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