Tuesday, March 18, 2008




One of our newest members, and one who passed the Level One referee course only last week, Chris Labozzetta has been promoted to C3.


BA Baracus 3 – SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 33 Referee: Andy Canning

My final game of the tour was upon me, Polo field No 4 at Golden Gate Park was going to be the last time I refereed a 15 a side game. I had thought long and hard about the decision prior to the tour and felt that any location in Nor Cal was likely to be a special place to hang up the boots.

As I sat there before the game I thought back to some of the venues I had refereed at over the years, Twickenham was a high but there were also trips to Redruth in Cornwall, Vale of Lune (Up t'north) as well as those more local trips in and around the Midlands. I reminded my self that refereeing had given me a great deal of fun and although at the very top it can be a little dog eat dog at times I think I can say I have enjoyed it 95% of the time and of course I have met and become friends with people all over the world as a direct result of my spot. Three trips to the US and numerous small trips with Murray Felstead et al have provided me with some treasured memories.

So to the games! BA Baracus were always a little underpowered during the match Sacramento Capitals were a little stronger and more efficient. SC scrummage was particularly strong and as a result BA were more often than not getting poor ball from the resets and they never really coped with that disadvantage.

However both sides tried to play open and expansive rugby, the tackle area went well and the ball was recycled well throughout the game by both sides. The wind played a significant feature in the game and BA played against it in the first half and consequently spent most of it in their own half. Half time was 0-19.

The second half was tighter until the last 10 mins with BA holding out SC with the help of some determined tackling and a strong wind which allowed them to kick ball away. Substitutions, as is often the case, changed the dynamics of the game and in the last 10 minutes fresh legs allowed SC to break through twice and seal off the win. (3 - 33)

Perhaps a sign from above that my decision to hang up the boots was the right one came when about 4 minutes from the end of the second half my right Hamstring went bang. There was no way I could even contemplate hobbling along for the last few minutes so both Captains agreed to end it there and then.

After the first team game I waited while David watched a new referee from Nor Cal on the second team game. I'm not normally drawn to comment on other referees but this one was Welsh and as Wales had just won the Grand Slam was full of it. I suppose he's allowed his moment of glory!! But to kick a man when he can’t even hobble I thought was particularly British of him!! Bravo!

Post match we changed at the Golden Gate clubhouse and moved on to the final dinner. A very pleasant evening saying thank you to your society for its hospitality and friendship. I am determined that even if I am not refereeing that this exchange will continue and I look forward to host some of you in the fall.

Finally on behalf of Tony and I can I give formal thanks to all those we have interacted with during our trip. It really has been fantastic fun and I leave refereeing safe in the knowledge that at least within Nor Cal our chosen activity is safe.


We’ve only got ten or so games per week to assign, not including the high school playoffs which will start mid-month, and there are a lot of playoff games that will need touch judges.

Because there are so few games, consider this your last call for availability. Let me know whether you can work each Saturday and whether you’d like to run touch for playoff games. We have NorCal, Pacific Coast, Competitive Region and USA playoffs which will need TJs.


The NCRRS will be offering the IRB Touch Judging Courses, levels 1 – 4, on Sunday, March 30.

The course will begin at 11 AM and should be done by 5 PM. It will be held at the SF/GG clubhouse on Treasure Island.

Bruce Carter and Mike Malone will be the instructors. Please contact Mike Malone if you are interested in attending:


This course is necessary for club members who wish to run touch for their own teams and also be empowered to flag and report foul play. It is also a requirement for referees who wish to be promoted to C1 (or above), and it would be an excellent refresher for those who wish to work the many upcoming playoffs that NorCal will be hosting.


Tuesday, March 11:

ST. MARY’S 42 – Texas A&M 24 Referee: Pete Smith

Seconds: ST. MARY’S 38 – Texas A&M 35 Referee: Bryant Byrnes

A Tuesday afternoon barnburner in Moraga. The Aggies came to play and the Gaels obliged them.

The Texas fellas scored first, but it was Gaels 21 -15 at half. The Texas fellas also scored last at full time but came up short having missed all of their conversion kicks. Oddly, their kicker used his shoe as a tee for several kicks. Are shoes as kicking tees approved by the Union? Probably not. Where is Dave Williamson when you need him?

Thanks to Pete Smith for TJing and coaching.


STANFORD development 40 – Santa Clara seconds 29 Referee: Sandy Robertson

The young'uns from 2 programs that stress attacking rugby got together for a match that included at least 11 tries, scored from all over the pitch. Santa Clara got its first try about 5 minutes in. Stanford responded with 3 converted tries before Santa Clara responded with an additional 17 points to finish out the half. Stanford pulled away a bit in the 2nd stanza, but Santa Clara continued to attack and Stanford couldn't breathe easy until the final whistle sounded.

Cal Maritime 29 – DIABLO GAELS U23, 37 Referee: Andy Canning

Touch Judges: Tony Kennedy and David Williamson

It was just like being back in good old England...50 degrees and a nip in the wind. This floodlit game turned out to be a great game. Pregame was interesting as the two sides displayed completely different attitudes to warming up, Cal Maritime were almost military whilst Diablo reminded me on my old English club, just having a bit of a jog whilst having a good chat. But at kickoff it was clear that both sides were up for the game.

Cal Maritime dominated the first half, kicking with the wind they managed to pin back Diablo almost wholly into their own half. Diablo never gave up and when the opportunity arose took full advantage. Both sets of players responded well to the team of three, listening and reacting to the calls which created space for the players to move the ball around.

One of Diablo's star players unfortunately came off injured just before half time, he had been playing what could be called a multiple role in that he was an open side flanker who went into tight head prop at offensive scrums and then threw the ball in at the lineout!!. Half time was 21-07.

The second half kicked off with a bang as Diablo scored twice quickly but missed the conversions pulling it back to 21 - 17. For the rest of the match both sets of players played their hearts out, full on tackling and some high quality recycling of the ball. Sadly the Diablo no 9 lost his head and was eventually red carded for unsportsmanlike conduct but it didn't seem to faze his team mates who just kept on going.

With two minutes remaining it was 29 - 29, I was suddenly concerned I might have to buy drinks and I knew there were at least four referees present! But with only about a minute left Diablo converted a penalty to take the lead and then from the restart managed to break through and score a final decisive try.

Post match we had to turn down Pizza as we had a date at the Dead Fish. Two highlights for me from the visit to the Dead Fish, firstly my Prime Rib was fantastic (You just can’t get that in the UK) and secondly we realized we were in the presence of greatness when an old lady game up and asked if Tony was Tommy Lee Jones!!! I don't know what she'd been drinking but it was obviously powerful stuff.


Super League:
SF/Golden Gate 17 – OMBAC 18 Referee: Chris Draper

Touch Judges: Bruce Carter, Sandy Robertson
Assessor: Dixon Smith

Former Golden Gate player Jason Raven scored in the last minute to steal a victory from the home team, who had opened each half with a well-worked forwards try in the corner.

ALL BLUES 43 – Oregon Rugby Sports Union 24 Referee: Bruce Carter

The All Blues have a lot of new faces on the field, with many of the familiar faces on the sidelines these days due to career progression or injuries.

This youth corps ran up a 34 – 7 lead at the half, seeming to dominate every aspect of play.

ORSU’s forwards resumed play after the break with a new commitment to attack that resulted in the first 17 points scored being theirs. The All Blues regrouped after this uncharacteristic barrage of points against to score the final try of the match.

Rocca Field was in great shape and we appreciated the holdover audience who stayed to brave the cold wind.

Sacramento Lions 25 – OLYMPIC CLUB 66 Referee: John Pohlman

Evaluator: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Touch Judges Chris Tucker & Olympic Club player-referee

Sacramento Lions hosted Olympic Club in a Division 1 contest at Danny Nunn Park in Sacramento.

It was a beautiful day for rugby. The field reminded me of the ones I grew up playing on back in Illinois. OK but not up to our lush Northern California standards.

We kicked off at exactly 1:00 O'clock. Sacramento started fast. The lions experienced scrum half Neumi Nadruku picked up, dummied and outpaced OC for the first try at 5 minutes. Sac's captain #13 Dennis Schaaf then broke two tackles and sprinted in five minutes later.

OC realized they needed to get the ball, keep it and score. OC scored two tries in the next ten minutes. The second a beautiful movement with multiple phases and the ball handled by at least six different players. Dotted down by #12 A. Meyer.

Wow 16 minutes in four tries.

OC's fitness, organization and defense was just too much for the athletic Lions.

We did not seem to have any rucks or mauls in the first half. Mostly OC would work the ball down the field with multiple phases and passes. Then either finishing in the end zone or losing the ball in a thundering Sac tackle. Where the lions would run into, threw and around the OC defenders. Again either to score or turn the ball over by outrunning their support.

What a fun half to referee. Five penalties. Nine tries. Loads of great passes and hard tackles. No management concerns.

Half time score Sac 15 OC 40

The second half felt different.

Not sure if it was the substitutions, general fatigue by the players or a lapse by the referee. The penalty count went up. The scores went down.

OC looked good. They stayed with their pattern. Their fitness is good. And they were rewarded with four tries in the second half.

Sac. played hard the whole game. They scored two more tries in the second half. But lost two players to the Super League. Lost a few more to injuries. And had some come out late and thus not in game shape.

Final Olympic Club 66 Sacramento 25

I want to thank my two outstanding touch judges. Chris Tucker a Pelican Referee. And a player from OC who has refereed in Australia. Please consider joining the referee society. Both helped me more than they may have realized.

I also want to thank Kat Todd-Schwartz for some great feedback. Kat was evaluating me for the game. She gave me a couple of management tools after the game. These tips could have helped the second half match up to the pace and style of the first half. Maybe next week...

Seconds: Sacramento Lions 10 – OLYMPIC CLUB 43 Referee: Chris Tucker

Touch Judge: Eugene Baker

I ran touch for the first match at the Danny Nunn Dustbowl and was amused by the striking similarity to the NBA allstar game -- plenty of good rugby going forwards, and no more than a couple of lazy tackles in defence. Beaucoup points resulted, and it was a lot of fun.

The seconds match took place after an intervening JV game, watched over by newly-qualified Eugene Baker, who kindly ran touch for me in my game.

The game itself was played in good spirit by both sides; Olympic Club had the much more organised team, and ran in 4 tries before the Lions were properly warmed up. Once they were, however, the home crowd had something to cheer for when several phases of possession were put together by the Lions for a good try towards the end of the half. One more to the reds made it 33-5 at the half.

30 seconds into the second half and a high tackle by a Lions player saw a sinbin; the carded player was a sub brought on at halftime. The smile on his face after helping up his opposite number suggested that this wasn't a man who fancied playing a full half of rugby. Happy to oblige. 2 more tries to OC vs. 1 to the Lions brought the contest to an end, and I jumped on my bike to ride 7 miles into a headwind to get home.

HAYWARD 46 – Diablo Gaels 17 Referee: Tony Kennedy (Cambridgeshire)

No reds; no yellows. Really good game. Behaviour excellent.

Seconds: HAYWARD 27 – Diablo Gaels 14 Referee: Sam Davis

SAN MATEO 31 – Haggis 17 Referee: Pete Smith

Touch Judge: Eric Rauscher
Evaluator: Mike Malone

San Mateo played on the synthetic football field at San Mateo HS. Fortunately they used the yellow soccer lines, not the football lines. Unfortunately, they set the 22M line at the 20 yard line not the 25 and the field is a little short. Aside from that, I couldn’t ask for more as it was a great day for rugby. The HS team had just finished a scrimmage, so they added to the crowd. Both teams played a wide-open, hard-hitting style that paced the hosts to a 14-0 halftime lead.

Haggis came right back in the second half with an early try 14-7, then another unconverted to make it 14-12 and the game began to tighten up. San Mateo pushed and shoved their way to a very hard fought, crash, crash, crash try, followed by a penalty kick 24-12. With two Haggis players in the bin and one San Mateo player in the bin, the winger for San Mateo on a 75 meter, short side dash just flat outran everyone. They rounded out the scoring with a great extra time try by Haggis- Final score 31-17.

Fresno 12 – SEAHAWKS 52 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Seconds: Fresno 0 – SEAHAWKS 31 Referee: James Hinkin

With Fresno missing much of their team due to a tour and San Jose not traveling as strong as it has recently the B side match featured many familiar faces from the previous game. San Jose started the game brightly and looked to be stronger from the off. The game was kept closer than the play indicated mostly through the efforts of the Fresno scrumhalf who was playing his second game but was a disruptive force all over the pitch. San Jose was able to put 2 tries (1 converted) on the board in the first half with no reply from Fresno.

The second half saw the fatigue factor play a part as Fresno started getting more and more tired. The fresh San Jose legs were able to find more gaps as time when on with several length of the pitch tries scored. Near the end of the match a more surprising try was scored as Fresno defended their line at a ruck 3 meters out. All of the Fresno defenders moved away to guard the fringes leaving nobody in front of the ruck. The surprised San Jose prop Eric “Dr. Scrum Jr” Buchanan picked the ball up and rumbled untouched into the try zone. Final score: San Jose 31, Fresno 0.

SANTA ROSA over Arroyo Grande by forfeit

SF/Golden Gate 15 – EAST PALO ALTO 55 Referee: Sandy Robertson

In the end the Razorbacks mixture of youth and experience was too much for SFGG. After a competitive 1st half the score was 22-15. In the 2nd period the Razorbacks turned up the pressure, scoring an additional 5 tries.

Seconds: SFGG 12 – East Palo Alto 7 Referee: Rob Hendrickson

The B sides of SF GG and East Palo Alto clashed in the 1 hour interval between the A sides and the SF GG/OMBAC super league game at TI on Saturday afternoon under cloudy skies. Both sides were able to move the ball but had problems crossing the goal line and touching the ball down. The score was tied at the half, with action in the second half slowing down.

Seconds: BA Baracus 12 – SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 55 Referee: Dave Heath

Evaluator: David Williamson

This game was definitely a game of two halves. BA Baracus, playing in the first half with the wind behind them turned around with a 12-10 lead. However, in the second half Sacramento really turned pressure into points with 7 unanswered tries, 5 of them converted in sometimes unusual style by their tight-head.

Kudos to Dave Williams for leaning into the gale to give much appreciated feedback on my performance.

Mendocino 22 – VALLEJO 52 Referee: Cary Bertolone

Two 1st year clubs squared off on a beautiful Mendo day (w/ snow on mtns) and battle they did. Vallejo scored first and Mendo followed w/ a kick to make it 5-3. Vallejo had some great backline running and muscled their way to a 26-8 halftime score. The larger, stronger Vallejo team started the second half winning most of the ball and doing most of the scoring, but Mendo regained their intensity and scored the last two tries (mostly with their forwards) for a final score of 52-22, Vallejo. Both teams played hard, enthusiastic rugby; there were a lot of guys limping (from both teams) at game's end. Both teams should be proud. Afterward, Mendo put on a great party for all-there was food, beer, men of the match, inspiring speeches and rugby songs to boot! Great guys on both teams!!! Cheers!

VACAVILLE 29 – Chico 20 Referee: John Coppinger

A very competitive and compelling match of two well-coached and fit teams on a beautiful late winter afternoon in Vacaville. Unfortunately, the match was played on a football field surround by a track. If the pitch had been regulation, each side might have put up 50 points, though not by reason of poor defense. Vacaville has pace and the ability to put the ball through the tightest of spaces, while Chico has power and pace. Chico scored late to cut the Vacaville lead to 4, but Vacaville scored soon after to put the match away.

Two well captained clubs as well; it was a pleasure.

Shasta 15 – Humboldt 15 Referee: Bryant Byrnes

A pretty spring day in Redding, lessened a bit by medieval rugby. Some good hardnosed play, but most of us could have lived without the several gratuitous away-from-the-ball fights and big baby whining.

Humboldt lead at half 10-0, but Shasta made some strategic substitutions at half that let them come back hard and pull up even.

STANISLAUS 22 – Aptos 5 Referee: Scott Wood

Touch Judges: Supplied by Harlots
Pitch: Christofferson Park and Drainage Basin, Turlock

I arrived at Turlock High School to find the Harlots sorting out where to play the match. A baseball game was on adjacent to their usual pitch location and kicks could interfere with the hardball game. Seeing as provoking people armed with aluminum bats is not a prudent idea, it was decided to relocate to another part of town. Christofferson Park serves a dual role as a park and a storm basin. I will say this field is without a doubt the best Division 3 field I have ever seen. With a nice, unobtrusive crown down the middle, the Harlots measured out a 100-meter by 65-meter (they would have gone 70 but were pressed for time) pitch. The grass provided for firm footing and a decent cushion.

Aptos was only able to travel with 15 players while Harlots had a full roster and then some. The match primarily consisted of east-west movement interrupted by uncountable knockons. Both teams mauled very well including one Harlots maul where an Aptos player legally entered the piece, swam through the pack, and emerged on the other side with ball in hand. While there was not much of the anticipated D3 chirping, a couple bouts of poor discipline and hotheadedness did manage to appear. Harlots scored two unconverted tries, the second of which was as my watch sounded off, to enter the half leading 10-0. The second half was similar to the first except Harlots managed to convert one of its two tries and Aptos scored an unconverted try.

BERKELEY 85 – Petaluma 0 Referee: Anna McMahan

It was an early day for rugby, as I arrived at the Treasure Island pitch for a 9:00am game to find a HS boys match in full swing already. Berkeley was setting up restraining ropes and proper flags around the HS spectators, and fortunately for the set up crew the field markings from last week were still visible. Petaluma came one player short, but borrowed a willing prop to round out their 15. The match kicked off a few minutes late, as the HS boys teams tried to squeeze in as much rugby as possible before leaving the pitch.

Both teams showed up to play, though Berkeley's discipline and fitness made them a tough team to match. They led off scoring just 3 minutes into the match when a flanker scored through open play. Berkeley scored 4 more times in the next 25 minutes, all through breaks in the Petaluma back line. Berkeley finished out the half with another loose forward try, and their fullback converted all but 2 tries in the half. Petaluma played good close-in defense and contested at the breakdown, but Berkeley was able to make breaks through the backs or on the outside, and in multiphase play.

The second half saw much more of the same, with 5 of Berkeley's 7 tries coming from their backs on breaks in the Petaluma defense. The other two tries were scored by tight five forwards after sustained pressure at Petaluma's line. Berkeley's fullback brought his conversion percentage up to 77%, as he converted all but 1 of the second half tries. Petaluma had more possession in the second half, and came close to scoring several times after attacking runs by individuals, but ultimately could not breach the Berkeley defense. Both teams should be commended for excellent discipline and responsiveness to the ref. Foul play was minimal and the on-field chatter was generally good natured, which made for a good game of rugby.

BERKELEY seconds 40 – McGeorge 13 Referee: Chris Labozzetta

Fog 17 – MARIN 22 Referee: Bjorn Stumer

A spirited match between two rivals who seemed to really desire the win. Marin appeared to have the initial upper hand, but the FOG begged to differ and clawed back to a five-point difference by the end of the match. On the last play a FOG attacker right in front of the posts, and with numerous FOG players at his side, decided to hold on to the ball and meet the sole Marin defender. He was tackled, a ruck ensued and Marin hands caused a penalty for the FOG. Quick tap to the side, a knock on, and the final whistle. The FOG spoiled a certain victory, but can remain proud of a good performance.

Both teams gave and took in equal amounts with a degree of animosity which petered out on the second half, after Marin was given a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. Quite a few good runs, aggressive tackling, and good mauling by both teams. A fun day for all at the uneven Job Corps field at Treasure Island.

Fog seconds – San Francisco State
Not sure whether this one happened.

California women 5 – CHICO STATE 57 Referee: Tom Zanarini

Seconds: California – Chico State
Not sure whether this one happened, either.

UC Davis women 22 – ST. MARY’S 40 Referee Rod Chance

The Ladies from Saint Mary’s came out strong controlling the first half with 3 tries.

Davis scored 2 quick tries after the half and was back in the game. Davis was again inside the 22 when an intercepted pass was run back for a try. There was another break-away try by Saint Mary's broke the back of the Davis women

Sacramento State 19 – STANFORD 31 Referee: JC Van Staden

Touch Judges: Ray Schwartz, Jim Read

It was a nice and sunny day in Sacramento, with some clouds and a little wind picking up to the end of the second half.

Stanford arrived bright and early, as expected from such a conditioned club, but was not prepared for what was to come...

Sac decided to stand firm, and came with boots and all into the University clash. After only a few minutes on the field, Sac opened the score board with a try, after a lot of driving and pealing of the edges by the front 8. Stanford quickly realize what was going on and after a penalty kick, they started to spread the ball wide, and score 3 brilliant, but, opportunistic tries, to open the gap to 24 against 7. Regardless Sac State's domination in most of the aspects of the game, they trailed by 16 points.

The second half Sac got the good word from their coaches, and came back with a quick converted try. Also their defense were making 1st time tackles, and restricted Stanford to only 1 converting try. Stanford on the other hand, due to frustration for not having the ball, lost their composure and ended up with 2 yellow cards for repeated infringements. Sac State could not manage to take full advantage of that, and were able to score only 1 try during the power play. Stanford, with only 14 players in the last 20 min of the game, regrouped and shut them down to win the game 31 to 19.

Seconds: SAC STATE 55 – Stanford 10 Referee: James Read

The score doesn't reflect the work put in by Stanford. The first quarter of the game was scoreless until the Sac state finally scored at 20 minutes. Stanford would assert pressure only to lose the ball by handling errors and unfortunate bounces of the ball. The Hornets came together in the second half but came very close to playing a man down thanks to some questionable timing on the part of their hooker. Both teams played phased rugby and retained the ball to good effect.

UC Davis 10 – CALIFORNIA 38 Referee: Dave Pope

At Davis, UC Berkeley beat UC Davis 38 to 10. The weather was very cooperative for this clash of two of the top collegiate teams in Northern California. This game was played at a very high rate of speed and high skill level. Both teams came to play, with slightly different game plans.

Davis tackled very aggressively, but spread out defensively after the tackle rather than seriously contesting the breakdown. This meant that they hardly ever claimed turnover ball over after the tackle, but also that they did not give up many line breaks or much around the fringes. Berkeley somewhat played into Davis' hands by dropping what I assume was an uncharacteristic number of passes. Many times Cal would methodically move the ball a long way up the field only to knock the ball on with a dropped pass. Davis helped many of these drops by hitting very hard and very quickly.

Cal chose to contest defensive rucks and scrums. This lead to more turnovers, but also lead to penalties against them and to the occasional line break by the Davis backs. The Cal cover defense was up to the task all but one time, as Davis managed one long try against the Cal defense.

Cal was the stronger team on the day, and controlled much of the game, but Davis was always a threat. Standouts for Cal were the captain and #7 who led from the front all day, and the Cal kicker who converted 4 of 5 kicks, few of which were easy. The one miss was on target but died in the strong wind.

Seconds: UC Davis 0 – CALIFORNIA 103 Referee: Phil Ulibarri

Touch Judges: Josh Warburg, Andrew Messon, and Nick Yancy

The pitch was trim, fast and well prepared for the Bear-Aggie clash with the Cal 2nds ready to show they are the second-best collegiate side in the country. Cal demonstrated excellent skills in every facet of the game, easily able to move the ball at will from any kick, tackle and break down situation. Even though Davis understood several of the Cal signals they were defenseless to stop the tight pack play and the quick, precision backline passing. The first half ended 62 - nil. Not much changed in the second half for either club. With a few substitutions on for both sides the pace of the match stayed very fast. Final score Cal 103- Davis 0.

U. of San Francisco 15 – UC SANTA CRUZ 17 Referee: Preston Gordon

USF 15-17 UCSC

The rain threatened but never came to USF's artificial turf soccer field, which is more than a little smaller than 100x70m.

USF didn't have a full side, and only had one hooker, but UCSC was kind enough to loan their opponents enough players to make up the difference, although uncontested scrums had to be ordered at halftime due to a lack of suitably-trained replacements.

Overall, this was a very choppy game, with a lot of kicking, stoppages for knock-ons, accidental offside, and other such things. The halftime score was 3-0 in favor of UCSC, but the second half was a lot more interesting even though USF played with only 14 men. A series of back-and-forth tries (the first scored by the UCSC fullback within a minute of his return from the sin bin) led to a nail-biting finish whereby the USF fly-half had the opportunity to draw the match by converting a try scored right at the death. He couldn't quite make the attempt from a meter inside the touchline, however - and this reporter blew up for full-time secretly quite relieved that he missed. After all, turning up to the referees' banquet later that night with a draw to report could have been hazardous to the wallet!

Stanford Grad – Haas Business School – MARAUDERS Referee: Bruce Bernstein

Stanford Graduate Students hosted Cal's Haas Business School & the San Jose Marauders, with each team playing 40 minute-matches against the other 2 teams (or round-robin).

Marauders were 2-0; Stanford Grads went 1-1; and Haas was 0-2. Every match was close with each winner only winning by one try or 5 points.

The biz school from Cal redeemed themselves by winning the party. Although Stanford BBQd dogs & burgers (not to mention supplied the beautiful rugby field), Haas drove a trailer from Berkeley which was transformed into an instant party-mobile with kegs, a stereo, TV & blender. They are sponsored by both Pyramid Ale & Kezar Pub & proved it.


Nevada 5 – CALIFORNIA 45 Referee: Chris Tucker

Touch Judge: Don Pattalock
Assessor: Scott Wood

The snow melted in the morning sun on the artificial pitch up at UNR, which meant rugby was definitely on for the day. Scott Wood and I drove up in the morning arriving at the pitch around noon. Temperature of 38 degrees according to the car thermometer. Windy but no precipitation, hence hypothermia avoided, except by Woody on the sidelines.

Don Pattalock took the Queen's shilling and ran touch, with a Cal player on the other line to make up the trio. He did a good job, even getting praise from Don after the match.

Both teams came out to play, but an early defensive error gave Cal a quick score after 3 minutes (converted). Undaunted, the UNR team came back out and took the game to their opposition and made some good moves, passing the ball well. Unfortunately they weren't kicking the ball well at all, and some aimless bootwork led to two runs by the Cal backs touched down for scores. An elbow and a spear tackle also began to raise the temperature of a match that had already been marred by plenty of little niggly stuff from both sides. One more Cal try (converted) before the half made it 26-0 to the visitors.

In the second half, UNR began to find their feet, and some good running and quick recycle work saw a try scored after 8 minutes. They should have had another later in the half when a favourable bounce of the ball came down into the grateful hands of a UNR player in goal, only for the sense of occasion to get the better of him: he knocked on, and too bad because the kick was one of the few good UNR ones all day.

Cal added 2 more tries before my previous yellow card (elbow) decided enough was enough, and that a head-butt was the best way to end his season. He was all of 5'6", and chose a lock as his target. The difference was made up by some good vertical elevation, his jump getting him to the nose of his victim. He was duly dispatched to the sideline. His mother asked me after if I might change my mind, "I could, but I'm not going to." One more try for Cal saw the end of it, 45-5.

Post-match, Russ Wilkening and would-be rugger daughter Hannah came along to eat, drink and watch England stuff the Irish. Good times.

Seconds: Nevada – California CANCELED

ORSU women 12 – Belmont Shore 7 Referee: Phil Ulibarri

Touch Judges: Frank Merrill and Tony Kennedy (Cambridge, England)
Referee Coach: David Williamson

A crystal-clear but windy day on Treasure Island greeted the two traveling teams as the ORSU and Belmont Shore Women took to the back-up pitch for four twenty-minute periods of friendly rugby. With nothing really at stake the two sides played hard defensive rugby. Three outstanding backline movements (two-ORSU and one-Belmont Shore) resulting in tries demonstrated the teams' abilities with ball-in-hand once clean possession was realized. Final score ORSU 12-Belmont Shore 7.

UC Santa Cruz 0 – SANTA CLARA 51 Referee: Bruce Carter

The first recorded philosophical (as distinct from religious) utterance in history is Heraclitus’: ‘You cannot step into the same river twice’. Change is the only thing we can count on.

Yet we were very pleasantly surprised to hear the Banana Slugs’ new pre-game rally song, as clean as a freshly-boiled whistle! Perhaps they worked it up in preparation for their coming Australian tour.

But Santa Clara...these guys are certainly ready for the playoffs, closing out an undefeated season with an emphatic victory.

Seconds: UC Santa Cruz 0 – SANTA CLARA 22 - Referee: Larry Freitas

In a second side match between Santa Clara and UC Santa Cruz, the visitors from the Mission Campus won by scoring all 22 of their points in the first half of a fifty minute game. A few players from each side had played in the first side match also won by Santa Clara, who are now NorCal champs in the second division. Finals are on tap this week at both schools, but getting a game in for these second side players took priority for the time being.

UCSC had a game the day before away against USF in which many second side players participated; Santa Clara's B side played against Stanford's B side Friday. By the way, with that stiff wind blowing, the view of Monterey Bay was spectacular, and that's something I will never tire of from the UC Santa Cruz pitch.

Santa Clara is headed for the playoffs in Utah in a few weeks, and getting some playing time for these players was important. UCSC is heading to Australia on a tour after finals. Good luck to both teams!


Friday 14th

ELSIE ALLEN 27 – Windsor 12 Referee: Sean Peters

First half both teams played hard, Elsie’s rucking was awesome they really know how to clean a ruck, second half was the same hard hitting, rucking game, Elsie’s backs were fearless and set the pace, Windsor’s forwards were playing hard down to last minute.

COUGAR RUGBY CLUB 55 – Rio Rugby 14 Referee: Scott Wood

Location: Will Rogers Middle School, Carmichael
Two words: Excellent posts.

Cougar and Rio swapped tries to begin the match but the hosts opened up the game to lead at halftime 31-14. Second half was mostly Cougar although Rio maintained a strong defense. Relatively positive play was tarnished by five yellow cards (two spear tackles, two late tackles, and one swift kick in the rear).

SACRAMENTO AMAZONS 93 – Alameda 0 Referee: James Read

A noticeably larger and more aggressive Amazons side made short work of a smaller but equally enthusiastic Alameda side. Alameda would make good progress but too many turnovers and a smaller scrum made the away side hurt for possession. The Amazons were good with ball in hand making big runs then offloading into space.

LIVE OAK 18 – Silicon Valley 14 Referee: Chris Fisher

Silicon Valley can blame their lack of composure for losing. If they had kept to playing rugby rather then playing the opposition off the ball they would have won.

TRI-VALLEY 69 – Berkeley Rhinos 5 Referee: David Heath

Tri-Valley had total control of this game, with some all action performances from their pack, especially their No 7. In the backline the Tri-Valley No 10 gave a polished performance with a lovely mix of running, kicking and astute distribution. Berkeley tried to keep things tight and relied heavily on forward drives around the fringes, which looked impressive but never gained them much ground against the powerful Tri-Valley defence, except for the one occasion when a barn-storming run from their no 8 gave them cause for some ecstatic celebration.

Lamorinda 0 – SHAWNIGAN LAKE (Vancouver Island) 105 Referee: Paul Bretz


Seconds: Lamorinda – Shawnigan Referee: Tom Zanarini
No report received.

CHRISTIAN BROS 19 -- 14 Burbank Islanders Referee: Chris Tucker

Touch Judges: JC Van Staden, Ray Schwartz

A Saturday morning fixture saw two good sides square off on the Astroturf at Granite Park. Both teams were up for it, and some good attacking play was matched by strong defence on both sides. First to breach the line after 18 minutes was CB, touching down out wide after quick hands to the wing. The conversion missed, and it was 5-0. On the restart, an Islander flanker showed his talent for not learning (nor listening) and took the catcher in the air with no wrap. 10 minutes for you, squire. Undaunted, the Islanders came out fighting (not literally), and scored with a man down (converted). The half ended without further incident, 5-7.

CB came out strong in the second, and a nicely worked move resulted in their second try after 5 minutes (converted). At that point, however, their grasp of the plot began to waiver, as two high tackles in quick succession saw them down to 13 men. The Islanders were on the front foot, although they waited until both players were back on before scoring their try, converting it to take a 14-12 lead.

And this is where it gets interesting. A CB move near the end was foiled by a knock near the goal line, and the Islanders got the scrum just before time. They won the tap, and got the ball at the base of the scrum. However, instead of booting the ball across the nearest line (in this case the dead ball line) they chose to run it. And lost it. 2 penalties later, and with the Islander defence drawn in, the right wing touched down for the winning try.

Hayward 6 – Piedmont 6 Referee: Sam Davis

De La Salle 14 – LAMORINDA 39 Referee: Sam Davis

Frosh/Soph: DE LA SALLE 24 – Lamorinda 7 Referee: Edward Barfels

DLS scored 17 points in the first half to LAMO's 0. DLS's scrums and line-outs were better organized. Loose play by both sides was above average. Both sides scored a try in the second half for a final score of 24 to 7. It was a well played game.

Match Report: Sun., 16 Mar 2008

California Tour High/Secondary School Boys JV Game:

Silicon Valley Durabos 15 – ARGYLE ACADEMY Pipers, BC, Canada 17 Referee: Paul Z. Berman

Venue: Palo Alto HS, Palo Alto, Kick-off 1544; field firm under foot, American football goal posts
Weather: Beautiful

Comments: A fine game of running rugby often achieving 4th phase ball. 3 twenty minute periods played. 6 well manufactured tries apiece. The tourists were quicker off the mark crossing the goal line twice in the 1st period. Silicon Valley roared back with 2 well manufactured tries of their own down the left wing in the 2nd period, wining the 3rd by a try. Brave defensive (low tackling) work by the physically smaller Canadians under intense pressure saw them pip their hosts at the post. Argyle were ably led by their captain at No. 8, who was all over the paddock ball in hand.

Silicon Valley put on a wonderful Haka for their visitors after the match. I overheard several Canadians saying they were thankful this display didn't precede the game.

Point spread: Silicon Valley - 3 tries Argyle - 3 tries, 1 conversion goal

Youth Rugby Camp
Report by Bjorn Stumer

a) East Palo Alto - San Francisco Golden Gate: The first of numerous 15 minute matches saw a fit and fast EPA run against a mixed San Francisco side. A fast, skilled match by two capable sides. Final score 7 all.

b) EPA - Elsie Allen: EPA was just too strong and big for Elsie Allen. Final score: EPA 14 - Elsie Allen 0.

c) Elsie Allen - SFGG: An obviously developing Elsie Allen side was no match for San Francisco. Final score Elsie Allen 7 - SFGG 17.


From Tony Redmond:

"I provided my home association with some text about the Cal v UBC game... see http://www.arlb.net/tony.html"

Pelican Check
It’s a pelican-check at the top of Yosemite Falls on the one piece of granite not covered by three feet of snow.

Left to Right: Eric Rauscher, Bruce Carter, Scott Wood, Andy Canning, Ray Schwartz, Jackie Finck, Tony Kennedy, Chris Fisher, David Williamson, Kat Todd-Schwartz.

Charlie Finck made the climb and took the photo, for a total of eleven intrepid snow hikers.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris