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