The best part of the Pelicus Scriptoris' job description: getting to announce promotions to deserving referees!
Don Pattalock has earned the territorial grade of B3 and Phil Akroyd is hot right out of the chute, C3 after his very first match.
Eagle-eyed schedule-viewers will have noted the appearance of two new names among the roster of teams being assigned referees lately.
This past Saturday, new Pelican Phil Akroyd refereed Sac State hosting newbies Sierra JC from Rocklin.
And Saturday coming, Rob Hendrickson will have the debuting USF women hosting Santa Clara.
LAW CHANGES AT LAST
The Law changes, variations and experimental trials that have been the subject of rumors and rumors of rumors for so long are at long last approved and will take effect in the Northern Hemisphere on September 1:
ST. MARY’S 40 – UC Davis 24 Referee: Paul Bretz
Seconds: ST. MARY’S 28 – UC Davis 10 Referee: Roberto Santiago
What a joy it is to ref for two well coached, disciplined clubs. Teams that stay onside, don't gouge each other in rucks, use their captains to communicate and generally play rugby rather than complain about things are a fantastic reminder of what the game should look like. Praise is due to the coaches of these teams who are clearly class acts.
The game was played at a high level with very few mistakes from either side. The score saw the home team up 14-10 at half time but St Mary's was a bit stronger at the breakdown and was able to pull away a bit in the second half. Both sides can be proud of the determination and grit they showed playing hard and clean until the final whistle.
CALIFORNIA MARITIME 66 – U. of San Francisco 5 Referee: Sam Davis
Well this was supposed to be a non rugby weekend and I want to thank my wife for letting me go out with my mistress rugby! [Editor: Sam did his usual, three games!]
Friday night 7:00 Cal Maritime and USF were ready to play except USF didn’t have a front row or 15 players at kickoff. But that did not stop us. Cal Maritime kicked off and stripped the ball from the USF player the ball went all the way to the wing and back again to the backs that were following up and scored at the 38 minutes (remaining) mark. Two minutes later they did it again. The way they were moving the ball around I checked to make sure I was not refereeing Cal Berkeley.
USF kept their spirits up; they had three backs that had not played a whole game between them and a number of forwards that were a bit green. We had uncontested scrums even with that Cal M scored at the 38, 36, 31, 24, 19, 0 min mark in the first half.
The first two kicks after scores were amazing both from the far corners on each side. I do believe I may have jinxed the kicker after that I said I was just going to write the 2 points down he did not hit the next 6 kicks but he did hit the upright 4 times.
The Keelhaulers started getting a bit sloppy midway thru the half. USF had the ball on a line out at the 10 meter line, drove the ball to the 5, offside on Cal M, 5 meter tap-and-go, maul, Cal M offside again.
USF elected scrum 5 meters, Cal M offside again on the wing forward who stopped the ball carrier from scoring I called ‘advantage, no advantage’ for USF. I awarded a penalty try. I believe by calling advantage I confused the Cal M coach what the real reason for the PT. The second half Cal M scored at 22,20,14,06,02,0 final score Cal M 66- USF 5.
Haggis 17 – OLYMPIC CLUB 32 Referee: Mark Zetterberg
HAYWARD 29 – Sacramento Lions 10 Referee: Bruce Carter
Touch Judge: Eric Rauscher
Evaluator: Mike Malone
A last-minute change of venue precluded touch judge volunteer Eugene Baker from being able to find the pitch, but I’d like to thank him for offering to help.
Turns out there wasn’t much, if anything, he might have flagged. The only foul play I saw was a pulling on the face-cum-tackle, and the only one I’m told I missed was a fellow (same fellow as it turns out) who tried to collapse a maul by lifting an opponent’s leg. The ‘maul’ collapsed but the players with the ball where already off on a foray further upfield.
A large crowd found its way to the substitute pitch, which was the Hayward Adult School where the team formerly played. The field had to be narrowed five meters to allow for the temporary outfield fence of the Little League game proceeding adjacent.
Both Griffins and Lions run into contact with both abandon and aplomb, if such a thing is possible. They don’t mind colliding center-mass to center-mass at high speed but prefer to do it on specific terms: from a shortened step, launching upwards, elbows in against the torso, ball secure in two hands.
My evaluator commented that this was fun game to watch. It was certainly fun to referee. I did notice one thing:
Long periods of continuous play led to quiet assemblies at the eventual scrum when an advantage failed to be gained. More frequent stoppages led to lots of ‘Hey, ref’ and assorted commentaries. We referees all learn to quicken the whistle and slow down the game to abate aggravation, but it also helps to know how to space your whistles out and keep everyone moving. Oxygen debt is the referee’s friend - oxygen debt of the PLAYERS you understand.
While most of the tries in this game came from close-contact goal line work after a series of rucks and mauls (facilitating me in being exactly where he needed to be to see the grounding of the ball), Hayward Captain Semisi Finau proved the unstoppable player.
Misi scored a spectacular solo tally. He took a clearing kick in his own half, set his sights on the three defenders along the touchline, ran over or around each of them in turn on his way to the corner, and then centered his try at a canter. This allowed me run up alongside like I’d been there all the while.
They say a good captain helps make the referee look good!
This game was a credit to NorCal rugby: fast, hard, clean and spectacular, leaving everyone aware they’d seen a real contest. I am so grateful that refereeing allows me to play a part in such matches.
Seconds: HAYWARD 53 – Sacramento Lions 10 Referee: Chris Labozzetta
Diablo Gaels 16 – SAN MATEO 40 Referee: Pete Smith
Touch Judges: Preston Gordon, David Williamson
On a sunny and cool evening at the Mustang Soccer in Danville, San Mateo came with a solid team to take on the Diablo Gaels. Prior to the match, there was protest filed by the Diablo team for San Mateo’s non-payment of dues, which San Mateo claimed they had paid. Perhaps this off-field dispute contributed to the on-field temperament.
Fortunately, Preston Gordon and Dave Williamson were my Touch Judges and they were busy. From the first whistle to the last, the game was a very physical contest with a plethora of off the ball/behind the play activity that stretched our abilities and patience.
Time and time again I was conferring with my TJ’s to confirm/verify what I had seen or ask what I had missed behind me. I tried everything I could think of to keep this game from blowing up into a free for all; I talked to the Captains more in this game than I had in the previous dozen games combined.
The flavor of the day was the dangerous tackles and off the ball dust-ups intertwined with brief moments of spectacular rugby. The TJ’s and I talked at halftime about what we could do to keep a lid on things, shorter whistle, slow the game down, etc..., but it seemed that the teams were determined to behave badly. All and all, I wound up with four penalties for dangerous tackle/no wrap with two of those resulting in Yellow Cards.
There was one unfortunate situation where the Diablo #10 had chipped ahead with the #9 in hot pursuit of the ball, the #10 was taken out high, late, dangerously you name it. I chased the #9 down field because if had been able to hold on to the high bouncing ball he would have assuredly scored. Once he was unable to corral the kick, I blew the whistle to get the TJ report on the late hit.
Predictably, a skirmish broke out as a result of the late charge and my TJ was unable to get the offender’s number as he was trying to stop further violations. Of course, I can’t just guess who did it, so the offending player went, at least as of now, unpunished. Diablo claim to have a video of the incident, which again unfortunately couldn’t be of use during the match.
San Mateo pulled away in the last 10 minutes to secure a 40-16 victory over the hometown Gaels.
Seconds: DIABLO GAELS 26 – San Mateo 24 Referee: Preston Gordon
Referee Coach: David Williamson
BA Baracus 16 – SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 25 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Windy and cool at Treasure Island Saturday.
Baracus scored first with a penalty kick. Sac scored a try to go up 7 - 3.
Baracus scored another penalty kick to get within 1, before Sac scored another try to lead 12 - 6. Baracus scored one more penalty kick to make it 12 - 9 at the half.
Sac took control of the second half, scoring a penalty kick an unconverted try and a converted try to go up 25 - 9 with about 10 minutes to go. Baracus scored a converted try to get within 9, but that was the final score of the day.
Seconds: Baracus 26 – SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 35 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Touch Judge: Jim Crenshaw, John Coppinger
Great match, good intensity and very few penalties.
Thanks to Jim Crenshaw who stayed after his match to run touch and to John Coppinger who showed up on his way home from Petaluma and took the other flag. It was great having these two available to give pointers and assistance.
Seahawks 18 – EAST PALO ALTO 21 Referee: Tony Redmond
A bruising encounter in Sunnyvale saw East Palo Alto win 21-18 (3G vs. 1G, 1T, 2PG) in a game that resembled hand-to-hand trench warfare at times. Both teams attempted to impose themselves physically from the start, which resulted in yellow cards for East Palo Alto #12 (14th minute) and Seahawks #7 (26th minute), both for high and late tackles. Indeed, East Palo Alto #12 could count himself lucky not to have seen red after he trampled on a prone opponent late in the 1st half. Getting back to the rugby, the game was 8-0 in the Seahawks’ favour at half time. East Palo Alto had declined a couple of penalty chances but couldn’t turn quick penalties into any advantage. Seahawks took scores as chances occurred; including running in a good score from a tapped penalty close to the line.
Things changed at the start of the second half where East Palo Alto started to play with a faster tempo and scored two quick converted tries to lead 8-14. At times, Seahawks struggled to deal with the physical collision at breakdown, but they got themselves back into the match by scoring a penalty and then a converted try to lead 18-14.
East Palo Alto’s chances seemed to have gone when their captain (#6) was yellow carded with six minutes to go for some footwork on an opponent. However, they gathered themselves and launched waves of attacks on the Seahawks goal line before a quick tap penalty allowed them to sneak over from 5m in the 78th minute when the defence was guilty of turning their backs to the ball. Seahawks attempted to respond but there was too little time and too little juice left in their tanks to take advantage of their one-man advantage.
Seconds: SEAHAWKS 27 – East Palo Alto 12 Referee: David Heath
EPA started strongly and crafted two well worked tries in the first 10 minutes. Seahawks recovered from this and gradually worked some good positions without being able to get on the scoreboard before half-time.
In the second half though the Seahawks developed their forward game with some excellent off-loading in the tackle as their larger and fitter pack began to dominate.
Two tries are worthy of note - their first was a score from a 'good old fashioned' rolling maul that trundled all of 25 metres to the line, their fifth was a gem that started from a deep kick-off from EPA that must have passed through 10 pairs of hands before the touchdown under the posts. In all they scored 5 unanswered tries (one converted) to end comfortable winners.
SANTA ROSA 19 – Arroyo Grande 14 Referee: Mike King
Referee Coach: Jake Rubin
Both sides were warmed up and ready to hop at kick-off time at For Pete’s Sake Field in Santa Rosa.
Arroyo Grande seemed no worse for the wear of the long drive. Their center made a sparkling run through the Rosa line to dot down between the posts in the first 5 minutes. Not to be outdone, the home side roared back to even the count at 7-7. The two sides settled into a hard-fought contest with the outcome in doubt through the remainder of the match.
Arroyo led at half 14-12, but Santa Rosa pulled ahead with a converted try in the middle of the second half. Arroyo continued to apply the pressure with some vicious rucking near the goal line, only to be met by equally vicious tackling. A clearing run into touch ended an excellent contest with both sides giving their all throughout.
Special thanks to Jake Rubin for being present to provide suggestions and constructive comments.
Fresno 25 – SFGG 26 Referee: Dan Wilson
Originally scheduled to work a game up at Treasure Island, the change to do the local game was a little disappointing to say the least but it ended up being well worth the effort. Both teams are in the lower bracket in DII meaning that they have no chance of making the playoffs. SFGG showed up with 15 players and stated that they had three more on the way. Fresno had many extras to spare including front row players if needed to play. Under a nice beautiful sky, we had kickoff.
Fresno played the game in an open style, working the ball out to their centers often with much success. Fresno's first try was in the fourth minute. Center Andrew Clark scored two tries in the first half alone while SFGG was only able to touch down once (converted). The first half was dominated by great running by both teams, hard hitting and fast paced action. Everything went smoothly right up to the last movement of the half when a much-to-do-about-nothing got serious. Tempers flared between two players and the teams were doing some pushing when from the Las Vegas zip code, SFGG outside center came flying in with a punch to Fresno scrumhalf head. Needless to say, SFGG would have to play a man down for the last 40. Half time score: Fresno 20 - SFGG 7.
Fresno stared the second half off as they had finished the first, pressuring the defense of SFGG. The scored an unconverted try within the first five minutes of the start of the second half. SFGG did not give up and kept playing tactically sound and fundamentally great rugby. Fresno had rested on its notion that they had the game locked up at the 45 minute mark but they forgot to give SFGG the memo.
With seven minutes left, after SFGG converted their third try, the score was Fresno 25 and SFGG 21. Fresno was starting to feel the pressure and get a little anxious. The ensuing kickoff by Fresno went out of bounds giving SFGG a scrum center. SFGG withstood a good pressure attack by Fresno and countered with a 70 meter, zig-zagging run by SFGG's Westy that ended up being the go ahead try with three minutes to go. Fresno could not do anything with the final three minutes and SFGG was able to kill the clock by great ball control.
This was truly a great game to be a part. Final Score: Fresno 25 - SFGG 26
CHICO MIGHTY OAKS 103 – Mendocino Steam Donkeys 0 Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Chico Junior High School and Gopher Meeting Grounds
I hoped the pitch would be softened by the overnight rain. Unfortunately, the rain contributed to a harder set pitch. Chico's roster had a full complement of 22 players; Mendocino arrived with 14 and was able to feature a couple Chico "free agent" players. The match began at exactly 1 p.m.--a rarity in my refereeing experience. Both teams played in a relatively positive manner. Chico's first try was at nine minutes. First half score: Chico 43 - Mendocino 0
More Chico tries in the second half including a chip-and-chase that Chico scored 20 meters into in-goal (a benefit to having full-sized in-goals). Despite ending up with a 17-try deficit (two Chico players scored four tries apiece), Mendocino played the entire 80 minutes with heart and determination.
Another great after party with a boat race, end-of-season speeches and many cries of "shoot the boot, chug-a-lug".
Vallejo 12 – VACAVILLE 28 Referee: Bob Leamon (Potomac)
Thanks to Stanford University for organizing the Conference in Napa that I was at all week. Thanks to my undergraduate roommate for taking a job in SF and living in Vallejo and providing me with lodging for the week. Thanks to Bruce Carter for offering me this game. Thanks to Vallejo and Vacaville, who both showed up ready to play in the spirit of the game. I would like to thank the normally glorious NorCal weather, but the skies were grey and overcast.
The teams had agreed on a 1:30pm KO, and the extra half an hour was just what was needed to burn off the darkest clouds, and the majority of spectators donned sunglasses. The reason for the half-hour push-back was that the Vallejo team was sponsoring a Bone Marrow donation screening; a 2-year-old girl of Tongan ancestry needs a transplant, so there was a team of volunteers collecting cheek swabs for DNA samples. One hopes a suitable match is found.
Vacaville won the toss and elected to receive. After watching the raising of the Star-Spangled Banner, the home side kicked off. Vallejo is an interesting team; a blend of wily Islander veterans, and young players of all ancestries. The Islander contingent showed the usual Islander ferocity, and ground was hard to gain. Once the players (from both teams) realized that not rolling away, not coming through the gate and dangerous tackles would not be tolerated, play began to open up.
Vallejo dominated the loose initially, with bulking runs, and their lineout stole a surprising amount of visitors’ ball. However, their indiscretions and malfeasance kept giving the ball and territory to Vacaville. An over-eager defence gave Vacaville a penalty 5 yards out, and at the third recycle, their #1 dived over. Conversion good, 7-0 Vacaville after 28 minutes. More Vallejo penalties led to a rolling maul that Vacaville did well to keep inbounds before their #8 squirted over. Touchline conversion good, 14-0 Vacaville with 4 minutes left in the half.
The Vallejo half-time team talk must have been a motivational masterpiece, as the home side's tactics changed noticeably, and for the better. Rather than crash-ball that all too often lacked support, Vallejo started moving the ball wide (or at least as wide as possible on the HS Football field that served as the field-of-play), which led to two tries in quick succession from their #13. The first was converted, the second was not, and after 22 minutes of the second half, the visitors led 14-12, and were rattled. But they, also, were capable of raising their game and changing their tactics, and their #10 started kicking for field position.
One such kick, initially misfiled, led to Vallejo grounding the ball in their own in-goal, and awarding Vacaville a Scrum-5. Vacaville went for the push-over, and would have had it, were it not for the Vallejo scrum-half diving into the scrum. Penalty try awarded, and conversion good, 21-12, Vacaville with 14 minutes remaining.
Vacaville's fitness showed in the last ten minutes, and an offload after gathering a chip ahead led for a second try to #8, conversion good, 28-12 Vacaville. Vallejo showed heart and never gave up trying to score; the final whistle went as their winger was bundled out 10 yards from the Vacaville line.
A spread was laid on, along with some liquid refreshment, at the Vallejo "clubhouse." Speeches from the Vallejo coaches culminated in them stating that Vacaville's #8 was worthy of a man-of-the-match award, and Vacaville thought the home side's #10 was most deserving. Both hard choices, but the referee couldn't argue with either. I wish Vacaville all the best in the play-offs, and that Vallejo builds on their successes in all aspects of their endeavor from their first season.
Until my next trip to NorCal, Bob Leamon
Potomac Society of Rugby Football Referees
Humboldt 12 – RENO 36 Referee: Joe Leisek
Manila Park, Samoa (Eureka)
I looked forward to refereeing the last regular-season contest for both of these teams, a game that had playoff implications. There was a lot to play for. The two teams did not disappoint, with a very fast pace played throughout from the opening whistle. While Reno's size and speed were just a little better than the home side, Humboldt made them earn every inch of ground. The game's first try was scored by Reno, but it was soon answered by Humboldt. There was considerable excitement in the air at that point, with the Manila Park sideline packed with hardy spectators (the temperature was somewhere in the mid-40s) and the girls who had played the earlier game. At halftime the score stood at 17-7 in favor of Reno, but there was little doubt the game was still a close contest. In fact, Humboldt scored a try soon after the beginning of the second half, tightening the score at 17-12 in favor of Reno. But Reno turned the game around, reeling off three tries and a total of 19 unanswered points.
This was a very fast, spirited game that left spectators and players from both sides, and the referee, smiling. Always great to be in beautiful Humboldt County and enjoy the hospitality of the host club. Kudos to Brad Nielsen and his crew for showing up early to mark the pitch for the girls, and for providing a great game.
PETALUMA 22 – Fog 5 Referee: John Coppinger
At Petaluma in front of a good sized crowd, Petaluma over powered SF Fog.
A bit testy sometimes, but the leadership of both sides stood up and made sure rugby, not fisticuffs, was the order of the day. Full marks to Jon Lewis and Pete (Oz) Sullivan, captains of Petaluma and Fog, respectively.
Fog had scoring chances, but a combination of Petaluma defense and Fog handling errors left the Fog scoreless until late in the second half when Fog pushed over a try against 14 Petaluma players after the Petaluma # 8 left the pitch to cool his heels in the bin for the last 10 minutes after putting in a dangerous tackle.
My touch judge from Petaluma turned out to be Dave Alvarado, who, as senior, captained Santa Clara U. in 1973-1974, which was my freshman year at Santa Clara. Dave went on play w/ Crown City in Pasadena w/ a few cameos over the years w/ Mission. It was good to catch up w/ Dave, who was disappointed not to have played in the match (at age 55+).
Marin 13 – BERKELEY 16 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Of the D3 games I have had this year, there seem to be two kinds-skilled spirited rugby and dank punch up derbies. This match was the former.
A pretty day at Marin's botanical garden of a field, these boys banged away for 80 minutes in the last match of regular season. Field conditions-weeds, tall grass, a vegetable garden-precluded a spin-the-pill high scoring game; the game was high velocity high impact played in the trenches.
Marin was up 13 to 6 at half, but Berkeley steadied and rallied. With a minute left, Marin had a break away run; one pass to win. Knocked on! Good game, gentlemen.
Seconds: MARIN 41 – Berkeley 17 Refs: Various
This was the maiden game for three of the large contingent of BRFC players who attended the most recent referee clinic. Adam Browne, Joel Dressel and Dan Schwan each gamely picked up the whistle and gave it a go for a 20 minute period. National Panel Novice Referee Evaluator Bryant Byrnes closely monitored the proceedings.
Well done, gentlemen! The Society hopes to see more of you in the future.
Aptos 5 – MISSION 36 Referee: John Pohlman
Touch Judge: Vaughn Stumpf
Santa Cruz hosted Mission at Santa Cruz High School. A beautiful day for rugby in Santa Cruz. The high school field was a bit beat up and lightly marked. I arrived around noon. Aptos was setting up the field and both teams were showing up. The teams started their warm up around 12:30 and we kicked off at 1:00PM.
Aptos's inside center broke a couple of tackles early and nearly scored knocking on in the try zone. Mission woke up and scored three first half tries. Mostly dominating in field position and ball retention. Mission was better organized in the forwards. The Mission Backs, led by Fijian Drew at #10, were strong. A mostly Fijian back line was able to continually break the gain line and finish tries.
Aptos was awarded a penalty try at 39 minutes. Mission was penalized for repeatedly slowing down the ball with hands in.
The second half was all Mission. Mission scored another three tries for a 36 to 5 win.
The only problem in this game was the whining by Mission. Their players need more discipline to advance in the playoffs.
SACRAMENTO STATE 60 – Sierra JC 12 Referee: Phil Akroyd
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Sacramento State hosted Sierra Junior College in what was Sierra JC’s first competitive game. Sacramento was made up of generally second team players, sprinkled with a couple of first teamers, while the majority of Sierra players had never played the game before or had some high school experience. Coincidentally, this was my first game as a ref but the lack of all round experience did not prevent some good rugby from both teams, in a high-scoring game.
Sac State got a couple of early tries but Sierra never gave up and came back to score a couple of their own from interceptions. Sierra displayed intensity at the breakdown and matched Sacramento with aggression. Half-time saw Sacramento in the lead 27 to 12.
In the second-half, match experience showed with Sacramento running away with the game by spinning the ball out wide, utilizing strong, straight runners. Sierra came undone by a lack of knowledge of the laws, particularly in the tackle situation and consequently conceded penalties and territory. Sierra has the makings of a good squad, which needs time to develop and learn but players from both teams (and the ref!) appeared to enjoy the afternoon. Thanks to Kat Todd-Schwartz for supporting me on my first outing and offering her comments and advice.
SF FOG women – CHICO STATE Referee: Rob Hendrickson
The SF Fog women hosted the Chico State women to a 3 X 30 minute periods friendly at TI. Chico was leading the Fog by 3 tries to none after the second period, when the Fog's coach took over as ref to finish the game.
After already having reffed the Alameda girls in the morning, I then TJed for Sam Davis who did the varsity and f/s HS games for PITS v SFGG. Four games in all.
It was like being at a tournament, except I had to drive between venues.
Nevada by forfeit to ST. MARY’S
The home team could not round up their players during spring break.
Why a game would have been re-scheduled to be played during the home team’s spring break is a reasonable question.
MOTHER LODE 29 – Rio Rugby 12 Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Oak Ridge High School, El Dorado Hills, CA
Mother Lode opened the match with pace and continuity. Rio maintained a valiant defense. No penalties for the first five minutes. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case for the remainder of the match. Players began leaving their feet and sealing the ball at tackles and rucks. With seven minutes remaining, Rio lost a player to the bin with Mother Lode losing one six minutes later. Halftime score: Mother Lode 29 - Rio 0.
Discipline improved for the second half. Rio mounted a great series of attacks spreading the ball wide and capitalizing off overlaps to score two tries in the second half.
Fortuna 0 – AMAZONS U19, 47 Referee: Joe Leisek
Manila Park, Samoa (Eureka)
The upper reaches of the North Coast is my favorite rugby destination. I drive up Friday nights so I can explore the area on Saturday mornings and indulge my appetite for the food and ambiance at the Samoa Cookhouse. What better way to start a rugby day than in Samoa?
Tina Watts is building a great program for her girls in the far-flung region of NorCal rugby. These girls are enthusiastic and athletic, and they're learning a lot about the finer points of the game from Tina and her coaching staff.
The Amazons, coached by Sefesi Green and Leka Green, are playing the best I have seen them play. They are faster and fitter, and they play with more technical skill than I have witnessed. They dominated play, constantly moving forward and distributing the ball out wide. Once they did, it was off to the races, as the Amazons' three-quarters are speedsters who also run with strength. The Fortuna girls also made several width-of-field passing movements, but were unable to break through the hard Amazons defense. Best wishes to both teams.
ALAMEDA girls 32 – Mother Lode girls 17 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Lois Bukowski's Alameda girls came alive in the second half to score 6 tries over Rod Chance's Mother Lode girls who led 10 - 0 at the half, but then had a number of injuries to some of their key players which led to each side playing down to 13 players by the end of the game.
LAMORINDA 29 – Berkeley Rhinos 12 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
On Berkeley's pretty but malodorous field, these long time high school rivals played a cheerfully contested match. Close at half, 19-12 for Lamo, Berkeley could not close the deal.
I congratulate both programs.
PITS 19 – SF/GG U19, 29 Referee: Sam Davis
Witter Field at Piedmont is the most confusing field in the Bay: it has more marks on it than any I have refereed on. And the try line is 10 meters in front of the post.
But it was a great RUGBY day! A great hard hitting game GG #8 is looking at a great rugby career if he continues to play like he played Saturday. GG kicked off both teams were ready to play. GG drew first blood 5 min into the game PITS came back on the attack but GG kept them from scoring. It was back and forth until 19 min left in the half GG had a multi phase play that drew an offside call at PITS 20 meter GG did a tap and go handed it off to their big prop and he drove it down and scored. With 11 min left in the half PITS came back and put their first score on the board. GG turn around 2 min later and put another one up PITS never gave up and with 2 min left in the half they scored again. Half time score GG 17 PITS 12.
PITS came out 2nd half in the first 6 min and scored and converted their try which gave them the lead. It was back and forth until GG # 8 picked the ball up on a scrum and went weak and ran 70 meters to score in the corner the kick was good and GG pulled back ahead. PITS Attacked again but GG # 8 stopped and stripped the ball before they could score GG got it out to the wing and the foot race was on GG placed the ball down in the corner the kick was wide. PITS came back one more time but time ran out on them before anyone else could score. Final GG 29- 19.
Frosh/soph: PITS 37 – SF/GG 7 Ref: Davis
PITS had a much more experienced team PITS scored almost at will at the 27,20,17,2 min mark in the first half. They shifted players around the second half and they scored at the 27 and 10 min mark GG only score was in the second half at the 20 min mark. Fun game they both played till the end. PITS had a nice feed for the boys. A beautiful Rugby day!
SAN MATEO 46 – College Park 12 Referee: Sandy Robertson
In the first half College Park took their chance when available and went into the interval down 26-12. In the 2nd half San Mateo continued the pressure bringing on plenty of fresh bodies and though College Park continued to defend hard, they had few offensive opportunities and San Mateo was able to put over an additional 4 tries.
TRI-VALLEY 34 – Delta 17 Referee: Giles Wilson
A strange game with both teams suffering from absentees for various reasons – back to the game which only had about 3 line outs but many, many scrums and several breakaways by both sides caused by sloppy handling and tough defense – on both sides. Each team only had 15 or 16 players dressed and Delta finished the game short after an injury to one of their players. TV went down by a score when Delta got a breakaway and worked back to lead 19 – 7 at half time; this probably should have been closer since Delta spilled at least two chances in goal. The second half was more of the same with TV scoring 3 times and Delta twice, both teams tackled hard but TV was a little stronger in the drives around the fringe, although protection of the ball and lack of effort in rucking caused several turnovers.
Land Park Motleys 36 – SFGG Developmental XV 43 Referee: Scott Wood
Groundskeeper #1: Matt Eason
Spectators of note: Dan Hickey, Ray Schwartz
Location: Garcia Bend Park, Sacramento
Weather: It doesn't get better than this
There are no standings and I was told that scores don't count. Tell that to the players and coaches...Both teams played extremely well. The game ebbed and flowed to the point where the score was tied 19-19 at halftime. There were two instances of Motley players tackling their opponents well above the shoulders. Taking a page from JC Van Staden's "Book of Applying Disciplinary Action", on each occasion I told the offending player to tell his coach what he did and run around the far uprights before he could play again. That seemed to work. SFGG started the second half on a tear scoring three tries. Undeterred, Motleys put together some great passing and elusive running to score a couple tries to bring the score to within seven before the final whistle.
I am elated to see talented Rugby at such a young age. This is truly what the U.S. needs to become a stronger force on the world's stage. Not only did the kids perform well, they understood and applied tactical decisions and did not succumb to the bumblebee-style of play typical of youth (and some adult) Rugby.
We know that rugby folk are inveterate sports lovers who enjoy a variety of competitive endeavors.
This will prove most useful to those who find themselves on the links from time to time:
THIS WEEK’S PHOTO
Chris Labozzetta, Mike Malone and Eric Rauscher at the Hayward Adult School.
For the Senate