Monday, September 15, 2008




Davis Double Deckers 0 – ALL BLUES 61 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Team supplied
Pitch: Emerson Junior High, Davis
Temp: Low 90s
Wind: Absent

A very warm afternoon start to this friendly match. It's funny when players you've been refereeing for years comment that they have to shoot the boot because they are rookies.

We played 120 minutes of rugby. Berkeley attacked efficiently, Davis defended well. At first, I wondered if we were going to get any running as knockons without advantage gained dominated the first ten minutes. Hands were dried off and then the running began. Heat and injuries led to water breaks at 8, 14, 20, 32, 40...

The ELVs worked well albeit at least one person thought we were playing more that 13 of them. Note to all reading this: there are 13 ELVs. Only 13. If you are watching southern hemisphere matches on t.v., only Currie Cup matches are playing to this. Tri Nations and ANZC (aka NPC) matches have the modification of most penalties resulting in free kicks. The iRB has a great primer on the 13 ELVs:

SFGG 38 – Creggs Irish touring side 24 Referee: Preston Gordon
Assistant Referees: Eric Rauscher, Tom Zanarini

Because SFGG's main pitch is being re-seeded, this took place at the Job Corps field a little further up the island.

We kicked off just after 14:00 for a full match of two 40-minute halves with open substitutions. Eric Rauscher and Tom Zanarini were the first to volunteer to come out and assist on the touchline, so we had a full team of 3 (again) for the visitors from Ireland.

Creggs turned up quite a bit earlier than SFGG, who were still trying to sort out their players 10 minutes before kickoff. As a result, Creggs controlled the opening period of the game, with converted tries at 7', 17', and 29', and a penalty kick at 11' for good measure.

They did much better at offloading in the tackle and at recycling the ball from the breakdowns, giving them a good platform to work from. SFGG got one try at 38', which was converted, ending the half at 24-7 to Creggs.

In the second half, SFGG's advantage in numbers began to show since the match was being played all over the field. At least a couple of Super League players appeared as well, and with Creggs beginning to tire, the scoreline gradually evened out. SFGG scored a converted try at 46' and an unconverted try at 57', closing to 24-19. At 60' the SFGG scrum-half made a line break only to be caught by his (long) hair. This didn't appear intentional, but since the would-be tackler was in no hurry to let go either, he found himself on the sideline for a 10 minute rest.

Two minutes later SFGG scored a converted try, putting them in the lead at 26-24. Another try five minutes after that put them ahead 31-24. Creggs stayed in it, but ultimately didn't have the legs to stay with SFGG and began to miss tackles. SFGG closed the game down with another converted try at 74', leaving the final result at 38-24 to the home side in a reversal of the previous week's result.

In addition to the two assistant referees, John Coppinger, Scott Wood, and Bjorn Stumer came out to watch and give feedback. It's always nice when there are extra people volunteering to run touch! After the match, Tom, Eric, and I joined both teams at La Rocca's in North Beach for some steak sandwiches and a couple of pints. The teams exchanged gifts and kind words, and greatly outnumbered the people there to see the USC football game. That was gratifying, as was the entire day of rugby.


Tom Zanarini is our new Union Liaison, representing the NCRRS to the NCRFU.

We would like to thank Joe Saccomanno for his years of service in the position.


Joe Androvich will be refereeing at the Aspen Ruggerfest this weekend. This tournament is one of the crown jewels in our exchange calendar. We are confident that Joe will represent us well and propel his own career in higher orbits with good performances.

On Wednesday a flock of fives, plus two wives, will be departing for London – Heathrow on the biennial East Midlands exchange.

Bruce Carter will be re-visiting his ‘other’ society and his dear friends, Sue and Murray Felstead. Scott Wood is also a returning exchangee, who still owes Elaine and Ian Baggott many favors.

Tour rookies will be Bruce Bernstein, Preston Gordon and Tom Zanarini. Bruce and Tom will be accompanied by their brides.

The East Mids is sending Bruce Carter on an exchange-within-an-exchange, over to neighboring Warwickshire. Whatever you’re doing this coming Saturday, Bruce will be refereeing Rugby School on the Close, the hallowed ground from whence our game sprang into existence.


Remember to set aside Saturday, October 4, for the first Society meeting for the 2009 season.

We will be meeting at the SF/Golden Gate clubhouse from 10-4. REO David Williamson has planned another informative and entertaining program, and we will also have our Annual General Meeting.

Joe Leisek will be moderating his ever-popular Coaches’ Forum again, and lunch will be provided.


Registration for participants in USA Rugby, WHICH INCLUDES REFEREES, is now open for 2009. As a matter of fact, your 2008 registration expired with the turning of the calendar from August to September.

We are abashed to say that several referees who received appointments last season do not appear to have registered last year. (However, we realize that some register as players or as coaches and do not appear in the ‘Referee’ category.

Click here. Select the top option, Create/Renew Individual Membership.

Note that you can register as a player/ref/coach/administrator for no additional cost.

Your ‘team’ is the Northern California Rugby Referee Society.

When you get to the page with the liability waiver, either print it or save it as a file. Either way, you have to send a signed copy to Jim Crenshaw along with your $10 NCRRS dues in order to be a member our society, a registered member of USA Rugby, and in order to have liability coverage. The coverage will come in mighty handy if you are facing a lawsuit as a result of something that happened in a game – there’s no deductible!

Boulder Office
The Director of the Referee Department and the Chairman of the Referee and Laws Committee for USA Rugby happen to be two old Hastings Rhinos who are also the current and immediate-past presidents of the NCRRS. They met with Charlie Haupt (who took the picture) at Ed Todd’s office at USA Rugby in Boulder, Colorado, to discuss next year’s referee budget.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris