Wednesday, June 03, 2009




Chris Tucker has been promoted to C1 after the weekend’s tournament at Stanford and Palo Alto High School. Congratulations to Chris.

His first appointment as a new C1 is the Mexican club championships in Mexico City and Celaya, which will be played June 13-14.

This opportunity came to us via the Texas referees, two of whom accompanied two Pelicans to Hawaii last October.

Hail, Pelitex!


George O’Neil will be flying to the Land of the Long White Cloud this week to referee until the end of August. He will be based in Christchurch.

This arose through three sources: the Referee Department of USA Rugby, where Ed Todd looks for development opportunities for deserving young referees; the USA Rugby Football Foundation, where Brian Vizard and his board support such endeavors; and the board of directors of the NCRRS which is helping with the airfare, treating this as an ‘exchange’ that will benefit our teams and players for years to come.

Go ahead: envy him. You won’t be the first.


Super League final:
SF/GOLDEN GATE 23 – Life 13
Golden Gate, an original Super League team, has brought home USA rugby’s top trophy.

After Saturday’s game concluded at the high school Grizzly Shield in Palo Alto, several dozen aficionados of the one true sport converged on Characters in the Santa Clara Marriott to watch a game on ESPN Classic. At the same time, we are told, likewise the faithful gathered at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island.

All were rewarded with a well-played and hotly-contested match, excellently whistled by Chris Henshall with former Pelican Tom Coburn as one of the ARs.

Although Life were taken unawares and thoroughly surprised by the pass Mose Timoteo gave Jason Bowden for the first try, we in NorCal have been privileged to see Mose’s zero-ball play (Gregan pass) many times these past ten years.

After that it was a game of nerves and defense. Volney Rouse showed how a first-class halfback kicks the ball and not twenty-four hours later many were wondering why he hadn’t been playing elsewhere on the weekend.

With a minute left the score was 13-13. If all you previously knew was that Gate won by ten, now you know you missed a cliff-hanger game with a free-fall finish.

Division Two Championships:
EAST PALO ALTO 39 - Indianapolis 11
EAST PALO ALTO 46 – Albuquerque 22

Three years in existence, the first two playing in the third division, Rob Holder’s EPA Razorbacks have ascended to the heights as National Champions.

You will notice these weren’t close. Those of us who were fortunate enough to referee EPA this season were not surprised – they crushed folks.

Congratulations to our Northern California champions, SFGG, EPA and Jesuit.

This was the first year in a while that the national playoffs were regionalized. The setup this year guaranteed that all semi-finals would feature a team from the East or the Midwest.

Guess what? Every one of them lost, some by huge margins. For the thirty-five years that your writer has been in this game, the best rugby’s been in the West and the Pacific Coast/SoCal. That’s not changing.


PACIFIC COAST 30 – Midwest 0
PACIFIC COAST 36 – Northeast 5

Two more games that weren’t close against teams from you-know-where.

These matches were played in Little Rock, Arkansas. The final was refereed by Pete Smith, who along with a number of the players of the Pacific Coast and the College All-Americans represented NorCal.


How long will we wait until the Eagles defeat one of the Five Nations/Tri-Nations?

After an hors-sellout crowd watched the USA miss 12 points of make-able penalties, yield one try on a touch kick that wasn’t and another try on a dropped pass right to a stationary player, we might feel we will wait forever. The team seems to be jinxed.

We’ve seen games where it looked the home-countries ref was favoring the home-countries team over a second-tier side, but that wasn’t the case Sunday. All those penalty chances aren’t given lightly in a Test match.

But hope springs eternal. If you can find a place with ESPN Classic (which is a LOT easier than finding a place with ESPN-U) then sit yourself down at 11 AM this Saturday to cheer for the Eagles to finally do it against Wales!


“Welcome to the IRB Laws of Rugby Union web site. On this site, you can read the Laws, watch video examples and animations to build your understanding of how the Laws are applied on the field of play, and take a self-test exam to check your knowledge.”


Eight teams competed for the Grizzly Shield in Palo Alto this past weekend. We believe Utah won the U19 division.

The games on Saturday were well-played for the most part, with the surprise team being the Wanderers, who were assembled mostly from Peninsula players to provide an eighth team.

The event was refereed by C2 referees, all of whom acquitted themselves well.

Thanks to those who did fine duty as ARs and to Ray Schwartz for carrying the organizational ball on this, as so many other, youth events.

Chris White and Co
Greg Garner, Chris White and Eric Rauscher pose with a facsimile of one of our friends at Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey.

Greg, of the RFU, will be staying on to referee the Churchill Cup, then flying home to get married before departing on a four-week round-the-world honeymoon. Chris has the summer off.

The rest of us probably don’t: SEVENS beckons.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris