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 รข€“ 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