Thursday, June 28, 2007




The day broke well before the dawn.

That primal, anachronistic stirring awoke the erstwhile Lone Pelican at 5 AM. It was like the early mornings of the first year that he played rugby, when an early tournament kick-off or a long road trip demanded discipline in arising, when even precious sleep couldn’t hold a candle to the prospect of Game On.

He propped up on one elbow and beheld his bride’s Shakespearean shining morning face. As ever, even in her slumber she knew his was through and opened one eye.

One raised eyebrow, à la Mr. Spock, relayed the tacit query: Just what are you doing awake so early, Mr. Middle-Aged and I-Need-My-Sleep?

The answer, needlessly vocalized: “Sevens today!”

“But you aren’t even refereeing. At least I hope not. That torn Achilles wasn’t three months ago.”

“Doesn’t matter. It’s SEVENS.”

But, as ever, it’s more than the rugby. It’s the camaraderie. It’s the memories. It’s the fact that our hero has been to Cubberley to play or to referee sevens well over a hundred times. And it’s the rugby.

So, up and away without even time for the habitual Sunday NY Times crossword (which is printed in the SF Chronicle the following Saturday).

Saturday sevens mornings entails more than driving to Palo Alto. There’s the accoutrements of Sevens to consider – chairs, banners, various forms of lawn pelicans, sun block, ice chest, picnic utensils, hats – and then there’s the traditional stop to load up at Piazza’s Fine Foods, a well-named establishment just blocks from the pitch, purveyors to many excellent rugby referee repasts over the years.

The serendipity of the morning proved itself at one of the three well-stocked cheese displays. This stroke of fortune was hard to believe even for the oft-blessed has-been Lone Pelican.

One of the set-piece features of the East Midlands exchange, a sparkling jewel of a memory amid a multitude of bright moments, is late night conversation of the events of the day, comfortably at home with your hosts, over coffee and cheeses.

Sue and Murray Felstead introduced the fellow who used to be the Lone Pelican to two fine cheeses: Stilton and Double Gloucester. And what did he find at Piazza’s? English Huntsman’s Cheese: alternating layers of Stilton and Double Gloucester, the cheesemaker’s latest gift to humanity and a true joy to behold.

The once-but-not-future Lone Pelican had agreed to meet his co-sufferer of Sevens Fever, Pelicus Septenae Potioris, at Peet’s at 8 AM, corner of Middlefield and Charleston, to prepare for the 9 AM kickoff. Not-so Lone thought he’d trump his friend and earn commitment bragging rights for the summer by arriving thirty minutes early.

But of course, Septenae was comfortably ensconced, near to the dregs of his cold coffee, the spent sections of the morning paper surrounding him silent testimony to his superior dedication.

It was another memorable day at this premier Sevens event. Even a wounded bird can serve.

Not only were some of the referees relatively new to the sevens art and eager to learn, there were a number of injuries.

While it is always unfortunate when we are injured chasing our dream, there usually is found satisfaction by those who are privileged to help take care of us. And that was the lot of Lone Pelican NOT this day, to be on hand to assist in the care of some serious injuries which he trusts are now in the recuperative stages.

As the games wound down, Mrs. Lone Pelican killer arrived from an utterly superfluous appointment at the beauty shop, so that the couple could travel together to the home of Mike and Susan Gadoua in San Rafael and thence to the society banquet.

Thus ended the ‘lone’ portion of the day, and our story for this time.


Nine AM found Pelicus Septenae Potioris, Mike Gadoua, whistling the kick-off for the first game of the thirty-sixth Palo Alto Summer Sevens at Cubberley.

The Peninsula Green team gave a fine demonstration of the Sevens code, happily scoring tries whenever their opponents unwisely (and repeatedly) kicked away possession.

It was a fine day for the flock. Eight referees were privileged to run around with the boys and girls of summer, while two elder birds were happy to bask in the sun and offer a few pointers.

Most of the referees were driven many miles by their love of the summer game. From Reno came Don Pattalock. From Roseville, Sam Reagle. From Sacramento, Jim Crenshaw, Scott Wood and JC Van Staden. From San Rafael, Mike Gadoua. The ‘locals’ were Pete Smith, just off the plane from a family vacation in Hawaii, and Isaac Caselis.

Dixon Smith and Bruce Carter lent their years of experience to those who would profit thereby, definitely a part-time job.

The remaining three weekends will be played on July 7, July 21 (also Pacific Coast Qualifier) and August 4.

National Sevens referee patron Pat McNally will be in town the first weekend. He will host a Sevens referee/coaches conference at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Friday evening, August 3. All who are interested in Sevens should attend, coaches, referees and players.


The Fog Fest was held in conjunction with Pride Weekend in San Francisco. Eric Rauscher, Chris Tucker and Bruce Bernstein officiated. Here are two reports:

Eric Rauscher:

June 23 2007, 2nd day of summer. Fog Fest III, no fog, just sunny skies.
Chris Tucker and I ref the first games and Bruce Bernstein sits it out.
My first game was blue and yellow (the other two teams were black and white). The forwards were pretty evenly matched, but yellow had no reply to the blue backs. Final score, 19/7. I sat out the second game and handled the third round game between white and blue. The temperature has gone up a bit for this one. In the first half I allowed the break-downs after rucks and mauls to go on too long, there-by frustrating the players and raising the temperature further. More vigilant whistling (thanks to advice from Chris at the half) allowed to better play in the second half. Both teams gave it their all for this last game and the final score was a 21/21 tie.

Most embarrassing moment: A player avoids being shepherded into touch during a tackle and stretches out and dots the ball down just inches over the line. Whistle blows for the try. One problem, it was the 22.

Chris Tucker:

Well the name turned out to be a misnomer as a warm sunny day welcomed ruggers from all over the country to the Bay area. Chris Tucker, Eric Rauscher and Bruce Bernstein reffed a smaller than expected tournament with only 4 teams fielded, dressed in Blue, Black, White and Gold. A paltry 12 women turned up, so without enough for 7s, the tournament became coed. And yes, they gave as good as they got, with at least 2 tries scored by female players.

It being a harlot tourney, there was no prize for the winning team. However, for the record, the final standings were as follows:

Blue W2 D1 L0
Black W2 D0 L1
Golden W1 D0 L2
White W0 D1 L2

For those keeping track of such things, Eric officiated the draw (that's a tie for the linguistically challenged.)

After the matches, we repaired to the beer and BBQ tent, where game balls were presented to each team's MVP, and songs were sung late into the afternoon. I was particularly miffed that some inexperienced minstrel put an end to Jesus Can't Play Rugby with several of the better verses left unsung, but all was forgotten as we were all fired many times over from our jobs working as department store assistants in Illinois.

Hopefully next year this will be on a weekend when 7s aren't being played down the road, so that a few more people will be free to come along. Regardless, it was a lot of fun, and I'd recommend it as a good day out for anyone in the rugby family.


The Northern California Rugby Referee Society celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its incorporation and the end of the 2007 season with a dinner in Port Costa.

Fifty-three attended, which we believe to be a record. Among the guests were the infant son of JC Van Staden and eight members of other societies who were in town for the Level Three Refereeing Course.

NorCal dignitaries Frank Merrill and John Tyler also joined us, and Paul Bretz’ father was kind enough to come along.

The Bull Valley Restaurant was perfect for the group. Bull Valley and Port Costa are in a little-known corner of the Bay Area, tucked in against the Carquinez Strait between Crockett and Martinez. Once upon a time, this was where the railroad met the furthest-inland deep-water port and thereby the area became very wealthy. When the dredging of channels became possible and the railway network was extended, Port Costa was bypassed by the major thoroughfares and rendered an historic footnote.

But it survives as a quaint area of miscellaneous architecture and colorful characters, well worth a detour from the beaten path.

We had the place to ourselves, a big saloon-style bar, atmospheric back patio and dining room, and we filled it precisely to capacity, although it could not contain the conviviality.

The Centurion appeared after dinner, his shield emblazoned XXX, to rally the troops and find out exactly who was, in fact, Pelicus.


Pete Smith presented our annual awards and announced that next year there will be a new award added: Touch Judge of the Year.

Rookie of the Year: Don Pattalock
Five months after doing his first game in November, Don earned a B2 rating as a C1 on exchange. We had several good rookies, but this kind of performance by a beginner only happens every decade or so in NorCal.

Most Improved: Joe Androvich
Last year’s Rookie of the Year progressed nicely, earned some national attention and wowed ‘em in Alberta earlier this month.

Scriptoris Award: John Pohlman
John’s laconic, entertaining and self-effacing writing style was a favorite of some of our readers. His prose was illuminated by his love of the game.

Ambassador of the Society: Paul Bretz
Paul is now carrying the Pelican standard to heights unattained since Ed Todd was doing Tests, and representing us very well indeed.

Pelican of the Year: Jim Crenshaw
All Jim did was everything that was asked of him, and more besides. A worker, a mentor, a volunteer, an officer, a touch judge… and among our referees, one that teams are happiest to see assigned to their big games.

Dixon Smith then made a surprise award of his eponymous trophy. It is not presented annually.

Dixon Smith Achievement Award: Bruce Carter
On the evidence, Dixon presents this when he reckons that someone has contributed a tenth as much to the NCRRS as he.

Presented by Americorp Funding

First Call for Referees and Team Registration

JULY 14TH , 2007 - Rocca Field, Treasure Island San Francisco

The second annual SFGG Touch Rugby Tournament will take place at the Rocca Field and SFGG Clubhouse on Treasure Island on Saturday July 14th. There will be two divisions this year Open (competitive) and Social (social). In order to maximize games played we have limited the number of teams entering to 24 (8 Open and 16 Social teams), organized in three separate brackets. We will be widening the fields and will announce the tournament schedule prior to the event (early registration is key!). Americorp Funding will be sponsoring the Americorp Funding Cup along with a $500 cash prize for the Open division.

Cost to enter is $150 per team, 10 players per team (7 on the field - open subs). SFGG Touch Rugby Tournament T-shirts will be given to each team member. There will be food and beverages served throughout the day. Additionally, there will be a bouncy castle for the kids and the Southern Stars Netball team will be hosting a netball tournament at our facilities concurrently, all should make for another great tournament!

All teams are asked to register by July 7th on a first come first served basis. To register please send a check for $150 made out to "SFGG Rugby" attention Shaun Paga at Americorp Funding 100 Bush Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, Ca 94104. Include a note with the division your team is signing up for, name of your team, and the shirt sizes for your teammates. Teams can also sign up by sending an email to Shaun Paga ( with your info and pay the $150.00 via the Paypal link at

This is an open tournament so please forward this email to anyone who might be interested in putting in a team. We are all looking forward to another great day of touch!


Rich Anderson and Joe Androvich recently returned from the 2007 Provincial High School Championship in Alberta, Canada. This is their report:

Boys and girls high school teams from across the province traveled to Calgary Rugby Park to compete in the two day tournament.

Calgary Rugby Park’s unrivaled facilities included a two story field house complete with a referee fitting room, full locker rooms, multiple beers on tap, and a second story balcony which provided a bird’s eye view onto the main field. The park had three fields that were all well maintained and marked for rugby. Though all three fields were not flat due to the irrigation and basic contours of the land, the fields nevertheless provided an easy running surface for fast-paced play by the players, and refereeing by the men in charge. Each referee was in the center for two games on Saturday and one on Sunday.

The referees’ performances on Saturday would determine which matches they would be assigned the next day. Rich Anderson’s Saturday performance earned him the Sunday 3rd/4th boys match, and Joe Androvich earned the Boys 1st/2nd final match. Congratulations to both referees.

Hosted by local referee (and New Zealand born) Jarred Morrison, Rich and Joe had “bed and breakfast”-like accommodations where they could not have been treated better. Referee coach Don Whidden attended each match and provided helpful coaching advice to be followed by a written report.

Numerous other Alberta based referees attended the post-tournament BBQs/parties where we all exchanged stories (both good and bad), had a passionate rugby law dispute, and drank the “watered down” Canadian beer. (For those interested, the dispute was: if an attacking player touches the ball in the middle of the goal post pad, is it a try?)

While waiting for their flights on the last day, Rich and Joe ventured into downtown Calgary where high-rise buildings, funded mainly by Calgary’s booming oil and cattle industries, accompanied their famous Seattle Space-Needle like attraction. Rich and Joe wandered the streets, ate lunch, visited the local businesses, and had perfect seats for a joyful parade/party that took place on downtown’s main street, Stephens Avenue.


We greatly appreciate the time and effort that NCRRS members put into writing reports about their refereeing experiences for Hail, Pelicus! While we formally acknowledge one person a year for their contributions with the Scriptoris Award, we’d like everyone to be able to see just how many rugby folk around the world await our collective efforts every week.

2007 Monthly history for

Month Unique visitors Hits
January 3055 68923
February 3643 85504
March 4464 104607
April 3671 75105
May 2399 34390
Jun 1314 17388

Countries Hits

United States 15286
Unknown 1085
Canada 198
Australia 190
Ireland 62
Germany 60
Netherlands 53
Great Britain 50
Sweden 26
Spain 21
France 16
Lithuania 5
Czech Republic 4
Denmark 2
Latvia 1
Italy 1
Belgium 1
Other EU 86
Philippines 71
China 56
South Africa 27
Japan 25
Egypt 12
Bangladesh 8
Saudi Arabia 7
Namibia 6
Russian Federation 4
New Zealand 4
Bulgaria 3
South Korea 2
Singapore 2
Hong Kong 2
Switzerland 2
Nigeria 2
Ukraine 1
Norway 1
Malaysia 1
Brazil 1
Taiwan 1


Aruna Ranaweera has received an international appointment from the IRB.

He will be refereeing at the NAWIRA RWC 2007 Under-19 Qualifier Tournament in George Town, Cayman Islands, July 7 - 14. He will be following in the path of Paul Bretz, who has refereed there on appointment as well.

A week in the Caymans is not a bad way to spend your summer vacation! Congratulations to Aruna.

Felix Centurion
It was the best day in recent memory for this lucky fellow: the first day of Sevens, surrounded by friends, in the company of his wife, to be honored by his peers for serving the Game he loves.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, June 19, 2007




Forty-three have confirmed for dinner on Saturday evening in Port Costa. The restaurant is ours from 6 to 9 PM.

We will be joined by the instructors and several of the participants from the level three refereeing course which is being taught in San Francisco this weekend.

This is the thirtieth anniversary of the incorporation of the NCRRS. If you can think of something appropriate to do or to bring along, please do so! And DON’T FORGET YOUR PELICANS.


The tournament will return to its roots and be played at CUBBERLEY on Middlefield ALL FOUR WEEKENDS.

Click here: 4000 Middlefield Rd Palo Alto, CA 94303-4760 - Google Maps

Play is scheduled to begin at 9 AM, but we can attest that last year the first game kicked off ahead of time.

Be there early and bring your picnic items. We do not need a grill this weekend, because most of us will be heading up to Port Costa for the society banquet in the evening.

At present, we have only heard from four referees who plan to be there. Please let us know if you will attend.


The Fog Fest will be played at Treasure Island. It looks like they have about four teams’ worth of players, and we have enough referees signed up for this one.

Venue: Campbell Highland Games & Celtic Gathering, Campbell Community Center, Campbell

MARAUDERS 17 – Harlots 7 Referee: Sam Davis
A beautiful ride down on the Harley "RUGBYHG" to kick the Fathers day weekend off. The Scots were out in full force with Kilts aplenty.

The 10 am game was between the Harlots and Marauders and both teams had players that were making their once or twice a year appearance on the rugby field. A very clean and spirited game with the Marauders scoring first on a nice multiphase play that had the ball end up on the wing touching down in the corner. The conversion was wide the score 5-0 at the 10 min mark. The Harlot kicked off and kept the Marauders on their half for the next 5 min a clearing kick put the ball back in Harlot 22 good scrumming and Harlots retook possession and move the ball back to the half way mark losing the ball to a stalled maul. Marauders drove back into Harlots red zone lost the ball to a knock on scrum down inside the 22. Harlots tacked before they could clear the ball Tory Marauders scrum half heading for the loose ball is held by his shirt as he grubbers the ball into the try zone. I awarded a penalty try and the conversion was good 12-0 Harlots came back very quickly and after about 6 min scored a great try on poached ball from a tackle and driving in to touch it down. The half ended with Marauders 12, Harlots 7 The second half Harlots had a great run all the way in to the try zone and because of the confusing lines touch it down past the end line. Both teams continued to play hard hitting rugby the Marauders were able to score one more in the corner to have the end of the game be Marauders 17- Harlots 7

MONTEREY 29 – Harlots 5 Referee: Paul Berman
Weather: Bright, sunny & warm.
Comments: The pitch was fine. 60 minutes played of a 3-way round-robin competition

Hard fought game! Monterey peppered with Aptos players had a back line hot to trot.

Point spread: Monterey - 5 tries, 2 conversion goals; Stanislaus -1 try

MONTEREY 38 – Marauders 14 Referee: Sam Davis
The final was between the Marauders and Monterey it was 2:10 kick off and very hot. Hard hitting game with both teams not able to score for the first 20 min. Marauders scored first on a break off a ruck that went all the way to the wing and back in to score to the right of the uprights. The half ended Marauders 7 -Monterey 0 This game is a tale of two halves. Monterey came back and scored five un-answered trys at the 4,7,10, 13 & 17 min mark with hard hitting fast running multi phase play. Two of the trys were in the corners with missed conversions. Marauders came back at the 22 min mark and Tory drove the ball over off of a penalty kick and converted. Monterey came back at the 24 min mark and put the final score up on the board and converted with the final score Monterey 38 - Marauders 14

So, let’s try to figure out the Monterey team: strictly a ‘social’ side, not even entering D3, they beat the touring English side and now have won the Campbell Scottish Games for the second year in a row.

This begs a certain question: why not play every weekend during the season?

Halftime Pointers
During halftime of the Super League final June 9, Paul Bretz gets some advice from Josh Tameifuna while touch judge Chris Henshall double-checks the scoreline.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, June 12, 2007




“A generation of men is like a generation of leaves; the wind scatters some leaves upon the ground, while others the burgeoning wood brings forth - and the season of spring comes on. So of men one generation springs forth and another ceases.”

Homer, The Iliad

Cap Pelletier, a stalwart of American rugby refereeing, a pillar of the Southern California society and one of the true friends of military rugby over the years, has reported for duty in heaven.

Details are not available to us, except as to the quality of Cap’s life and the many friends he had who will now be found wanting, waiting, and wondering the number of our own days on this mortal coil.

Cap was, of course, retired from the United States Marine Corps, having served our country as whole-heartedly as he served our game.

The memories surface, buoyed up by tears.

When we first met in the early ‘80s, Cap wished to spread the joy he felt in the singing of rugby songs. To this end, he had compiled and had published a rugby songbook. Your writer was known in those days mostly as a writer and performer of original rugby tunes.

After a military regional tournament in San Diego, and after singing many songs, I was eagerly greeted by this lively fellow who wanted me to give him the words to some of my originals. I told him, “I just recited them for you.”

Click here: The Official Rugby Book 1st Edition 9th Revision

The repartee of our early years gave way to more mature efforts in furtherance of California rugby refereeing. Cap served in various capacities with the SCRFU and the SCRRS, including as President of the Society.

We will miss his friendship and his service.

There will be a funeral service for Cap on Thursday June 21, at Ft. Rosecrans in San Diego. The service is at 9:00am and all who would celebrate his life are welcome.


The Hayward rugby club won the USA Rugby D1 championship in San Diego by defeating the Cincinnati Wolfhounds and the Austin Blacks.

This one goes into the trophy case alongside their D2 title, won ten years ago in the first season after the old Hayward club of Ruggers Inn days had combined with the Oakland Barbarians of the much-storied Tongan League.

The word on the sideline was that Hayward had too many big guys to keep it up for eighty minutes on a big, level, wind-blown pitch two days in a row. However, it was the big guys in particular who did the early damage in the last match of the season, with massive Paula Fukafuka punishing multiple would-be defenders in scoring two first-half tries.

The Olympic Club, having lost a close one to Austin on Saturday, came back to thump Cincinnati 56 – 3. In their semi-final match, O Club belied their national reputation and accomplishments as a Sevens side by wasting multiple 2-on-1 and even 3-on-1 overlaps with passes either to ground, to touch, or to the lone defender.

In D3, Mission lost in a title re-match to the Boston Wolfhounds’ third side.

Thus, NorCal teams finished first and third in D1 and took second in D3.

Paul Bretz was masterful in the game of the weekend, Belmont Shore’s come-from-WAY-behind victory over the Chicago Lions in the super league final. This one left goose-pimples on even those who might have thought themselves immune to such reactions after having seen thousands of rugby games with the impartiality of match officials.

Congratulations to all of the teams and players, but especially to Manu Finau and Olo Fifita who brought Hayward to the trophy after many fine four finishes.

USA Rugby Championships:

High School: Second place: JESUIT
Women’s College D2: Second place: UC SANTA CRUZ
Women’s College D1: Second place: STANFORD
Men’s College D1: First place: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Women’s Club: Second place: BERKELEY ALL BLUES
Men’s D3: Second place: MISSION
Men’s D1: Third place: OLYMPIC CLUB
Men’s D1: First place: HAYWARD

And, by the way, the Pacific Coast cruised to victory at the men’s Collegiate ITTs this past weekend.

So, here’s to the Pacific Coast women’s teams, both senior women and U-23, as they take the pitch this weekend in Minnesota for the ITTs!


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

June 23:
The Fog Fest will be played at Treasure Island on three pitches. We have four refs and could use one or two more.

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

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


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

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


Here is Dana Teagarden’s exchange report for the weekend of June 2-3:

Manuela and I had a wonderful time this weekend in the Bay area. The invitation to referee the Pacific Coast Grizzlies vs the Midwest Thunderbirds (women's territorial select sides) on Sunday 6/3/07 was the perfect excuse to take a little trip for my birthday weekend (I turned 25 on Friday 6/1).Top-flight rugby combined w/ the opportunity to actually see something besides the airport, pitch and hotel...priceless!!

We arrived in Oakland early afternoon on Friday and after a bit of an adventure w/ Hertz were on our way to shop at H&M in Emeryville. A Swedish store, H&M is apparently where German girls get their cool clothes and mandate #1 was to get Manuela there.

We then fully intended to take in some traditional tourist sites on Friday but were sucked into the bookstore - that this didn't distress either of us is further proof that we're complete nerds!!

Friday evening saw us comfortably ensconced at Frank and Clarissa Merrill's house for great food and conversation. After sleeping in on Saturday morning we wandered the Merrill homestead...a brunch snack of fresh peas eaten in the garden, the outbuildings from Frank's grandparent's time (now that's really old), the interplay of history and the impact events have had on his family - wonderful, interesting stuff.

Alex Williams and Martha Danes, head coaches of the Pacific and Midwest select sides respectively, asked me to talk with the teams on Saturday at their practices, a continuation of a conversation Kathy Flores began at World Cup and continued at the last WNT assembly in Chula Vista.

We discussed the breakdown area (tackle, ruck, maul) Laws in fact and application. We saw in the early matches at the World Cup that the US players found it difficult to compete effectively at the breakdown and were giving up critical penalties. The US addressed this successfully as a squad at the WC, making what was termed an "incredible" turn-around from being one of the most penalized to one of the least penalized teams in the tournament.

These interactive conversations outside of the narrow constraints of the Match are another tool for increasing player understanding and skill as well as an opportunity to do a little referee recruitment w/ a "captive" audience of high-performance athletes.

think anytime we can chip away at the "us/them" divide between referees, players and coaches whilst strengthening the bonds of mutual respect is a valuable investment of time and effort.

Heading out from the practice pitch at Treasure Island we had to stop and watch the work on the new portion of the Bay Bridge before heading over to hike around Golden Gate Park. We walked half-way across the GG small feat since both of us have acrophobia!! Then we rounded out the evening w/ burger's at Oasis w/ the Merrills.

Sunday was a beautiful day, perhaps a bit chilly for spoiled SoCal girls, but perfect for Rugby.

After briefing Deb & Lois in the change room (change room!! indoor bathroom!!) we kicked off at 11:00 am on Rocca Field. The Saturday talk must have had some positive effect as we were several minutes into the match before I had to say anything other than "good job." With time and fatigue came the inevitable penalties as old habits crept in for a few of the less experienced players.

Manuela observed at half-time that the match was very enjoyable to watch. Though it appeared the Grizzlies would run away with the match a combination of Midwest grit and Pacific Coast indiscipline under pressure kept it close in the second half. Grizzlies scored a late try to win it 27 - 12.

I predict that their match up in Blaine at the NASC's will be an interesting one!!

We ended Sunday w/ tacos, wine and more great conversation at Jen Crawford's house and then were up at 4 am to fly home to San Diego on Monday morning.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to officiate this match. And a super special thanks to Deb and Lois (and their families) for coming out on Sunday morning to run the lines.

Dana T


• Prime Rib
• Stuffed Chicken Breast
• Grilled Salmon
• Pasta (can be vegetarian by request)

Let Paul Berman know of your menu choices:

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

(510) 787-1135

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

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

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

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


This is the kind of letter that all aspiring referees hope to see when they open their e-mail:

“On behalf of the NAWIRA Executive, I am pleased to invite you to appoint a USA match official to participate at the upcoming NAWIRA RWC 2007 Under Nineteen Qualifier Tournament, taking place in George Town, Cayman Islands, July 7 - 14, 2007.The appointed official will probably be involved in the competition Final, so this should be a consideration. The event will be preceded by a workshop for officials, conducted by Alan Biggs of the RFU, on Friday, July 6th.I would appreciate your response to this invitation at your earliest convenience.”

Barbara and Cap
Cap and Barbara Pelletier enjoy the evening at a SCRRS banquet. Our readers will remember him better in his pith helmet, following the bouncing ball from coast to coast.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, June 05, 2007




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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Teams can register for the competition online using PayPal.


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final score was Santa Cruz 34 and Teddington 3.

FRIDAY, June 1 at Crocker Amazon:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

(510) 787-1135

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris