Monday, April 28, 2008




The Grizzly Panel has a new cub: Joe Androvich has been promoted to B3 by the Pacific Coast Rugby Referee Society.

This was announced by REO Matt Eason pursuant to receipt of a report on a game that Joe refereed at the collegiates in Albuquerque.

Ave Androvich!


With the 2008 fifteen-a-side season winding down, this is the last time we need to know who is available.

There are a few games this coming Saturday that will need refs. Please let us know if you would like to referee.

Also, the Pacific Coast High School Invitational will be held at Stanford on May 9-11. This event will be assigned by the PCRRS, but there will almost certainly be availability for a number of NorCal refs. Let us know whether you would be able to referee on any combination of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Those of you who have been on exchange to the East Midlands are welcome to go again. Please put your name forward if you are interested. We also could use an evaluator or referee coach, and spouses/significant others are also invited.

How often do you get a chance to go to Europe on a most-expenses-paid vacation with plenty of rugby and refereeing thrown in as a bonus?


Olympic Club, Hayward, Haggis, Las Vegas and Los Angeles have qualified for the sweet sixteen. This will be played May 17-18 in Austin, Texas.

The Sacramento Capitals, Red Mountain, Reno and Bend will be joining them deep in the heart of Texas.

Los Angeles 12 – OLYMPIC CLUB 65
OMBAC 49 – San Mateo 24
LAS VEGAS 41 – Haggis 20
Belmont Shore 18 – HAYWARD 68


Senors – Hayward Old Boys Referee: Bjorn Stumer
Bald Eagles – Silverhawks Referee: Chris Labozzetta
We know how many of our readers have been anticipating the results of the two old boys curtain-raisers, but we have to inform you that the referees have not sent in any reports nor has anyone let us know who won.

The Hail, Pelicus! editorial board regrets our deficiencies.

SF/GOLDEN GATE 58 – Old Puget Sound Beach 7 Referee: Dave Peters
Touch Judges: Aruna Ranaweera, John Pohlman

Golden Gate is tied for first place in its conference on the basis of won-loss record, but is fourth by points. However, this weekend SFGG plays a team below them in the standings while two of those above have to play each other. A win on Saturday against Santa Monica should guarantee them the playoffs.


Santa Rosa 15 – CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 24 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judges: Joe Leisek and Ray Schwartz

High School playoffs for the only sport to crown a national champion started this Friday in Santa Rosa. Yes rugby is the only high school sport to have a national champion.

The drive from Fremont to Santa Rosa on a Friday afternoon was the only drawback. But Eileen and I arrived around 5:00 PM for a 7:30 PM kick-off.

The game was played at the Cardinal Newman Football field. Good grass, decently marked and a few hundred fans.

What a game. I think everyone felt this would be a fierce competition.

The game started three minutes early. Too much adrenaline, too much excitement to wait any longer, plus the players were ready to go.

Santa Rosa kicked off and started a brief kicking match. The first few possessions were all kicked for territory. This somewhat surprised me. Santa Rosa had at least four very large football players from their championship football run in the forwards. Christian Brothers had three backs who seemed to be able to score with each possession.

The game settled down. Lots of big tackles. The CB made lots of tackles on the big strong SR forwards. CB's aggressive play cost them a penalty 26 minutes into the half for the first score. CB's #13 James Jones, my man of the match, scored a try right before half time.

At half time Joe, Ray and I discussed the very competitive first half. The questions were could CB keep making the tackles on SR's big forwards. Could SR keep making the tackles one CB's outstanding backline.

Half time score CB 7 SR 3.

Well the second half answers were yes and no. CB's #13 Jones, a water polo player, scored three more tries. SR's big props scored two.
The real difference in the game was CB's aggressive play and making the tackles on the powerful SR forwards. SR's backs just could not constantly break the gain line. Nor could they contain the #13 Jones.

This was a fun exciting game to watch, play and referee. These two teams showed great discipline and spirit.
Final score CB 24 SR 15.

Golden Gate 31 – JESUIT 32 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judges: David Heath and Chris Labozzetta

Last year at the end of the season I recapped how many blowout games I had refereed. It seemed that a 20 point game was close. That was last year.

On this absolutely beautiful Saturday for rugby, Golden Gate was hosting Jesuit in a high school playoff game.

Let me recap how this game came to be:
The South Bay Conferences #1 & #2 teams were not allowed to move into the playoffs due to activity at last week’s game. This allowed South Bay #3 and #4 or #5 would step up. #3 played Lamo. #4 and #5 were not available. Someone suggested Sacramento's #3 perennial powerhouse Jesuit step up.

So it was agreed Golden Gate would host Jesuit, but would this be a friendly or a knockout game? I called GG coach Mike Caravelli and he informed me yes this was a knockout game.

That type of grit impressed me. GG could have had a bye, or could have played for fun against a team that had beaten them earlier in the year. But if you want to be the best, you not only need to beat the best, but act the part.

Game on!

I arrived at Treasure Island around 12:00 for a 1:15 kick off. The second of two Old Boys games was being played. Good amount of fans, great weather and possibly the most scenic field location in...well, anywhere.

Golden Gate got on the board early with a penalty kick six minutes in. #15 Sean McHugh was five for six in kicking attempts. One of the stars of the game. Jesuit's #13 Kraft picked up a misplayed GG ball and scored two minutes later. Jesuit's backs scored another try dotted down by #14 Bovill.

Golden gate seemed to have had enough at this point. It seemed like they turned it up to a man. GG's standout #8 Danny Barrett started the scoring at 17 minutes. GG scored two more tries in the last ten minutes of the first half to take control. At 24 minutes #6 Mike Morello scored followed a few minutes later by GG's #11 Cameron Spenor. GG's #11 was warned for taunting the defenders as he dotted the ball down.

GG seemed to be taking control of the game. In scoring, field position and ball possession.

Half time score Golden Gate 24 Jesuit 10.

Jesuit came out strong to start the second half with a quick forward try finished by #2 Turner. GG were verbally getting fired up, but as we all know, letting your opponent back into a game can be dangerous. Jesuit's number #8 Fugina finished off another forward try five minute later.

Score GG 24 Jesuit 20 with twenty minutes to play.

GG's #8 Danny took off with another try, slipping tackles, stiff arming tacklers and stretching out for a score a few minutes later. McHugh slotted the kick to remain perfect for the day.

GG 31 Jesuit 20.

Again GG seemed to relax.
Did I mention there was no quit in Jesuit? Jesuit's #1 Kai finished off another strong forward movement with a pick and drive which resulted in another score. Jesuit converted their first kick of the day.

GG 31 Jesuit 27.

At 21 minutes GG's flanker was sent off with a yellow card for repeat infringements at the tackle. The rest of the game was just plain good, hard, fun rugby. No momentum shifts just big hits and loads of effort. Jesuit scored their last try at 30 minutes.

Jesuit 32 GG 31.

GG stepped it up to a frenzied pace. Playing the last five minutes in Jesuit’s twenty. GG was rewarded with a penalty at 34 minutes. The kick was thirty meters out to the left of the goalposts. A challenging kick but GG's kicker was perfect to this point in the game. GG went for goal and missed by inches. One of the many advantages of having quality referees as touch judges was we all three saw the kick wide by inches and there were no comments.

Everyone seemed quite interested in the time remaining, about 45 seconds. The Jesuit kicker asked could he kick it straight out. I said yes but there is time for at least one more play. GG got the ball. Immediately getting it to game breaker Danny. Jesuit made the tackles, but GG continued recycling. Finally after seven phases the GG backline felt the pressure and mishandled.
Game over.

Jesuit 32 Golden Gate 31.

Thanks to the players for letting me be part of one of the most exciting and entertaining rugby matches.

LAMORINDA 55 – Peninsula Green 17 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Sunny and hot on the artificial turf at Miramonte HS in Orinda. After a 15-minute delay to address jersey color-clash, the playoff match got underway: 35 minute halves. Forward exchanges were fairly balanced, but Lamorinda's speedy backs created large holes in the Peninsula Green defense to lead 27-7 at half. The second half was more of the same until the last 10 minutes when wholesale substitutions by Lamorinda allowed Peninsula Green to fight back with two tries at the end. Lamorinda won comfortably, 9 tries to 3.

MOTHER LODE 22 – Marin 10 Referee: Joe Androvich
No report received.


The Sacramento Capitals and Red Mountain will represent the PCRFU in the D2 nationals May 17-18, while Reno and Bend will be the representatives for D3.

RENO 47 – Mission 20 Referee: Eric Zimmerman (PNW)
BEND 51 – Camelback 12 Referee: Terry Helmer (Minnesota)
Championship: RENO 46 – Bend 28
Consolation: CAMELBACK over Mission by forfeit

Pool A
RED MOUNTAIN 41 – Seahawks 11 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Touch Judges: Mike King, Terry Helmer
Fourth Official: Dan Wilson
Fresno lived up to its reputation this weekend, as we had 94 Saturday and 96 yesterday.

Saturday I was assigned the Red Mountain - San Jose match. Red Mountain was too much for San Jose taking a 12 point lead early in the first half and never looking back. The first Red Mountain score came off of mishandling by San Jose 5 meters from the Red Mountain goal line, with the ensuing 95 meter run, to score at the other end. San Jose mishandled again at mid-field for another Red Mountain score. San Jose kicked a couple of penalty goals about mid-way through the half, but Red Mountain powered back with 2 more trys to make it 24 to 6 at halftime.

San Jose started off strongly in the second half with an unconverted try early, but that was all they could muster. Red Mountain controlled the rest of the match scoring 3 trys.
Many thanks to Terry Helmer and Mike King for running touch and to Dan Wilson for being the #4

EAST PALO ALTO 27 – Snake River 25 Referee: Mark Zetterberg
Championship: RED MOUNTAIN 41 – East Palo Alto 24
Consolation: SEAHAWKS 27 – Snake River 26

Pool B
SACRAMENTO 32 – Tempe 19 Referee: Don Pattalock
PORTLAND 31 – Provo 17 Referee: John Meyers (South)
Championship: SACRAMENTO 18 – Portland 17
Consolation: PROVO 36 – Tempe 23 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Touch Judges: Don Pattalock, Dan Wilson
Fourth Official: Giles Wilson
Sunday I was assigned the Tempe - Provo match. It was a back and forth match, with Provo scoring a converted try and Tempe scoring an unconverted try. Provo scored another converted try with Tempe answering with a penalty goal. Tempe scored anonther penalty goal to get within 3, but Provo scored and unconverted try near at about the 33rd minute, to make it Provo 19 - Tempe 11 at the break. A couple of late first half yellow cards to Provo for repeat infringement meant Provo would start the second half with 13.

Tempe came out strong in the second half scoring an unconverted try at about the 5 minute mark and them scoring a converted try about half way through to take the lead 23 to 19. Provo kept trading yellow carded players as, seemingly one would come on about the time another would commit another repeat infringement and head over to spend 10 minutes of quality time with the #4 official Giles Wilson. Provo was finally back to full strength at about the 25th minute and quickly put up a converted try and them a couple of unconverted trys to end the match.

Again, many thanks to Don Pattalock and Dan Wilson for running touch and to #4 Giles Wilson.
Great job by everybody this weekend!!


NorCal High School Semi-finals:

Mother Lode – Lamorinda Ref: TBA
4 PM Saturday: Christian Brothers – Jesuit Ref: TBA

USA Rugby Collegiate Championships

Friday - Division I semi-finals:

11 AM: Penn State – Brown
1 PM: Stanford – Navy
3 PM: Cal – St. Mary's
5 PM: BYU – Colorado

Saturday – Finals:

Division II:
11 AM: Minnesota-Duluth – Shippensburg
1 PM: Radford – Utah Valley State

Division I:
3 PM: Women’s winners from Friday
5 PM: Men’s winners from Friday


Junior Varsity: Santa Rosa 21 – CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 36 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Friday Night, under the lights, Cardinal Newman High

Partly because I am just a fan of good rugby, partly because I am still recruiting sides to join the PCIT, and partly because my wife was down in Fresno for the Men's Playoffs... and certainly to join John and Joe, I hopped on my trusty motorbike and headed out to Santa Rosa Friday afternoon, to run touch with Joe Leisek, and for John Pohlman.

I am now 12 months and one week post surgery on my right knee. I had torn the articulate cartilage from my femur, and needed multiple microfractures and extensive rest and recovery. Post surgery, it took quite a while for that reality to set in. I wondered if I'd ever run again, but started running touch in February, occasionally overdoing it, but getting stronger and more stable over time. I had put the knee under test increasingly over the last two weeks.

I enjoyed helping John. The scene, under the lights at Cardinal Newman High, was pretty energized by perhaps 300 fans and 50 players on both sides. "Bubba," Christian Brothers' outside center, scored 4 tries, and John looked to me for confirmation on two of them. Rosa had some great players, but weak links in a just a few key positions.

As the A Side ended, it was clear John and Joe would take off, but both sides wanted to play another. I asked both sides to please provide a ref, but none came forward. Against Kat's better judgment, I borrowed Joe's flags, and grabbed my whistle, promising to never keep up with any breakaways!

Brothers kicked off, and Rosa scored from a driving maul that covered 40 meters, making it look very easy. I figured this would be high scoring, but a little defense, please! Brothers came back through superior play at scrumhalf, in the centers, and with a more tenacious pack. The score reached 24-7 at the half, with Rosa enjoying little quality possession over the last 25 minutes. My knee seemed fine.

Early in the second half I found reason to caution each side once for repeated infringements at the tackle, but otherwise this was a spirited and well-played game. I was content to allow extended periods of play without the whistle, several reaching 3 minutes, and one nearly 5. Rosa came back to score two converted tries to make a game of it (I was impressed with Carmelo, their substitute flyhalf), while Brothers closed out the second half scoring to take a convincing 36-21 victory.

Aftermatch I spoke with Brothers' inside center, a track star, who had just missed getting his eligibility completed in time to join his varsity side's playoff run. He executed some nifty try producing moves, and displayed great strength, speed, balance, confidence, and joy! Both sides had nearly a dozen kids who could start or at least contribute to most other Varsity sides in NorCal. A sign of good health for both clubs in the years ahead.

It was pleasure to be back.


Just as the Sacramento area leads the nation in the caliber of high school rugby, so the Sacramento Bee consistently provides excellent coverage of our sport.

This is a feature on the Sac Valley championship match, which was refereed by Jim Crenshaw:

All Smiles
Paul Bretz and John Coppinger had a fine time in the Caymans. We have photos of them standing in the surf holding the William Webb Ellis Cup.

Here are, from left to right, Alister Robertson(Cayman), Derek Stoltz (Canada), Tony Spreadbury, Paul, Roy Harvey (Canada) posing in front of "Bill" at a NAWIRA fundraising dinner.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Wednesday, April 23, 2008




Paul Bretz will be refereeing one of the first matches in the 2011 Rugby World Cup on Wednesday, April 23, at 2:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time.

And you can watch it live right here:


San Francisco/Golden Gate has been awarded the 2008 USA Rugby Men’s Club Sevens Championships, to be played August 9/10.

The ‘offseason’ just got a whole lot sweeter!


Those of you who have been on exchange to the East Midlands are welcome to go again. Please put your name forward if you are interested. We also could use an evaluator or referee coach, and spouses/significant others are also invited.

How often do you get a chance to go to Europe on a most-expenses-paid vacation with plenty of rugby and refereeing thrown in as a bonus?


‘NorCal’ teams went 3-1 against the top four from ‘SoCal’ (note Salt Lake City and Las Vegas are not in California). Five of the eight teams involved will advance to the USA playoffs, those five to be determined after another round of games on April 26.

San Mateo 0 - LOS ANGELES 36 Referee: Dave Pope
Touch Judges: John Pohlman, Dave Heath
On a very windy day at San Mateo High School, Los Angeles Rugby club defeated San Mateo 36 to 0. For the first 30 minutes of the game San Mateo did its best to intimidate LA Rugby club. There were some huge hits and some very hard running. LA absorbed it all and managed to dominate field position going into the upfield part of a mostly cross-field wind. San Mateo committed several penalty offenses deep in their own end and LA converted three of them to lead 9 - 0. 10 minutes from half time, the San Mateo #10 picked up a yellow card. In the remainder of the half, LA scored one unconverted try.

The second half I expected San Mateo to begin to run the ball more effectively, but it was not to be. LA continued to absorb the big hits, and applied pressure. In the second half this pressure led to more tries. LA scored 3 tries, two converted and kicked one additional penalty. One of the tries was a maul that LA drove about 10m for the score. The final try was a strange one. LA spun the ball about 10m from the goal line. As the ball was about to be passed to the winger, he started to stumble. When the pass got to him, he was unable to close his arms on the ball. Completely missing his upper body, the ball struck the winger's knee, bouncing forward into goal. The winger went around the last defender and touched it down.

The second half was marred by more cards. San Mateo's #2 received two yellows (thus a red), while LA lost their #11 for 10 minutes. All in all, it was a very impressive performance by LA.

OLYMPIC CLUB 73 – OMBAC 10 Referee: Chris Tucker
Touch Judges: Anna McMahan, Rob Hendrickson
4th Official: Giles Wilson
The sun shone down on Pepsi Field in Hayward where Jim and I were doing back-to-back CR1 matchups. That was the good news on the weather front, the bad news was wind gusting to 30+mph and a chilly temperature. The latter was more of a problem for the crowd than the game itself, but the wind played havoc with the kicking game on both sides, and later with some of the equipment.

From the kickoff it was clear that O Club had come to play, running in 3 quick scores before we had really got started. The OMBAC captain berated his players, pointing out that they weren't even tired. This spoke not so much to the effort of OMBAC -- their hearts and bodies were clearly in the game, but more to the overwhelming superiority of the O Club team. They got quick ball, banged out several phases and spun it wide for the backs to touch down. This pattern continued for much of the match.

That said, OMBAC did get on the board with some good sustained pressure later in the first half, and with confidence somewhat restored they went in search of a bonus point. They added a second try in the second half when O Club were reduced to 14 after repeated encroachment over the offside line from their prop and then down to 13 not long after for the same offence as their flanker showed he was a slow learner. That was all OMBAC could muster, however, and O Club rounded the day off with a couple of tries as time wound down. One particularly noteworthy effort saw the right wing launch himself over the top of the corner cone (flag posts were not provided by Hayward.) Anna helped out mightily by telling me in which order things happened -- in this case the ball was grounded before the cone was skittled and a try was given.

And that was pretty much that. Thanks to TJs Rob and Anna, and to Giles who did sterling service as 4th official. A pizza and a beer awaited for the start of the next match with Crenshaw in charge.

On the sidelines chatting with the OMBAC and O Club guys, we watched the tough encounter between Hayward and Las Vegas. The visitors had apparently lost some of their edge according to OMBAC, and this was clear in their mostly fruitless search for the location of the gain line. The wind eventually got the better of this contest, with the goalposts themselves eventually collapsing. This left the comical sight of two Hayward supporters being instructed to sit as counterweights on the base of the posts for the rest of the game. You see something new every time. Regardless, Jim, Anna and Rob did a fine job! It was good to watch a match for once :)

HAYWARD 15 - Las Vegas 8 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Touch Judges: Anna McMahan, Rob Hendrickson
We had a real barn burner in Hayward Saturday. Both teams came to play, very physical and lots of big hits. Las Vegas played some great defense, but so did Hayward.

Hayward had a try disallowed for foul play in the first half, but came back a few minutes later with a penalty goal. The wind was blowing almost straight across the pitch making it almost impossible to kick to touch on one side. It was blowing so hard, that the ball would blow away from the mark, if it was put down on the pitch. A couple kicks for touch against the wind traveled at least 20 yards beyond the touch line only to be caught about 20 yards in field. It made passing and fielding kicks a real adventure for all concerned.

One of the Hayward centers earned a trip to the bin for repeated infringement with 5 minutes to go in the half. Las Vegas took advantage of the bin by scoring a try in the corner. Any kick not directly in front of the posts had almost no chance and this one was no exception and missed.

Las Vegas led at half time 5-3.

Hayward came out very hard in the second half and shortly after the sin bin was over, ran in a try from about 30 meters out, taking back the lead. About half way through, Las Vegas had a penalty kick in front of the posts.

It was still tied 8-all with a minute and a half to go, when a Hayward wing intercepted a pass about mid-field and scored under the posts. He had great pace and no one was going to catch him. He had also got Hayward out of big trouble earlier, receiving a pass in goal and outrunning 3 or 4 Las Vegas players to get out to almost mid-field where the Las Vegas fullback was waiting.

Las Vegas tried to come back after Hayward's try and got inside the Hayward 22, but turned it over and Hayward kicked to touch to end it. Final score was 15 to 8.

Great match, but it would really interesting to see these two teams play on a windless day. I think we'd see a lot more scoring.

I'd like to thank Anna McMahan and Rob Hendrickson for running touch and Giles Wilson for assisting as the #4. They all did an excellent job!!

HAGGIS 41 – Belmont Shore 33 Referee: Tony Redmond
For the record, Haggis won 41-33 in a tremendous game – probably the best that I have had the pleasure of officiating in the US (at club level – the U Cal v U British Columbia game was better). Haggis scored 7 tries and Belmont Shore scored 5... Not bad at all.


Three high school conference championships were decided last weekend.

The Skyhawk conference had a formal championship match, whereas for the Sac Valley and Bay conferences it just worked out that way: the last game of the season determined first place.

Sacramento Valley Conference:
MOTHER LODE 31 – Christian Brothers 28 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
We had one of the best high school matches I've seen in a while Friday afternoon.

Christian Brothers was hosting Mother Lode for the Sacramento Valley championship. This was a BIG game for 3 teams in the Valley conference. Christian Brothers was undefeated and Mother Lode had 1 loss going into the match. A win by either team would mean that team would be the Valley champion and the number 1 seed heading into the playoffs. The other story was the fact that a loss by Mother Lode would knock them out of the playoffs and allow Jesuit to join Christian Brothers in the playoffs based on the head to head tiebreaker format.

The game was being played at Granite Regional Park on their new artificial turf. Both teams seem to enjoy the very fast conditions. ML scored first, but CB came right back to tie it at 5 all. The game was hard and fast, with first one side attacking until the defense forced a turnover and then the other would do the same. CB scored again on a penalty kick, but just before the end of the, half ML scored in the corner to make it 10 to 8 at the half.

CB must have had a fire lit under them at halftime, as they scored two quick tries to start the second half, but they were both near the corner, so the conversions were missed. ML scored a try about 20 minutes in and converted to make the score CB 18 ML 17. CB got going again with 2 more unconverted tries to go up by 11.With their supporters, including a large contingent of Jesuit players, cheering them on, CB seemed to be in control and was content to just cruise home with the victory.

Somebody forgot to inform ML that they were beaten, as they scored a converted try with about 2 minutes to go. After the deep kickoff ML kicked the ball back inside the CB 22. CB was under pressure and the ensuing kick by CB found the ML fullback instead of touch. The ML fullback ran through, around and past seemingly all of CB players, well at least 5 or 6 of them, before scoring under the posts. The kick was unnecessary, but was converted anyway, to end a great match. Final score: Mother Lode 31 Christian Brothers 28.

Bay Conference:
Lamorinda 10 – SF/GOLDEN GATE 22 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judges: Edward Barfels, Paul Berman
Two of the Northern California and US powerhouse high school teams faced off in their last league game this Friday at 6:00PM at St. Mary's College. Both teams had qualified for the playoffs, but were still keen on playoff seating and pride. Neither team had ever swept the other. GG had beaten Lamo by one point earlier this season.

When I arrived around 5:00pm both teams were warming up. I had the fortune of recruiting two Pelican referees to run touch and control the sideline. Ed Barfels and Paul Berman did a great job of running touch. The sidelines were heated but well controlled with no issues.

Lamo started fast. Both teams are well coached with outstanding athletes. Lamo backs looked a bit more polished. The Lamo backs broke the gainline throughout the game, but failed to finish off tries due the GG cover support.

Lamo captain Bo #10 started the scoring with a penalty two minutes in. Twenty minutes latter the first try of the game was scored by the Lamo backs.

Lamo controlled most of the possession and first half. A GG back intercepted a pass at 30 minutes to score GG's first try.

Half time Lamo 10 GG 7.

At half time I had a word with the GG coach and captain to discuss their teams losing their feet and creeping offside.

There was a pretty strong wind throughout the game. The wind favored GG in the second half. The second half was again very well matched except for a couple of points. Lamo mishandled a couple of opportunities. One of which, allowing a GG player to knock the ball out of the Lamo player in goal breaking up a try.

The GG cover defense ran down some Lamo line breaks by the backs.

And the most obvious GG captain #8 Danny taking over the game. Danny scored three tries in the second half. All of them shedding tacklers along the way. The last two while GG's #7 was in the bin for repeat offenses.

Final score GG 22 Lamo 10. Good luck to both teams in the playoffs.

Skyhawk Conference Championship Match:
East Palo Alto - San Mateo Referee: JC Van Staden
This well-attended and hotly-contested game had to be abandoned thirty seconds from full time when a try by one team put them into the lead and a brawl ensued which was joined by spectators from both sides.

Both teams have been suspended at least for the remainder of the season.

The Skyhawk conference also held a third-place game before this one, which turns out of course to have been for first place. Note the irony at the end of this report.

PENINSULA GREEN 46 – Live Oak 8 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judges: Frank Merrill and Hennie Strydon
Peninsula Green hosted Live Oak in the consolation match for the South Bay conference at Woodside High School. This was the opening match with the final between San Mateo and East Palo Alto.

Peninsula Green was too strong for an undersized Live Oak side. PG forwards especially the props were much bigger. It was a testament to former prop and Live Oak’s coach Bart Nielsen that Live Oak won most of their scrums. PG's fullback scored two trys in the first half with some elusive running.

Two of the highlights of the game were watching PG's coach Paul Negus talking to the team at half time. Paul has just recently had back surgery and should have been home in bed. But instead came out to watch and then coach his team getting around with a walker.

The second highlight was running to a line out and seeing my touch judge Frank Merrill on his cell phone. Frank being the ultimate multitasker, he did a fine job TJing and being match commissioner for the many playoff games throughout the Bay area simultaneously.

PG slowed down for the beginning of the second half and LO's fullback scored a try 15 minutes in. But PG scored four unanswered trys in the last ten minutes.

Final Peninsula Green 46 Live Oak 8.

I was a bit disappointed to have leave Woodside High School to go run touch for the D1 playoff game between San Mateo and L.A. The next game looked to be a great one pitting two predominately Polynesian teams, San Mateo versus East Palo Alto. There looked to be well over 100 fans in a very festive mode. It reminded me of the feel at the International San Diego 7's.

Peninsula Green is now the conference champion and Live Oak the runner-up. They will both play on the road since their opponents will have been higher-rated at the end of their respective regular seasons.

NorCal High School Quarterfinals this weekend:

Friday, 7:30 PM at Cardinal Newman:
Santa Rosa - Christian Brothers Referee: John Pohlman

10 AM at Miramonte:
Lamorinda – Peninsula Green Referee: Aruna Ranaweera

Time not known:
Mother Lode – Marin Referee: Joe Androvich

SF/Golden Gate does not have an opponent as we go to press. Live Oak would not be able to travel to the nationals should they win through and so have elected not to participate in the playoffs.


Thursday evening, 7 PM, at Hayward Adult School
D3 Playoff:
MISSION 40 – Vacaville 15 Referee: Joe Androvich
(Score approximate from memory.)

Mission advances to the Pacific Coast playoffs in Fresno this weekend.

SF FOG women 10 – Sandhurst 0 Referee: Phillip Ulibarri
Touch Judges: Bjorn Stumer and Kevin (?) Fog Coach

Day of Sand and FOG!

It was a gorgeous day by the Bay with a light breeze and temperatures in the low 60's. I drove over on Friday night and stayed with the ever gracious Frank and Clarice Merrill, making my Saturday commute to the Treasure Island pitch short and sweet. As I arrived at the old checkpoint I noticed the Sandhurst bus right in front of me. We both pulled over - I thought they were lost, but they were all too keen for the traveling photo op, and why not it was for me and I'm sure for them a most brilliant view of the City. See attached photo. After a quick jog onto the DO NOT TRESPASS dock and a brief conversation with the TI Police Officer who inquired, "What the hell do you think you guys are doing?" Sandhurst's shutters clicked away and SF's finest quickly adjusted his attitude upon hearing the British accents from players, managers and coaches.

Off to the pitch. Sandhurst Women took advantage of the locker room while the men chatted up the group of female netball players outside the clubhouse and before you knew what happened a challenge netball match was on. But back to the game played in heaven...The ground was in great shape but the Fog had to be reminded that the flags needed to be posted before start of the match. During pre-match briefings the ref was made aware that Sandhurst had never played with contested scrums and they had no front row replacements. The Fog offered props should Sandhurst need a substitute. The flags were posted in an expeditious manner and we were set to go - right on time. Sandhurst seemed fitter than the Fog but way less experienced. Some players never touched a ball until their military training began, and even then they don't play more than 6 months together until they move on to other duties.

Play was pretty even into the first quarter, but it was obvious that Fog had played together a while and were a lot more fluid from both loose and set pieces. A yellow card was issued Fog's #6 sixteen minutes into the first half for a late tackle. It was the only blemish on an otherwise good game. Fog's inside center and Sandhurst's scrum half had outstanding games. Fog scored two converted trys in the first stanza, but the game was scoreless in the second half.

Final score 10 - nil to SF Fog Women.

Thanks to Bjorn for calling touch and for greeting the Sandhurst bus with a smile and for letting us all know he was getting the beer on ice! I mean, there are priorities!

SFGG Developmental 0 – ROYAL MILITARY SANDHURST 88 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Thanks to Kat Todd-Schwartz for the match evaluation. Not much else to see here. SFGG did put up a fight in the second as the score at the end of the first half was 57-0.

They came close a couple of times but just couldn't finish against the talented and fit Academy.

Fog B – SFSU
Fog A – Marauders
Fog A – SFSU
Fog B – Marauders

(Not sure who reffed or how these went.)

Girls HS selection – Girls HS selection Referee: Rob Hendrickson
I didn't ever really understand what was going on, but it appears that several HS girls’ teams combined (Alameda, Mother Lode, Davis & Humboldt) to create some sort of NorCal team to go along with the Amazons to the high school finals? I reffed the initial blue v green team pairings with 25 minute halves to allow the NorCal v Amazons to have 30 minute halves.

Blue 43 (7) v Green 0, ref Rob Hendrickson
Blue dominated this initial pairing.

Amazons – NorCal girls HS all-stars Referee: Chris Labozzetta
No report received.

USA Women’s Challenge Match

EMERALD CITY MUDHENS 15 - Belmont Shore 10 Referee: Preston Gordon
A 0445 wake-up call had me out of the house and on the way to SFO to catch my early morning flight to Seattle, where I was met by one of the ladies from the local team and driven to the pitch in Redmond, WA. The field was in very good shape, but a little short. Other than the rogue gopher(s) at work, everything looked good.

However, getting to the game 2 hours early meant that I got to inspect the pitch and then get changed while being first rained, then hailed, and finally snowed on (no shelter at Marymoor Park). The sun then filtered through the clouds for a bit before the entire process was repeated (all of this at between 35-45F). However, I had paid close attention to the forecast and was prepared for the weather and cold.

We started on time at high noon, and before too long each side had notched one unconverted try. Sideline support was plentiful and boisterous, and we even captured the attention of many of the people there to watch a lacrosse game on the adjacent field. Both sides were playing a very even and well-contested game, although I had to have a few words with the captains twice to prevent some repeated silly play (offside at the breakdown, players leaving their feet, etc). Some of this stuff was probably due to the wet pitch.

The second half began just as another leading edge of a thundercloud was passing through. There was no lightning, but the temperature dropped about 20 degrees in a minute, it nearly got dark, and 2mm hail was being blown sideways down the long axis of the pitch at about 30mph. Of course, that's when one of the players needed a minute for an injury, so we all stood around freezing in the miserable weather for a little bit while she was attended to.

Once that was out of the way, two more tries were scored. The Mudhens got on the board first in the second half at 44', followed in the 50th minute by Belmont Shore. Neither kick was good, but one did bounce off the uprights (although that may have been the penalty attempt later; I can't recall exactly).

A frenzied contest ensued as each side tried to put the game away, but came up short. There were more than the usual number of knock-ons - again, this was probably because of the wet weather. One ball was held up in in-goal, we spent about 20 minutes camped inside the 22's, but the closest attempt was saved for the penultimate play of regular time, when one of the Belmont Shore backs broke through a couple of tackles and went 30 meters, getting within about a foot of scoring a try before she was finally pulled down by an opponent. The Mudhens recovered, kicked to touch, and that was it at 10-10.

Challenge matches can't end in a draw, so it was a good thing I had asked the match organizer what to do in this case. We played 2 more 10-minute halves (just like the second half, but with no scoring), and then it was time for sudden death. Again there was an even contest, until at 105' the Mudhens were awarded an attacking scrum 5 or 10 meters from their opponents' goal line. One of their players picked up from the base, dodged a tackle, and grounded the ball on the goal line with a couple of opponents hanging on, right at my feet.

A wild celebration ensued after the try was awarded to end the game with the score at 15-10 to the local side. The USA Rugby paperwork was signed, warm/dry clothes were put back on, and after a while we retired to the Kangaroo & Kiwi for the post-match function. In addition to the women's teams, both OPSB and OMBAC showed up after their Super League tie. I was reminded again how small of a world rugby really is when I ran into 2 former teammates from Arizona, one now playing for each of those sides. After absorbing some good refereeing philosophy from Tom Coburn, it was time to head back to the airport for the flight home (which was slightly delayed due to bad weather, of course).

Many thanks to Jon Leehr and Mark Roberts, the PNRFU referees who came out to touch judge on this day of strange weather, and also to Shannon Nielsen, the match commissioner, who (happily) nearly stepped in and ran touch herself. I certainly enjoyed the opportunity to fly up to Seattle and back the same day to be a part of this outstandingly well-contested match.


Paul Cassidy of Edmonton and the Alberta association spent ten days in Northern California and managed to work in a couple of game for us:

Friday April 11th 2008
Lamorinda vs. Scotch College (Perth Australia) – U19 Juniors
Because of the fact that I was still working myself into game shape, I wanted to get to the game in plenty of time to have a good warm-up. I was on a work training course in Fresno, so I cut out early to avoid the rush hour traffic I expected in the San Francisco/Oakland area. Due to my error on an assumed kick-off time and total avoidance of the rush hour, I managed to arrive to the venue 3-1/2 hours early! As it turned out...the Australian team did the same!!

This game marked a couple of firsts for me. First game refereed in 6 months and first game I refereed on “field turf” artificial surface. Fortunately, I did bring the right footwear for the surface so it was not really an issue. We did have to make some adjustments to accommodate the pitch since it was 100 yards long, using the wider touch lines for soccer resulting with incomplete goal lines since the lines did not intersect. As for the game fitness, well let’s just say I was constantly checking my watch to see if it had stopped because I was doing a lot of panting for being only 10 minutes into the match.

I was very impressed with the quality of play from both teams but it really was a game of 2 different halves. In the first half, both teams used their best players and the Lamorinda team dominated in the forwards and their backs showed a lot of grit and determination. For me, there were times when I had to remind myself that these were only Junior players. Most of the tackling was hard and punishing. Lamorinda appeared to be in control of the game by jumping to a 17 – 6 lead but an unconverted late try by Scotch College made the half time score 17 - 11.

When the second half started, I soon realized that there was, essentially, two different teams were on the pitch. The Lamorinda side was obviously not as strong in the forwards but the Scotch College side seemed to maintain a steady balance of skill throughout. Lamorinda scored 2 more tries (one converted) but Scotch College scored 3 tries bringing the score to Lamorinda 29 and Scotch College 28.

Unfortunately, on the last play of the match, a Lamorinda player came screaming offside at a lineout and the Scotch College kicker easily split the uprights to steal the game from the home team. Final Score: Lamorinda 29 Scotch College 31.

I would like to thank all of my California Colleagues who arranged and supported me during this match. Bjorn Stumer for offering me the game and Pete Smith to suffered through the 2 hour traffic gridlock coming from San Jose to run touch for me. Cheers to you both for giving me such a gem of a game.

Finally, I must offer an extra big THANK YOU to Pete and Leah, for their kind hospitality given to me and my wife, Jo-Anne, on the previous Sunday. This is what rugby is all about!

Saturday April 12th 2008
Santa Rosa vs. Golden Gate – Men’s Division 2
Fresh off of my refereeing season debut the night before, I found myself in Santa Rosa (1 hour north of San Francisco) in Sonoma Country. The venue was ‘For Pete’s Sake’ field which is home for the Santa Rosa Rugby Club. With a clear blue sky and a forecast of 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) I was glad they decided to move the kick off up to 11 am.

This game was the last of the season for both teams with no playoff implications but they both played it hard and no quarter was given. Santa Rosa was more organized from the opening and capitalized on Golden Gate’s occasional defensive errors. By the end of the first half, Santa Rosa was ahead by a score of 29 – 10.

Despite being down on the score, Golden Gate did put in a much better effort and held the home team scoreless in the second half. Unfortunately, they only managed to score an unconverted try and a penalty kick to make the final tally Santa Rosa 29 – Golden Gate 18.

With the match over by 12:30pm, my TJ (Ray Schwartz) decided to take me on a little tour of a few vineyards before we ended up at the Santa Rosa Rugby Club’s luau. I was very impressed with the hospitality and entertainment provided. This was a very unique celebration of the game with good food, friends and entertainment. This was truly unforgettable.

I would like to thank, once again, the efforts of Bjorn Stumer and Bruce Carter for arranging this match for me. I must also offer a big Thank You to Ray for showing me the sights and tastes of the Sonoma wine country and extend the same to Kat Todd for taking Jo-Anne on a day tour of Sausalito. Cheers to you all!

Paul Cassidy - Alberta Match Officials’ Association


Sat., 12 Apr 2008

HS Girls League Game: Alameda Riptide RFC 15 vs. Davis Lady Devils RFC 12
Referee: Paul Berman
Venue: Lincoln MS, Alameda, Kick-off 1435; field firm under foot
Weather: Hot & sunny
Comments: Open running rugby! Davis on the back foot for much of the last 25 minutes defended their goal line valiantly.
Point spread: Alameda - 3 tries Davis - 2 tries, 1 conversion goal

Boys JV Game: Alameda Islanders HSB JV RFC 36 vs. Piedmont PITTS FROSH RFC 21
Referee: Paul Berman
Venue: Lincoln MS, Alameda, Kick-off 1625; field firm under foot
Weather: Warm & sunny
Point spread: Alameda - 6 tries, 3 conversion goals Piedmont - 3 tries, 3 conversion goals

Match Report: Sat., 5 Apr 2008

HS Boys League Game: Alameda Islanders RFC 27 vs. Berkeley Rhino RFC 5
Referee: Paul Berman
Venue: Lincoln MS, Alameda, Kick-off 1730; field firm under foot
Weather: Warm & sunny
Comments: Saving the best till last! The finest try of the match was engineered by the Rhino's, fourth phase ball pick & drives down the left wing lead to a superb try. The final score in this hard fought contest.
Point spread: Alameda - 5 tries 1 conversion goal Piedmont - 1 try

SFGG 74 – De La Salle 0 Referee: Chris Labozzetta

JV: SFGG 40 – De La Salle 10 Ref: Labozzetta

At the college playoffs in Albuquerque, the Pelicans flocked just after Pacific Coast society president Dave Pelton presented Grizzly referee pins to Don Pattalock and Aruna Ranaweera.

Standing, L to R: Pete Smith, Don Pattalock, Dave Pelton, Bruce Carter, Joe Androvich

Kneeling, L to R: Scott Wood, Aruna Ranaweera, Eric Rauscher, Dave Williamson, Matt Eason

Present but not pictured: Ed Todd, Mike King


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, April 15, 2008




If you are not one of the many Pelicans who are flying away this weekend, you’re in luck: there’s lots of good rugby to help out with or simply enjoy.

The Skyhawk Conference will have its championship game, San Mateo hosting East Palo Alto. JC Van Staden will referee this crackerjack game at 12:30 at San Mateo High School. We’re certain he’d appreciate a couple of touch judges.

Over on Treasure Island two sides from Sandhurst (British military academy) will be playing: Women – Fog (Phil Ulibarri) at 1 PM and Men – SFGG developmental (Tom Zanarini) at 3 PM. These will be at Rocca Field.

Meanwhile, on the Job Corps field (pending confirmation) will be the NorCal girls’ high school post-season tournament. This one needs some referees.

When all of that is over, referees, touch judges and spectators alike can point their vehicles at Hayward where all three CR1 matches will take place on the Mt. Eden Park pitch (order to be determined): Hayward – Las Vegas (Jim Crenshaw), San Mateo – Belmont Shore (Dave Pope), Olympic Club – Santa Monica (Chris Tucker).

This is a chance to see the highest-level club rugby in the USA, right here in your living room. And – you can ref and/or run touch earlier in the day.

Please let us know if you can help referee the girls’ high school tournament.


April 17-27:
2011 Rugby World Cup qualifiers in the Cayman Islands:
Paul Bretz and John Coppinger

April 18-20:
Pacific Coast assignments to CR1 Playoffs: Tony Redmond in Salt Lake; Jim Crenshaw, Dave Pope and Chris Tucker in NorCal. Appointed touch judges: Anna McMahan, John Pohlman, Dave Heath, Rob Hendrickson

USA Rugby Women’s Challenge Match: Preston Gordon in Seattle

USA Rugby college playoffs in Albuquerque:
Pete Smith, Aruna Ranaweera, Don Pattalock, Joe Androvich, Bruce Carter, Matt Eason, Mike King, Eric Rauscher, David Williamson, Mike Malone and Scott Wood

Super League games: Dixon Smith at Belmont Shore, Bryan Porter in Chicago

April 26:
Exchanges: Pete Smith to the Texas championships, Roberto Santiago to the All Saints Tournament in St. Cloud, Minnesota. (Scott Wood will also be there.)

Super League TJs: Bruce Carter in Santa Monica, Matt Eason at Rocca Field

Super League Assessors: Dixon Smith at Rocca Field, Bryan Porter in San Diego, David Williamson in Santa Monica


Seats are still open for the East Mids exchange, September 17-29. This won’t cost you anything but vacation days and will be the best rugby experience of your refereeing life.


John Coppinger has been appointed as a citing commissioner for the world cup qualifiers to be held in the Cayman Islands the next two weekends. Paul Bretz will also be refereeing at this event.

Northern California has long been represented among international referees, touch judges and assessors. The last few years our members have branched out and gained appointments as fourth, fifth and sixth officials, spotters, and now citing commissioners.

Congratulations to John and Paul.

March 21-31 2008
Exchangee: Don Pattalock

When the appointment came for this inaugural exchange to Hong Kong, especially in and around the infamous HK 7’s, I jumped on it right away. A short 15:50 flight from LAX to HKI was all it took and I was on the ground ready to go. Bernard Fienberg (HKRFU Referees Manager) met me at the airport and swept me to the hotel via train/taxi. A light breakfast, shower and change of clothes, Bernard picked me up and delivered me to Kings Park (home of the HKRFU) for their annual “Country of Origin” tournament. The Country of Origin tournament is primarily composed of players from HK who are playing rugby for clubs in one of the 7 leagues in HK. For this tournament, the players group up into their countries of origin and play a round robin 10’s tournament. There were teams of New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Hong Kong, England, France and Australia. Several of the players are professional (contract) players in HK specifically to play for the upper tier clubs. It was a great competition with exceptional skill and spirit by the players. I refereed 4 games including the final between NZ and IRE. The NZ side was head and shoulders above the rest of the teams and walked away with the trophy. A couple of beers and a good night out for some Chinese food (what else) and day one (or day two if you count that International Date Line) was over.

Day two: Easter Sunday. I was originally scheduled to referee at the Girls Super Sunday matches that afternoon; unfortunately, being Easter Sunday and all, the matches were canceled. So I headed off to the HK Football Club for lunch with Bernard and Gabriel Lee (local super referee). The HKFC is an incredible facility located under/within the HUGE horse racing facility in Happy Valley. The club facilities range from luxurious to outrageous with the rugby pitch as the centerpiece of the club. After lunch, Bernard was off to keep working on arrangements for all the referees arriving for the HKFC 10’s and the iRB referees for the HK 7’s so Gabby took the lead and we grabbed a ferry over to Lantu Island to visit the world’s largest (erect) Buddha and an old fishing village named Tai O. Great day out. Lots of dried seafood in Tai O, Gabby bought several interesting delights for us to eat at the local market (a theme that would continue right through my trip).

Day three: Originally scheduled to referee HKFC v UCLA women at the HKFC; unfortunately, UCLA couldn’t get their side together, so the game was canceled. Not to worry, Gabby was running her coopers test to prove her superior fitness so that she could achieve the iRB Touch Judge appointment. So I headed off the Aberdeen Stadium to help Bernard administer the test. Gabby blew the test away and earned her iRB jersey that day. Another lunch at the footy club then another day out in HK. A little stroll around the street markets in Kowloon where I was asked “do you like smelly tofu?” I replied, “Depends what it is smelly like.” Anyway, we sampled several mysterious street delicacies and wandered through the markets. As evening arrived, we took the tram up to the Point which overlooks HK. As the sun went down, HK’s lights came on and the spectacle that is HK came to life. High rise buildings everywhere, including on top of the Point! What a sight.

Day four: Another ferry ride out to Lamma Island with Rob Buckley (HKRU Referee from IRE). Great 1 hour hike from one side of the island to the other for the best seafood I have ever eaten. Live lobster, hand selected from a sidewalk tank, 20 minutes later was served at the table to be devoured. Ferry ride back to the footy club for a HKFC 10’s referees meeting in preparation for the tournament that started the next day.

Day five: Kowloon Rugby Fest. This is the 10’s tournament for the rest of the teams since the HCFC 10’s is a mostly professional affair now. Lots of teams from all over the globe having a great time playing rugby and drinking beer. Refereed 3 matches then headed over to the hotel for the Women’s International 7’s referee meeting where we would get instructions for the following two days. Referees from Switzerland, Ireland, Thailand, HK, China, Canada, Arabian Gulf and the US. In addition to your author, Pete Wienkelbaur from the Heart of America TU was invited as the US representative to the IW 7’s. Dinner that night with the referees’ society with all the visiting iRB and HKFC 10’s referees.

Day six: Women’s International 7’s played at So Kon Po. So Kon Po is adjacent to HK Stadium and is a great facility. Teams from Canada, France, Kazakhstan, US, China, Hong Kong, PNG, Singapore, Thailand, Netherlands, Japan and the Arabian Gulf were fired up and ready to play. I was assigned France v Kazakhstan as well as a TJ in several other matches. Following the WI 7’s, we headed over to the Footy Club to watch the semi-finals and finals of the HKFC 10’s. Huge fast athletes hurling themselves into unbelievable collisions with each other; what a sight and feel. Pat McNally was sitting in the stands enjoying the action (Paddy Mac was shadowing the iRB referees manager for the HK 7’s). Nice dinner out in Time Square with Paddy (and friend), Pete and Gabby.

Day seven: Final day of the Women’s International 7’s. Refereed PNG v Singapore and PNG v Thailand as well as running touch for several of the other matches. Following my last match, I grabbed a shower, changed and headed to the big stadium for the Friday night portion of the HK7’s. HK is bigger than the other iRB circuit venues in that it has 20 teams (instead of 16) and is played over 3 days rather than 2 everywhere else. Also the stadium seats 40k and was sold out back in December. My assignment for the tournament was as a subs bench official. I was quickly fitted with a radio harness that allowed me to hear the referee’s open mic as well as communicate substitutions and sin-bin substitutions with the referee. The opportunity to work with professional coaches and players in a setting like HK was a highlight of my 26 years of rugby. My first real challenge came in the 4th game of the night when the South African insisted he could substitute a player on a penalty. This was not the case and eventually the rule of law won out over shear pressure. Following the conclusion of the final match of the evening, I changed and headed over to the “running man bar” in the stadium for the Women’s International Dinner and Reception. Couple of beers and I was off to the hotel for a well-deserved night’s sleep.

Day eight: Up early and off to the stadium for day 2 of the HK 7’s. With my virgin voyage under my belt, I was even more excited to get back on the pitch with the professionals. The day started off with a referee briefing from the iRB Referee Manager, then everyone was turned loose to be great. In a day with non-stop action, I enjoyed my time communicating with the coaches, managers, referees and players as well as the HK referees who make this rugby spectacle happen without a glitch. Confrontation of the day; the Russian coach had completed his 3 and final substitutions and then attempted to replace one of his props. The NZ sub-bench officials informed the Russian coach that he could not make any additional subs, but he insisted he could replace an injured prop. The match ended and with the officials winning out and the Russian coach asking where he could lodge his complaint. I had been watching the action from the other bench with interest; I grabbed the tournament rules and headed over to diffuse the situation. I pointed out to the Russian coach that in 15’s he was absolutely correct; however, in 7’s the law was different and front row certified players were not a requirement, thus the front row replacement law was different. With this explanation he was happy the thanked all the officials. With this, I turned to my NZ colleagues and simply said that it takes an American to sort out the Russians.

Day nine: Knock-out rounds. Tension was high on the field and benches as the win or go home matches began. Today I was on the big headset communicating with the control tower relative to subs and sin-bins as well as all other field related matters that required coordination. In one of the quarter final matches between SA and AUS, there was a yellow card issued to an Australian player for a punch. Following the match, the SA coach asked how long he had to make a citing report; he was told 30 minutes. About 25 minutes later he arrived back at my station with his laptop in hand and stated that he would like to make a citing of the Australian player. I radioed up to control to report the citing request and asked how I should proceed. My request for instruction on how to proceed was met with a considerable delay, so while we were waiting, the SA coach opened his laptop and played the incident back for me frame by frame. It was a punch for sure. After several minutes I escorted the coach up to the control tower and the citing officials room. Once the coach was handed over to the citing officials, I was back to my post for the semis and finals. The excitement in the stadium rose steadily in anticipation of the NZ v SA final. The Stadium roared, danced, sang and cheered for three days and everyone was exited for the finals. NZ won the match and the cup presentation and fireworks ensued. An incredible sight to witness while standing in the middle of the pitch. Following the presentations, a quick shower and into my #1’s for the players dinner reception. Lots of fun and conversation throughout the dinner, then it was off to Wan Chi (bar district) for a good night out.

Day ten: Little plane ride and I was home again spinning from the experience that is Hong Kong and the HK 7’s.

Foot note: Everyone who I had the pleasure to work with was professional, enjoyable and incredibly accommodating to me. The hospitality I enjoyed was second to none. The best for me was being able to spend time with the HK referees who have been running the HK 7’s for 31 years now and learn from the best. In fact, the HK referees have taught the iRB how to run a tournament. Experience that can’t be beat. Hope to visit HK again soon to see good friends and enjoy everything the HK and rugby have to offer.


Women’s Territorial: GRIZZLIES 20– Mid-Atlantic Referee: Tony Redmond
Touch Judge: Eric Rauscher

Both teams showed that it was the first time that the players had come together this season to represent their respective regions. Too many knock ons, forward passes, and other interruptions to play resulted in a lot of scrumming practice for the forwards at the expense of anything more positive. Grizzlies led 5-0 at half-time despite having only paid two visits to the opposing 22m in the entire half. Mid-Atlantic were more expansive in the second half and managed to score two good converted tries, but they found that Grizzlies were also more effective as they managed to score three times, the last coming two minutes from time as the result of a block down close to the line.

The men’s D2 season came to a close this past weekend. Three teams advance to the Pacific Coast playoffs, which will be in Fresno April 26-27: East Palo Alto, Sacramento Capitals, and San Jose Seahawks.

SACRAMENTO CAPS 29 – Seahawks 21 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Seconds: Sacramento 19 – SEAHAWKS 67 Referee: Chris Tucker
Thanks to TJs: Scott Wood, Jim Crenshaw

A game of two halves, as British pundits are wont to call the round ball game. Well, that's what this was -- an entertaining first, fast and fun as the Caps scored a couple of tries and the visiting Seahawks put up 4 thanks to some strong backline play (aided and abetted by a couple of locals found loitering around Danny Nunn park.)

The second half was less entertaining, turning into a rout by the visitors as the heat began to drain energy away from the players (and the ref). Dehydration was a problem -- 88 degrees is a little hot for rugby, especially when you come to the pitch without the requisite 2 litres of Gatorade. My own darn fault: dehydration made for slow running and slow thinking.

As it was, the Caps scored a consolation try after 30-some minutes, and their captain agreed that enough was enough. Restart, knock-on, time.

EAST PALO ALTO 37 – Baracus 7 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Touch Judge: Preston Gordon
91F degrees, sunny, and dusty in my first trip to East Palo Alto (not counting IKEA). EPA was adventurous with ball in hand, running, passing, and chip-kicking all over the place to lead 20-0 at half. EPA's physicality on offense was impressive, but Baracus was not afraid to make the big tackles. Both teams demonstrated good mauling technique with several long drives. Despite the massive hits and break-neck pace, both teams should be commended for playing a clean match with quickly recycled ball and good sportsmanship. In the end, the home team won this entertaining encounter comfortably, 5 tries to 1. Much thanks to Preston Gordon who provided excellent support as TJ.

Seconds: EAST PALO ALTO 24 – Baracus 12 Referee: Preston Gordon
The match was a full 80-minute one (finally, in a B game) and was very clean and fun to referee. Running around in the 90-degree heat on a field with little grass but lots of dirt and pebbles reminded me quite a lot of some places in Arizona!

SANTA ROSA 29– SF/Golden Gate 15 Referee: Paul Cassidy (Alberta)
Report by Cary Bertolone:
Visiting ref Paul Cassidy of Edmonton, Canada was on hand at For Pete's Sake in Santa Rosa for the 11:00am kick-off w/ 75 degree weather, sun and blue skies. Paul had a great game with good clean rugby as the product of his efforts.

The Santa Rosa pack dominated the first half and created lots of crowd pleasing scoring for the home team. They scored 4 tries to San Fran's one with the score 24-10 at the half.

San Francisco got with it in the second half and their pack actually dominated; but it only led to one try for each team with an ending score of 29-15, Santa Rosa.

Soon after, both teams and Paul Cassidy attended a Santa Rosa Rugby Hawaiian Luau with piles of food, Hawaiian dancing and plenty of beer that lasted for hours. A fun day for all!!

ARROYO GRANDE 63 – Fresno 5 Referee: Dan Wilson
Videographer: Bruce Carter
The central coast certainly lived up to its beauty and splendor this weekend. The hills were beautifully green, the sky was clear and the heat was on. Arroyo Grande had an official temperature of 90 degrees, but since we were about ten miles inland, it had to have been in the mid 90’s. As Bruce Carter stated, “This is 7’s weather”. The day was touted as an end of season celebration with AG’s awesome tri-tip to end the day. Being that it was the last game of the season and neither team was making the playoffs, numbers were light and both sides were filled with players that had barely seen the pitch this season much less practice. As well all know, when the whistle blows, all the other stuff is forgotten and we play ball.

AG started off the scoring with a penalty kick within the first four minutes. When Fresno missed a return penalty kick a few minutes later, the game seemed like it would be a closely fought match. Looks, as they say, can definitely be deceiving. Fresno put on a clinic of how to badly miss players and not follow through with tackles, resulting in AG not having to spin the balls too much to the backs. When they did spin the ball outside, the Fresno backs followed suit dictated by the forwards and seemed to forget how to tackle. When things go downhill, they start to spiral. Starting at the 15 minute mark, AG scored six tries, three converted and added on another penalty kick for good measure. Halftime score- Fresno 0 – AG 44.

The second half was a little closer more due to the emotions that started to become involved with both teams. AG still kept finding its way into the try zone, but Fresno was able to put together one long, supported run that included both backs and forwards. Yes, Fresno was on the board with an unconverted try. Overall, the game was still a fun game to referee even though the score was absolutely lopsided. The team for Fresno was definitely not the Fresno team of yesteryear.

My thanks to Bruce Carter for filming the game and giving his evaluation of my performance. Full time score: Fresno 5 – AG 63.

AG/Fresno 5 – CAL POLY seconds 22 Referee: Bruce Carter
Cal Poly has good numbers; they won’t all get to play in Albuquerque this coming weekend. So while the squad had a full morning practice session on the adjacent pitch in the morning when it was still cool (90° at noon), the reserves returned later to get a run against those Arroyo Grande and Fresno players who chose to play against the dying of the rugby season’s light.

It was not an auspicious beginning for the Combined side – at the first scrum the Mustang halfback threw a little head fake as he picked up the ball, then ran twenty meters up the center of the pitch untouched to score with 38 seconds gone.

The last try was equally memorable: the Cal Poly #5, quite a useful player, took off upfield. All of his opponents had been running around in the hot sun and dry wind for several hours at that point. They weren’t necessarily of a mind to be attempting to tackle a big fit fellow.

Given the turnstile nature of this try, the referee decided to blow the game early on account of the aroma of tri-tip wafting to our nostrils.

On the way home, already fully in the camp of the beefeaters, we saw a bumper sticker that we can wholeheartedly endorse:


UC Davis – San Francisco State CANCELED

San Jose State 20-ish – ALUMNI 80-ish Referee: Anna McMahan

SANTA CLARA 27 – Stanford 10 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
On a hot afternoon in Santa Clara, the Lady Broncos beat a good Stanford second fifteen.

Good red zone defense kept this a low scoring game. Santa Clara was up 12-0 at half. Stanford brought it to within 7 with about 15 minutes left, but the Lady Broncos had more gas in tank and scored twice for the final tally. A contested and well played game.


SoCal Griffins 0 – MARFU Development 5 Referee: John Pohlman

Combo Griffin/Grizzly 0 – MARFU 7 Ref: Pohlman



Rancho Cordova Lancers 8 – CHRISTIAN BROTHERS FALCONS 39
Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Cordova High School

On the hottest day of the year (to date), I got the opportunity to referee at Cordova High School for the first time since the tournament in 2002(?). Lancers have constructed a wonderful, full-sized pitch with high posts.

Both teams are well coached in different ways. CB runs a traditional warm up session whereas Lancers incorporate Rochambeau (rock-paper-scissors) into its pre-game. This was a distraction to CB as one coach said, "Ignore them. That's their JV team distracting you. Their Varsity side is warming up farther away." This wasn't true but certainly got the CB players back into focusing on the game.

The teams are well disciplined and demonstrate good athleticism. Early on, poor tactical decisions--allowing the ball to hit the ground off kicks and ill-advised passing--resulted in turnovers. Nonetheless, CB maintained constant pressure on the Lancers. Three unconverted CB tries to one Lancers penalty goal put the visitors leading at half 15-3.

The second half opened with CB exploiting the smallest of gaps and sprinting around the pitch. With another try in hand, CB was again five meters out when Lancers #7 decided to come offside and molest the scrum half before the ball was out. Off he went to the bin for a professional foul. This provided the Lancers with an opportunity to play a 14-man defense of which CB took advantage scoring another try.

Lancers were undeterred and capitalized off the ensuing kick off to force a turnover and attack down the side of the field. The hosts were awarded a penalty and kicked for touch earning a lineout five meters from goal. The referee warned CB about numbers in the lineout and to "lose one" to no avail. CB stole the lineout and was penalized for numbers. Lancers took a quick tap and was tackled by a CB player who chose to neither retreat to the goal line nor wait to be put onside. His transgression was viewed as a professional foul and the teams were even at 14 players each. Lancers scored easily off the next phase but were unable to convert.

With time waning in the match, CB turned up the speed and started dashing around the pitch scoring two tries, including the final one with a run that started five meters out and demonstrated speed that BALCO clients would envy.

Clean and competitive. It's hard to ask for more. Kudos to the teams for their participation. Dan Rose did a good job despite comments from one (or two) Lancers supporters. Afterward, we convened at the "Coach's Table" at Mountain Mike's for refreshments.

Elsie Allen 14 – SANTA ROSA 22 Referee: Joe Leisek
Touch Judges: Ken Jacobson, Oscar Hernandez
A large, noisy crowd filled The Lobodome on a stunningly warm evening to watch the last game of the Redwood Empire Conference season. It's always a big game when Elsie Allen hosts their conference arch-rivals, the combined Santa Rosa-Cardinal Newman club. But this time there was a league title at stake and several elaborate playoff scenarios to be resolved. (The referee understood few of these but was glad others did).

For the visitors, it was simple: A win meant the Redwood Empire Conference championship and a first-round home playoff game. Santa Rosa had defeated all comers this season, including a come-from-behind win against an excellent Marin team, but Elsie had been playing very well in the latter stages of the season. Both teams had recently beaten Canadian opponents: Elsie as hosts for two matches, Rosa as tourists on Vancouver Island, where they posted a 3-0 record.

Rosa's success was due mainly to their size and strength in the forward pack, which includes several all-league linemen from the Cardinal Newman football team, and their excellent halfback-flyhalf combination of Joe Silvestri and Andrew Bartlett. This year Elsie found themselves with a young team in rebuilding mode, but their combination of speed and technical skill (especially tackling) is always dangerous. Both teams feature excellent coaching: Rosa by Lynn Meister and Denis Bruno, Elsie by Alan Petty and Tyler Ahlborn.

The early stages of the contest featured Rosa dominating possession, but nearly all of it in their own half. They retained the ball very well and ran right at the Elsie backline, which is always a gamble given the home side's swarming defense. There was little kicking, as Rosa instead continued to try to penetrate the Elsie backline. There was a long stretch early in the game where there were no stoppages at all. Finally, Rosa broke through. From a ruck near the Elsie goal line, a Rosa prop crashed forward and passed the ball to a loose forward who scored the game's first try. Rosa scored another try in the first half off a quick-tap from a penalty about 10 meters from the Elsie goal.

The visitors scored twice in the second half; first with a try that came from a quick maul formed by Bartlett and a crashing wing, the second through a penalty kick. Elsie stormed back late in the half with two converted tries, the first from an intercept just inside their own 22 meter line. After the second try brought the score to within 22-14, the crowd was electric. But the final whistle soon came and Rosa had earned a conference championship.

Afterwards, with the teams gathered at midfield, both head coaches spoke. Meister said his team may have had the physical edge, but Elsie showed real heart and played with intensity for 70 minutes. Petty said though the loss hurt, his team would be on the sidelines cheering for Rosa during the playoffs.

An inspiring night of rugby.

Thanks to Ken (Rosa) and Oscar (Lobos) for running touch.


LAMORINDA Frosh/soph 30 – Oakland Warthogs 7 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
A warm day in Oakland and everyone had fun. One of the newest youth clubs invited one of the most established to have a go. Lamo showed up with their typical hoard of players, many of whom volunteered to play for the other guys.

It was a pleasure to see Eddie Lopez, former Old Gael, getting a new club going. Bo Myersiek was his typical good-humored self.

Humboldt girls HS – Mother Lode CANCELED
It is a tribute to the strong rugby spirit of Pelican Refs that three people volunteered to referee this match when it was announced.

So don’t anyone go thinking that it was called for want of a qualified official!

PENINSULA GREEN 41 – College Park 26 Referee: Sandy Robertson
Green dominated set pieces and controlled possession while College Park made the most of their opportunities pulling to within 10 points with about 10 minutes left before conceding a late try that left Peninsula Green comfortably ahead.

Hayward 27 – LAMORINDA 31 Referee: Tom Zanarini
First let me thank Bruce and Pete for reassigning me to this match. I was originally scheduled for the Santa Rosa v SFGG b-side but it seems SFGG is not able to put forth a competitive B-side lately so I was fortunate to pick up this high school match.

Hot day on an open and dry pitch. Lamorinda were a bit sore warming up due to their Friday night match v an Aussie touring side who were great sideline spectators for Saturday. Once the posts were set and the field lined we were able to kick off only half an hour late.

Hayward came out fighting and scored the first two tries at 32 and 25 minutes (remaining). Lamo got their bearings and returned with tries at 20, 12 and 0. One converted each put the halftime score at 17-12 for Lamo.

Second half was a bit more interesting. Lack of discipline by Hayward got the best of them and ended up a man down due to repeated infractions. #13 was cautioned for not wrapping then shortly after returning was sent off for the same. Scores by Hayward at 30 and 28 minutes were quickly put to rest by a recharged Lamo squad who had many seniors playing possibly their last match in green.

Lamo scored at 12 minutes and 9, converting both. Hayward fought back to score at full time, but missing all their conversions in the second half put them out of the running. Great game by both teams. I was told after that Hayward is made up of majority freshman! This team is one to watch in the coming years.

Thanks to all the coaches and supporters for a great rugby day!

SF/Golden Gate 0 – MASSEY HS New Zealand 38 Referee: Joe Androvich


Thursday evening, 7 PM, at Hayward Adult School
D3 Playoff:
Mission – Vacaville Referee: Joe Androvich

If you would like to run touch for this one, please contact Joe.


Saturday, April 5:
VACAVILLE 29 – Humboldt 17 Referee: JC Van Staden

WOW, is probably the only way to describe this 3rd division match. With all the referees tied up in all the play-off’s that were going on in California, I got to witness the intensity that made me love the game more than food (maybe not more than wine), out of the best seat on the pitch (not that there were any seats to pick from ;-).

Humboldt won the toss and decided to “kick in the second half”. In my 8yr of rugby refereeing, I have never heard about an explanation like that before, but, whatever works to get the job done, right?!

Vacaville took the challenge though, and opened the score board with a converted try just minutes after the match started. With the wind in their favor, and some pinpoint kicking from the fullback, Vacaville ran in another, but got answered right back with a brilliant try by the 8man of Humboldt. So the game was on, and Humboldt did not travel this far just to give up without a fight. With halftime being only 4min and 20seconds, it was clear to me that the adrenaline had kicked in, and being tired was not an option.

Humboldt started with a long kickoff, as “planned”, trying to pin down Vacaville in their own 22, but could not manage to keep the counter attack by Vacaville’s 8man under control, and with some good running and second phase balls, turned it into a another try. But this was far from over! Humboldt had a pep talk, and with some diehard supporters on the sideline, they scrambled themselves back with a well-worked try to close the gap once again. This was by far the shortest 40 min of my life in a second half. By having 7 blood bin subs we had to go through, and 3 yellow cards for repeated infringement, it was clear that they would leave it all on the field.

Vacaville lost out on a few penalty kicks, but made up by yet another try, this time by their scrumhalf, which put them in a very comfortable spot, with the clock running out. Humboldt did not disappoint though... With the time all out, they kept it in play, and the fullback snatched up a loose ball, and ran in a 60 meter try under the uprights.

This was a good day for rugby, to see two 3rd division teams play rugby as if there were a crowd of 80k looking at them, and no tomorrow.


As the season winds down some of us start to think about SEVENS. Real rugby starts in the summer.

Matter of fact, it started 125 years ago this very month:

Proud Birds
The latest salvo in the NCRRS’ recruiting effort rings out at Rocca Field and will continue to resound: Bjorn Stumer, Tina Nesberg and John Pohlman help spread the news.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, April 08, 2008




With the playoff and super league seasons in full swing, most of our higher-rated referees were not available for NCRRS duty this past weekend.

Sharp-eyed readers will notice that three of the four men’s D1 games this week were officiated by C2 referees. Such are the opportunities that might arise at any time, and this is why ambitious referees should always be ready for a challenge.


Tonight (Tuesday, April 8) will be the last monthly meeting of the NCRRS for this season. We will meet from 7 – 9 at the SF/GG clubhouse on Treasure Island. Dinner will be available for early arrivals beginning at six.

The Referee Development Committee will meet from 6 – 7.


Our biennial exchange to the East Midlands (Northamptonshire and environs) will be this September. If you would like to go, now is the time to put your name forward.

The trip will cover the weekends of September 20 and 27. We normally leave on the Wednesday and return on the Monday, so figure September 17-29, leaving around noon and returning also mid-day.

Our hosts can accommodate four-five referees and an evaluator or referee coach. Spouses/significant others are welcome (but need to pay for their own flight).

This is the premier exchange on the calendar, and one of the best offered anywhere in the USA. The NCRRS pays for your flights and your hosts will make it very difficult for you to spend any of your own money in-country. This will be one of the memorable events of your rugby life.

If you ever toured as a player, this is like that only better.

There will be cup and league games on the weekends as well as schools games during the week. Evaluation is available for those who would like.

Side trips in the past have included Rugby School, Twickenham, Windsor, Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford and Cambridge (not all on the same trip!), as well as watching a premiership game. We generally spend the last full day in London and then catch a morning flight the next day.

Check your schedule and time off, and let us know if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.


We are glad that several people wrote to say how much they enjoyed reading about the ‘new laws’, and satisfied that others wrote in anger at the proposed changes.

Given that the article referenced ELVs and ORCs, we suspect that it was penned by JPR Jolkien.

Thanks to Ron Myers for sending in the link.


Women at Stanford

PCRFU Women's Collegiate Playoffs

General note: The level of play by all six teams playing on Friday was amazing. Creative passing and technical discipline was displayed in all three matches, especially the Stanford-BYU match. If I were Stanford, I'd be relieved not to see BYU for the rest of the playoffs.

Specific note: Shame. Shame. Shame. Teams that "earn" playoff spots and then forfeit such should be sanctioned. Heavily. There are other teams that would relish the opportunity to compete in the playoffs--even if it is just for the experience.

Another note: Contrary to what some media outlets reported, OSU's no-show was not realized by PCRFU until they failed to arrive for their check-in on Friday morning. It must be nice to again not get all the facts straight prior to publishing their opinion.

CALIFORNIA 34 – Oregon 0 Referee: Joe Androvich
Touch Judges: Sandy Robertson, Scott Wood
#4: Mike King

UC DAVIS 43 – Nevada 5 Referee: Andrew Ormsby
Touch Judges: Sandy Robertson, Scott Wood
#4: Eric Rauscher
Nevada traveled with 16 players. Injuries put them to 14. Davis played very well. Kudos to Nevada for never giving up.

STANFORD 26 – Brigham Young University 17 Referee: Paul Bretz
Touch Judges: Mike King, Anna McMahan
#4: Eric Rauscher
What a match. Both teams are very well coached. BYU's 15 will be studying how to defend Stanford's wings. Look for this match to be next year's Collegiate Final.

PCRFU Collegiate Playoffs

UNIVERSITY OF OREGON 7 – Oregon State Shameful (walkover)
Again I am screwed out of a match due to forfeiture. This is not the first playoff match I have not refereed because a team chose not to play. Thanks for wasting my time.

For these next three games, the referees listed are merely best guesses. The scores are taken from on-line reports.

BYU 65 – Nevada 0 Referee: Joe Androvich

CHICO STATE 92 – California 0 Referee: Tony Maphosa (PNW)

STANFORD 31 – UC Davis 0 Referee: Paul Bretz

Chico State, Cal, Stanford and UC Davis all earned seeds at the nationals in Albuquerque April 18-20.

Men at St. Mary’s

Washington State chose not to show up, and waited until it was too late to invite a more deserving team. Thus there was only one game each day.

This is pathetic and they should be ashamed of themselves. They should suffer a good long ban. Their weak and risible excuse hinged upon a long-existing rule regarding travel at their school. They could have announced a year ago that if they finished second in the PNW they would be unable to fulfill the requirements for post-season play.

THEY CAN ANNOUNCE RIGHT NOW THAT THEY CAN’T PLAY OUTSIDE THEIR HOME UNION EVER AGAIN and not be considered for playoff berths falling outside the PNW from now on.

But they won’t. They’ll put this same crap again down the road like this rule is a big surprise and expect others to feel sorry for them.

We don’t. We feel sorry for whichever team would have stepped up to play. We feel sorry for UC Davis, who had to play a fresh opponent a day after a tough game in the most important game of their season. We feel sorry for the referees who took Friday off work and didn’t get any games.

We don’t feel sorry for sandbagging rugby teams who selfishly deny others rugby pleasure.


UC DAVIS 25 – Stanford 20 Referee: Anthony Maphosa (PNW)
Touch Judges: Tom Zanarini, Rob Hendrickson
Evaluator: Mike Malone


ST. MARY’S 29 – UC Davis 22 Referee: Andrew Ormsby (Utah)
Touch Judge: Bjorn Stumer, Chris Nolan
Evaluator: Mike Malone

The four Pacific Coast seeds to the men’s nationals will be Cal, St. Mary’s, BYU and Utah. All four are in different brackets, so an all-Pacific-Coast final four is a possibility.


Men in Utah:

California Maritime Academy 17 – UTAH VALLEY STATE COLLEGE 38 Referee: Don Pattalock
Touch Judges: Chris Giles and Jen Price
#4: John Pohlman

In the second match of the afternoon, CMA came out on fire taking a 10 – 0 lead in the first 15 minutes by exploiting the proverbial collegiate hole that exists outside the second center with some great running lines by their fullback. UVSC stemmed the bleeding, shored up their scrums and began to attack. With solid platforms from their scrums and lineouts, UVSC put CMA under continued pressure and managed to score several tries to secure the win.

SANTA CLARA 35 – Western Washington 27 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judges: Chris Giles and Jen Price
I traveled to Orem Utah to do the Men's D2 playoffs this weekend with Don Pattalock.

My first game was at three o'clock Friday and featured NorCal talent Santa Clara University against Western Washington.

This was my first Pacific Coast assignment so I was pretty excited. Both teams were too. We started the match at about 2:55 rather the 3:00 because everyone was ready to go.

Watching the warm-ups I felt the Wash. team looked a bit bigger and possibly more powerful than SC.

WW started fast with a score by their flanker six minutes in. SC came roaring back six minutes later with a try by winger Bill Ungright.

At the 22 minute mark the WW #9 punched the SC #3 from behind knocking him down. I was forced to give my first red card of the year. WW played the rest of the game one man down.

SC's center Marlin Kingi made one of his typical open field runs making numerous defenders miss for a try at 28 minutes.

WW was long from being done. Their inside center and captain Mark Staiger took a quick tap penalty and powered in. SC scored another try at the end of the half.

Half time score SC 21 WW 12

SC's tackling kept them in this match. WW scores were primarily off missed tackles.

WW had a lot of rugby left in them. They scored three tries in the second half but converted no kicks. SC's kicker won them this game converting three tries in the first half and two in the second.

WW continued to battle scoring their last try at the 35 minute mark making it SC 28 WW 27. A converted kick would give WW the first lead since 12 minutes in. Alas WW missed the kick. SC scored one final try at the 37 minute mark to win 35-27.

What a great game to watch, referee and play in. Except for the one punch no problems.


On Saturday I did the consolation match between another local team Cal Maritime versus Western Washington.

CALIFORNIA MARITIME 22 – Western Washington 17 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judges: Jen Price and Ren Steffee

This was another very close and competitive game. Both teams wanted a win in their last game of the season.

Cal scored first at 13 minutes. WW followed with an immediate score to tie it up 5-5.

Cal Maritime is a big psychical team. Their #8 was my player of the game. He would pick up a scrum ball from the back and break the first tackle for some good go forward ball. On a couple of occasions he broke free for long rambling runs leading to scores.

I don't believe either team led by more than 5 points at anytime of the match.

UVSC 24 – Santa Clara University 17 Referee: D. Pattalock
Touch Judges: Jen Price and Ren Steffee
#4: John Pohlman

In a similar plot to the match on Friday, SCU came out with guns blazing and jumped to a 10 – 0 lead in the first 20 minutes. UVSC once again exhibited dominance in their set pieces and tactically put SCU under pressure by pinning them deep within their 22m. UVSC managed two well worked tries and dotted down two soft tries arising out of tactical mistakes by SCU. SCU scored an 80 meter, multi-phase try to pull within a converted try with 7 minutes to go. SCU continued to battle for the last 5 minutes of the match putting UVSC under tremendous pressure by retaining possession and working the ball from touch line to touch line exploiting overlaps. It was a knock-on at full time that finally ended the SCU attack and handed the win to UVSC.

All the teams present at the playoffs were well coached and all the games were contested right down to the final whistle. It was a pleasure to referee teams that exhibited discipline in the tackles thus the wide-open exciting rugby played by these young teams was thrilling to watch. I brought home my own souvenir from Saturday’s final; 5 stitches over my right eye from a slight head clash with SCU’s #8 who was running a line from nowhere to nowhere in particular that cut the referees line at a 45 degree angle.


UC SANTA CRUZ will return to the nationals, after winning them in 2006 and finishing second last year.

The Banana Slugs defeated Central Washington 17-5 and then Western Washington in the final.

Super League:

SF/GOLDEN GATE 35 – Old Blue 7 Referee: Davey Ardrey (USA)
Touch Judges: Tom Zanarini, Eric Rauscher
Referee Coach: Gary Devoe
Evaluator: Dixon Smith

Golden Gate gets their first victory of the season in emphatic fashion. With the way their conference is playing out, a 1 – 2 record can be overcome to earn the playoffs.

OMBAC 23 – BOSTON WOLFHOUNDS 26 Referee: Pete Smith
Touch Judges: Bob Woerner, Bruce Carter
Assessor: Bryan Porter

Report by Bruce Carter:

Pete and I met at the San Diego airport Saturday morning on the rental car shuttle. The occasion was Pete’s first appointment to do a super league match.

Our first order of business was to visit an old friend: the resting place of Cap Pelletier at Fort Rosecrans on Point Loma.

Cap was a retired Gunnery Sergeant with the Marine Corps and a rugby guy through and through. He passed unexpectedly last spring. Now the sound of the waves soothes his eternal slumber, as a faithful member of that seagoing service would prefer.

The game at the Little Q was quite entertaining, evenly matched and played throughout. The hosts led 20-15 at the half but yielded the second half’s only try while down a man due to repeated infringements near the goal line.

Each team converted a penalty goal, so the only difference was a drop-goal by the Wolfhounds to win it 23-26.

A trip to Rubio’s for some of their deservedly-famous fish tacos rounded out a fine rugby day in the best part of Southern California.

SF/GOLDEN GATE seconds 27 – Old Blue D1, 12 Referee: Tom Zanarini

Strange score as SFGG threw together a mishmash of players and wanting to play 30 minute halves and Old Blue was kitted up and ready to go with what looked like a superior side. Not wanting to upset their opponents who flew 3,000 miles for a full match, time was changed to full 40's.

Good aggressive play in the first half, score 15-12. 2nd half SFGG had some replacements and again requested a 30 minute half with uncontested scrums. This request did not make Old Blue very happy, so a compromise was reached to play another 40 with uncontested scrums. Why a Super League B-side would need to play uncontested scrums is beyond me but it happened. It definitely put OB in a foul mood and the tension spilled over.

One yellow for repeated dissent given to SFGG, another 4 minutes later yellow was given to the captain of OB for acts contrary to good sportsmanship, which turned to red, which turned to an ejection from the playing enclosure. Shortly after the restart we had a scrum, tackle, brawl. Requests from both sides to end the match was granted with 10 minutes left on the clock.


San Mateo 17 – HAYWARD 25 Referee: Chris Tucker
Touch Judges: Tony Maphosa (Pacific Northwest RFU), Bryant Byrnes
Ref Coach: Dave Williamson

E-mails from Bruce and Pete on Friday told tale that Aruna had been summoned to Dallas for a RSL match, and his gain worked out well for me too, gifting me my first D1 match. I rode the Caltrain down and walked to the pitch to find both teams chilling out by the side of the all-weather surface. There was no way the match was starting at the official 9.30, but I assured Tony (our visitor from Seattle) and Dave W that we'd be going by 10. I was right, by about 30 seconds.

Both teams clearly came ready to play, with some big, hard hits thumping in from both sides giving the sizable crowd plenty to cheer about. The home side soon opened the account, with a fast counterattack down the left wing, resulting in a touchdown in the corner after 8 minutes. Hayward responded with sustained pressure, resulting in two penalties, comfortably slotted by the fly half for a 6-5 lead after the first quarter.

Now, one thing you appreciate about all weather pitches, having practised all winter on one back in Chicago, is that they are ideal for drop kicks: the bounce is true and, if you want it, high enough to get better elevation on the ball. This was shown by the Hayward fly half, who dropped off the back of a ruck at the 22, and dropped a kick from 30m out. The thing being that the posts were at the dead-ball line, adding another 10m to the attempt, which made it over with 5m to spare. Fine play!

One more kick to Hayward and an unconverted try to San Mateo left the score 12-10 to the visitors at the half. The second half opened with one of those maddening tries that the defenders could easily have prevented. Scrum is set 30m out from the San Mateo goal line, and it's their put-in. "Crouch, touch, pause..." Now I told you before (twice) to take your hand away after the touch. Free kick Hayward. San Mateo scrumhalf runs away with the ball. Another 10m. Quick tap and an easy 2-phase try (converted). A frustrating try to award, as it leaves the feeling I could have done something to manage it better.

2 more penalties to Hayward put the game beyond reach, but San Mateo kept driving, and were rewarded with a try at the death when the openside flanker crashed over under the posts for the final try (converted). 25-17 to the visitors, and a good game to watch too. Thanks to Tony and Bryant who helped out immensely on both touchlines, and Dave W for his counsel after the match.

OLYMPIC CLUB 57 – Diablo Gaels 0 Referee: Preston Gordon

Getting up earlier than usual on a Saturday in order to ref a 1000 match was no problem...I've played at Boxer Stadium in Balboa Park and have also watched a couple of Eagles test matches at this venue in the past, so I was looking forward to this game. The pitch was a little harder than I remembered, torn up a little more, and lined for at least 3 different sports (lacrosse and soccer in addition to rugby).

Although I can't say for sure, Olympic Club appeared to have a pretty strong starting XV. Both teams had a full bench of replacements, but Diablo only used 2 whereas OC used 5.

The game started at a pretty fast clip, and OC scored their first try 6 minutes into the match. They added two more at 25' and 39', and should have scored about 3 more but for forward passes, turnovers, and one silly mistake where an OC player went over the dead ball line while trying to center his try. Halftime score was 17-0.

OC came out stronger in the second half, scoring tries at 7', 20', 30', 34', 37', and 41'. Again, they could have scored a couple more had their execution been a little better. Diablo came pretty close a few times but couldn't quite get onto the scoreboard.

It's very noticeable how much faster division 1 games are (this was my first one in the USA) when compared to lower-level matches, and I certainly noticed how much harder I had to work to "be there" at the tackle and keep up with line breaks in open play. Also, at least one aspect of refereeing first-division rugby in Switzerland tracks with local D1 games too: the coaches are quite a bit more vocal.

Seconds: OLYMPIC CLUB 41 – Diablo Gaels 7 Ref: Gordon

I had planned to stick around and touch judge the B match, but as it turned out, someone told me that Mr. Davis injured himself and there was no ref. I volunteered to do the second match as well, which was also pretty fast. The 25-minute halves helped a bit too, although my legs were fairly stiff the next day.

The game was similar in character to the preceding one, except for a couple of instances of handbags breaking out - a quick chat to the captains seemed to take care of that though.

OC scored 4 tries in the first half to Diablo's 1 (a real beauty off an advantage in open play, if I recall correctly), and added to their lead by going over 3 more times in the second half. Halftime score: 26-7.

Overall a great day of rugby in the springtime sunshine, followed by enjoying some of O Club's hospitality in the stands (free beer and bbq food) while watching a ladies' soccer match. As an aside, one of the soccer players was chatting to me while I was packing up my stuff, and mentioned that she couldn't believe that the city would let the rugby teams come out and tear up their field! She was duly, and politely, disabused of that silly notion.

Sacramento Lions 22 – HAGGIS 30 Referee: Tony Redmond

A physical encounter where Haggis started slowly, perhaps due to their long trip from Utah, eventually turned to the visitors’ favour as they reversed a 22-5 deficit at half-time to run out winners by 22-30. Sacramento scored three tries in the first half and ran the show from the kick-off, only conceding a single try when Haggis paid an infrequent visit to the Sacramento half. The tackling was furious and the physical nature of the game resulted in a number of penalties before everyone settled down.

The second half was completely different. Haggis had a slight breeze behind them and used half-time to figure out how to increase the tempo of their game to put the heavier Sacramento team under pressure. Two early tries for Haggis shifted the momentum of the game firmly with the Utah team. The one yellow card was given to Sacramento #6 after his team conceded a number of offside penalties and the numeric deficiency didn’t help as Sacramento conceded a fourth try followed by a nice drop goal and massive penalty from half-way to give Haggis a comfortable win in the end.


Sacramento Capitals 21 – EAST PALTO ALTO 27 Referee: Tony Latu

What a week of Rugby here in Nor Cal:

Thursday: I was running touch for Chris Tucker at a high school game; Vacaville vs. Islanders.

Saturday at 1100: I did the Amazon-Mother Lode game. This was a girls high school game. Unfortunately for Mother Lode they couldn’t match numbers, power and speed against the Amazons. Amazons won the Girl’s national couple years ago; I was told that this is a better team.

Saturday at 1:00: refereeing the Capitals vs. EPA. There are two ways from EPA to the Danny Nunn Park. If you take Highway 80 to 50 you will arrive from the West side. But if you take I-580 to 5, you will arrive from the east side. And if you’re not sure...

Anyway, EPA won 27-21 in a very physical game. The good news is there are potential referees from the Capital team, hopefully they will pick up the whistles and help the games.

Saturday at 3:15: Eugene Baker took control at a U-15 game, Matt Eason and myself were at the side line.

Saturday at 5:00: Haggis at the Lions den with Tony Redmond at the Helm.

And yes I can say it, Saturday is a Rugby Day.

Seconds: Sacramento 17 – EAST PALO ALTO 22 Referee: Phil Akroyd

This was the second game of the afternoon at Danny Nunn Park in Sacramento, with the first being East Palo Alto Razorbacks at Sacramento (A teams). The fiery nature of the first game carried over to the second game, as many EPA Razorbacks players played in both games, while Sacramento fielded a different team. Violence, dangerous play and unsportsmanlike play got in the way of what were two good rugby playing teams.

Sac scored a couple of early tries and took the lead 0 – 12 after ten minutes, but the strong running forwards of EPA brought their team back to within two points, and the scores at 10-12 after 15 minutes. The game was saw some excellent running rugby with EPA picking great lines in open play and Sacramento struggling to make tackles. EPA’s open-side took them into the lead 15-12 but the fiery nature of the game never went away. There were numerous off the ball incidents, flare-ups and back talk, mainly from EPA, as well as dangerous tackles, including high-tackles and spears again from East Palo Alto. Sacramento scored a try after being awarded a penalty in the EPA 22, taking the score to 15-17 and Sacramento in the lead again.

At 25 minutes gone in the first half, EPA’s center committed a high-tackle and was yellow carded (despite earlier warnings) but even with one man off the field, EPA Razorbacks muscled up to the try line again, scoring another touchdown close to the posts and duly adding the conversion.

At thirty-five minutes gone in the first, the EPA ball carrier was fairly tackled into touch in midfield, sparking a brawl with both sets of players and EPA subs running onto the field of play to join in. As there were several cells of fighting (on-field and off-field) it was unclear who started, retaliated and took part, although a Sacramento player clearly made a punching motion toward the start of the events. Again, it was unclear whether he acted out of defense or attack so was given a yellow card. The EPA subs and supporters involved were sent away from the playing enclosure.

Both captains were brought together and informed that any further dangerous play, dangerous tackles or violence would not be tolerated from either team and if any further events occurred, the game would be stopped. The captains relayed this to their players. The good quality of rugby re-emerged and the game continued without further incident to half-time.

Before the restart of the match, both captains (and teams) were reminded that there was to be no further dangerous play and EPA restarted the game. Sac received and attempted to play out of their half, going to a ruck and recycling the ball. During the second phase of possession, an unknown EPA player committed a low shoulder charge to the Sac ball carrier, and then lifted his body with the effect of raising the Sac player into the air and allowing him to fall unassisted to ground.

At approximately 42 total minutes played I called the game to a close as the EPA players had not taken any notice of warnings and were showing no signs of playing a safe game.

SEAHAWKS 36 – Baracus 10 Referee: Scott Wood
Touch Judges: David Heath, San Jose volunteer
Location: Cupertino Middle School, Sunnyvale
Weather: Slight breeze, sunny
Pitch conditions: Relatively firm, short and narrow (a fine forwards pitch)

The first five minutes of the match were wonderful. One penalty and loads of running and passing. The remaining 75 minutes featured good rugby infused with lazy rugby. Scrums were crap. Four were stable. The referee tried every tool in the shed shy of sin binning 16 players. The "Crenshaw Method" worked until I moved out of the tunnel--then the scrum would start crabbing and porpoising before the ball was put in. After having enough of that, most of the subsequent scrums ended in free kicks. I suppose I should have switched to penalty kicks and sin bins but that seemed too harsh.

When scrums go bad, trouble usually appears elsewhere on the pitch. Thankfully, this was not the case for today's match.

San Jose's first try came from a series of pick-and-drives with the ballcarrier stretching out to put the ball firmly on the line. Baracus answered with an attacking maneuver passing the ball through the backs. Unfortunately, the player stepped into touch then touched the flag post before grounding the ball. This was not a TMO moment.

In the second half, Baracus was rucking near the try line. The ball carrier peeled off the ruck with teammates in close support. The first two attempts were repelled. The ball carrier (8?) went low on the third attempt and grounded the nose of the ball on the line. Not much on the line but on the line nonetheless. Being right on the spot, I never considered using the TMO. Good thing because I think the camera crew got lost on the way to the pitch since they never arrived.

I wish to thank both captains for the valiant effort in managing their teams.

Thanks to David Heath for his assistance as TJ.

Seconds: Seahawks 36 – Baracus 36 Referee: Dave Heath
Touch Judges: Scott Wood, Mike Spencer
The lead swapped several times before San Jose tied it up (again) at full time. A successful conversion would have won the game.

SFGG 38 – Arroyo Grande 29 Referee: Cary Bertolone

Arroyo Grande kicked off to Golden Gate 2 at 1:00 PM at Treasure Island with a sunny, slightly windy day and a good game was had by all. Golden gate's flyhalf and captain, Westy, picked up a loose ball on the 5 meter line and raced 95 meters for the first of his two tries at about 10 minutes. Arroyo came back with two tries to close the gap to 14-10 at the half. In the second half, Golden Gate came out strong and it was 26-10. Two yellow cards 10 minutes apart forced them to play short and Arroyo came back 26-22, but once at full strength again, took control and won 38-29. Both teams played well and then we got to watch the super league game, so it was a great day of rugby!

Fresno 7 – SANTA ROSA 14 Referee: Anna McMahan

My days as a yappy player and an angry side-line fan have come back to haunt me, as I got my karmic rugby comeuppance this weekend. Very few breakdowns or calls were not accompanied by complaints, even after two chats with players and captains and one penalty. I'm developing the thick skin of officiating, but it makes the game much less fun.

Fresno hosted at their well-marked home pitch on a beautiful day, and were there 20+ strong, booted and ready to go an hour before the game. SR trickled in a little more slowly, but brought a full 15 plus subs. The breakdowns were fiercely contested, and the SR forwards provided more go-forward ball to their team than did Fresno. SR scored the only try of the first half 22 minutes in, which they converted. Their forwards moved the ball toward the goal line in a series of crashing rucks, and their #9 spied a gap in the defense to touch the ball down. The ball stayed mainly in between the 22's, with back and forth play. Fresno turned the ball over several times at the breakdown, and the SR forwards were able to move the ball well by mauling. Both back lines were fairly evenly matched, with neither line making significant breaks in the defense.

The second half started much the same as the first, with the game's only yellow card coming over half way into the half. SR's #9 mountain-climbed on some bodies at a breakdown, and earned his boots a 10 minute rest on the sideline. Fresno was not able to capitalize on their one man overload because SR successfully kept the ball in their forwards. SR scored off of a driving maul from a line-out just 2 minutes after the bin, pulling 2 converted tries ahead. Fresno put their first and only points on the board just one minute after SR's 15th man returned, with a great break-away run from their fly-half and captain, Mark Miranda. The last 10 minutes were full of desperate attack and defense from both teams, but at the whistle, SR maintained their 7 point lead for the win.

NorCal D3 playoffs:

RENO 38 – Berkeley 23 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
The winner of this game earned one of NorCal’s two seeds into the Pacific Coast playoffs in Fresno at the end of the month.

VACAVILLE 29 – Humboldt 17 Referee: JC Van Staden
This winner of this game advances to play Mission for the other NCRRS seed in Fresno.

New Team:

USF women 0 – SANTA CLARA 59 Referee: Rob Hendrickson

USF women played their first rugby game ever on a windy Saturday afternoon on their home pitch, hosting the Santa Clara women. While most of the first half was played in USF's territory, their tenacious and feisty defense held Santa Clara to 3 tries, for a half time score of 19 - 0. In the second half, Santa Clara used their backline quite effectively, spinning the ball out to their wing who wasn't going to be stopped short of the try line.


ISLANDERS 29 – Vacaville 27 Referee: Chris Tucker
Touch Judges: Tony Latu; Other provided by Vacaville.

The phone rang at 9am at my desk in Seattle asking me to do a game in south Sac at 4.30pm. With luck, a following wind and a plane that was only an hour late, I made it to the pitch ahead of the visitors. Game kicked off on Island Time at around 5, and a highly entertaining contest ensued. Both sides looked good going forward -- the Islanders spinning it wide fast to their speedsters on the wings who made good ground throughout the game. Vacaville's defensive structure in the backs wasn't quite set, and their rush defence often left gaps that led to healthy gains for the home team. However in attack, Vacaville's centres combined to good effect, often finding holes in the defensive line. Vacaville also had a strong maul, responsible for two of their tries, as well as a superb kicker who punted every penalty he received downfield 30-40 metres, putting the Islanders under constant pressure.

The match was even throughout, with the Islanders drawing first blood with a strong run up the centre to touch down (unconverted). Vacaville responded with a try that barely grazed the try line before being pulled back by the ball carrier; the ball's final resting place gave rise to some voices of "disappointment" from the players, but a try it was, and well earned (converted). Another penalty was duly slotted to give Vacaville a 10-5 lead, but some weak tackling led to two quick tries before the half by the Islanders, both converted for 19-10 at the half.

Vacaville wasted no time in the second half, coming out with a strong run up the right, ultimately setting up a maul about 8m out. The maul drove and looked unstoppable, at least within the Law. A black shirt decided enough was enough, and ran round to tackle the ball carrier, still bound in, 1m from the line. A penalty try was duly awarded and the offender earned a 10 minute rest. The Vacaville boot doesn't miss from in front of the posts. 5 minutes later, another maul by Vacaville, this time the scrum half saw the huge hole left by the backs, and ran it in unopposed (unconverted). One more try (uncoverted) set up a score of 27-24 to the visitors. Not to be denied, the Islander captain forced his way over 3 minutes from time for 29-27. The match ended in suitably tense fashion with the Vacaville tight-head held up in goal after time had expired.

A highly enjoyable game, played in good spirit by both teams throughout. Credit to all involved.

SANTA ROSA 60 – Montgomery 10 Referee: Cary Bertolone
On 4/4/08, Friday night, Santa Rosa High School played Montgomery and won 60-10, even though Montgomery had much bigger players.

JV: SANTA ROSA 24 – Montgomery 12 Ref: Bertolone
In the second game, Santa Rosa won 24-12. Both teams have a lot of underclassmen-a good sign for the future!! Additionally, playing at night, under the lights, the crowds were large as Rugby seems to be growing in popularity around here!

San Mateo 14 – EAST PALO ALTO 29 Referee: Bryant Byrnes

Pretty day on the artificial (and thus fast) turf at San Mateo High with a large and boisterous crowd. Directly following the men's game, these fellows came to play. EPA got out quickly with two tries in the corner and led 24-7 and half. SM scored out of the blocks, but that was pretty much it.

In addition to an intense match with huge hits, we were treated to hakas, team bows to adoring fans, and a tasty lunch from a local restaurant. A good rugby day for everybody. My compliments to the teams and the coaches.

TRI-VALLEY 48 – Marin 0 Referee: Eric Rauscher

8:30 am: I get a phone call- we need you to do a game out in Livermore. The game you were supposed to do out at Treasure Island is covered. Ok, I hop in my truck and drive out there, ref the game and drive like a mad-man across the county again to get to Treasure Island by one to run touch for SFGG/Old Blue. The game actually started at 3.

Anyway, It was bright and sunny as I left Berkeley only to find it overcast and chilly in Livermore. It did warm up however. Tri-Valley started strong with speed to burn outside and ended the first half leading 17/0.

A 31 was added in similar fashion in the second half. It must be said however that late in the second half Marin played their hearts out and had the ball held up in goal in Tri-Valley's goal area and made several valiant attempts to force the ball in after the restart only to have it pop out of the side and lose control of it. Sooo close. I was impressed with Tri Valley's #10 who did most of the kicking, some of which were pretty difficult. His point total on kicking alone was 9. Marin is a novice team, but played with great heart and should do well with a little more experience.

PIEDMONT 31 – D La Salle 21 Referee: Sam Davis

It was a early start for the rugby hog arrived at Mills College to see both teams arriving to the pitch. De La Salle kicked off this hard hitting game. It looked like PITS did not have their coffee for the first 5 min they were on their heels and 5 min into the game De La Salle put 7 on the board. PITS continued to be penalized at the wrong time De La Salle scored 9 points on three opportunity at the 23,17,14 min mark and at the 10 min mark they rumbled to score in the corner. By this time I had a few conversations with both captains yellow carded one person from either side for retaliation and had lost my cool. The last 7 min I felt like we were back to playing rugby when PITS scored at less than 30 sec left in the half. I stepped in a hole at kick off, injuring myself, and ran for 9 min until I signaled Rob Hendrickson to take my place (thanks Rob). The De La Salle #8 decided that one of the PITS players need a few punches Rob pulled the Red card out which was consistent to what I had told both captains that no more yellows the next cards were going to be red. With the one man over lap PITS scored 4 unanswered trys converting two of them for a final score of PITS 31 De La Salle 21. It was a very hard hitting game very emotional for both teams. I was disappointed that I was unable to finish the game I am not sure if it would have changed anything.

Frosh/Soph: PIEDMONT 24 – De La Salle 5 Referee: Eugene Baker

DLS scored the try in the first ten minutes of the game. However, Piedmont dominated the rest of the game. Piedmont's forwards dominated the scrum and open play. Piedmont scored fifteen minutes in to the half and the score was 7 - 5 at half time. In the second half, Piedmont scored three trys and won the game 24 - 5.

SF/GG – Hayward Referee: Chris Labozzetta
No report received.

SFGG JV 27 – Delta 22 Referee: Roberto Santiago

A great game from start to finish. Both teams were highly disciplined and clearly well coached. Delta only had 14 players and one borrowed second row and their lack of subs caught up with them in the second half. Still Delta never quit even after SFGG put up two quick scores near the end seemingly putting the game out of reach. Delta came back with an exciting try as time ran out scoring on a great series following a knock on in goal and a penalty by SFGG. Numbers 8, 9, 12, and 13 really stood out for Delta. SFGG's captains ran their team well and the entire SFGG squad played as one would expect from the history of that organization. SFGG's Varsity team has a great foundation to draw from as these players progress.

San Diego Saturday
Bryan Porter, Peter Sertic, Pete Smith and Bob Woerner at the Little Q.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris