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