Phil Ulibarri has been promoted to C3. Congratulations to Phil, the latest in our line of Reno whistlers.
PICK UP AT SFO?
We need a volunteer to pick up an exchange referee at SFO Saturday morning and take him to San Mateo High School.
If your game schedule would allow, Mitch Damm from Texas will arrive about 11:30 AM. The pitch isn’t far. He’ll have a ride afterwards.
Let us know and we can send you the details.
MARCH AVAILABILITY NEEDED
Please let us know which weekends you can referee in March and whether you are willing to travel to a game:
March 1 Travel: Yes/No
March 8 Travel: Yes/No
March 15 Travel: Yes/No
March 22 Travel: Yes/No
March 29 Travel: Yes/No
EAST MIDLANDS EXCHANGE
Old friend and repeat visitor Andy Canning will be joining us, along with Tony Kennedy, from March 6th to the 16th.
We will have a society dinner on Saturday, March 15, to entertain and honor our guests. Mark your calendar, find your pelican mascots, and get your numbers ones to the dry cleaner.
SAN DIEGO SEVENS
If you missed it, you can see the highlight of the weekend right here:
Wednesday, February 6
STANFORD 43 – Sacramento State 17 Referee: Pete Smith
Maritime Academy 0 – CALIFORNIA 55 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
I arrived at the Cal Maritime pitch about 6 for a 7 pm kickoff between the Cal Maritime Keelhaulers and the Cal Bears.
The pitch is one the nicest in Northern California and the weather was perfect for rugby. The Bears controlled the match scoring 4 tries in the first half and 4 tries and a penalty goal in the second to win 55 to 0.
Thursday, Feb. 7
San Jose State 0 – UC SANTA CRUZ 19 Referee: Joe Androvich
There's a first time for everything, even getting hit in the face with a kicked ball, which unfortunately happened to me in the 70th minute.
Friday, Feb. 8
OMBAC 15 - CALIFORNIA 37 Referee: Paul Bretz
Cal defeated OMBAC in a match played at the San Diego Invitational, which was held Thursday and Friday.
In the other college-super league matchup, Santa Monica narrowly got by BYU.
There were rugby games on eight pitches for two full days, as the organizers of the Sevens have finally figured out how to draw in rugby folk for a weekend.
Jesuit 29 - CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 32 Referee: Chris Tucker
Something was afoot when, after winning the first breakdown, the Jesuit back line span it out wide, only for the pass to go behind the receiver. This happened all too often; when ball went to hand, they gained ground well, but when the mistakes frequently occurred they went backwards 20 metres. Without 2 of their starting lineup, they were definitely not firing on all 8 cylinders. Nonetheless, Jesuit made good early running, and came close to a try, only to knock on before it could be touched down. CB responded well, slotting a penalty and 2 tries (one converted) in the first half to Jesuit's unconverted try to make the score 15-5 at the half.
Sadly the second half was mostly played with fewer players than the first, as Jesuit had 2 yellows for repeated infringement, and CB lost their fiery 8-man for a calming 10 minutes after 2 dubious tackles in a row and another player at the death for repeatedly killing the ball as they scrambled to keep their lead. The game was played with passion bordering on the unsportsmanlike by both teams. But enough cool heads were present to quiet the more excitable elements and to point out the potential hazards of celebrating a try in your opponents' faces...
The game was ultimately put away by a couple of smartly taken interceptions by the CB Outside Centre that he ran in unopposed. A spirited Jesuit comeback in the final quarter fell just short as time expired, with their last 2 tries falling unconverted. All round a great game to open the season, and credit to both sides for a hard fought game.
It was summed up nicely by the Jesuit captain who admitted in the post-game huddle "We underestimated you."
LAMORINDA 50 – De La Salle 5 Referee: Preston Gordon
It was a beautiful day in the east bay last Saturday, and we kicked off on time on the Moraga high school's fake-grass field. It's quite an interesting surface, and works just fine with short-stud boots.
Lamorinda was more experienced and had played together longer, and this showed in the result. Several times players took actions indicating an unfamiliarity with the laws - coming in from the side at breakdowns, for example - but overall it was a good match.
There were another couple of games afterwards, and I stuck around and did the first half of the Lamorinda-Dixon HS game. There was more inexperience than the first game here, but again all was well. When I left at halftime, the score was 24-5 to Lamorinda. I believe they went on to win.
With all the kids that showed up, there could have been 2-3 more games. Unfortunately, the 90 rugby players (and their supporters, mostly parents) were kicked off the field so that all 10 members of the girls' Lacrosse team could have a practice session.
JV: SAN FRANCISCO GOLDEN GATE 15 – Jesuit 10 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
A good fast match played with skills and sportsmanship by two even and committed sides. It could have gone either way, but SFGG put in more tries. Final score SFGG B 15 - Jesuit 10.
Varsity: SF/Golden Gate 12 – JESUIT 20 Ref: Stumer
This was the stunner of the day, as I was amazed by the speed, size, skills, and tenacity of these two sides. The level and intensity of this match surprised and some of the breaks left me gasping for breath (too bad this was my second match). Every tackle involved at least two tacklers, every loose ball was pounced on, and every involvement between opposing players happened at speed and with ferocious intensity.
Tempers were near the boiling point, but two yellow cards issued at the first half - one for kicking, and the other for a pile-driving tackle - put a little more calm on the proceedings. A fairly close match between two experienced sides of surprising talent for their youth. Ultimately Jesuit walked away with it. Final score: SFGG Varsity 12 - Jesuit Varsity 20. A large crowd in attendance, big coaching staffs for both sides, the professional background of Rocca Field all spoke volumes about the quality of these two high school programs. With action like this at hand, the future of US Rugby looks bright.
SAN MATEO 17 – South Bay Exiles 10 Referee: Dave Heath
San Mateo are the new kids on the block and this was their first 'full' game after their very creditable performance in the Sacramento KOT. The game was played at a fast pace with a lot of commitment from both sides. Exiles had the better of the opening exchanges with San Mateo being a little bit too eager and conceding a number of penalties for off-side. As the game settled down San Mateo started to put a few passes together and were rewarded with the opening try after with a sweeping move up their right. Exiles came back strongly and after having one surge over the line held up, they took the lead with a smartly taken quick penalty by their No 10, who strolled over untouched as the Mateo players were retiring with their backs to the ball. 7-5 at half-time.
The second half saw Exiles extend their lead with a well struck penalty but they then conceded momentum, especially by losing a lot of line out ball to 'not straight' throws. The San Mateo forwards began to exert more pressure and scored two more well-worked tries, one converted. In the last 10 minutes the Exiles were on the back foot as San Mateo began to enjoy themselves and run from deep positions. They were twice held up over the line and the game finished 17-10 to San Mateo.
Live Oak 5 – SANTA ROSA 27 Referee: Chris Fisher
CLUBS AND COLLEGES
RENO 41 – Chico 34 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
I drove up to Reno Saturday and was surprised at the amount of snow on the ground on the way up. The snow plows had been working the weekend before and had the snow piled high on the sides on the road. When I got to Reno, all of the hills and mountains around Reno were covered in snow right down to city level. The pitch was clear, the sun was out and all of the locals remarked at this being the first nice Saturday of the winter.
Most of the Chico Mighty Oaks were there at noon when I arrived as were a smattering of Reno Zephyrs.
We kicked off at 1, with Reno controlling the pace. Reno scored a couple of tries to take a 12 - 0 lead. Chico got on the board with a penalty kick, but Reno answered with another converted try. Chico kicked another penalty goal and Reno scored an unconverted try. Chico rallied just before halftime with a converted try to make it 24 - 13 at intermission.
The second half was a much more even affair. Reno scored a converted try and then Chico scored a converted try. Reno scored another converted try and then a penalty goal. Chico picked up the pace and scored 2 converted tries to pull within 7. Chico was pressuring late in the game when they kicked a deep kick into goal. The foot race was on, but the ball just dribbled over the deadball line as an arriving Chico player tried in vain to touch it down.
UC DAVIS 26 – St. Mary's 19 Referee: Joe Androvich
Assessor: Bryan Porter
Seconds: UC Davis 7 – ST. MARY’S 38 Referee: Chris Tucker
St Mary's exacted a measure of revenge for their A-side disappointment by running in 6 tries against UC Davis' reserves. Continual aggression at the breakdown resulted in frequent turnover ball which the backs frequently made good use of out wide. An impressive boot slotted 4/6 conversions to make the score 38-0. At the death some spirited Davis play resulted in a deserved consolation try, but the result was never in doubt.
Humboldt State women 6 – UC DAVIS 7 Referee: JC Van Staden
A perfect day for rugby, with temperatures in the 70’s, with a lot of sunshine, and barely any wind. Despite the 7hr drive and 1 speeding ticket, the game kicked off at 12h05, with both teams ready as could be, running drills since 11 am….
Humboldt surprisingly choose to receive after winning the toss. The game was in full swing, after Davis start opening up the field and throwing the ball wide. Just a few minutes into the 1st half, they scored after playing good advantage after repeated offside from Humboldt players. The kick was good, and Davis was setting the pace. The sea air on the other end was counting in the home teams advantage, so did all the home spectators. Humboldt spend a concessive 15 min in Davis 22, and the pressure start to show, as both the fly half and scrum half of Davis ended up in the bin for repeated infringement, trying to win the ball back for Davis. Humboldt fail to score though, and the half time score was 7 to 0 in the visitors favor.
Second half was all over the place, with Humboldt showing a lot more direction and composure which gave them 2 successful attempts at goal to make the score 6-7. Humboldt through everything at it, but Davis pulled it together and defend their 1 point lead successfully.
Seconds: HUMBOLDT STATE 38 – UC Davis 5 Ref: Van Staden
With both teams suffering of some injuries, nothing stopped them to field 12 women a side teams.
Both teams play there hart out from the kick off, but all honors went to Humboldt. The spectators kept on growing, and so did their confidence. Running in 3 converted tries the 1st half, Humboldt show great strength crushing through the middle field. With a lot of talent sitting on the side line the 1st game, Humboldt send a fearless second squad on the field. Davis managed 1 consolation try, which got over-shadowed by another 3 tries by Humboldt.
Stanford Development 27 – PENINSULA GREEN 41 Referee: Sandy Robertson
The two sides played running rugby. Peninsula Green was able to break through Stanford's defense more often than Stanford was able to return the favor. Midway through the second half Peninsula Green was up by ~25 points. Stanford never quit and two tries late in the game brought them back into it, but they were unable to conjure up the final 14 points.
STANFORD women 67 – Nevada 0 Referee: Tony Redmond
A better drilled and more skilful Stanford women’s team scored 11 tries against a brave but uncompetitive Nevada side. Key players on the Stanford team included 8, 10, and 12. Ten orchestrated matters behind the scrum and 12 scored a wonderful try between the posts midway through the second half when a tiring defence was opened up by two sidesteps and sheer pace. Nevada’s 8 was the pick of their team as she remained physically competitive at the breakdown throughout the game and forced several turnovers. Alas, her team could not function at the same level.
Seconds: STANFORD women 24 – California 15 Referee: Anna McMahan
After the torrential downpours of last weekend, it was so nice to have a perfect day for rugby at Stanford's pitch. Stanford's second side took the field using some of the inertia from their first side's match, and opened scoring with an unconverted try 10 minutes in by their fullback. Cal answered with their own unconverted try 4 minutes later. Stanford's backline ran angled and looping attacks, and ultimately put up two more tries, both converted. The second half started with some of Stanford's more seasoned players off the field, and Cal took advantage to open the scoring less than 10 minutes in when their flanker dove on a mishandled ball in Stanford's try zone.
Stanford put up another try through their backs just a few minutes later, and the next 20 minutes was full of back and forth play by both teams. Cal scored again with less than 10 minutes left in the game, and threatened Stanford's line for the last minute of the game, but was unsuccessful in the end. No second half tries were converted.
SACRAMENTO STATE women 46 – Santa Clara 10 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Referee Coach: Sam Reagle
Saturday morning at Sac State was a great venue and time for the spirited game between Sac State women and Santa Clara, who unlike the referee, drove up the night before. Sac State scored first and in the first minute, followed with dominating possession and break-aways for the rest of the half. Santa Clara found itself needing to commit too many players to the tackle in the first half, and Sac State led by 27 - 0 at the end of the first half. Santa Clara came back to play to a much closer 19 - 10 second half.
Tuesday, 4:00 PM
CALIFORNIA 50 – Sacramento State 3 Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judges: Eric Rauscher, Bryant Byrnes/John Coppinger
Pelican without Portfolio: Mike King
(Score estimated from memory by the referee while he was driving home from the game.)
THIS WEEK’S PHOTO
Pelicus the Centurion enjoyed the weekend in San Diego at the iRB Sevens and found some kindred spirits who also know how to dress for international sevens tournaments: Tina Nesberg and Jackie Finck.
For the Senate