Wednesday, March 25, 2009




Mike Gadoua sends along this most welcome link. See who you recognize!


UC Santa Cruz 7 – PRINCETON 38 Referee: John Pohlman
UCSC hosted Princeton on a glorious March afternoon this past Tuesday. The game was played at the lower fields offering panoramic views of the Monterey Bay. With temperatures in the low 70's, a simply lovely opportunity for rugby.

Top that off with being played on St. Patty's day and one of UCSC woman's national championship players performing on the bagpipes prior to the game, a version of rugby heaven.

The Princeton coach said he had three games in five days for his 29 players. Thus it was decided three 30 minute periods.

Princeton got on the board with a great individual try by Captain, man of the match, #10 Patrick McCabe. Pat led the Princeton backs to 5 of Princeton's 6 trys. He slipped through holes and broke up field on numerous occasions.

#12 Matt Wong scored off a McCabe assist 5 minute later. The first half scoring was completed by the smallest man of the field, #9 Ben Tsui. Ben led Princeton all day with darting runs and some nice kicking.

Halftime score Princeton 19 UCSC 0.

The Banana Slugs reorganized at half time. Seemed to increase their tackle rate, especially on McCabe. This led to some great opportunities which were not finished. UCSC birthday boy Darrel Janhangard seemed to score in the corner but knocked on prior to grounding. An alert Princeton second rower regathered the ball and attacked. This attack caught everyone, except the referee who called knock on and play on, by surprise. This eventually led to another Princeton try by #2 Zach Flowerman, my forward of the match. Yes a knocked on try returned for a try. Now I know why my knee hurts today.

UCSC flanker Justin Andrews finished a try for the Slugs at 20 minutes. Odd both UCSC flankers seemed to be all over the field, yet the Princeton #10 seemed to make gain line breaks all game long.

Tsui scored his second try of the game prior to his yellow card. UCSC playing a penalty advantage when Tsui came in from the side and played the ball on the ground for an obvious professional foul.

Princeton scored one more try at game’s end.

UCSC coach Scott made Sheppard’s pie, Darrel's mom brought a cake. The only thing missing was Irish songs. Good stuff guys, thanks.

ST. MARY’S COLLEGE 2nd/3rd XV 56 – Princeton University 1st/2nd XV 24
Referees: Aruna Ranaweera, George O'Neil, Ryan Luis

In the final match of its rugby tour of NorCal, Princeton's 1st/2nd XV played against St.Mary’s 2nd/3rd XV. (St. Mary's 1st XV was seen preparing for its weekend clash against Cal). Both teams agreed to liberal substitutions and three periods of play: 25 minutes refereed by George O'Neil, followed by 25 minutes refereed by me (Aruna Ranaweera), followed by 20 minutes refereed by Ryan Luis. All three of us were eager to get involved since George and Ryan used to play for St. Mary's and I used to play for Princeton. St. Mary's won the first period 14-5, the second period 21-14, and the third period 21-5. All in all, at the end of 70 minutes, the Moraga team had scored 8 goals against 2 goals and 2 tries by the visitors from New Jersey.

Friday : Pacific Coast Women’s D1 College Women Play-In at Chico State

Tom Zanarini:
The weekend started with a fairly exciting bang. Thursday afternoon on her way home from work my wife decided to play tag with a minivan. She was crossing the street on her bike, having the right-of-way. The minivan was turning right but looking left. Not a fair contest if you ask me. Colleen only suffered some bruises and a sprained foot but is already walking tall. So we were at the hospital until 6:30, I had to get back to the office to button up some loose ends then drive to the airport to pick up Bryan Arciero for his California rugby weekend. I arrived a mere half hour late and shuttled him directly to D'Angelo's in Mill Valley for a salad and pizza. Poor Bryan gave up alcohol for lent, but probably not a bad idea considering the matches we had this weekend.

UC Davis 0 – BYU 20 Referee: Tom Zanarini
An early start to the day, Bryan and I took the 3 hour trip to Chico to referee 2 play-in matches for D1 college seeding. Bryan took the first match: U Oregon v Chico State at 2pm so he could maximize his recovery for the big Cal v St. Mary's match on Saturday. Mine was a very good match played at pace. UC Davis attacked hard up the middle but couldn't finish through. BYU took advantage of penalties under the posts and spinning the ball wide.

After a shower and 3 hour journey back to Milf Valley, we're back at D'Angelo's having a nice pasta dinner to get ready for the big match on Saturday.

CHICO STATE 19 – U. of Oregon 7 Referee: Bryan Arciero (Alberta, Canada)
Fun match in front of a well supported home-crowd. Chico used their larger pack to punch holes in the Oregon defense. Oregon's toughest player left the field due to injury early on, changing the momentum in favor of Chico. Oregon attempted to send the ball wide to their faster back-three but Chico's backrow were quick to close down the space and some good tackling prevented Oregon from putting more points on the board.

Thanks to Theresa Champagne for organizing a fun filled Friday in Chico.

UC Davis 10 – U. OF OREGON 31 Referee: Dan Lacko

CHICO STATE 27 – Brigham Young Univ. 12 Referee: James Hinkin
On a wet and windy Saturday BYU and Chico St played the winner-winner match for Pacific Coast seedings. Both teams had won the day before and were guaranteed a playoff spot - what was at stake was who they would play in the next round. The winner would get Cal and and loser would get defending National Champion Stanford.

Chico was able to play with the wind in the first half and used it effectively to keep BYU pinned down in their own end. With the wind knocking down any clearing kicks BYU was forced to try and run out of their own end and were unsuccessful. Chico were able to keep the ball in the forwards and had some bruising strike runners to suck the BYU defenders in to release their backs into space. The pressure added up to 4 tries in the first half with one converted and a score of 22-0 at the break.

The second half saw BYU on the attack more as the wind was finally at their backs. Chico defended well, however with a bend-but-don't-break defense. They were able to keep BYU out of the try zone until the last 10 minutes of the match. A number of subs came on for both sides and that interrupted the continuity of the teams allowing for the BYU #8 to make a couple of long distance scoring runs through the disorganized defense. Final Score: Chico St Women 27 - BYU Women 12.


OLYMPIC CLUB 40 – Sac Lions 17 Referee: Bill Bowen (Eastern Pennsylvania)
Evaluator: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Seconds: OLYMPIC CLUB 31 – Sac Lions 5 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Referee Coach: David Williamson
This was at the Polo Fields, which to the silverbacks amongst us represents the days of our youth and the days of our glory – for decades it was the center of the rugby universe in Northern California.

For the Lions, it simply was hard to find on MapQuest. After a hard hitting and enjoyable first side match, these fellows took about a 15 minute break, had a smoke, and were ready for the next one. The fresh legged and new gang of Olympians-who obviously had not had a smoke-swung it wide all day with some success. Thanks to Mr. Williamson for his coaching, including terse half time remarks.

Hayward – Reno NOT PLAYED. To be reschedule?

SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 35 – San Mateo 19 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Assistant Referee: Chris Tucker

Seconds: SAC CAPS 36 – San Mateo 17 Referee: Rich Boyer
San Mateo played the A game, then turned around and played Sac Men’s' B team. Sac was keen on running; San Mateo preferred rolling mauls. Ground was hard, consequently the ball was tossed around and few rucks formed.

Sacramento held San Mateo scoreless the first half.

The second half saw San Mateo play more of a 7s style rugby game and they scored three times. Final score: 36-17, Sacramento.

EAST PALO ALTO 73 – Baracus 0 Referee: Bruce Carter
The first rule of rugby touring used to be, “No ____ on the bus.” And the first rule of wedding planning was, “Never get married during the season.”

But as Homer said in the Iliad, “Like the generations of leaves, the lives of mortal men.” So too the turning of the rugby wheel leaves hard-won and long-accepted wisdom behind.

One of their players had his bachelor party last weekend, leaving the Baracustani under-manned against the season’s toughest opponent.

This became clear about a minute in. EPA had worked the ball downfield and then chipped into goal. Half the pack was following up as a Baracus player picked up the ball in goal and then threw it toward the ref, who was five meters in-field.

I did my best Matrix-move to avoid having it touch me and made an unnecessary advantage signal. An on-rushing Razorback gathered the ball and scored.

A different Baracus player said to me, “He’s new.”

I believed him, and so now will you.

East Palo Alto, playing some very dynamic rugby, moves on to their penultimate regular-season match in Fresno, which should be quite a test.

Arroyo Grande 12 – FRESNO 75 Referee: John Coppinger
Quality rugby abounded in Arroyo Grande at the Talley Farm Fields last Saturday.

Fresno bussed in 2-and-a-half sides to take on Arroyo Grande in a NCRFU MD2 league match, while San Diego State brought three sides to challenge Cal Poly SLO, with the "A" match being the SCRFU collegiate championship match.

In the "A" match, Fresno scored early and often running in 12 tries by taking the ball wide in a 75-12 win. The half time score was 42-0.

Seconds: Arroyo Grande 14 – FRESNO 22 Ref: Coppinger
In the "B" side match, Fresno scored all of their points in the first half and AG scored all of their points in the second half as Fresno won 22-14 in match that was played in much better spirits than the first match. Sometime Pelican Andy Doukas scored a pretty try for AG via a clever drubber kick through the Fresno defense.

In the SDSU/CP SLO "A" match, SDSU slipped by CP SLO. On the sidelines watching the match was my former Mission team mate and former Santa Clara football and rugby stalwart, Tom Bordenave, who was on hand to watch his son prop for CP SLO. Tom's younger son is tearing it up for College Park, which apparently will become a Bellarmine Prep only side with the College Park name reportedly moving over to Archbishop Mitty HS.

SANTA ROSA 40 – Seahawks 23 Referee: John Pohlman
Assistant Referee: Mike King

Saturday took me to Santa Rosa and my first time at 'For Pete's Sake Field'. When I arrived around noon Mike King was refereeing the USF - Santa Rosa JC friendly.

Both teams were entering the game with a 4-4 record. To make the playoffs one would need to win this game and probably the rest. So this looked to be a hard fought match.

One of the joys for refereeing is seeing old playing fiends become coaches. The Seahawks are currently coached by Norm Baccone and Andy Denive. Two ex team mates. Andy was to be a player coach on this day.

San Jose's #15 Greg McHanan slotted a penalty six minutes in. Santa Rosa's center Gary Parseghian scored an unconverted try eight minutes later. Lead changes looked like they would happen throughout the game as both teams were attacking and defending well.

SR's kicker #11 William Cooper, whom I would see numerous times on this day, hit his first attempted penalty at 15 minutes.

Yes SJ followed with a try five minutes later by center Siraliski "Lucky" Malilou. Twenty minutes in SJ 10 SR 8 and three lead changes.

SR's flanker, captain and man of the match, and son of referee Mike King, Pat scored his first of two trys. SR made another penalty kick just before half time.

Half time score Santa Rosa 15 San Jose 10.
At the end of the first half San Jose looked to be losing a bit steam. They had a couple of injuries. One noticeable one to coach Andy.

SJ started the second half hard. Scoring a penalty and a try in the first ten minutes. SJ 18 SR 16.

The momentum looked to be shifting SJ away.

SR picked a scrappy try two minutes later for the final lead change. SR 21 SJ 18.

SR scrumhalf Elvis Shopman faked a pass wide and darted upfield through the SJ forwards for a nice individual effort which caught the defense napping.

At thirty minutes captain Pat scored his second of the day to put the game away. Both teams added one more try each to finish this well played game.

Mike was kind enough to call the second game, thanks my knee appreciated that. Final Santa Rosa 40 San Jose 23 and six lead changes. Good fun.

Seconds: SANTA ROSA 29 – Seahawks 0 Referee: Mike King
The Hawks pulled together a Second side from a few reserves, first side players who were gracious enough to play again, and a smattering of borrowed home-towners. The Santa Rosa boys just head a little more gas in this match and scored 5 tries in this shortened session. The rain did not seem to dampen anyone’s spirits and the contest was well fought.

FOG women 29 – Dartmouth 0 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
The Fog Women were too dominant and their wing who had a first half hat trick & center who sliced through Dartmouth's back's & intercepted two passes resulting in nice long runs.

Fog 20 – MISSION 62 Referee: Preston Gordon

FOG seconds 17 – Berkeley 12 Ref: Bernstein
After the Mission-Fog match I reffed Fog B which beat Berkeley 17 (3) - 12 (2).
Then after they played 2 20 minute periods…

Fog seconds 0 – McGEORGE 10 Ref: Bernstein
I reffed another 20 when McGeorge Law School beat Fog B 10 (2) - 0.

Mendocino 5 – VACAVILLE 113 Referee: Cary Bertolone
I had the pleasure of reffing Vacaville vs Mendocino in Ukiah. It was cloudy, but the rain, for the most part, held off until after the match. The new pitch at Ukiah H.S. has a nice backdrop of green hills; a nice place to play rugby. Vacaville came out strong with superior rucking and a very nice looking backline. They led 48-0 at the half and won 113-5. Most of their tries came from their backline as they were running upfield at will. Mendo was impressive with their good humor and their try that they scored with ten minutes to go. They also were impressive with their party; food of all kinds, galore.

Petaluma forfeited to BERKELEY

Shasta Highlanders 8 – HUMBOLDT OLD GROWTH 50 Referee: Joe Leisek
Foothill High School, Palo Cedro
Touch Judge: Michael McCarty
These are the two furthest rugby outposts in our union. For Humboldt, the 3.5 hour drive is their closest away game of the season. This is rugby played by those who love the game.

The two teams played close in the first half, with the Old Growth applying most of the sustained pressure and winning most of the ball. The halftime score of 15-3 was a good representation of the tenor of the match. But in the second half, it was all the tune of seven tries. Fun match and great hospitality from the hosts. A special thank you to Michael McCarty, a Highlanders player rehabbing from injury, who is a certified touch judge and was a big help throughout the game.

By Roberto Santiago

MARIN HIGHLANDERS U19 72 – Humboldt U19 0
Oh ye dedicated and helpful Pelicans, sit back and read my tale of woe lest ye be making these same mistakes. When I arrived home Friday night I found an email from the contact person for the Marin Reds asking if I'd be willing to ref a U19 match prior to the Marin-Stanislaus D3 match I'd been assigned. I figured that sounded like a fine idea and called one of the Highlanders coaches that morning to confirm my participation contingent on the two Marin teams working out the times.

That's where I made my fatal mistake. I should have contacted the Reds myself. More on this later.

There was a great atmosphere at the Highlanders home field. The grass was green, the stands on the little hill overlooking the field were packed with supporters, the barrier was tall with a little bungee cord gate, there was even a souvenir tent. Humboldt came down with a very young very new team. Marin was a bit of a sight to behold. I swear every kid on that team is six feet tall 180 pounds and runs like a horse.

The score was lopsided. Even so, the game had everything you want from high school sports from an attitude standpoint. The boys from Humboldt never hung their heads, never fought each other, and never showed Marin less than their best effort. Both teams played hard and played clean. Both coaching staffs should be proud of their teams and both communities can be proud of their coaches.

I left the match feeling good and ready for my next assignment. That's when I realized that the schedule had not been communicated as I thought it had. When I returned to the car I found voice mails from the Reds wondering if I was coming, if I was stuck in traffic, if I was lost and if I was coming. Dread. Right on cue the refreshing mist of the rugby morning became a steady gray downpour as drove down the 101 to Marin City Field.

MARIN 41 – Stanislaus 10 Referee: Roberto Santiago
I arrived with 20 minutes to gone in the first half. Both teams were covered in mud and the stand-in ref was doing a good and able job. To my good fortune both sides were affable and good-natured about my tardiness. I arrived just as Marin was attempting a conversion after a try and took over a 17-5 score in favor of the home side. Twenty minutes later Marin led 29-10 at the half after a skillful sequence of play saw Stanislaus score a try just before the half.

The game and the rain continued on in the second half much like they did in the first. Marin scored two more tries with one converted while Stanislaus was unable to capitalize on the momentum from the first half. Towards the end it seemed that all thirty players were looking forward to a a warm pub and a cold pint as a reasonable alternative to more slipping and sliding in the cold cold mud. I could see their point since Marin puts out a cozy post-match spread. At the social I learned of the teams' true valor as they revealed to me that someone had shown up to evaluate me that day but left when I failed to show up before kick-off. This was a surprise to me since I did not have an evaluation scheduled and I thank the teams for not telling me about it until after the match. Before the day was up I found my shooting a well deserved boot for my crimes.

Thanks to all four teams for their hospitality. My apologies to Marin, Stanislaus, the fill in ref, and my mystery evaluator for the miscommunication. Oh ye fellow Pelicans, if you dare to extend yourselves leave not the coordination to others. Muddy boots make not for good drinking vessels.

VALLEJO 27 – Chico 17 Referee: Sam Reagle
Weather: Overcast
What a great day! I arrived on Mare Island under a slight mist to find a well manicured wide pitch marked perfectly for rugby. Well before kickoff, the mist had stopped and I could see where the sun was hiding behind wall-to-wall clouds. Bad weather was on the way, but it would wait until just after the game.

This was my first time seeing Vallejo play and I was not disappointed. Chico kicked off and the Barbarians wasted no time marching downfield only to knock it on about 5 meters out. Chico cleared it out to midfield where the Barbarians again went on the offensive until an errant pass went behind the intended runner, again about 5 meters out. The Mighty Oaks ran hard to almost midfield where their first of many knock-ons turned the ball over only to see them poach a pass in mid-stride and sprint 50-ish meters to their first try. We were only 15 minutes in and it already had the makings of a great game. Both teams were playing hard and very clean, not exactly whistle-free, but not stupid penalties and never with malice. Vallejo finally got on the scoreboard about 10 minutes later and took the lead about 8 minutes after that finishing the first half up 12-7.

The first half of the second half was more of a defensive battle with neither side really dominating the play and a bunch of knock-ons. Then, Chico surprised everyone (including me) with a drop-kick goal to draw within 2 points. About 5 minutes later, the Barbarians powered over another try to make it a 7 point lead. Some 5 minutes of give and take later, Vallejo scored a try with one of theirs in the bin for repeatedly diving over only to have Chico answer back with a converted try to make it 22-17 with about 3 minutes left in the game and a different Barbarian in the bin for the same offense. With time running out and only down 5, Chico tried to make something from nothing and was driven back, lost the ball and gave up a try to end the game.

Kudos to both sides for great sportsmanship and spirit. This was a hard hitting game with great tackling and running spackled with poor ball handling. There could easily have been 4-5 more tries if not for some bad luck and good goal line defense (2 held up at goal that I remember). The Barbarians also hosted a great feast with standard American fare of beef stew, chili, etc. and an assortment of Fijian food some of which I remember from the Sacramento Capitals of old.

St. Mary's 5 – CALIFORNIA 20 Referee Bryan Arciero (Rugby Canada via Quebec, Scotland, Newfoundland, and now Alberta)
Assistant Referees: George O'Neil, Tom Zanarini
Advisor: Dixon Smith
Advisor that was annoyed the referee brought his own open-mic so he couldn't snoop on the game: Bryan Porter
Videographer: Eric Rauscher

When the SMC Athletic Director informs you there are anthems before the game, you know it's an important occasion. When 1500 fans turn up to watch college ball, you know there is a heated rivalry. When 2 F-18 Hornets complete a flyover timed perfectly to coincide with "O'er the land of the free...", you start to question how the heck you ended up with the whistle in your hand to start the game of the year in NorCal.

Both teams suffered from white line fever. Several knock-ons within 5m of the goal lines, a intercepted pass ran back 90m for a try, and a foot in touch less than 5m from the line prevented a higher scoreline. The game report on is a better account of anything that I could scribe down.

Many thanks to the entire team for all their support. We met the goals of maintaining the "illusion of competence" and had zero-controversy, which was paramount to keeping the focus on the players and away from the match officials.

A great occasion, a great match, and some well-deserved crab feasting and fudge at Pier 39 once again confirmed that the Pelican Refs are the standard bearer of all referee societies.

Seconds: St. Mary's 5 – CALIFORNIA 71 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Assistant Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Another fairly early morning to have a healthy breakfast (Colleen made homemade muffins and a Frittata before she flew to Florida on Friday). We got to SMC plenty early enough to find parking, but just barely. Seemed to be a busy weekend with softball, field hockey, soccer and rugby matches all on campus. But none of those matches had a 2 jet flyover. Definitely over 1,000 people in attendance surrounding the field and creeping into the huge in-goal on the south side. Bryan handled the A-match with total professionalism, a real joy to watch.

The B-match was a bigger spread but still a great match. Cal just found the openings in St. Mary's defense. What a change in pace from Friday! This is hardly a B-side match in any other league.

Thanks to Mike Malone for my surprise coaching and Rob Hendrickson for running touch.

Showers on campus, change to Number 1's and off to dinner. Great time at the Crab House on Pier 39, drinks at the Buena Vista, then Bryan and I head to the Deuce (2am Club) in Milf Valley for the Cougar Convention. Can't stay in Mill Valley without stopping at the Deuce, lenten tea-totaler or not. A few quick drinks for me, back to the apartment to dissect the match video, 3:30am to bed, 8am wake up, pack and head to the airport. Bryan back to Edmonton and me on vacation to Florida (where I am now) to visit family.

Thanks to Bryan for being a great host and navigator (we put over 450 miles on the Kia in three days). An excellent rugby weekend! More please!!

NEVADA 31 – Stanford 17 Referee: Phil Ulibarri
It was a cold and windy day on Donner Summit. There was even snow...go figure.

Stanford players asked if the game could start at 12:30 referring to the weather conditions and mentioning that they wanted to make sure they didn’t get caught on the way back over the pass by the snow. But as is often the case, the leeward side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range is high and dry. This is where the Great Basin and the High Desert start. At game time intermittent clouds and a steady 10-15 mph breeze made for a pretty comfortable match for players and ref. Nevada came out quick with a try to excite the fans on hand for their last game of the season but Stanford answered just as quickly and the match seesawed for the entire first half ending 12 all.

The second half was mostly all Nevada with tight pack play. Stanford had problems containing Nevada’s 8-man.

Final: Nevada 31, Stanford 17

Seconds: Nevada – Stanford
Not played – Stanford headed home ahead of a storm while the Donner Pass was still open.

Sac State 21 – CHICO STATE 31 Referee: Scott Wood
Assistant Referee: Craig Lusiani

Seconds: Sac State 17 – CHICO STATE 22 Referee: Craig Lusiani

SANTA ROSA JC 41 – SF State 5 Referee: Mike King
The Gators arrived in bunches, the last of which arrived at kick-off, so they started somewhat flat. The JC took advantage to run in two early scores. SF State dotted down after a quick tap penalty for its only score. The JC turned on the afterburners after this score, and dotted down twice more before half. 24-5. It was all JC in the second half that was shortened some by an unfortunate injury to SF State’s fullback. Everyone present wishes Jamie (sp?) well.


Univ. of the Pacific 12 – SIERRA COLLEGE 49 Referee: Eugene Baker
Firstly - This was a "friendly", as Sierra loaned UOP several players for the match. We started off with 14-a side and added bodies as they arrived.

The match was dominated by Sierra's backs - Several of who I recognized from their U19 days at Rio Linda and Sierra Foothills (nee Golden Eagle). Great job of passing by Sierra College. All but one of their tries were scored by their backline...UOP played well in the set pieces - But were clearly short on footspeed and open field power running compared to the Wolverines...


Cal women 15 – DARTMOUTH 20 Referee: Rich Anderson

SF/Golden Gate 12 – BELMONT SHORE 25 Referee: Chris Draper
Assistant Referees: Bruce Carter, Chris Tucker
Assessor: Bryan Porter
Referee Coach: Josh Tameifuna


By Chris Fisher:
Last Sunday 23 youth teams from the Bay Area competed in an end-of-the-year tournament at Bodar Field in Vallejo.

There were three divisions: U-8, U-10 and U-12. The only winner that I'm aware of is Danville winning the U-10's against Silicon Valley.

Youth rugby is set to explode in Northern California. At this event, EPA, Peninsula, Silicon Valley, San Jose Ramblers, Danville, Diablo, LaMorinda, Marin, Sierra Foothills and Lands End entered teams. Next year there may be more new sides.

With the growth of youth rugby, it may be time for the NorCal Referee Society to step in and write some bona-fide rules for everyone. There is a lot of confusion of what standards need to be followed. There also needs to be some real referees at these events. Too many games used anyone that would blow a whistle. I even saw some young kids refs games such as in the U-10 final.

All in all this event was a success. The youth leagues are open to both boys and girls. Silicon Valley had two girls on one of their U-10 sides and Peninsula had four.

Rohnert Park 33 – MONTGOMERY 36 Referee: Mike King
Great effort by both sides in these see-saw battle which was punctuated by some nice running by Rohnert Park’s backs and strong rucking by Montgomery, coupled with a more effective kicking game. Rohnert Park forged the early lead, only to lose it to the resurgent Vikings. The final score is the proof of a well-fought battle between 2 improving programs.

SAN MATEO 17 – Peninsula Green 12 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
I had the pleasure of reffing this high school match where both teams left their hearts on the field under lights in San Mateo at Joinville-Bayside Park with well over 100 spectators cheering for both sides. San Mateo HS was up 7-0 at half & then 17-0, but Peninsula Green came storming back but ran out of time. Their defense saved them at least 4 times when San Mateo couldn't score near goal & unfortunately PG knocked the ball on twice as they were about to score. San Mateo had 2 nice unconverted tries in the second half as one of their backs skated down the PG sideline about 45 meters; & their prop scored on the next play scoring from the kickoff & going about 60 meters untouched. PG had some good runs by their capt. flyhalf/ctr causing most of the SM backline to tackle him, but was by himself. Their #6 flanker also had a great run scoring from about 30 meters.

ELSIE ALLEN 51 – Windsor 0 Referee: Mike King
Windsor was game and willing, but could not match the consistent effort of the Lobos. In typical fashion, Elsie Allen coupled ball control in the loose with great ball movement in the backfield. Windsor had some opportunities and displayed very good athleticism and desire. It is certainly expected that they will continue to improve.

EPA 24 – Silicon Valley 0 Referee: Chris Fisher
Score was 0-0 for the first 50 minutes.

RIO LINDA 29 – Cougars 21 Referee: Sam Reagle
This was a really good, energetic game between two pretty evenly matched teams. The Rio Linda scrumhalf showed some skills, but could improve his game by reading a lawbook.

PENINSULA GREEN 19 – Live Oak 5 Referee: Chris Fisher

JV: LIVE OAK 10 – Peninsula Green 7 Ref: Fisher

JV: SFGG Silver ~ 50 – Danville Oaks 5 Referee: Preston Gordon

Berkeley Rhinos 5 – ANTIOCH DELTAS 29 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Tom Bates fields, cool, windy
The Rhinos have a very dominate scrum with their captain in the front row urging his team on. The first half was close with The Rhinos #8 making a nifty pick-up and dart in for a try and Delta responding with a converted try. Both teams played evenly in the first half. In the second half Delta decided to start feeding the ball to their #14 Brandon Francis (sorry if the name is miss-spelled) and he scored a hat trick in the half. I give him the man of the match and he is someone to keep an eye on.

SANTA ROSA/CARDINAL NEWMAN 48 – Corvallis 10 Referee: Cary Bertolone
I reffed a traveling high school from Corvallis, Oregon on 3/23/09 as they played Rosa/Cardinal Newman H.S. at 7:00 PM under the lights in Santa Rosa. Rosa took the lead 19-0 with power forwards combined with some great runs from the backs. They have gotten a lot better than they were just a few weeks ago. Oregon came back w/ two tries to make it 19-10 at the half. Rosa picked up the intensity in the second half and Oregon started to get tired as Rosa won going away 48-10. Great kids on both sides (and same with the coaches)!

SFGG 29 – Land Park 10 Referee: Dave Williamson
On a cool, blustery Sunday morning, SFGG's U-14 squad (coached by Gary Williams), hosted Sacramento Land Park's U-14 team (coached by Pelicans Matt Eason and Rich Boyer).

Both teams opted to play an open, passing game rather than stopping for rucks. Passes were quick--sometimes short; sometimes long--and were frequently made after contact with an opponent. The match was entertaining: both teams were adept at wrestling the ball away. When they spun the ball out wide, the players quickly made long gains, delighting the spectators.

In the first 30-minute period, SFGG scored three tries while holding Land Park to a penalty goal. Halftime score: 15-3. In the second half, Land Park's #16 chipped ahead into the wind, collected his own kick, and ran in for a converted try. SFGG also scored two converted tries.

Despite lots of youthful exuberance, both sides displayed good sportsmanship throughout the contest.

Tuesday, March 24
SAN MATEO 22 – Elsie Allen 10 Referee: James Hinkin
A clear spring night at San Mateo High School Tuesday saw Elsie Allen travel down to play San Mateo. Both sides had plenty of players and were in uniform warming up when the referee arrived and after the usual formalities the game was on. Else Allen absorbed some early pressure and then started applying some of their own. Some ill discipline from San Mateo saw EA pin them in the corner for line outs but the defense held strong until the inevitable try was scored. 5-0 to EA. San Mateo came right back and an entertaining back and forth half saw EA return the favor with some penalties near their own line that San Mateo converted into 2 tries. Half time score 12-5 to San Mateo.

The second half was as fast paced as the first as neither side gave any quarter. San Mateo had a size advantage but EA were all sure tacklers and the game was even. The scales tipped in San Mateo’s favor in broken play as the EA tackling started to get sloppier and San Mateo was able to run in two more scores. San Mateo lost their #13 to the sin bin for repeated team offenses but EA couldn’t take advantage until, strangely enough, they scored off a scrum where it was 8 on 8. The San Mateo #8 was unable to control the ball at the back and the alert EA flanker scooped it up and dove over for a try. Being good visitors, EA returned the sin bin favor after San Mateo returned to full strength (for repeat offense again) but there was no more scoring.

Final Score Elsie Allen 10 – San Mateo 22


This inaugural event will be held in Dixon on Sunday, April 19.

There will be a dozen junior high school teams from NorCal. Matches will be thirty minutes long, played on two pitches. Rob Salaber is organizing the day.

About six refs could do justice to this event, as there will be eighteen games.

Let us know if you would be interested in helping with this post-season Sunday youth event.

Zoltar Sez
Exchange Referees Bryan Arciero, Chris Draper, and Bill Bowen journeyed to Pier 39 to ask The Fabulous Zoltar, “When is the ball out?”

Zoltar’s cryptic answer began with, “Always remember to whistle and sing…”


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Wednesday, March 18, 2009




The Promotion Committee is happy to recognize Ryan Luis' progress with a promotion to C2.


This Sunday, March 22, SF/Golden Gate will be hosting Belmont Shore in the Super League at 2 PM.

This could be a good excuse to get a lot of Pelicans together. Matter of fact, there’s no reason we shouldn’t provide fourth and fifth officials. The referee will be Chris Draper. Assistant Referees are Bruce Carter and Chris Tucker.

Let us know if you might want to help out. Or – you’d rather sit and watch a great match on a spring day and help support top-flight rugby in the Bay Area!


The 2009 Rugby Season that is. The annual end-of-the-season banquet of the Northern California Rugby Referee Society will be held on SATURDAY, JUNE 13, at Scott’s seafood in Walnut Creek. Drinks at six and dinner at seven.

The Society will pay for the dinners of our members. Guests will be fifty dollars. Drinks are on your own. It will be well worth it: Scott’s is known for excellent comestibles and potables, having ably hosted us a number of times over the years. Pelicans everywhere agree: their seafood is to dive for.

This is an occasion to dress up, bask in camaraderie, share the good times and scoff at the bad. Our annual and much-coveted awards will be presented, and a Special Commemoration will be made that you will not want to have missed.

If you are going to be able to attend, RSVP to Bjorn Stumer with name and number of guests.

See you there?


This is pretty cool, one of the latest initiatives from the national office:

Listen to the promo. Sign up. Tell any kids you know who are interested in our game. Spread the fever!


CALIFORNIA 71 – Sacramento State 10 Referee: Joe Androvich

Chico State – Univ. of Southern Oregon Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

Nevada 17 – ST. MARY’S 50 Referee: George O'Neil

Seconds: Nevada – St. Mary's Referee: Russ Wilkening
No report received.

STANFORD 17 – Sac State 10 Referee: Dave Pope
Stanford hosted Sac. State Friday night under lights. The cooling air made for a wet playing surface leading to slippery footing and ball. At times both players and referee had trouble staying upright. There were also a lot of dropped balls.

Both teams started very hard, and the game was played at a fast pace. Twenty minutes in we had a lot of hard breathing players, but no score. Stanford had the better opportunities, but could not convert line breaks into points. Several times Stanford was guilty of not supporting after a line break leading to holding on penalties against Stanford instead of tries in their favor. In the second twenty minutes Stanford turned pressure into points scoring an unconverted try to lead 5 - 0 at the half.

The first 25 minutes of the second half were dominated by Stanford. Even though Stanford's athletic but inexperienced team was giving up too many penalties, they managed to build their lead up to 17 - 0 scoring two more tries, one converted one not. Down 17 points with about 15 minutes to go, Sac State's offense finally woke up. What they really discovered was that Stanford was vulnerable to a kicking game. Poorly defended kicks enabled Sac State to gain huge chunks of yardage while maintaining possession.

Sac State managed to score two tries in the next 10 minutes, the second scored by the winger directly from a cross-kick. This set up a feverish last five minutes with Sac State camped on the Stanford goal line. With about 30 seconds to go, Sac State was trying to pound it into goal from about a yard out when the ball was dropped forward. It seemed all Stanford had to do was win the scrum and kick it out. Sac State had other ideas and took the scrum against the head. They attacked the line for a bunch of phases with Stanford absorbing all the pressure. It seemed Sac State had to score, when once again it was dropped forward in contact. Game over.

Senors - BALD EAGLES Referee: Giles Wilson
Well, the referee that an Old Boys game deserved and the game that this referee deserved; a nice balance.

A reasonably well played game, fitting the Old Boys spirit with everyone having fun. The Seniors only had three true backs but 2 have been Eagles which more than made up for quantity despite a willing Bald eagles backline who were beaten early for several scores – the first half read 7 scores to 1 for the Seniors.

In the second half, play began to tell on the Senors (or the Bald Eagles had paced themselves better) and this half went 4 scores to 3 for the Bald Eagles.

Overall 10 scores to 5 for the Senors in what was an enjoyable run out on a Saturday preceding the RSL game.

SF/Golden Gate 33 – BARACUS 36 Referee: Helmer (Minnesota)
Videographer: Bruce Carter
Referee Mentor: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Baracus started out with a quick lead by cherry-picking a pass and running 70 meter for the first try of the game. Halftime score was 19 to 7 to Baracus. However, to start the 2nd half, SFGG came out strong by scoring three, well controlled trys in the first 15 mins of the half. The score was 28-19, SFGG. The next 15 mins was played between the 22s, until Baracus was able to add a try with about 10 mins left. Baracus was then within 2 points to SFGG. SFGG answered right back by scoring a try on a turnover from the restart, leaving the score at 33-26. With about 4 mins left in regulation, Baracus put together a drive to tie the game at 33-33. On the restart, Baracus maintained control from the kick and made their way down into SFGG 5 meter line for a penalty kick and the go ahead win 36-33.

Seconds: SFGG 28 – Baracus 5 Referee: Nate Housman
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Super League: SFGG 45 – Denver 10 Referee: Davey Ardrey
Assistant Referees: Bruce Carter, Helmer
Evaluator: Dixon Smith

San Mateo 15 – OLYMPIC CLUB 35 Referee: Magnus Oosthuizen (Texas)
Evaluator: Mike Malone

Seconds: San Mateo 10 – OLYMPIC CLUB 12 Referee: Ryan Luis

Hayward 34 – Sac Capitals 34 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
I could not get any response about the match from the home team, but fortunately, the visiting team from Sacramento had kickoff time and field directions on their website. Both teams were ready to kickoff at noon at Hayward's artificial turf, but the goal-posts arrived late, so the match started at 12:30pm under overcast conditions.

What ensued was a back-and-forth, evenly matched contest. Sacramento was more organized and disciplined, especially in the set-pieces, but Hayward was more powerful and athletic with ball in hand. The visiting team was more fit. In the first half, the two teams played a cat-and-mouse game where if one scored, the other would answer. Hayward led 17-12 at half, but only after bundling a Sacramento player into the corner-flag at the stroke of half-time.

In the second half, Hayward struggled to stay on-side during quick-taps by Sacramento, which earned the home team two yellow cards. The Sacramento Capitals capitalized (no pun intended) on their advantage to score three tries to storm ahead 29-17 with 15 minutes to play. Encouraged by the vocal home-town supporters on the sideline, Hayward suddenly found their attacking flair to score three tries of their own to re-take the lead 34-29 with 3 minutes left in the match. Possession changed several times in the final minutes. With Sacramento attacking and recycling inside Hayward territory, time expired, but the match was extended by three penalties by Hayward, which enabled Sacramento to score out wide in the 83rd minute to tie the match 34-34. The difficult conversion missed, which was appropriate considering that neither team deserved to lose. Each team scored 2 goals and 4 tries.

Seconds: HAYWARD 38 – Sac Capitals 7 Referee: Chris Labozzetta

RENO 20 – Sac Lions 17 Referee: Joe Androvich

Seconds: Reno 12 – Sac Lions 12 Referee: Phil Ulibarri
A mix of first and second side players from both squads rallied to fill the roster for the second game of the day. Both Lions and Zephyrs were clearly mentally and physically exhausted from the hard-fought first match, but Reno had enough to put up twelve points in the first stanza. Sac Lions matched that point total and responded with two tries and a conversion of their own in part two. Final score Sac Lions B 12, Reno Zephyrs B 12.

Diablo Gaels 10 – EAST PALO ALTO 35 Referee: Phil Akroyd
Evaluator: David Williamson
Gaels 1T, 1Conv, 1PK
The game was played at the Diablo Valley College, on the new turf Football field which was surprisingly easy to get accustomed to, as the Gaels did a great job of marking out the pitch with flags and yellow tape.

In my last encounter with EPA, the game featured some dangerous tackling and rugby played in questionable spirit, so to say that I was apprehensive about this game would be an understatement! I had a chat with both teams before the game to let them know that I expected a good, clean, open game of rugby and they assured me that I would get one. I’m glad to say that they delivered!

EPA seemed only concerned with scoring tries and letting their fair tackles do their talking. They had four tries in the first half, of which none were converted. The Gaels seemed like a punch-drunk boxer on the ropes – surprised at the tough but fair rugby that EPA were bringing.

In the second half, the Razorbacks appeared to lose their focus on rugby and attempted to slow down the Gaels whenever the home team had the ball. For this behavior, their prop spent ten minutes in the bin for persistent team offences at the tackle/ruck, in which time; the Gaels pulled back a try to add to their earlier successful Penalty kick at goal. However, EPA seemed happy with their lead and scored a couple of break-away tries to consolidate the margin of victory.

Seconds: Diablo Gaels 12 – EAST PALO ALTO 15 Referee: Roberto Santiago
The atmosphere was great on alumni day at DVC Stadium. There were a good number of supporters for both sides along with a stadium announcer which added to the energy. The game was played with a lot of intensity from both sides as well as both sidelines. One has to wonder if a ref has ever reversed a call based on protestations from beyond the field of play. The first half saw each side score an unconverted try as well as two yellow cards against the visiting squad, one for repeated infringements and one for foul play.

The Gaels scored a converted try early in the second half and held the lead for the next 16 minutes. EPA regained the lead with two tries in a four minute span.

Thanks to the Gales for their hospitality. Thanks to David Williamson for staying and giving me a coaching during the second half. Thanks to the EPA coaches and to both touch judges who did a great job.

Santa Rosa 0 – FRESNO 41 Referee: John Coppinger
On Santa Rosa's treasure of a pitch, For Pete's Sake, a faster, fitter, and better organized Fresno side ran by a game Santa Rosa selection. Santa Rosa threatened to score any number of times but were denied by Fresno defense and turnovers. This match was a pleasure to referee with both sides accepting direction from the referee and the match is remarkable because there was not a single penalty awarded for foul play.

Pelican Mike King was on hand to cheer on his son Pat King, the Santa Rosa captain.

Seconds: Santa Rosa – Fresno
Not sure if this one was played.

SEAHAWKS 38 – Arroyo Grande 14 Referee: Scott Wood
AR: Bruce Bernstein
TJs: Mike Brado, Jason Danna (2d half)
Location: Leland HS, San Jose

San Jose had this game in the bag from the onset but Arroyo Grande never relented. Hard crashing drives and backline plays split the defense. AG scored a converted try in each half but San Jose's Pulu Saulala hat trick kept the visitors out of reach.

Seconds: SEAHAWKS 27 – “Arroyo Grande” 19 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
San Jose Seahawks 2nds (& a few Silverhawks) 27 (5) defeated Mostly Marauders (with a few Arroyo Grande 1sts) 19 (3).

Arroyo Grande only had 15 players and one team, but had a few of the younger ones play with the San Jose Marauders who luckily showed up to play an exciting game on an artificial turf field at Leland HS in south San Jose near Almaden with spectacular mountain views.

The Marauders started strong going up 12-0 at half, but a few of the Seahawk 1st team backs had some long runs in the centers for 5 consecutive tries (I didn't get see their license plates, but they looked Polynesian) before Marauders scored to end the match & lead the festivities to the new Seahawk bar, Ye Old Royal Oak, a few freeways away by the San Jose Airport.

MISSION by forfeit over Shasta

VACAVILE 31 – Marin 10 Referee: Sam Reagle
It took an extra half hour to get to Vacaville due to rebar in the road backing up traffic on I-80 for about 7 miles so I only had 30 minutes until kickoff when I arrived. I found both teams warming up so I did the same, did my thing and we kicked off on time.

Knowing that Marin had a big win against Mission last week, I can only guess that they didn't play up to their potential today. They didn't play badly, just not cohesively. Vacaville, on the other hand, supported well at the breakdowns and went into tackles stronger, methodically moving downfield or chipping over and chasing the loose ball more aggressively. There were a lot of scrums for both sides due to dozens of dropped passes and knock-ons. Hopefully, this was an anomaly.

Afterwards, Vacaville hosted dinner at the Good Heifer. It was a Rugby day.

BERKELEY 22 – Vallejo 11 Referee: Ray Schwartz

HUMBOLDT 28 – Aptos 13 Referee: Tom Zanarini

Stanislaus 19 – CHICO 42 Referee: Scott McConnell

Petaluma loses to FOG by forfeit.

CALIFORNIA 76 – UC Davis 0 Referee: Tony Redmond
Assistant Referee: Chris Tucker
UC Davis were delayed en route to Witter Rugby Field on Saturday and probably wished that they hadn't made the game after they conceded 12 tries to a Cal second-string side. Things didn't start well and Cal were over the UC Davis line within 70 seconds only to be held up. They were also denied a try for a double movement but Cal's pace, speed, and physical presence at the breakdown resulted in four tries by half-time, only two of which were converted in a blustery wind. UC Davis struggled in the scrum but the biggest problems were at line out as seven were lost in the first half alone.

UC Davis made a number of changes at half time but these seemed to weaken their team's ability to deal with Cal's expansive game. A further eight tries resulted. The only touch of humor was when Cal's left winger appealed for a "penalty in 10" after he took a short throw-in that hit against an opponent. Apart from the fact that his opponent didn't know too much about the throw-in, the plaintive appeal caused great amusement to the Cal bleachers both for the eagerness of the play and the total lack of knowledge of the law.

Seconds: California – UC Davis CANCELED

St. Mary's thirds 15 – SIERRA JC 24 Referee: Rich Anderson

MARITIME ACADEMY 45 – Santa Rosa JC 5 Referee: Joe Leisek
Bodner Field, California Maritime Academy, Vallejo
The Keelhaulers were poised to win their first league title in undefeated fashion, with an injury-depleted Santa Rosa JC team standing in their way. The hosts scored early and often in the first half, jumping out to a 36-0 lead after the first 40 minutes. Their forwards are big, strong, and fast, which allows them to recycle lots of ball before spinning it out wide. The visitors could not match up in the forward pack, but did not give in for a moment. Cal Maritime has a nice balanced attack and should do well in the playoffs if they stay healthy. Congratulations to the Keelhaulers and coach Edward Roberts on a great season.

U. of San Francisco 3 – HUMBOLDT STATE 62 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Negoesco field USF, overcast and blowing.

I had expected rain, so the windy conditions were ok and the field is synthetic so the rain would have just made us wet.

USF put up a good game, but Humboldt had the experience and backline skills that were able to score off of line breaks.

USF had their only score in the second half off of an infringement within the 22 which set up a difficult (with the wind) kick at goal.

In honor of ST Paddy’s day both teams wore green as did a goodly group of spectators that showed up to watch.

SAN JOSE STATE 20 – Santa Clara 17 Referee: Sandy Robertson
Early on neither side put much together, but both sides picked up the pace and at half time it was 10 all. Early in the 2nd half San Jose slotted a penalty and with around 10 minutes left Santa Clara responded with a converted try. For the next 5 minutes the 2 sides played at a furious pace with a San Jose player making the long stretch to touch down as he was being tackled. Santa Clara came back on the attack and worked their way well inside the San Jose 22 before a knock on ended the match.

Chico State women 15 – STANFORD 22 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
I did both matches at Chico Saturday.

Drove up to Chico through Yuba City on Saturday. The almonds were shedding their blossoms and the leaves were starting to fill in, giving them a motley look. The peaches, plums and apricots were almost in full bloom and were spectacular; spring is springing in the Sacramento valley.

The Stanford women were already there when I arrived at noon and the Chico State women were already warming up.

Chico kicked off into a brisk wind. The first half was a lot of probing and testing by both teams, with Stanford kicking up-and-unders and Chico slowly working it back past mid-field only to turn it over and repeat the whole thing again. Stanford and the wind proved too much for Chico in the first half, scoring 2 unconverted trys in the corner. Score at halftime: Stanford 10 Chico St 0.

In the second half the wind started to die down. Chico State scored first with an unconverted try in the corner. Stanford answered with an unconverted try 5 minutes later. Chico State came back with another unconverted try about half way through the half to get within 5, but with about 8 minutes left Stanford scored a converted try to go up be 12. Chico scored an unconverted try with a couple of minutes left, but Stanford held on fo the win as Chico never seriously threatened again.

Final score: Stanford 22 Chico State 15.

Seconds: CHICO STATE 38 – Stanford 14 Ref: Crenshaw
The second side match was dominated by Chico State.

All Blues – Fog Referee: Preston Gordon
No report received.

ALL BLUES 40 – Amazons 0 Referee: Bruce Carter
Touch Judges: Two gentlemen with handsome, shaved heads

The Amazons arrived about a dozen strong, but some of the Fog were still ready to roll. Soon XV were kitted up to face an All Blues redux side and we kicked off on time at 11 AM.

The Job Corps field on Treasure Island has incrementally gotten better over the years. The lightning strike which took out that old tree truly was a miracle, removing even the trunk and roots. This allowed the pitch to be made rectilinear to the surroundings, easing adjudication of such things as throws-forward.

These games started out remarkably: the Amazons had the ball for almost three minutes with nary a whistle to disturb their pattern. The phase-tracker in the bottom corner of my screen lost count. But then: a forward pass, a momentary advantage, an intercept by Berkeley's #12 who never looked back.

That was the pattern from then on.

Spirits were high, rugby won, and I got to work up a sweat before running touch for the super league match. Thanks!

USF women – St. Mary's Referee: Preston Gordon
No report received.

Stanford men 20 – CHICO STATE 22 Referee: Scott Wood
AR: Nate Housman
Both teams are vying for the fifth NCRFU seed. The match went back and forth with the teams testing each other at the breakdowns and in general play. Chico took the lead with a converted try at the 78th minute. Stanford responded with an attack down the field but turned the ball over to end the match. This weekend's match ups (Chico State at Sacramento and Stanford at Nevada) certainly have a lot riding on them. Good luck to all the teams. May they represent NCRFU well.

Seconds: STANFORD 31 – Chico State 20 Referee: Nate Housman

U. of San Francisco 12 – PRINCETON 28 Referee: Chris Labozzetta

UCSC – Princeton Referee: John Pohlman

St. Mary's – Princeton Referee: George O'Neil


Tuesday night:
JESUIT 61 – Motherlode 5 Referee: Sam Reagle

DIABLO 29 – De La Salle 7 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Assistant Referee: Edward Barfels
Diablo's backline, including in particular its U-17 Eagle center, were just too much for De La Salle last Thursday night as they played under the lights at De La Salle following the f/s game (reffed by Ed). Diablo scored 3 first half tries (including 2 line breaks) and carried its 17 - 0 lead into the second half. De La Salle rallied to score a try late in the second half as momentum seemed to be changing, only to have Diablo steal an errant pass and score its last try to put the game out of reach. Diablo has put together quite a team this year.

RC Lancers: 15 – Woodcreek 15 Referee: Sam Reagle

Dixon 5 – COUGAR RUGBY 45 Referee: Phil Akroyd
The pitch and conditions were perfect for a great rugby match. The game was played under lights and the field was very dry and firm (turf shoes needed!) while the temperature was dropping as the sun was setting.

The physicality and size of CRC remains one of their main offensive weapons. They make hard tackles, hit hard at every ruck and run at speed with ball in hand. They were simply too much of a physical force for the smaller and less powerful Dixon side. CRC scored four converted tries in the first half, coming from the hard work done by the forwards. The only blight on the CRC performance was the yellow card earned by their scrum-half for kicking, as I was unsighted at the opposite side of the ruck (thanks to Jim Crenshaw for calling it to my attention).

Dixon scored a consolation try but CRC went on to score a further three. Another impressive display from Cougar Rugby.

The fresh/soph teams played a development game before the Varsity game that was tied at 12-12 at the half. Cougar scored two second half-tries to win by 12-22. Excellent, close game.

The Lobodome, Elsie Allen High School, Santa Rosa
Elsie Allen Lobos 17 – MARIN HIGHLANDERS 29 Referee: Joe Leisek
Assistant Referee: Mike King
A night game on the wonderful new all-weather turf at Elsie Allen (with rugby lines and goalposts), and a contest that would break the Redwood Empire Conference first-place deadlock between the two teams. Would Elsie's relentless multi-phase game and tough defense match up with Marin's strong pack and backline speed? Marin put it all to rest within about eight minutes, reeling off three quick converted tries and putting the hosts in catch up mode for the rest of the game. The game was fast, and Elsie outscored their opponents for the last 62 minutes. Great commitment from the Lobos. The Highlanders under Coach David Cingolani and staff have a very good team this year. The players are experienced, athletic, and maintain excellent composure under pressure.

SFGG 28 - East Palo Alto 12 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
A generous East Palo Alto could not contain a fit and well-drilled San Francisco Golden Gate youth side. Lots of running and much tackling in front of a goodish crowd - a fun match.

SAN MATEO 62 – Silicon Valley 10 Referee: Chris Fisher
Good game played in good spirits.

DELTA 32 – Danville 7 Referee: Ryan Luis

Berkeley Rhinos 10 – ALAMEDA 15 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Tom Bates field, cool overcast
This was supposed to be Alameda's home game, but their field is under water right now, so Berkeley offered theirs. The play was good and skilled on both sides with great intensity but also a great sense of sportsmanship that made the game a delight. The scoring was low, but play was all over the field both side to side and up and down. Kudos to both teams for a game well played!

Frosh/Soph: SFGG 27 – Lamorinda 26 Referee: Mike King
This match was only decided by which side happened to be ahead when the whistle blew. An early lead was earned with good ball movement by Lamorinda. SFGG came back right near half. 7-14 favor of the visitors. The second half proved equally exciting, with the home side forging ahead, only to be challenged by a revitalized Lamorinda 15. Final of 27-26 was proof of the see-saw contest that came down to the wire.

Girls U-19:
Humboldt 0 – MOTHER LODE 20 Referee: Tom Zanarini

Girls High School Rugby; Sunday March 15
ALAMEDA RIPTIDES 32 – Berkeley Yellow Jackets 0 Referee: Edward Barfels
The Alameda ladies have lots of experience, but it was the Berkeley first game this year. Alameda got of to a quick start scoring on their first drive to take a 7-0 lead. Berkeley’s defense toughened up and they held the Riptide to just two more tries in the first half. Half time score 17-0.

At the beginning of the second half it looked like Berkeley might get its first try as they drove to within five meters of scoring. Unfortunately, a penalty allowed Alameda to relieve the pressure. From then on, Alameda did not allow Berkeley within the 22-meter zone. Alameda scored three times, without converting, to make the final score 32 to 0.

Gathering Spot
Referees visiting Pelicanland tend to end up at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island one way or another.

Kat Todd-Schwartz and Ray Schwartz welcome and flank Terry Helmer from Minnesota, Magnus Oosthuizen from Texas, and Davey Ardrey from Missouri.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Friday, March 13, 2009




The 2009 Rugby Season that is. The annual end-of-the-season banquet of the Northern California Rugby Referee Society will be held on SATURDAY, JUNE 13, at Scott’s seafood in Walnut Creek. Drinks at six and dinner at seven.

The Society will pay for the dinners of our members. Guests will be fifty dollars. Drinks are on your own. It will be well worth it: Scott’s is known for excellent comestibles and potables, having ably hosted us a number of times over the years. Pelicans everywhere agree: their seafood is to dive for.

This is an occasion to dress up, bask in camaraderie, share the good times and scoff at the bad. Our annual and much-coveted awards will be presented, and a Special Commemoration will be made that you will not want to have missed.

If you are going to be able to attend, RSVP to Bjorn Stumer with name and number of guests.

See you there?


We have a busy weekend April 4, and then it’s the playoffs.

Please let us know of your availability. There are two games in Reno April 4, with no other travel games.

We need those who can referee high school playoffs and serve as Assistant Referees for NorCal, Pacific Coast and USA playoffs. Note the Fridays and Sundays involved.

Y/N Able to AR?
April 3-4-5
April 11
April 17-18-19
April 25
May 1-2

Also, if you are willing to do a high school match on Saturday mornings before your college or club match, let one of our high school coordinators know.

Bjorn Stumer of the Bay Conference and Sandy Robertson of the Skyhawk Conference (South Bay and peninsula) seem to have the bulk of the Saturday morning fixtures that need officials.


Two instances have come to our attention in the past week where only one conclusion supports the facts: referees are giving red cards, and yellow cards for foul play, and not reporting them.

Do you know the story of the Gurkha’s knife, the kukri? Once he removes it from its scabbard he cannot replace it until it’s drawn blood. Thus, if he takes it out to show a curious tourist, he’ll prick his own finger before putting it back.

So it is with red cards and yellow cards for Law 10.4 violations: you pull it, you report it. ‘Changing your mind’ afterwards is not allowed. You are the officer issuing the speeding ticket, not the judge.

And just as tickets are numbered so that the officer cannot later think better of reporting a particular miscreant, so too are the opponents of the players to whom cards are issued monitoring the disciplinary committee reports (which are public affairs) to insure that justice is done.

Why justice?

• Because the next two future opponents of a player who earned a red card deserve not to have to play against him

• Because future opponents also deserve not to have to play against a player who has received multiple yellow cards for foul play

• Because the player behind the bad actor on the team’s depth chart deserves a chance to show he can do a better job for the squad AND stay on the pitch

• Because if not all referees are reporting, offending players benefit from being refereed by the scofflaws at the expense of players whose refs are conscientious

You can report these belatedly. Send the details to Matt Eason, chairman of the disciplinary committee for the NCRFU.
Just the facts: Date. Game. Name of player and team. CIPP number. Red or yellow? Which Law was violated? That’s it.


Pelicus Epicurus is pleased to announce that:

“Moira Elise Myers dotted down between the posts for her first try at 12:02am on Saturday, March 7, 2009. She weighed 7lbs 13oz and is 20.5" long. She has a prop's nose but a flyhalf's hands and feet.”


Sac Capitals 5 – OLYMPIC CLUB 27 Referee: Tony Redmond
Assistant Referees: Chris Tucker, John Pohlman
While they kept on trying until the last moment, Sacramento just didn't have enough power to deal with the all-round skill and aggression of a well-rounded Olympic side. The game was played on a wide artificial turf field, which resulted in quick ball and some exhausted players. Olympic led 0-20 at the break and had scored three tries. However, Olympic had to work hard for their initial score on 19th minute and had then only really opened up a lead when Sacramento knocked the ball towards their own line for an Olympic back to pick it up and score under the posts. The signs were there that Olympic had too much power for Sacramento to deal with because they should have scored more with the quality ball that they won and the speed in their backs. A number of dropped passes or passes that went behind the intended receiver stopped many promising Olympic moves.

The second half started with an early Olympic converted try but then Sacramento woke up and put a lot more pressure on Olympic, especially in the tackle area. They received their reward when they scored a try in the 53rd minute. Afterwards the game was played mostly in midfield and neither side created much of an opportunity to score. Each side received a yellow card for infringements around the tackle; Sacramento for a series of joining in the side of rucks, Olympic for a hand that took a ball back in a ruck. This offense happened in the 76th minute and it would have been easy to let it go with a penalty. However, the hand was so gratuitous that it richly merited the card, which was duly awarded.

Seconds: Sac Capitals 0 – OLYMPIC CLUB 45 Referee: Rich Boyer
Saturday night witnessed a good match between Sacramento B side and the O Club B side. The O Club was quicker to the breakdowns and cleaned out a bit better than Sacramento, leading to a 24-0 halftime lead.

The O club was led by their quick scrumhalf, who scored a try, their flyhalf, who managed the game well with his foot, and three quick, powerful loose forwards. Sacramento never gave up in spite of losing four players to injuries. Sacramento was finally rewarded with a penalty advantage try by their flanker Tolo, a tireless worker and solid runner.

SAC LIONS 54 – Hayward 5 Referee: Paul Bretz

Seconds: Sac Lions – Hayward Not Played
Due to an assignments mix-up we did not provide a referee for this game and it was not played. We apologize to the Lions and the Griffins. We should not have relied on e-mail for some attempted last-minute changes.

RENO 46 – San Mateo 33 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Assistant Referees: Phil Ulibarri, Russ Wilkening

Had the pleasure of refereeing San Mateo at Reno on Saturday. Many thanks to Phil Ulibarri and Russ Wilkening for running touch. Sure is nice to have a couple of pairs of eyes helping, thank guys!!

We started off with a flurry of penalties. Both sides seem intent on pushing each other and the envelope as much as they could. After about 10 whistles and 5 or 6 penalties, we had a short come to Jesus meeting at a scrum. It's wonderful when all of a sudden, the ball is not being held in and play opens up.

Many long runs and great defensive, last-guy-to-beat try-saving tackles, were the fare for the next 15 or so minutes. Reno got on the board first with a penalty kick and then a converted try. San Mateo stepped it up a little and scored 2 converted trys to take back the lead. Reno came back right at the end of the half with a converted try to lead at halftime 17 to 14.

The second half was more of the same, with San Mateo scoring a converted try to regain the lead. Reno dove in the corner 10 minutes later to go up by 1. San Mateo came right back with a converted try. Reno kicked another penalty kick to make it closer, but San Mateo came right back with an unconverted try to go up 33 to 25. The last 15 minutes of the match was all Reno, scoring 3 converted trys, the last one with no time left, to win 46 to 33. Great match!!

Seconds: RENO 17 – San Mateo 7 Referee: Phil Ulibarri
Assistant Referees: Jim Crenshaw, Don Pattalock
Reno reserves continued the winning ways of the first side in an abbreviated second game that saw several Reno players join the San Mateo ranks.

Reno 17, San Mateo 7. Thanks to assistant referees Jim and Don who both have a cold one due them because it was pointed out that I raised my hand and awarded a conversion...before they raised their flags. Mea culpa!

EAST PALO ALTO 45 – SF/Golden Gate 12 Referee: George O'Neil
Advisor: David Williamson
The game was played at San Mateo High school on the turf football field with the weather now being an issue. EPA came out strong, scoring two tries in the first five minutes but letting off the gas for about 15 minutes. This led to two tries from SFGG, one being scored on a great running by their fullback. The score at the half was 21 to 12. After the half East Palo Alto scored two tries within the first ten minutes and never let up the defensive pressure. Overall a great day thanks to both teams.

Seconds: EAST PALO ALTO 58 – SF/Golden Gate 22 Referee: Tom Zanarini

Baracus 15 –DIABLO GAELS 45 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Assistant Referee: Greg Lundell
A pretty day in Concord. The Gaels were loaded for bear-well over thirty players of seven nationalities. Baracus was not - six/seven of their first team fellows were banged up or absent.

The Gaels scored early and often; 31-5 at half. They were quick and ruthlessly efficient at their rucks. The backs also used the ball they got, which was considerable, for several long runs.

Because they had to drink with these guys after the game, Baracus scored twice in the second half.

Thanks to Greg Lundell for being an assistant referee.

Seconds: Baracus 32 – DIABLO GAELS 63 Referee: Greg Lundell
Referee Coach: Bryant Byrnes
The Gaels dominated the first half despite converting on only 2 of 7 tries. Baracus’ defense made a strong showing in the second half by limiting the Gaels to 4 tries and Baracus’ offense answered with 4 tries of their own. Overall, it was a good game with lots of scoring action! Thanks to the Gaels for reserving the all weather field to ensure a match after a wet week.

FRESNO 55 – Seahawks 0 Referee: Rich Anderson
A leisurely drive from Oakland to Fresno was interrupted by a failed alternator in Chowchilla. A few phone calls, a tow to a Fresno garage, and a cab ride to the pitch had me showing up just a little before kick-off.

After a 15 minute delay, Fresno went to work early and often. San Jose was able to contest Fresno with their forwards, but had no answer for Fresno's wide backs. Once Fresno figured this out, their strategy of swinging the ball wide proved to be very efficient. They scored 4 tries in each half and kept the Seahawks scoreless.

Seconds: Fresno 7 – SEAHAWKS 44 Ref: Anderson
The Seahawk's A team was able to extract some small level of revenge in the B-game. They employed a power game with their forwards and inside backs pounded the gain line and popping through.

I want to thank the Fresno Mechanic who knew I had to get home and charged me $660 for a new alternator (plus $40 for the cab).

Arroyo Grande 7 – SANTA ROSA 40 Referee: Roberto Santiago
Wow! What a beautiful setting for rugby, and lots of it. There were under-12 and under-14 games going when I arrived at Arroyo's home pitch with U19, college, and my D2 game to follow. If you ever have a chance to head down that way I recommend going.

The sky was clear and the breeze was cool at kickoff. Early on it looked like we would end up at all zeros in the first half as Arroyo's defense held strong playing a majority of the first 25 minutes inside their 22. It was inspiring watching the boys in blue turn back wave after wave of the crimson attackers. In the end the odds took over when Santa Rosa's Alex Coursey found a hole near the 5 meter line and burst through for a try. Ten minutes later Rosa scored twice more thanks to the nimble running of Dan Powers and Jon Muchoho. Halftime saw the home team down 0-18 despite their very strong defensive efforts.

In the second half Rosa's #10 Muchoho opened the scoring with a nifty run for a converted try at 50:46. Santa Rosa scored another converted try at 69:00 before Arroyo was able to mount a fluid attack and put one over 74:00. The try was scored on a hardnosed and shifty run by an Arroyo sub wearing #2 but playing somewhere else on the field. These were to be the only points for the home side this day. Rosa added one more converted try for the final margin of victory.

Both teams played hard and played well. In the end Santa Rosa was able to put together a more coordinated attack. Thanks to both teams for an enjoyable game and to Arroyo Grande for their hospitality. Thanks also to Tom Z. for the hotel recommendation in his report a few weeks ago.

Sant-a-rroyo Bs 12 – CAL POLY SLO thirds 31 Ref: Santiago
Arroyo and Santa Rosa combined forces to take on an eager and energetic Cal Poly C side. The kids were fresh, the men were less so and it showed. With many of the Santarroyo side playing their second match of the day the pups form CPS ran off a string of scores between 1:45 and 17:44. The game was sloppy at times but generally flowed well. Santarroyo scored two tries in the second half despite a barrage of complaints from the comfortably-ahead CPS side. For clarification, falling is not a move; thus being tackled and then reaching to ground the ball over the line is not a double move. It's also not super classy to complain when you’re up by a bunch with two minutes left in a game that means nothing. Still, it was fun game and I thank both sides for giving me a second run.

MARIN REDS 17 – Mission 12 Referee: Chris Labozzetta
Overall a very well-played match. Marin stormed out to an early lead and controlled the action most of the first half. While they dominated the scoring in the first half, their mixture of a drop goal, 3 penalties and an unconverted try, only netted them 17 points. Marin led 17-5 at the break.

The second half was to see Mission step up and put very serious pressure on Marin. They narrowed the gap with a converted try to bring the score to 17-12. While there were periods of slow play (very muddy field), the last 10 minutes were all Mission as they continuously knocked at the Marin goal line to no avail. The last 5 minutes saw Mission knock on in-goal, get held up in goal and finally lose a ball at full time to seal the game for Marin, who held on in desperation in those waning moments. As always a great game for the referee as all 80 minutes were crucial.

BTW, the game could have ended one play earlier had Ye Olde Grizzled Prop Mike Comstock, not tried to kick the ball out of bounds. His ugly attempt hit his winger which caused a knock on and gave Mission one final go, which was the lost ball in-goal. An almost grave mistake, but not on this day. Never let props do the kicking!

VACAVILLE 26 – Vallejo 8 Referee: Craig Lusiani
Referee Coach: Matt Eason
Location: Jepson Middle School – Vacaville

A very hard fought match from the opening kickoff through the final whistle. Vallejo had brilliant individual breaks but had problems in support which told the ultimate tale in terms of the final score.

In the first half, the hard hitting and sure tackling through the first 20 minutes set up what could have been a very close game into the second half. Penalty kicks were exchanged back and forth resulting in a score of Vacaville 6 - Vallejo 3 with less than ten minutes to go.

As the first half clock was running down, the offside winger for Vacaville came across took a pass from the fullback and, with a very well-placed pop kick, was able to put the ball up and over the last line of defense for Vallejo, outrunning the Vallejo fullback to the ball resulting in a try which, with the executed conversion, resulted in a half-time score of: Vacaville 13 - Vallejo 3

Vallejo came back strong with a try of their own midway through the second half but the team play of Vacaville proved too much for the well-intentioned individual efforts of Vallejo resulting in the final score of: Vacaville 26 - Vallejo 8.

APTOS 27 – Berkeley 12 Referee: Sandy Robertson
Aptos jumped out to an early lead with a long break down the left side. From that point the game was pretty even and early in the 2nd half the match was tied at 12. Aptos put an additional 15 points on the board in the latter stages of the game to win 27-12.

CHICO MIGHTY OAKS 20 – Humboldt Old Growth 3 Referee: Scott Wood
A beautiful sunny day to play Rugby on the hollowed rolling hills of Chico Jr High.

Humboldt defended well as Chico dominated possession. A couple forward passes kept Chico from scoring more.

We retired to the Madison Bear Garden for the social. Fiancé witnessed her first Rugby singing (initiated by Humboldt). Chico won the boatrace by a half.

FOG 37 – Shasta 17 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
Another victory for an ever-improving FOG side which put 22 points in the first half versus the sole unconverted try scored by the opponents. Shasta came back hard in the second half scoring two tries, one converted, but the FOG would not be negated and added 3 unconverted tries to their already considerable score. A nice clean but hard match, somewhat hampered by the muddy conditions.

Seconds: Fog – Shasta Referee: Eugene Baker
No report received

MENDOCINO over Petaluma by forfeit

Stanford 17 – UC DAVIS 39 Referee: Joe Leisek
Steuber Family Rugby Stadium, Stanford University
A beautiful day in Palo Alto that made me think of a lyric from the Peninsula pop band the Orange Peels: "It's the middle of March but it feels just like summer..." (Note: The editor of Hail, Pelicus wrote about that song and band in a previous issue.) The game had playoff implications for both teams, which always increases a referee's anticipation. Adjacent to Steuber Stadium, the Cardinal softball team took on Penn State, while a baseball game took place at nearby Sunken Diamond. Sports day at Stanford! One of the many great things about refereeing at Stanford is seeing the large number of softball fans who turn to watch rugby when the game is played on the north end of the field.

The first half was played at pace, with both teams showing a commitment to ball retention and backline distribution. The Aggies scored a try after only a minute or two, and the Cardinal answered back with one of their own only a few minutes later. This looked to be a barnburner.

But Davis slowly asserted themselves defensively, after missing some early tackles. Stanford tried to run, but very often found themselves running into hard contact (and not releasing the ball often enough). Davis pulled away in the first 40 minutes, going into halftime with a 22-5 lead.

In the second half, Stanford scored twice more but could not really come close to threatening the visitors. The second half featured several errors from both sides and lots of scrums. Davis scrumhalf Tyler Harrison impressed me throughout with his skill, speed, and physical play. A great day of rugby with two quality teams and coaching staffs.

Seconds: STANFORD 36 – UC Davis 17 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Steuber Field, Stanford
Weather: clear and warm, the pitch a little moist
The first half was close with Stanford scoring a converted try at 26 min in and Davis following with a try shortly thereafter at 31 min. The second saw Stanford shifting up a gear and scoring five more times with Davis only scoring twice. It was enjoyable, and well played in good spirits by both teams.

P.S: All of the parking was full at Stanford that day. You either had to park in muddy lots down by the football stadium or have a permit to park in the close lot. I pulled up and told the attendant that I was the ref for the rugby game and he said did I have a card showing that I was indeed a ref. Out comes my RugbyUSA card and he lets me through the barrier.

Nevada 0 – SAC STATE 45 Referee: Don Pattalock
Sac State scored 7 tries (one of which was a penalty try). Nevada battled hard, but just doesn't have the horses this year.

Seconds: Nevada 12 – SAC STATE 61 Referee: Bruce Anderson
On a great day for rugby, both teams played with energy and commitment and eager to run the ball from anywhere. Sac state were first to get the scoreboard moving and scored 5 tries to the single try from Reno. Half Time score was 33 - 5.

Second half did not slow down and Sac ran in a further 5 tries to one with Reno scoring a great try starting from within their own half. The end score being a deserved victory to a well coached and captained Sac State side.

Just to mention that the Sac state kicker was on form, missing only one kick out of 9.

Lovely game to Referee. Hope I can get some more in before the season ends!

ST. MARY’S 88 – Chico State 17 Referee: Bob Sproull, New England
Videographer: Bruce Carter
St. Mary’s is in the home stretch, with a bye this coming weekend and then hosting Cal to finish the season with a battle royal for first place and the number one seed into the national playoffs.

St. Mary’s #10, Brendan O’Meara, is an active and creative presence all over the field. He ghosted through broken fields repeatedly, turning the defense topsy-turvy and distributing or finishing as the occasion demanded.

Seconds: ST. MARY’S 46 – Chico State 41 Referee: Bruce Carter
This game was a lot of fun to referee, with back-and-forth action, big leads evaporating, and missed offside calls by the referee at every possible opportunity. (Well, that’s what a voice that must have been my conscience kept telling me – I could hear it equally well at every point on the pitch.)

So although I feel bad about that, I’m glad I signed on to video a Neal Novotny-look-alike exchange referee from Massachusetts on a warm and sunny day.

Both teams had two-plus sides, so we played 3 thirties with hockey-style line changes. That way, there were always fresh young legs to challenge the referee who is three times (some of) their ages. The challenge being, of course, to get inside the 22 before the try is scored.

Chico State’s #12 spent the first part of the match researching the referee’s knowledge of the Law, particularly those paragraphs the infringement of which lead to penalties. The referee passed the test to his tutor’s satisfaction, such that this fellow not only incurred no further penalties over the remaining five-sixths of the match, he demonstrated a fine ability to play within the Law by making line breaks, dishing nicely, and scoring some tries of his own.

The habitual and blatant offside which I was allowing - nay, encouraging by my inaction - obviously took away space and shut down both offenses. Otherwise this game would have played to its potential of 138 – 123.

UC Santa Cruz 8 – CALIFORNIA 85 Referee: Dave Pope
This game was played on a beautiful day on a beautiful field. Cal's freshmen and sophomores were too strong for Santa Cruz. Cal was up 61 - 0 at halftime and cruised for the win. Santa Cruz continued to play hard and were rewarded in the second half with a try and a penalty. Cal's flyhalf had a very impressive goal kicking performance. He converted 11 of 13 tries, many from the corner.

MARITIME ACADEMY 54 – Santa Clara 10 Referee: Mike King
Legend has it that the SF Giants wet down the basepaths to slow down Maury Wills when the hated L.A. Dodgers came to town. This tactic undoubtedly never entered the minds of the Keelhaulers of Cal Maritime, nor did they have any control over the mechanism, but the effect of the recent rains was to render their pitch part swamp, with some muddy patches thrown in. It may well have slowed down the excellent backfield of the visitors, but it did not seem to faze the home team.

The first part of the first half seemed to be spent sizing each other up. There was a converted try for Cal Maritime during this portion of the contest, but both sides showed both power and fitness. Unfortunately, Santa Clara lost 3 forwards to injury during this time and the dominance of Cal Maritime in the set pieces became more noticeable. Scoring at the close of the half included a penalty try award to Santa Clara and a final penalty goal by the fine kicker for Cal Maritime. Half-time score was 15-5.

Shortly after the start of the second half, Cal Maritime completed strong play in the loose with a try, followed by an onslaught of more of the same. Scoring included a pushover score, and some nice running. Santa Clara at first seemed to slow down the rush with a longer range penalty goal, but the seemingly unstoppable Keelhaulers prevailed. Well played by both sides. Final 54-10.

Cal Maritime seems to be a real legitimate contender in the D-2 playoffs this year.

SAN JOSE STATE 27 – U. of San Fran 12 Referee: Ryan Luis
Assessor: Bryan Porter
The game kicked off on time and was competitive throughout as the score would seem to show, but for the most part San Jose State dominated play and was never really in doubt of winning the game. The power, speed, and experience of the State players showed throughout every facet of the game. Were it not for some handling errors on the part of San Jose State the score line would have been much higher. San Jose State went ahead in the first half 17 to 0 with three tries and one conversion. In the second half USF showed new life and came out firing, although against many new reserve faces of San Jose State and won the second half 12 points to 10 with two tries for each and a conversion for USF. Making a final score of 27 to 12.

Santa Rosa JC 10 – HUMBOLDT STATE 39 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Under blue skies, I enjoyed the scenery on my drive to Santa Rosa since, after the recent rains, the country-side is now lush green. This was my first trip to For Pete's Sake Field, so I was also impressed by the facility, especially its no-nonsense goal-posts.

In the first half, both teams struggled to stay on their feet during the tackle/ruck transition, but Humboldt adjusted quicker and found plenty of opportunities to run the ball, scoring through their speedy, incisive backs to lead 22-0 at half. In the second half, Humboldt applied more pressure to capitalize off Santa Rosa miscues to move ahead 39-0. During the last quarter, Santa Rosa started to play more cohesively and scored two exciting team tries. In the end, Humboldt won comfortably, 3 goals, 3 tries, and 1 penalty against 2 tries by Santa Rosa JC.

SIERRA JC 68 – SF State 0 Referee: Sam Reagle
Weather: Perfect
The Wolverines seem to be getting stronger and stronger. On the opening play of the game, they spun the ball out to their winger who wasted no time turning the corner and outrunning the defense to score a try between the posts. The Gators, now wise to his speed, shut him down only to get run over from very strong runs by the centers and one forward that is noticeably bigger and stronger than everyone else. The SFS resolve was never broken though as they continued to play hard and treat the day as a learning experience.

Halftime score: 26-0. There were very few penalties and no penalty kicks attempted. The Wolverine #9 only missed one conversion all day. After the game, pizza & refreshments were served at the pitch before SFS headed back to the City.

UC DAVIS women 97 – Humboldt State 0 Referee: Ray Schwartz
IM Fields, UCD

On a brilliant, sunny day Davis and Humboldt both looked organized, though Davis had greater numbers. The game started just after 11 am, and Humboldt started missing tackles a few seconds later. Davis scored 60 unopposed in the first half. There was very little they were doing wrong, but most of all running straight ahead and passing confidently with support right nearby.

The 2nd half was a bit tighter, as Humboldt enjoyed extended possessions a few times. Oddly I considered a yellow to Davis for repeat team infringement for obstruction. I had never seen that penalty called more than once in a game before midway into the 2nd half, when Davis was guilty for a 3rd time.

I ran touch for Donal Walsh during the first half of the B Side before heading home. Humboldt had stolen a pass and scored a breakaway try!

Seconds: UC Davis – Humboldt State Referee: Donal Walsh

Chico State women – Stanford Referee: Phil Akroyd

CALIFORNIA women 27 – Nevada 5 Referee: Preston Gordon
Seconds: California 24 – NEVADA 38 Referee: Preston Gordon

Both of these games were contested mostly by the forwards. The Fog told me before the match that they pumped 3 inches of water off the pitch overnight - thanks for that - but everybody left the pitch with quite a bit of mud on them (even the wings, one of whom was covered almost head-to-toe). I don't think I was the only one who noticed that the muck smelled funny either.

There were some great tries in these 160 minutes, especially considering the condition of the playing surface. The B match was actually much more of a spectacle/contest than the A match.

UC Santa Cruz women 7 – SAC STATE 19 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Very evenly matched teams making an exciting match with playoff & a potential move up a division on the line. UCSC was ahead both at half 7-0 & then into the 2nd half 7-5, but Sac State pulled ahead on a nice breakaway try by their #11 winger who fended off a would be tackler right in front of the UCSC's 100 fans & overlook of the Monterey Bay. A third breakaway try & UCSC's failure to break through Sac State's defense & hold on to the ball in the backs gave Sac State the win.

SANTA CLARA women 85 – U. of San Fran 0 Referee: James Hinkin
Referee Coach: Pete Smith


TNT 0 – ROHNERT PARK 29 Referee: Mike King
On a bright sunny afternoon in Santa Rosa, both sides gave their all, with strong running, hard and fair tackling, and a genuine spirit for the game. Rohnert Park seemed just a bit more experienced and with a few extra subs, took advantage of some mistakes of TNT to forge 12-0 lead at half time. The teams continued their tussle covering both ends of the field, Rohnert Park also putting together some passing attacks in the backfield. Again the difference was some heady play by RP players taking advantage of what was given them, to finish out the score. Final 0-29. Excellent effort by all players throughout.

Montgomery 0 – ELSIE ALLEN 43 Ref: King
In a twilight setting under the lights at Montgomery, the hosts started strongly, showing their determination and athleticism. As time wore on, the greater discipline of Elsie Allen around the tackle and the rucks, paid dividends by allowing some overlaps that were converted into tries by the backs. Excellent kicking led to a 0-21 lead. (3 tries, 3 converted). The second half was similar, with opportunities presenting themselves to the Vikings. They came very close on several occasions to a try, but stonewall defense kept them out. Montgomery actually returned the favor by stopping the Lobos short of the goal several times. Unfortunately for the Vikings, some long attacks led to 4 more tries. Final 0 – 43

JV: Montgomery 5 – ELSIE ALLEN 12 Ref: King
What started evenly, ended fairly evenly as some newer players to the game got their opportunity to wear their Club’s colors in a contest. They acquitted themselves well, by playing hard, giving their best on the field, and hopefully learning some from their mistakes on the field.

JESUIT 79 – 0 Cordova Lancers Referee: Phil Akroyd
(Jesuit 13T, 7C)

After reffing on the second wettest and muddiest pitch that I have been on, last week (Jesuit High field), I returned to the wettest and muddiest pitch I have ever seen, on Friday (Jesuit High field). The week long rain had not been kind to the field, and there were occasions that I believed I would lose my boots in the ankle-deep mud.

After resolving a kit clash before the game of red on red, the Lancers took the field in their brand new black National Guard shirts and gave them a baptism of mud, making them even blacker than they were.

The game was lost in the three-quarters and out wide as Lancers seemed incapable of dealing with the fast moving backs of Jesuit. Lancers also had trouble with fielding kicks deep into their 22 – maybe a lack of size and experience in defense. Jesuit rotated in some second string players in the second half and Lancers looked more capable, only conceding 24 points in the second half. Their rebuilding phase continues while Jesuit look better at this point of the season than they did this time last year.

A 35 minute B side game was played after the A game until we lost daylight. Jesuit came out 20-0 ahead.

I had the pleasure of heading to Granite Bay on Sunday morning for a U15(?) game between Granite Bay Grizzlies and Sierra Foothills Golden Eagles. The field was really well set up (well-marked, flags, new posts, plenty of grass on the field and roped off) and was a perfect size for age-group rugby. GB has obviously spent a lot of time and money in getting this program going and I hope it continues. There was even talk of some ex-football players considering not playing football again next season as they prefer rugby. The Grizzlies won by 33 points to 5 but both teams had some promising athletes.

An U12 game was also played for two 15 minute halves with the Golden Eagles winning by 17 points to 10. Great to see these seeds being sown!

JV: Berkeley Rhinos 5 – PITS 10 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Tom Bates fields at the foot of Gilman
Clear, warm, just perfect
This was the second game of the day between these two squads (the more senior players went over to TI), and the game had two 20 min periods. PITS came out strong and scored two unconverted tries in the first half, but Berkeley held them scoreless in the second and scored their only try. It was a good "experience" game for the younger players.

Santa Rosa 15 – MARIN 48 Referee: Cary Bertolone
Redwood High School came up to Santa Rosa/Cardinal Newman for a Friday night game w/ a 7:00 PM kick-off and it was a muddy affair under the lights. Redwood had the better backs, by far, while the packs were closer in abilities. The muddy field conditions probably slowed the Marin team down a little, but they still linked up beautifully and took a 29-8 score into half time and finished the game with a 48-15 final score.

JV: Santa Rosa 17 – Marin 17 Ref: Bertolone
I also reffed the second game and Marin scored a try under the post at full time and with the 2 point conversion, tied the game 17-17.

WOODCREEK 86 – Mother Lode B 28 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Touch Judges: Mark Godfrey, Brook Reed
Woodcreek High School, Roseville, Wednesday, 3/4

My first visit to this 2nd year club and relatively new school. A beautiful all-weather, all purpose pitch surrounded by a track, stadium bleachers, and brilliant light towers. The club, led by Coach Todd McKillop is growing in the all the right directions, and is enjoying a wonderful relationship with school. Not only are the field and lights essentially free, the school will be adding rugby lines shortly to the already well-marked soccer and football pitch.

Woodcreek didn't really know what it was going to have at the onset of the season and so did not choose to move up to the Sac Valley Varsity competition. But they are ready! When I arrived at 6, Danny Kaufman was reffing the Frosh/Soph under the watchful eye of Sam Reagle. Woodcreek has no weak links, and plenty of athletes. They scored an astonishing 58 points in the first 35 minutes. Mother Lode scored all their points in a closer 2nd half.

WOODCREEK 26 – Sierra Foothills 5 Ref: Ray Schwartz
Woodcreek High, Friday 3/6

This field is a fountain of youth! The legs feel springy! I felt Woodcreek was ready to face an A Side and indeed they did well. We had a close game through the first half but Woodcreek's confidence grew as they pulled away in the second.

East Palo Alto 12 – SAN MATEO 38 Referee: Tom Zanarini

LIVE OAK 58 – Exiles 7 Referee: Chris Fisher

JV: Live Oak 15 – College Park 15 Ref: Fisher

RIO LINDA KNIGHTS 24 – Davis Blue Devils 11 Referee: Ray Schwartz
TJ (soon to be ref): Jesse Gray
Pioneer Park, Davis, Tuesday, March 10

Brilliant sunshine, tall grass, and two sides keen to do battle. Davis picked up the first points but Rio Linda led 5-3 at the half. Rio Linda proved stronger, more aggressive, and relentless. Davis, however, was always competitive. Rio Linda gave up two players to yellow cards in the 2nd half, but still pulled away in the end.

I wish I had a moment back...and had approached the post-game circle to speak up and thank, "Two Rugby Lifers," respective head coaches Steve Gray of Davis and David Bentley of Rio Linda. Then I'd thank the players, but specially note Rio Linda's Jake Wrobel for his all star play in the last two years, and wish him good luck next month in Atlanta playing for the USA U18 side, and add that I hope one brilliantly sunny day down the road Jake, and perhaps a few others young players on the day, will find themselves looking each other in the eye and smiling as "Rugby Lifers," as Steve and David can do today.

Round Up Patrons
Holding down one corner of the bar at the storied Roundup in Lafayette, Calif, are (left to right): John Cullom, Bruce Carter, Preston Gordon, George O’Neil, and New England exchange referee Bob Sproull.

Trailer would appear to be enjoying the company of referees.

George would appear to be wearing some combination of a halo and horns.

Bob would appear to be Neal Novotny.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris