlots were playing defense the entire game with the major hindrance for Vacaville being their own hands. The most impressive maneuver of the day was when Vacaville had a ruck at about the 30-meter mark and as the ball was spun to the fly-half, the tight head prop came from the weak side and crashed inside. Number 10 was able to see him and deliver the ball, totally catching the Harlots off guard. It was a beautiful move and nice to witness. The Harlots scored with under one minutes remaining to get onto the board. Final score, 29-5 in favor of Vacaville.

I touched a total of six games and thoroughly enjoyed watching the rugby taking place. It is good to see that there is good rugby outside of the usual suspects, D-I and Super League. I have to admit that the most impressive team of the day was the Chico State women's team. I would be willing to bet that they could beat a few men's teams, including one close to my heart in the Central Valley. They were clinical in how they worked.

We left just after the final whistle, around 530 PM, already in darkness. The drive back again flew by discussing the day and overall guidance by Jim regarding refereeing, the society and Nor Cal overall. It was dark when I picked up the guys and it was dark when I dropped them off. Overall, a long but fantastic day.

3.) Report by Jim Read:

Women: CHICO STATE 40 - UC Davis 5 Referee: Jim Read
TJs: Pattalock, Van Staden

This early match showcased the women of Chico's fast paced and hard running style of rugby. The wildcats scored quickly and often through phased forward and explosive back play. Although Davis answered back with their own score midway through the first abbreviated half, the match was won by a deeper and more experienced Chico St. side.

PETALUMA 21 - Redding 7 Ref: Read
TJs: Van Staden, Tucker

From the onset, both sides showed their skills through structured buildups and fast paced mid-field play. Petaluma struck first, but the more experienced Redding side answered back shortly thereafter. From that point on, Redding made Petaluma work for every point. It just seemed like Redding couldn't find a rhythm against their opponents. Early season fitness became an issue towards the end of this match shown by penalties, and there was certainly no shortage of scrums.

CHICO 17 - B.A. Baracus 0 Ref: Read
TJs: Tucker, Pattalock

This score does not reflect the hard work put in by Baracus during this match. Both teams were very dangerous with ball in hand, but without a few misfired passes and unfortunate bounces, the score could have been very different. From kickoff, the men from Chico capitalized on mistakes to good effect, scoring in the first thirty seconds. Subsequent scores came from fast counter attacks and good attacking platforms through the hard running of their mid-fielders. B.A. would put together quality phase rugby, but finishing was the missing piece for the men from Baracus. This match was a true pleasure to referee.

4.) Games refereed by Guy Walsh:

RENO 13 - Baracus 7
REDDING 12 - Fresno 5
Women: HUMBOLDT STATE 15 - Cal Poly SLO 7

5.) Games refereed by Mike King:

RENO 27 (4) - Petaluma 7 (1)

HUMBOLDT STATE 20 (2) - UC Davis 12 (2)
CAL POLY SLO 5 (1) - UC Davis 0

SANTA ROSA JC 76 - Univ. of the Pacific 0 Referee: Joe Leisek
For Pete's Sake Field, Santa Rosa

A day that started out overcast and cool turned sunny and warm about halfway through the first half. It was warm on the field no matter what, as the hosts ran forward and retained possession throughout, sometimes in spite of their own mistakes. Santa Rosa tallied even tries in the first half, five in the second.

As always, very good backline play by the JC, which this year in particular looks like a Redwood Empire Conference Alumni All-Star Team. Flyhalf Patrick Drauywa and hooker Josh Inong were standouts, as were Domingo Balderas and Dominic Patrick. All four are former Redwood Empire players.

UOP tackled well and never gave up in spite of the lopsided score. Visiting coach Joshua Giddens says their goal is to make it back into the NCRFU next season.

San Jose State - SEAHAWKS Referee: Sandy Robertson
Seahawks--oodles of tries; San Jose State--1 try

The two teams got together next to Spartan Stadium for a scrimmage and the Hawks used their experience and physical superiority to dominate the play. The field was well lined, but without posts and at with 150+ yards of open space at one end those in attendance were treated to one movement that went 20 yards or more past the endline before the referee noticed something wasn't quite right.

Stanford 19 - UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY 34 Referee: Joe Androvich

STANFORD Women 27 - UC Santa Cruz 22 Referee: Anna McMahan

On another beautiful day for rugby the UC Santa Cruz women's team met a mixed A/B Stanford side on Stanford's lovely pitch. The game was tied at the half with two tries and one conversion apiece, but Stanford's slightly superior fitness helped them edge ahead by one try in the second half. Both teams played with intensity, and the game was marked by open play and committed defense. Stanford's 8 and 10 stood out, as well as UC Santa Cruz's 1.

Fog 7 - BERKELEY 28 Referee: Rob Hendrickson

Berkeley and the Fog squared off for a pre-season friendly on Treasure Island, with the game starting at noon, just as the fog was lifting. Both teams have large squads this year, enabling them to field competitive A side and fun B side teams. However, you could tell it was still pre-season by the level of fitness, which contributed to pile-ups at the breakdowns.

Berkeley scored 4 unanswered tries and spent a majority of the first period in the Fog's side of the field. The Fog had difficulty clearing the ball out of their territory, and Berkeley kept hammering away, scoring their tries on line breaks near the 22 and solid running from there. Berkeley fielded a new pack in the second half, and the possession game shifted to mid field, with the Fog scoring their try near the end of the second half.

Seconds: Fog 14 - BERKELEY 33 Referee: Paul Berman
Venue: Job Corp Field, Treasure Island, San Francisco
Weather: Occluded front, at times a wee bit nippy as one would expect this time of year.
Comments: The pitch was relatively firm under foot.

A game played in high spirit by two local division III sides eager to give their abundance of rookies a go. Kudos to their recruiters, great to see these clubs with such healthy numbers. Note, several Fog lassies enjoined the action from the outset.

Fast & furious stuff if not always shapely. Many of these folks will by mid-season be hardened veterans. Both sides played tough, Berkeley having the better of the 1st half predominantly through their forwards with 4 tries - No. 8 Barry Hull 17th minute, full-back Kudra Kalema 21st minute, lock Arnd Lillie 27th minute & tight-head prop Kevin Bubbles 40th minute, all converted ably by Aaron Keho. The 2nd half saw Fog push back resolutely with a brace of tries (two) through their virgin blond outside center 42nd & 80th minutes, both converted & 1 unconverted try from Berkeley's inside-center Richard Fawae.

A wonderful epicurean's delight was had by all at the after match party, impressively hosted by my old Berkeley pals at the edge of the field. Well above & beyond the standard fare of bangers & beer we were treated to pork & tri-tip steak, roast pork, freshly home-made salads & California red wine. Thank you laddies & lassies, simply scrumptious.

Point spread: Berkeley - 5 tries, 4 conversion goals; Fog - 2 tries, 2 conversion goals

Arroyo Grande - Cal Poly SLO Referee: Phillips

CAL POLY SLO 40 – UC Davis 27 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judge referees Any Doukas and Paul Phillips.

Some of the many advantages of being a Pelican referee are:

--great competition
--great rugby pitches
--great rugby programs with lots of success
--great scenic drives to and from games.

The last two weeks I have had the best view of four of the top twenty collegiate programs in the country.

Last week St. Mary's hosted Humboldt State.

This week my best gal, wife Eileen, joined me for the drive to Arroyo Grande to officiate the Cal Poly versus UC Davis game.

I arrived around noon to see Paul Phillips officiating the Arroyo Grande versus Cal Poly thirds.

Talking with the Cal Poly coaches I commented on their great numbers. They said many of the second and thirds were not there and not fully committed, yet. He went on to explain the top 30 meet Mondays and Wednesday morning for conditioning. This is the commitment of the top programs. If you aren't out-training your marker, you are giving him an advantage.

Beautiful day for rugby. The fog clearing. Temperature around 70. The game was played at Talley Fields in Arroyo Grande, AG's home fields.

This a perfect field. Fully regulation, great grass, spectator ropes, fully marked with regulation goal posts.

Yippy I Oh, let's play rugby.

I anticipated a competitive, fast game played by well coached conditioned athletes.

I was right.

The game started clean and fast. Cal Poly's number 8 poached a Davis ball which led to the first try ten minutes in. Cal Poly's winger broke free two minutes later for their second try. Cal Poly's forwards controlled most of the early possession allowing the center to dot down again at 26 minutes. Cal Poly looked in control from the score card, but this was much closer than 19-0.

Davis got on the board with a penalty kick, followed by two trys by their fullback. The second try came from a yellow card professional foul by the Cal Poly #4 Luke. Davis scored from a quick tap, recycled possession and the fullback powering over.

Half time Cal Poly 19- Davis 15.

Some quick feedback from my outstanding Pelican touch judges along with some pointed comments from Eileen proved positive at half time.

Four minutes into the second half Cal Poly's forwards were rewarded with a try by their number 3.

Davis dug deep and controlled play for the next twenty minutes. Davis freed their number 14 for try's at 15 and 18 minutes. One of the tries was converted.

Score Davis 27 Cal Poly 26.

Both teams reverted to playing big play rugby. Trying to force too many 50-50 balls. Knock-ons and handling errors produced 6 scrums in 10 minutes.

Both teams had scoring opportunities during this portion which looked like tries.

Cal Poly had a try negated by a knock-on in goal.

Davis's hooker drove to the two inch line. A ruck pushed the ball in goal with Davis's captain and flyhalf with the ball in hand as the pile unfolded.

I called for the video replay, which was inconclusive, yeah I wish.

Poly settled down and produced another try at the seventy minute mark. Cal Poly scored one more at the forty minute mark. There was about three minutes of injury time which Davis controlled pushing Cal Poly into their twenty two. Unfortunately the game had to end.

Cal Poy 40 Davis 27.

Great game. Great sportsmanship. Great touch judges.

Thanks to all.

Seconds: CAL POLY 57 - UC Davis 12 Referee: Andy Doukas

A warm day in the Arroyo Grande Valley and AG Rugby's home pitch bringing heat & fatigue. Cal Poly coming with strength in numbers and experience controlled much of the match. Good playing by Cal Poly's #8 and captain running off the scrums. Experience showed in Cal Poly's backline with passing and kicking ability. Davis fought hard and with determination throughout the game gave them two trys. It was a tough day for the referees with the comments from the sidelines but on the field the players acted with great respect. Thank you to captain of Davis, Andrew, and Captain Matt of Cal Poly for making this an enjoyable game to referee.


UCSC - Combination Seconds St. Mary's/Colorado Referee: Sam Davis
No report received.

ST. MARY'S 82 - Loyola Marymount 21 Referee: Paul Bretz

Santa Clara 5 - COLORADO 86 Referee: John Coppinger
Touch Judges: Ed Barfels, Roberto Santiago
Assessor: Bryan Porter

In the first round of the Pat Vincent Cup, Colorado ran by, through, and around an undermanned and inexperienced Santa Clara University side 86-5. (40-5 @ 40 min)

The ease of the victory probably didn't help Colorado when they ran into a very physical and organized SMC side the next day.

It was a very pleasant and unseasonably warm day on the beautiful SMC pitch.

Thanks to Ed Barfels and Roberto Santiago from running touch and Bryan Porter for the coaching/assessment. Ed Todd also provided some discrete half-time suggestions, while Sam Davis provided some not-so-discrete comments.

It was good to see a lot of rugby folks about.


LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 55 - Santa Clara 0 Referee: Rich Anderson
Assessor: Lois Bukowski

The consultation bracket of the Pat Vincent Cup at St Mary's featured two Jesuit institutions, Loyola Marymount and Santa Clara. The Southern California team proved stronger with a 55-0 victory.

Championship: ST. MARY'S 36 - Colorado 29 Referee: Paul Bretz
Touch Judges: John Coppinger, Ed Barfels

St. Mary's defeated Colorado 36-29 in a very entertaining game in the final match of the Pat Vincent Cup. St. Mary's has a very athletic team this year and seem to have more speed as a whole than they did last year. Their pack controlled the set pieces and denied Colorado with clean set piece ball. Ian Todd, the fly-half for Colorado, had to work to distribute ball. When he was given good ball he was able to release his back line with effective results.


Submitted by Paul Berman:

NCRFU HS Girl's AGM, SUN 4 Nov 2007, Santa Rosa, California

The Northern California "Cinderella League" springs to life:

The High School Girl's season will run 9 February through 19 April 2008 (venues & match schedule to be determined).

The Pacific Coast High School Invitational Tournament, Stanford University 10 - 11 May 2008.

Season opener:
Friendly Kick-off Tournament hosted by Alameda (date to be determined).

Season closer:
End Of Season High School Girl's Championship Tournament hosted by Davis (date to be determined).

Wonderful news:
The league is expanding from 6 to 8 teams.

Santa Rosa will provide two teams, while Fortuna have been elevated to league status.

There are sound rumours of a 9th programme forming in or around Benicia.

History is made!

I'm thrilled to announce NorCal rugby history has been made with the election & appointment of Suzanne Iwatate - Davis Lady Devils HS Girl's Principal Coach '07-'08/UC Davis Coach '07-'08/NCRFU HSG Secretary '07 suzanne.iwatate@gmail.com as our first ever women Northern California Rugby Football Union High School Girl's League Commissioner '08. Congratulations Suzanne, may this become the norm & not the exception.

Thank you:
Sefesi Green - NCRFU HSG League Commissioner '07/Sacramento Amazons U-19 HSG Principal Coach '07 for setting the league on such a wonderful course.

New appointment:
Tina Watts - Fortuna HSG Principal Coach '07-'08/U-19 Pacific Coast Grizzly Girl's Secretary '07 girlrugger@hotmail.com the league is safe in her extremely capable hands. No doubt she will do a fabulous job as League Secretary '08.

Another first:
An enormous thank you to Tasha Bishop, Ellen Owens & Alex Goff for having the vision to create a U-19 Pacific Coast Grizzly Girl's programme, you are truly heroes, the best.

Marvellous news:
Congratulations to Amy Field Amyfield1014@hotmail.com & Santa Rosa as NorCal's newest high school girls team coach & girl's programme respectively. Santa Rose with two teams thus becomes the hub, centre of gravity for NorCal girls' rugby.

Wonderful replacement:
I'm delighted to welcome my esteemed colleague & friend Lois Bukowski to our Island sisterhood. Lois has agreed to lift the mantle of leadership with Alameda Riptide RFC in my stead. Go Riptide!!!!!!

The NorCal High School Girl's League has never looked so robust!

Warmest good wishes to you all for a fantastic 2008 season. May your Thanksgiving celebrations be joyous, Santa be generous, New Years resolutions be fulfilled & "celebration of lights" illuminate your path.

Go High School Girls Rugby!!!!

Todd's Sixthieth
Ed Todd turned sixty recently. Some old friends and teammates gathered round the grill to chew the tasty fat that the years provide.

Joyce Porter, Ed Todd, Bryan Porter, Helen Marcus, Bruce Carter, David Williamson

Photo by Ed's wife Berry


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, November 13, 2007




The Berkeley All Blues won another national championship this past weekend, defeating Beantown 25 – 18 in the final. On Saturday, they won over the Twin City Amazons 30 – 5.

This was Kathy Flores’ last game as coach of the club. She will henceforth be concentrating her energies on the women’s national team, and is turning over local reins to Alex Williams.

Congratulations to the NCRFU’s latest championship team!


All NCRRS referees need to sign and submit the NCRFU Safety Protocol prior to the beginning of the season, in order to receive appointments.

Representatives of all of our teams agree to abide by its provisions by signing it, as do we.

The protocol may be found on our website:


This needs to be done each year by every referee.

The form can be signed electronically if you have the software to do this and forwarded via e-mail, or you will need to print and sign the last (third) page, then mail it to:

Bruce Carter
18474 Deertrack Place
Salinas, CA 93908

Thank you.


The official word from the IRB on the scrum engagement process is now that it’s back to a four-count.

So, forget everything that’s been said since May of this year. Turn the clock back to January: CROUCH... TOUCH... PAUSE... ENGAGE.


UC Davis seconds 16 – UC SANTA CRUZ 29 Referee: Roberto Santiago
Referee Coach: David Williamson

San Jose State women – Stanford 2 Referee: John Pohlman
Lots of rookies: 22 from Stanford and three from San Jose State. It was about 50 minutes of a light scrimmage.

ST. MARY’S 20 – Cal 17 Referee: Anna McMahan
Assessor: Bryan Porter

What was scheduled to be a round robin of three 40 minutes games between Cal, St. Mary's, and UCLA turned into three 25 minute periods between Cal and St. Mary's when UCLA chose a different rugby venue at the last minute. St. Mary's hosted on a beautiful day and a beautiful pitch, making me quite happy about my transfer from New England to NorCal reffing.

Despite the late change in schedule, both teams played with focus and intensity. St. Mary's started the scoring early with 2 unconverted tries in the first period, while keeping Cal scoreless. They continued their dominance into the second period by scoring two more unconverted tries in the first 12 minutes, but Cal started to shift momentum their way with a late unconverted try. Cal completely dominated the third period with two more tries and one conversion, but could not overcome St. Mary's earlier scoring. Some front row inexperience and a windy day made set pieces somewhat of a challenge, but both teams moved the ball fairly well, and it was a fun scrimmage to ref.

Andrew Mittry Memorial Tournament
Redding, Calif.

Crenshaw, Pattalock, Gray, Ulibarri, Guy Walsh

Santa Rosa 7 (1) v Chico 22 (4) Referee: Don Pattalock
Referee TJs: Guy Walsh and Phil Ulibarri

Southern Oregon University 24 (4) Shasta 5 (1) Referee: Pattalock
Referee TJs: G. Walsh and Ulibarri

When the word came out that this tournament had been organized in memory of Andrew Mittry (who passed away in September due to a horrific car accident), son of Andreas Mittry; long time friend, rugby lifer, college teammate and current Bald Eagle, I immediate put my hand up to be involved.

The boys from Reno saddled up at 5 am and headed over the mountains to Redding. Two perfect pitches welcomed us; one lined and roped the other under similar construction.

With Jim Crenshaw in charge, the teams of three managed every game to near perfection. I personally spent the entire morning supporting our three newest referees from the touch line. Following the lunch break, I took the middle for what was to be 3 games, SR v Chico, SOU v Shasta and Chico State 1 v Santa Rosa. In the 80 degree heat, the final games of the afternoon were way too social with one ending in a boat race and Santa Rosa opting not to get on the field and chase students.

The BBQ was great with Tri-Tip, potato salad and chili. Big thanks to Dave Ellis and Pete Ray for putting this event together in honor of Andrew Mittry. Hope to see everyone back next year.

By Phil Ulibarri
Mittry Memorial Tournament - Nov. 3, 2007
Redding, California

SANTA ROSA 29 – Humboldt/Mendocino 27

A neophyte referee took the field to call his first official game as a certified whistle-blower with 30 other men who felt equally if not better qualified to do the same. Well-received criticism from fellow Pelican refs indicated that yours truly needs work on verbal communication to players and use of signals after calls. I probably could have been quicker with the whistle in sloppy play. The first game lacked qualified touch judges on both touch lines yet players expected accurate calls when the ball found touch, quick line outs, etc, etc. I should have set some line-out rules at the get go. Not a pretty debut for the Basque from Reno.

SANTA ROSA JC 30 – Shasta 15

A much cleaner game with little if any chatter. The younger men showed much better fitness and teamwork, with the older men giving a couple of brief displays of brilliance when they caught their wind.

Biggest self criticism came on the drive back to Reno and Sunday as cramps and stiffness set in signifying serious need for intensified fitness training to begin immediately.


Stanford – Santa Clara Referee: Joe Androvich
No report received.

Seconds: Stanford – Santa Clara Referee: Sandy Robertson
No report received.

Maritime Academy Intra-squad match Referee: Mike Villierme
CMA "Blue": a bunch of tries and a couple of conversions
CMA "White": maybe one or two more tries than Blue and a couple of those were converted

Coaches Edward and Maximo ran a two day rugby camp for close to forty young men culminating in three 30 minute periods of rugby, presumably the weekend’s final exam.

As I primarily referee high school matches and periodically attend high school coaches meetings, I hear coaches say, "give us athletes and we can make rugby players out of em'." That appears to be what the CMA coaches have. Many athletes, some with high school experience, the majority are said to be playing the sport for the 1st time.

Plenty of knock-ons, forward passes and kickes out on the full beyond the 22. Offside at breakdowns and set pieces galore at the onset but the players were attentive and not many were repeat offenders.

Only one high tackle offense and even a little hodgey-podgey near the end of the final period but in all the referee came away with the feeling that this group will be in good shape when the season starts and that the Keelhaulers will give opponents in their division all they want for 80 minutes.

We'll see: I referee CMA for real Friday after next.


Silverhawks – Calgary Hornets CANCELED

SF Fog 14 – Nevada 14 Referee: Mike King
Referee Coach: Mike Malone

This social side match was a good warm-up for both sides and fairly played throughout. The first 2 shortened halves ended in a draw between Fog's A Side and a lively UNR group: 14 (2 tries, 2 conversions) to 14 (2 tries, 2 conversions). What the students lacked in experience, they made up for in grit and desire.

A 3rd half between many of the same Reno players and a horde of Fog substitutes, pitted a now smoothly functioning Nevada attack against mostly new recruits from the City. The outcome was 5 converted tries. The kicking for both sides on all the tries was spectacular with several long and angled kicks reaching their mark.

Several of the Reno coaches joined the fray near the end of 3rd half and stayed on for a 4th half. Due to a previous commitment, this referee had to depart, but all the players seemed to have enjoyed the run and to have benefited from it.

UC Davis men– Santa Clara Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

Seconds: UC DAVIS 17 – Santa Clara 10 Referee: JC Van Staden
Coach/Assessor: Scott Wood
“The crowd” – Jim Crenshaw and Ray Swartz

Following a runaway victory by UC Davis 1, Santa Clara 2 decided to restore dignity. Both teams had a lot of new players which have not played rugby prior to this season. With that said, they both put up a great show.

Davis opened with a unconverted try, but Santa Clara hung in there by leveling the score just 15 min later. Despite the rain coming down good only a few handling mistakes were conceived by both teams. The scrums looked good, but the lineouts showed the inexperience. Tackles were by the book though. 10 minutes in the 1st half, 2 players had to do the lap of shame and made friends after a few “F” bombs had ben flying back and forth.

Second half produced 3 tries, with Davis pulling away with 2 of them after sacrificing a key player to the “cooler box” after a repeating late charge on the scrum half. Santa Clara came back with 1 try, 10 min before the end, which brought almost the entire 2 1st teams players as subs to determined the outcome. Davis hung in there though, to ensure victory 17-10

ST. MARY’S 35 – Humboldt State 20 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judge: Edward Barfels

St. Mary's hosted Humboldt State for a 1:00PM kick-off. I arrived around 11:45 AM. Most players from both sides were warming up. Humboldt plays one of the most aggressive preseason schedules around. They have already played D-1 teams Davis and Nevada - Reno.

St. Mary's was playing their first game. Both teams gearing up for another hopeful run at the playoffs.

The field was in great shape. Gone are the days of the St. Mary's bog. The temperature was 66 with just a spit of moisture in the air.

St. Mary's is breaking in a new flyhalf. He broke a tackle 3 minutes in and offloaded to the winger for an early try. This guy broke tackles, made big passes and kicks all game long. (Sorry but due to preseason, no game cards, means no player names for standout work).

The game settled down with some good defensive pressure from both sides. St. Mary's backs broke down the Humboldt defense for a try at the 20 minute mark. St. Mary's backs looked to be in midseason form to finish off the first half with two more tries.

Half time score St. Mary's 20 Humboldt State 3.

Humboldt started the second half with a committed defense which forced a handling error five meters out. The ball took a Humboldt bounce for a try ten minutes in. Humboldt followed with a penalty kick to make the game 20-13 St. Mary's.

Yeah the energy, testosterone and adrenaline were starting to flow, the players seemed to be getting excited also.

At this point in a game a referee wants to let the players go for it. Unfortunately there are still laws and safety concerns. With St. Mary's threatening to score a minor brush-up occurred. I called the captains aside to settle the adrenaline down a bit.

St. Mary's scored another try. Humboldt matched and converted theirs.

St. Mary's 25-Humboldt 20. Game on.

Humboldt misplayed a St. Mary's kick and a favorable bounce gave St. Mary's a fairly easy score. St. Mary's finished the scoring at the 37 minute mark.

Final: St. Mary's 7 unconverted tries 35 Humboldt 20.

I had a lot of help: thanks to coaches Tim and Renaldo for their feedback, and Ed Barfels, who ran touch, was both helpful during the game as well as after with feedback.

And Bryan Porter, who was there talking with Jack Clark, was kind enough to give me some half time and post game feedback. Again many thanks.

ST. MARY’S seconds 59 – USF 0 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Assessor: Bryan Porter

USF was short some players and borrowed 4 from St. Mary's. Play was very one sided and generally sloppy, bad tackles due to bad form and conditioning. Nothing malicious, just sloppy.

Stanford women seconds – Santa Clara Referee: Anna McMahan
Referee Coach: David Williamson
No report received.

Stanford women – St. Mary's Referee: Paul Berman
No report received.

Stanford men – UCSB Referee: Tony Redmond
Touch Judge: Eric Rauscher
No report received.

Seconds: Stanford 7 – UCSB 53 Referee: John Coppinger
Young Stanford team comprehensively beaten by a more experienced and physical Gaucho squad.


Two reports, the first by Bjorn Stumer:

While it was raining in the Bay Area, the weather was warm and spring-like at the beautiful new pitch of the Fresno Rugby Club. While many cities seem to put obstacles in the way of Rugby being played in their communities, the city of Fresno has gone all out to assist the sport and the Fresno Rugby club. The club was given a brand new pitch maintained by the city within the Fresno Regional Sports Complex, a huge park and sports center. The facilities are excellent - referees even have the use of showers, and barbecues, festivities, and beer tents are all allowed. Impressively, the city of Fresno has also put together a hundred plus pages package to be submitted to US Rugby offering Fresno for upcoming national rugby events! Ruggers please take notice: Fresno is Rugby country!

Six 40 minutes matches were on tap for the round robin event hosted by Fresno with Kern County, Arroyo Grande, and Stanislaus as guests. I drove down with fellow Pelican Joe Leisek, and our pleasant banter made short work of the distance from the Bay Area. I did the second and fourth matches: Arroyo Grande vs. Kern County, and Arroyo Grande vs. the Stanislaus Harlots.

In the first match (Arroyo Grande vs. Kern County) it soon became apparent that Kern County was the dominant side. The Bakersfield lads came in large numbers, and fielded a fit, young, and cohesive side. Although having some players brand new to Rugby, some older players, and some quite young ones, Arroyo Grande gave Kern a good match. Kern proved too strong though and they walked away with three tries, one of which converted, to Arroyo's sole uncoverted one. Final score Kern County R.C. 17 (12) - Arroyo Grande 5. It is to be noted that, due to an inexperienced front row and very poor posture by some players, I called the scrums uncontested at the 15th minute of the first half.

Although depleted in numbers, Arroyo Grande seemed to find an extra gear for their match against Stanislaus. They got on the scoreboard early in the second half with a converted try, and held the score for most of the match, until the Harlots captain broke through their last line of defense for a fine try near the posts. The match was therefore tied to 7 all until the last few minutes, and your correspondent was dreading the prospect of having to buy beer due to a tied score. Stanislaus was constantly hampered by their propensity to enter rucks from the side, and this they did again at the very end of the match just outside their 22 - penalty to Arroyo. Seeing the all around fatigue, I told the Arroyo player taking the penalty that kicking it out would end the match. Arroyo decided to spin it across the pitch though and, once again, at a ruck about 8 meters in front of the posts a Stanislaus player came in from the side. Whistle, penalty right in front of the posts, and an Arroyo victory by three points at the very end - exciting finale!!!

Final score Arroyo Grande 10 (0) - Stanislaus 7 (0).

Great day of rugby and super hospitality by the Fresno club and their great City. Thanks to Joe Leisek for the ride down.

Report by Joe Leisek:

The Fresno Rugby Club used this pre-season round-robin tournament to officially open its new home pitch. The relationship the club has with the City of Fresno is something all clubs would like to have: I was told the city provides the field for the club's year-round use and sets up and takes down the rugby goalposts.

The rugby pitch is part of a large complex of sports fields at the complex. On this day the complex featured several softball games, a soccer tournament, a flag football game (on a field marked for football and with a football referee), and the rugby round-robin.

It was a beautiful day with temperatures reaching at least 70 degrees.

My driving companion was Bjorn Stumer, whom I picked up in San Rafael. We had a real nice drive down and back as well. When we arrived we met Dan Wilson, erstwhile Fresno No. 8 and now full-time referee. Though Fresno loses a player, the Society and all of Northern California rugby gains a referee who'll make a great contribution to the game.

Four teams participated in the event: the hosts, Arroyo Grande, Kern County, and Stanislaus. You could call it the Battle For Central Valley Supremacy, or you could just say it was a great opportunity to get some playing time before the season starts.

The mood around the pitch was optimistic and friendly. Fresno proved to be gracious hosts to players and referees. And there was rugby.

KERN COUNTY 17 – Fresno 7
Kern is a Division II team in Southern California that looks very, very good. They scored three tries, including two in the first half. Fresno scored one in the first half. A very tight, competitive match.

FRESNO 39 – Arroyo Grande 10
Before taking the pitch I sought out Andy Doukas, the AG No. 8 who is also a Pelican referee. I had met Andy a few years ago when I refereed his team at River Bottom. Great to see Andy. His team kept it close with Fresno in the first half, which ended with a score of 15-10 in Fresno's favor. But the hosts really started clicking in the second half, probably more so than at any other time during the day. They ran in four more tries and moved forward pretty much throughout the half.


The peripatetic Scriptoris and the lovely Penelope Pelicus set out for Bermuda last Sunday and arrived there on Tuesday. The mysterious effects of the Bermuda Triangle were not involved in such an extended transit time, but rather the more mundane effects of dense fog on the Monterey airport, necessitating a delay of one travel cycle of twenty-four hours.

Type A birds combine multiple tasks in a single activity. Thus this was a honeymoon for the couple’s February wedding in an exotic location they’d never seen, a chance to visit with old friends, and surprise, surprise! there was some rugby happening.

The honeymoon was spent at the 9 Beaches Resort, which features wood-framed canvas cabana-cabins on stilts over or over-looking the Atlantic. It would be difficult to imagine prettier beaches: the sand is pink, the shallow water adjacent the beach is turquoise, and immediately offshore the spectrum runs through all the blue-greens to the deepest cobalt with which an ocean can reflect a cerulean sky.

The weather: mid-seventies highs, low-seventies lows, with the water a few degrees warmer than the air. Warm breezes scud sail-shaped cumulus clouds across the sky. When a dark cloud pregnant with meaning approaches prepare for an inch of warm rain in about five minutes. This will immediately be followed by sunshine, the crowing of roosters, and the onomatopoeic calls of the brilliant-yellow-and-black Kiskadee.

The old friends were Sue and Murray Felstead, over for a belated celebration of Murray’s 60th birthday last month. Along with them were Andy and Zoe Canning known to all of our East Midlands visitors, and Mark and Sandra from Yorkshire. (Small world department: Mark referees just below the Premiership and is an old friend of Scriptoris’ from the Flanders Tens in Dendermonde, Belgium.)

Sue and Murray are inveterate world travelers, but for this trip they rented a house and settled in.

The rugby was the Bermuda World Rugby Classic, now in its twentieth year. Teams of former international players representing the SANZAR nations, Argentina, France, the British Lions, Canada and the USA participated. There were also exhibition games involving Bermuda against a ‘World XV’ and Canada v. British ladies.

A bit of serendipity made the whole all the sweeter for Scriptoris. Last February a Bermudan referee happened to be in San Francisco. Keith Hodgkins picked up a game and an evaluation, not a small matter for a referee in a country with a limited number of games and no match official performance reviewers at all.

The chairman of his society, John Weale, wrote us a gracious letter saying “If ever any of you are in Bermuda…”

As a result, Scriptoris picked up a sweet set of kit, got to run touch and serve as fourth official, met a whole bunch of former international players, and made a whole new chapter of rugby friends.

He met the idol of his playing days, JPR Williams; worked with Derek Bevan, who’s done a World Cup Final; and renewed acquaintance with Andre Bachelet, who of course began his illustrious career at Cal about the time Scriptoris picked up the whistle.

South Africa won the event, and well they should have: Robbie Fleck and Braam van Stratten were there. It could have been worse: Joost ven der Westhuizen was scheduled but couldn’t get a visa.

There were a lot of memory-bank moments. The all-night blowout party at the national rugby grounds after the tournament finals featured the best cover band we’ve ever heard, an Irish group known as the Heartbeats. They were the best of several worlds: the male musicians, who apparently chose the set list, were about our age and seem to have loved all the same music at every stage of life. The female singers/dancers were shall we say, not our age, and that can be a good thing as well.

These guys segue from Guns and Roses to Shania Twain without a second thought. American Pie to Don’t You Want Me? But the highlight for your footsore scribe, who danced all night, was an extended cover of a cover band: do you remember Stars on 45, a Dutch group that did a twenty-five minute medley of Beatles’ tunes? The Heartbeats remember them note-perfectly.

All we can say is, if you get the chance go to Bermuda, rugby or no.


A Raffle For the Benefit of USA Rugby's Women's National Team Tour to England!

Tickets can be bought to support a particular player, or you can support the whole team. The tickets are $10 each, or 5 for $45. The grand prize is $500 cash, 1st place is $300 and 2nd place is $200. Anyone interested in buying tickets can email assistant coach Alex Williams (wntfwdcoach@gmail.com) with the following information:

1) Your name
2) How many tickets you want. (If you are buying 5 tickets, do you want the $5 discount?)
3) Are you supporting a particular player? If so, who?
4) Do you prefer to pay by credit card through PayPal or by check?

When you email Alex, she will send you the PayPal link or her address, depending on your method of payment. When she receives the payment, she will email filled out tickets directly to you. All money received in support of a particular player will be credited to that player, thus directly reducing her tour fee.

The drawing will be held on Friday, November 30th and the winners will be notified by email.


If you would like to receive the weekly NCRFU disciplinary report, please e-mail Matt Eason and he will include you on the list:



Sit back and click away:


Six for Lunch
Bruce and Linda Carter, Andy and Zoe Canning, Sue and Murray Felstead hold down a table at the Bone Fish Café, Royal Dockyards, Bermuda.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Sunday, November 04, 2007




The Senate is debarking on an international excursion Sunday evening and may not have as much Internet and editing time as usual in the next week. It became a priority to get HP out over the ether without waiting for the match reports to come in.

We encourage the referees who did games this past weekend to submit reports as usual; they will be compiled and published next week.


Eight women’s college teams participated in the Slugfest at UC Santa Cruz: the hosts, Humboldt State, Chico State, Nevada – Reno, Sacramento State, UC Davis, Cal Poly and UCLA.

Northern California was shown to best advantage on the day. In fact, the weather was so nice that Planet Earth was shown to best advantage. Not only was it delightful before nine AM, the zephyrs wafting up from the Monterey Bay were warm. There was never a drop of dew on the early morning grass, so clearly the atmospheric pressure was high.

When your writer reluctantly got into the Pelicanmobile to leave the hillside campus at 5 PM the in-dash thermometer read 85 degrees, the car having been parked in the shade all day.

The Pelican crew consisted of Joe Androvich, Paul Berman, Larry Freitas, Bjorn Stumer and Bruce Carter.

The Wolfpack had to leave Reno at 4 AM for their first-round match against Sac State, who slept in and didn’t hit the road until 4:30. The extra sleep seemed to help as the Sac Staters pulled it out.

There were two pools of four. As fate would have it, the last two scheduled games came down to the four undefeated teams: Sac State and Chico State, Humboldt State and the Slugs.

Joe Androvich refereed both of these games, back to back, after having done two games earlier. It was then announced that the winners of these would play a previously-unannounced final.

Joe looked at the assigner, who had taken himself out of the mix due to footsoreness, and said, “I’m beat.” The assigner, his feet suddenly feeling better at the prospect of a late-career tournament final, rose to the occasion:

CHICO STATE 31 – Humboldt State 7 Referee: Bruce Carter
The Chico State backs ran free after some repeat-infringement offside at ruck by HSU was sorted out not five minutes into the match.

The handling and support running was very good by both teams, leading to lots of long forays across the acreage. Chico State simply had more runners who could make the tacklers miss.


UC DAVIS 41 – Humboldt State 10 Referee: Chris Tucker
Referee Coach: Mike Malone

An energetic, entertaining game that was played in good spirit by the two teams throughout. UC Davis pack provided them with a strong platform to move forwards, even scoring 2 tries with men in the sin bin. The first walk of shame was for a dangerous tackle, and the second as early-season sloppiness required a card for repeatedly entering the tackle / ruck from the side. Neither of these detracted from a solid home team victory, enjoyed in the warm Davis sunshine by at least a half dozen Pelicans as well as a reasonable crowd of partisans.

UC Davis 2 – UC Santa Cruz Referee: Roberto Santiago
Referee Coach: David Williamson

San Jose State women – Stanford 2 Referee: John Pohlman

St. Mary’s – Cal Referee: Anna McMahan
Assessor: Bryan Porter

Andrew Mittry Memorial Tournament
Redding, Calif.

Crenshaw, Pattalock, Gray, Ulibarri, Guy Walsh


Stanford – Santa Clara Referee: Joe Androvich

Seconds: Stanford – Santa Clara Referee: Sandy Robertson

Maritime Academy Intra-squad match Referee: Mike Villierme


JC Van Staden has received a visa that will allow him to stay indefinitely in this great nation.

In so doing he became the first winemaker to have achieved this status, which is passionately desired by tens of millions of people all around the world.

In fact, of people who voluntarily emigrate from any country to any other, and there are more than 200 countries, about 90% move to the United States of America.

JC writes, “Basically, they declared me an expert in what I’m doing, because of all the accolades and honors I have received in the last 4 years, and for that, I’m considered an asset to the USA.”

Not to mention the rugby players who will benefit from his expertise on the pitch.

We congratulate JC most heartily and hope that he will one day become a citizen.

Good Bird Smiles
From a USA government website:
The O visa allows individuals who have “extraordinary ability” in the sciences, arts, education, business, or sports to come to the U.S. temporarily to work in their field.

The O haircut celebrates the attainment of same.

The Good Birds, of course, add a touch of fair fortune on top of all of the hard work that brought JC Van Staden this far.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris