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