Monday, November 30, 2009




Backwards score last week: Berkeley beat Stanislaus 15 – 7, not the other way ‘round.


This Saturday shows fifteen games on the schedule, including one in Sacramento without a referee. Let us know if there are some yams or pecan pie you need to get rid of.


GREEN 38 – White 22 Referee: Phil Akroyd
Approximately 50 former SFGG U19 group players showed up for this formal scrimmage game. The players had mixed experience, from those who had not played for five years to those currently playing in the super league team.

When the game got going, it was not obvious that there were players on the field who had not had a run for a while. The standard of play was generally very good and with solid, safe scrummaging. Coach Tony Wells’ Green team generally had the edge throughout and scored five first-half tries to the white team’s one try.

The pitch was in fantastic condition – one of the best I have seen for a long time and the players appeared to relish the dry, sunny and breezy conditions. There were some wonderful long range tries which did not help me and my currently dodgy hamstring, as well as boom-boom raids from short distances.

Players, supporters and official all enjoyed the Marty Bonney Memorial Match in which the score was irrelevant and fun and open play were most important.


This is pretty good, but there are still some names that are conspicuous by their absence from the membership rolls of the NCRRS.

Go to
Click on Registration ’09-’10 just below Welcome in the column on the left.

Take the first option: Create/Renew Individual Membership. Go from there.

Your ‘club’ is the Northern California Rugby Referee Society.

REMEMBER to print out the liability waiver. This needs to be signed and submitted in hard copy to our treasurer, Jim Crenshaw, with your $10 annual NCRRS dues.


Your writer is a busy and bookish sort who has seen maybe an average of one movie a year throughout his adult life (not counting those seen at the behest of offspring and the further begatted).

The night before Thanksgiving Penelope Pelicus said, “Netflix sent a rugby movie. Let’s have family movie night.” So it was that we sat down and watched a film that I have been determined to see for well over a year: Forever Strong.

Everyone’s a critic these days, right? Well, here goes: it’s the best rugby movie I’ve ever seen. Better even then This Sporting Life.

Every time a ref would appear on-screen Penelope would ask, “Who’s that?”

That’s Mark Ormsby! That’s Jon Moore! That’s Larry Gelwix!

“No”, she said, “Larry Gelwix is the coach of the team.”

Well, the fix must have been in because he’s seen refereeing the national championship game of this own team. Wonder who’s going to win?

Every sport has at least one misfits, castoffs and rejects-overcome-adversity-and-win-the-title-on-the-last-play flick. Now rugby has one in that genre.

In a few days rugby will have two in that genre: another rugby movie is going to be released that will probably achieve a greater presence in the public awareness than Forever Strong. A lifetime underdog hooks up with recently-reformed long shots and they win it all in overtime.

The only downer for rugby fans is that it was a game with no tries, and in terms of suspense the winning drop-goal came some time before the final whistle. Sort of like a soccer game, where the dénouement may occur before the fans are settled in their seats.

I’m wondering if anyone has mentioned to Clint Eastwood, supposedly now a rugby fan, that he’s quarter-owner of the site of the late, lamented Pebble Beach Rugby Classic. Perhaps he could put in a good word for us and get this thing going again.

And perhaps I’ll see two movies this year.

Copied from the Internet, a photo of Santa Cruz Island off Santa Barbara, courtesy of

No doubt these pelicans and cormorants are swapping fish stories.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris