Tuesday, November 17, 2009




Your reporter and scribe is on Maui this week for a medical conference. Matter of fact, just over the top of the laptop screen as these words are being typed looms the blue Pacific, the horizon framed by the islands of Molokai and Lanai.

This missive comes to you through the miracle of the Internet and triumph of discipline over dissipation.


On November 14 we are only showing two games, both at 1 PM:

Maritime Academy hosting Santa Rosa JC, referee Chris Tucker
Diablo Gaels hosting Fresno, referee Paul Bretz

If you would like to AR, please get in touch with the referee.

The following weekend is an entirely different story: eighteen games and a three-pitch tournament at Chico. Two of these games are Friday night and five of them are on Sunday.

We’ve got nine names in the hat so we need at LEAST a dozen more. Please respond with your availability!


The New York club defeated the All Blues to claim the first-ever Premier League title at Treasure Island on Sunday.

The All Blues have been the dominant team of the pre-WPL era, and are now one of the top two in the higher-level national competition.

The San Diego Surfers won the D1 title.

Referees for the weekend included Paul Bretz and Joe Androvich, as well as Dana Teagarden who has been appointed to referee France v. Canada next week.

Assistant Referees included Preston Gordon, Rod Chance, Mike King, John Coppinger, George O’Neil, Eric Rauscher, Mark Godfrey and Eugene Baker.

Bryan Porter and Kat Todd-Schwartz were on hand to gauge the referees’ performances.


MARITIME ACADEMY 17 – UC Davis 0 Referee: George O'Neil
Seconds: MARITIME ACADEMY 22 – UC Davis 7 Referee: Mike King

Stanford 19 – TRIPLE THREAT 44 Referee: John Pohlman
Stanford's Division 1 quest for the woman's rugby national championship started this weekend. The Cardinals hosted the Triple Threat in a Friday night game under the lights.

The Triple Threat coming off a top ten finish in Division one woman's rugby, where clicking on all cylinders.

Stanford playing quite a few rookies and their first A side game.

This was a fun, fast game to referee. I think it was a great one to watch.

Stanford won the coin flip and received the ball. TTT pressure created a turn over and the TTT started their clinic on how to crash and recycle through phase after phase. I blew my whistle for a knock on around 5 minutes in. This was the norm for the game with lots of ball in play and few stoppages.

The TTT's #10 scored the first two tries of the game. She was a big, smart runner hitting gaps and powerful enough to carry would be tacklers into the try zone. The TTT had numerous crashing, hard running forward and their #6 was rewarded with a late first half try. Half time score TTT 17 Stanford 0.

The score could have been out of range if not for the outstanding tackling of the Stanford forwards lead by captain and #8 Francis.

The second half was more of the same. TTT recycling the ball through forward crashes. Textbook play leading to double digit phases.

Stanford's Eagle Jessica Watkins did not get allot of ball but still managed a hat trick in the second half.

I questioned Stanford's coach on the logic of starting the season against a veteran-filled powerhouse team at the end of the season. His comment we want to set the standard.

Well if that is the standard, I'm sure we will see them in May.

Thanks for a fun, well-disciplined game.


Report by Bruce Bernstein:
The tourney and specifically the host & organizer (& person who started the Shasta team) Andreas treated us like Gods, from the Club Med-style Hotel & Spa (Giai) Friday night to the half-a-cow tri tip Preston ate.

We stopped both directions in Williams, driving at night was more scenic, the rugby was very good for pre-season; at a beautiful park on the Sacto River in Anderson (about 10 miles south or before Redding). Turns out the tourney was also to benefit/recognize Andreas's son who died in a horrific car accident a few years ago as he was about to start at SRCC.

We had 3 refs to start with Dave Ellis & Preston & me rotating on 2 fields & an old Clown & Engineer Prof & coach of OIT did a few games to spell us.

Sacto State & Chico State both had 2 very good, well coached teams; but the surprise team to us & probably everyone who played them were WOR or Western Oregon (according to my wife, a teachers college near Salem & Corvallis). Very scrappy, great defense, hardly any penalties & counter-attacked to create their offense all the time. Plus the added bonus was they had no coach to yell at me for being me.

Chico men, Mendocino, Santa Rosa JC, & the host Shasta were also there.

I'd recommend we get more refs for this real good time next year. Dude

[Editor’s Note: It’s reports like this that will enable us to ‘get’ more refs, a process which is entirely dependent on volunteers.

[For those who don’t know, NorCal refs do not receive reimbursement in terms of match fees, mileage, expenses, etc, no more than rugby players do. We get the water you give us at halftime and the respect you give us throughout the year.

[Like rugby players, we receive the immense pleasure and satisfaction of participating in the greatest game on Earth in the best RFU in the USA.]

Report by Dave Ellis:
SANTA ROSA JUNIOR COLLEGE 24 – Oregon Institute of Technology 0
OIT who, to be fair, looked tired as they were playing the second of back-to-back games, were unable to deal with SRJC’s well-disciplined power and ball-retention approach to the game. The Junior College provided most of the attacking highlights in this game, none more so than Bryce Paulson, their impressive #8 who either scored or provided the foundation for all of the SRJC tries.

One of the day’s final games saw a bare-bones Mendocino side beaten by a younger, fitter OIT squad. Mendocino fielded a relatively raw but athletically talented side with excellent size, which can be expected to improve dramatically as they gain experience. OIT’s speed and ball-handling ability came through on the day, as they attacked with vigor at every opportunity. Mendocino’s spirit never failed though, and they competed hard and fairly throughout the game.

Report by Preston Gordon:
It went very well - Bruce, Dave, me and the guy from Oregon whose name I
forget (Bruce knows him) all did games. Each game was 40 minutes (2x20). I did
5. Bruce did 4, I think. We had 2 fields and were all pretty busy the whole day.
The tournament didn't have a final or anything, but several of the college games were very fast. Western Oregon and Chico State looked to be in good form, along with SRJC and Sacramento State, and those games were pretty fast. There were also some good matchups between the men's sides and the university sides, with each of them using their strengths effectively. I'd say the highlight of my day was the Western Oregon vs Chico State game - very fast and well contested, although the scoreline was a bit one-sided. Western Oregon was bigger, faster, and able to counterattack more effectively, and won the game.

The hospitality was excellent. There must have been at least 30 huge tri-tips on the BBQ after the tournament was over, along with 2 kinds of salad, bread, and beer. Bruce and I stayed for a meal and then hit the road. The hotel was great too - very comfortable and located right off I-5 and just a mile or so from the pitches. Bruce and I took the trip and had a pit stop at Granzella's in Williams (highly recommended) on the way back. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone else.

The Chico State coach is a wonder to behold. He followed the action around the pitch so that he could hector the referee from as close as possible - whoever it was; he did it to all of us. It was pretty annoying, and he was having a go even when his side was winning the game and/or going forward. The guy from Oregon complained about it to me after his game with that team and didn't seem too happy.

There was an injury in one of my games (Shasta vs Mendocino) that prompted me to ask one of the ladies organizing the tournament to call 911. The paramedics responded within a few minutes. If you have any questions about this, please give me a call.

It was a pretty busy weekend of rugby, after AR'ing 2 games on Friday in the rain, driving 200 miles up north Friday night, refereeing 200 minutes on Saturday, driving back to SF Saturday night, and AR'ing 2 more games on Sunday.

Well worth it however!

[Editor’s Note: This exemplifies the volunteer spirit and the ensuing rewards of being a Pelican!]

SACRAMENTO STATE women 20 – U. of Oregon 0 Referee: Bruce Carter
My wife and I were staying in Lodi Friday and Saturday, being involved in Scott Wood’s wedding. With the rehearsal dinner over early Friday and the nuptials not scheduled until 6 PM, an 11 AM kickoff thirty miles away was ideal.

This was my third time working with Sac State in the past month: at Reno, UC Santa Cruz, and now on their home pitch. Their improvement is evident already, well before the season.

I apologize for not having names. The exigencies of having to prepare to officiate a wedding later in the day required my immediate departure, despite numerous invitations to attend the social.

Sac State’s #10 scored two lovely solo tries in the first half, both from first-phase ball. She ran forty meters more or less down the middle of the pitch for the first centered try and twenty meters up the left touch for the second, having broken to the weak side from a scrum.

In the second half their Captain and #9 recovered her own up-and-under to score at the right post. The game was capped by Sac State’s #12, a very dynamic runner who had a knack not for making tacklers miss but for causing them actually to bounce off, leaving a trail of would-be tacklers in her wake and scoring between the posts.

I’d like to be able to say that a stiff breeze prevented any of the conversions from being made.


Seconds: Stanford women 5 – U. OF OREGON 17 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
On a beautiful sunny November day at the pristine Stanford pitch the University of Oregon ladies, composed of A&B side players, confronted a young and inexperienced Stanford B side. The first half had Oregon written all over it, as the visitors put in three tries, one which was converted. Most of the match was played in the Stanford half, but the local ladies put up a stern defense and contained most of the damage.

The second half was altogether a scrappier affair, as many inexperienced subs were given a run. Much knocking on by both sides resulted in a large number of scrums that, however, I called uncontested for safety with 8 minutes to go. Ultimately Stanford found its pace, or Oregon tired out, as the hosts found new found vigor and kept Oregon at bay. No more score for Oregon and Stanford scored a fine pushover try on the last play of the match. Overall a great day of Rugby.

STANFORD men 31 – Santa Clara 15 Referee: James Hinkin
On a perfect spring fall day in Palo Alto the Santa Clara men traveled to Stanford for an early preseason match. With Stanford’s football team playing on Saturday the match was moved to Sunday to accommodate the tailgaters, some of whom I am sure were playing on Sunday. Ah, college.

Two well coached but rusty teams met up and were ready to go right on time and it was Santa Clara who struck first with their lively #4 chasing hard on a kick and intercepting a pass to run unmolested 60 yards to score under the posts. Stanford was able to battle back with 2 more tries in the half (one converted) to go into the break with a 5 point lead, but at that point it was anyone’s game. The sides were even and battling back and forth in a fast contest and it was great theater for the fans.

The second half saw more of the same when it came to possession and play, but Stanford was able to finish just a bit better. Santa Clara was able to score an unconverted try and a penalty kick and Stanford countered with three tries of their own with only one kick going astray. The game, in fact, ended on the lone unconverted try as some ill discipline from Santa Clara was penalized and Stanford tapped quickly to rumble in for a score. Final Score: Stanford 31 - Santa Clara 15

Seconds: STANFORD men 27 – Santa Clara 15 Referee: Chris Labozzetta


A large flock of Pelicans attended the wedding of Scott Wood and the former Danielle Vervais in Lodi, Saturday evening.

The ceremony was outdoors, under the lights, and was officiated by a Pelican with another bird perched under the lamppost to the groom’s immediate left.

The happy couple then jetted off to Maui for their honeymoon.


Imagine the honeymooners on the beach. Your editorial staff is staying about three miles up the beach from their nest and we don’t have a lens long enough to breach their privacy.


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