Wednesday, August 20, 2008




PAXO OLDE BLACKS (aka Merrill's Marauders) 24
Nevada Old Boys (aka Forrester's Flock) 0
Referee: Scott Wood

Location: Quincy H.S., Quincy, CA
Weather: Relatively cool

Last week, Paul Bretz refereed one of the first matches (if not the first) played in the US under the new ELVs. This week, I had the privilege to trial the new ELVs with old boy rugby. Everyone was keen to try them out and the NOBS asked me about a play they had in mind using the ELVs. The hardest thing for me to remember was to look for the defending fly half to ensure he was five meters behind the last foot at scrum time.

This event is usually a warm one and this year started no different. By 2:30 the temperature had reached 106 F. Fortunately, the heat became buffered by an advancing front which brought cloud cover, wind and some drizzle. The temperature dropped to 87 F by the time we had our 5 p.m. kickoff.

Due to reduced attendance, we played three 20-minute chukkers to build up a thirst and appetite. Tackles were made (and missed). The ball was passed around. Scrums went uncontested due to the NOBS having a prop whose sole experience with rugby was watching the SA / NZ match earlier in the day. He has seen the light and we have a new convert to the ranks of rugby.

Post-match festivities were hosted by the lovely and understanding Clarice and Frank Merrill featuring the culinary skill of Phil Ulibarri.


Report from John Pohlman:

I thought I would pass on a few of my thoughts from the tournament this weekend.

Good rugby, good venue, good organization and great officials. OK I am biased.

USA National 7's championships.

The human nature of most looks for success and ways to reinforce these successful memories so that we can have the determination to continue to work hard and grow in positive ways.

The USA National 7's completion embodied success and determination in many ways. The players and teams had to win tournaments to qualify for the nationals. These wins push players to reach levels of success they may not of imagined.

Treasure Island and the Golden Gate Rugby Club hosted the 2008 National Sevens championship this past weekend.

This tournament was a great success. From GG's outstanding organization led by Mike Walker. From USA rugby's management led by Dan Payne. Pat McNally brought in an elite group of referees. President Pelican Bruce Carter assembled an outstanding group of match officials. This tournament reinforced Northern California as one of the premier places to play, coach and officiate rugby.

The people I talked with felt the tournament ran well, was on time and safe. Dan Payne from USA rugby thanked the officials for keeping the tournament on time and committed that there seemed to be no major injuries.

The last two games were the best of the tournament and were each won on the last play.

These types of tournaments are rewards for a hard work. The teams must win tournaments to qualify. The referees and officials need to prove themselves to be invited.

Saturday is an audition.

People ask how does the referee for the finals get selected. It's by performance on Saturday.

I asked USA 7's referee director Pat McNally how the Pelicans stacked up as officials. He stated very good. That at the end of Saturday’s competition he likes to give the consolation games to local referees if they are qualified. Last year he was not able to do this. This year the Pelicans were able to supply the qualified referees to run in the middle. This allowed the elite referees an opportunity to have a beer, soak up some sun and watch some local referees. This allowed the local referees to call a game in the Nationals. Don Pattalock, Mike Gadoua, Jim Crenshaw and Pete Smith were expected to do these games. Pete had a family vacation planned a year ago and was not able to attend on Saturday. Jim showed up with the flu, did his best for the morning but removed himself for the afternoon. So Don, Mike and I got to do the games. Yeah.

I was also able to run touch for the third place game and end goal for the final.

NOVA won third place in sudden death over time while a player from each team was in the sin bin. Tom Lyons called the game and put pressure on Tim Luscombe to supply a game as entertaining as his.

Tim was rewarded the final for his strong performance on Saturday.

The final is ten minute halves. With 30 seconds left in the game, Belmont Shore had a line out and a five point lead. BS over threw the lineout. Aspen gained possession and scored under the posts for the tie. The conversion would win it for Aspen or send it into overtime. Teddy the Aspen/Kenyan stand-off kicked the conversion backwards, while walking away from the posts.

OK let me paint the picture. Game tied. USA National Sevens Championship on the line. The kicker picks up the ball from the end goal and as he is walking away from the goal line he drops the ball and kicks it with the his foot while his back is to the posts. WOW.

I asked Teddy after the game if he knew the game was tied and the conversion would lead to the win. Teddy simply said I knew it was tied, if I missed we simply went into overtime. Aspen did score the last two tries of the game and their form was improving. That's confidence.

There you have it. End of a great rugby year.

Be proud to be a Pelican. If you were out their working the event I know you are.


An old rugby teammate of your faithful scribe from the 1970s in Georgia, Quigg Davis, sends this along:

Check this out, an IRB Olympics pitch:


From Scott Wood:

This video was linked on the East Midland’s site, Aug 08 ITM:

And some people wonder why there's only one referee in the middle...


From Russ Wilkening:

Thought you might find this interesting


Tom Lyons was one of the referees for the national sevens. He has a plea to make:

“My Tunebelt with a large pouch, went into use the second half of the day, I'd love to get it back as it is the only double radio belt I have. Not sure who all the gear ended up with?”


Last week a pelican blocked traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Thanks to Rob Hendrickson for the link:


“This year a record 5,856 pelicans were counted on Southeast Farallon Island in mid-July, researchers said.”

Brought to our attention by Tom Zanarini:


The Hansfords, Peter, Belinda, Abigail and Jonathan, dropped in last week on their way home to Wales from Hawaii. They lived here twice and Peter was one of the stalwarts of our society, particularly in getting our finances on sound footing.

We were pleased to show them around their old home and took them to one of the highlights of any Bay Area tour, the San Francisco Golden Gate rugby clubhouse and Rocca Field.

Did you know there are three more pitches under construction on Treasure Island at present?

It was good to see this happy and growing family.

Nationals Crew
Surrounding the NCRRS recruitment banner at Rocca Field on the morning of the national Sevens finals are, standing left to right:

Josh Tameifuna (SoCal), Mike Gadoua, Chris Draper (Texas), John Pohlman, David Williamson, Sam Reagle, Pete Smith, Scott Wood, Kat Todd-Schwartz, Don Pattalock, Eric Rauscher, Dixon Smith, Bruce Carter, John Coppinger, Jim Russell (ERRRS), Ray Schwartz, Gareth Morgan (South), Tom Lyons (Potomac), Brad Kleiner (Met NY)

Not standing, left to right: Tim Luscombe (ERRRS), Aruna Ranaweera


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris