Friday, January 22, 2010




The best rugby exchange of any society in the USA has occurred biennially since 1994 on even-numbered years, and 2010 will be no exception.

The East Midlands Society will be sending four referees and (possibly) one referee coach to Pelicanland in March. Names and particulars are yet to come.

They will arrive either on Wednesday or Thursday, March 10 or 11, and depart on Monday, March 22.

The Sacramento area has a lot more home games on the second weekend, so we’ll plan on having them in the Bay Area the first part of their trip and the Sacramento area after the Yosemite hike.

Have a look at your calendar. We’ll need hosts, as many as five in each area:

Bay Area: March 10/11 through the morning of Wednesday, March 17, when they’ll need transport to Yosemite. Hosts don’t have to be hikers; we need both!

Yosemite hike: drive up Wednesday, March 17 and spend the night. Hike Thursday, then depart for Sacto.

Sacramento Area: March 18 through the morning of March 22 (unless they have an early flight and need to be back in the Bay Area that Sunday night)

Let Bjorn Stumer know if you can host.

We’ll also need folks to volunteer to plan and host side trips: wine country, SF tour, whatever you like. This means taking a day off work so you need to plan ahead.

If you’ve been overseas on exchange or you’d like to go in the future, it’s time to make a deposit in the Rugby Karma Bank. Take a day or two off and strengthen the rugby bonds that bind us all.


Aruna Ranaweera and Bryan Arciero have been appointed to the JWT in Moscow in May. Bryan, from Alberta, has refereed here several times and may be back later this season to tune-up for his Russian trip.

Aruna will be doing his first game back from August’s injury up in Humboldt this weekend.


You going to Vegas for the Sevens? Not going but on the fence? Just want to get your blood pumping after too big of a lunch?


Anyone looking for a roommate in Vegas, or someone to share a car with? We’ve got one who needs another.


Only about half our membership has responded with February availability. Can’t make a schedule with so few refs, and we’d like to get February 6 published soon so our travelers can make their plans. PLEASE LET US KNOW.

Please format your response as follows (cut and paste as needed). We need travel refs to the destinations listed below, sometimes two or three in the same city the same weekend.

Have a look. If you’d like to plan a weekend around one of these destinations for a particular weekend, let us know.

Available? Y/N Able to travel? Y/N

Feb. 6 ____ _____
Feb. 13 ____ _____

Feb. 20 ____ _____

Feb. 27 ____ _____
Mar. 6 ____ _____

Away games on tap:

February 6: Reno, Humboldt, Redding
Feb. 13: Two games in Chico, everything else Sac/Bay Area
Feb. 20: Fresno, Arroyo Grande, Humboldt, Reno
Feb. 27: Redding, Fresno, Humboldt, Reno
March 6: Fresno, Humboldt, Arroyo Grande, Mendocino

Report by Mike Malone:

History on a local scale was made this past Sunday when Mike Malone and Matt Eason delivered a Level 1 Officiating course to 49 students, 33 of whom were under age 19. On relatively short notice and on the promise of dozens, if not scores, of students, the Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society was asked to deliver the course on behalf of the Bay Conference, affiliated with the Northern California chapter of Rugby California, a state-based youth rugby organization. The Bay Conference, made up of 13 boy’s high school and youth teams, plans to use these 33 young referees, all but one currently high school players, officiating their Conference’s U14 and U12 matches. Ably assisting Mike and Matt deliver the course were David Williamson, Giles Wilson, Paul Bretz, and Gordon Preston. The history on a local scale; this was the largest number of students ever to have been taught in one course in Northern California; on the national level, it was two students shy of tying the national record set two years ago in Eastern Penn. That one youth who is not a high school student? Well, it was not because he has graduated from high school. In fact, he has not yet entered high school. The boy, Liam Bretz, is 11.


CALIFORNIA MARITIME 17 – Sierra JC 5 Referee: Ryan Luis
Maritime never trailed and always looked more dominate in the match, though Sierra did have a strong forward pack which was able to get the better of Maritime early on.

Seconds: Cal Maritime 0 – SIERRA JC 24 Referee: George O’Neil

Saturday, January 16
San Mateo 8 – OLYMPIC CLUB 39 Referee: Joe Leisek
Assistant Referee: Matt Heafey
Aragon High School, San Mateo

The score does not completely reflect Olympic Club's dominance in this match. The visitors were much more experienced and organized up front and in the backline. They had far more possession and territory. At times the visitors were stunning, with strong mauling, backline speed and organization, and excellent communication. No. 8 Kort Schubert scored two tries, while captain and flanker Andrew Armstrong scored one of his own and played a very strong game. San Mateo's relative inexperience at this level of play was apparent. That being said, the club is very well organized, well-stocked with youth and athleticism, and will only improve to become a force in the league. Thanks to Matt for his help.

RENO 39 – East Palo Alto 32 Referee: Don Pattalock
AR’s: C. Lusiani, K. Hudson (S. Lau @45)

This was one great match. Both teams play a similar style of rugby; straight ahead and never backing down. The first half was all EPA, all possession, all pressure and all the points. It was a classic one sided affair with Reno struggling to gain possession and defending virtually the entire half. Reno did get one try against the run of play with a stolen ball in a tackle that went 70m the other way. Off an EPA error, Reno was awarded a 5m scrum. The first put-in was contested and ultimately came out the channel. On the reset, Reno feed the scrum and was appropriately sanctioned for feeding. One of the spectators then commented loudly that he hadn’t seen a feeding call since 1948. The half ended with another EPA converted try at 29-7.

The second half started with EPA pushing deep into Reno’s end and scoring a penalty. From there, Reno went through a metamorphosis and started to play dominating rugby. Minor mistakes by EPA, like kick-offs directly into touch (2), fed the Reno attack that was relentless for the last 30 minutes of the game. Reno scored 5 trys, converted 2 and kicked one penalty to win the match 39-32. Quite a game. Both teams exhibited great sportsmanship and played extremely hard.

Seconds: Reno 10 – EAST PALO ALTO 22 Referee: Craig Lusiani
A time-shortened match due to similar personnel planning in both the aside and beside matches.

The first half was played cleanly and equally with half time score of 5 to 5.

The second half had the Zephyrs competing well in set pieces but suffering from a lack of speed. The Razorbacks used their speed to move the ball wide and produce several long runs resulting in tries under the posts.

Sac Lions 8 – BARBARIANS 14 Referee: Scott Wood
ARs: Tony Latu, Russ Wilkening
Location: Burbank HS, Sacramento
Weather: No mercury rising today

What a fun, exciting time this is. No rain, a relatively firm pitch, ropes up, paint down, and proper posts in place. Burbank High was buzzing with excitement as the teams warmed up. Family and friends on both sides of the ball and whistle greeted each other. Several players from the newly-formed McClatchy HS (coached by some of the Lions' players) were in the crowd of approximately 50 to 75 (it's not easy to estimate crowd size while waiting for a scrum to form).

The teams approached the match with enthusiasm at the breakdown but appeared wary of trying anything creative. It seemed like the match moved in fits and spurts with a series of scrums and the occasional penalty. The Barbarians had one opportunity for a penalty goal disallowed because the kicker took (much) longer than one minute to take the kick. The referee even stated (twice) that he should kick. Both teams scored penalty goals before the Barbarians cut into the right corner to score a try (unconverted). We went into halftime with the visitors leading 8-3.

The game opened up in the second half as the teams were more dynamic in their attacks. The Lions went down a player for a dangerous tackle but the Barbarians only came away with a penalty goal. In the waning minutes of the match, the Barbarians were leading 14-3. Sacramento managed to move to within 22 meters and a couple of silly penalties for offside gave them the opportunity to have a lineout five meters from goal. A swift move to midfield and a quick pass back to the right gave them the opportunity needed to score a try (unconverted). The ensuing kickoff was the play of the match as both teams knocked on the ball. Barbarians eked out a victory 14-8.

Congratulations to both sides for a fun, well disciplined match. While the Barbarians came away victorious, the Lions fared really well and are commended for their tenacity.

Many thanks to Russ Wilkening for driving down from Reno and to Tony Latu (after being "volunteered" by Vivian Latu) for being Assistant Referees.

Seconds: Sac Lions 7 – BARBARIANS 15 Referee: Russ Wilkening
The Barbarians traveled with extras, but the home team struggled to find a B side so most of the A's played again. Two 20 minutes periods were agreed upon.

The Barbarians were the fresher of the two sides and it showed as they threw long passes into space which found runners coming on at pace. The Lions defended with some big tackles, but they could not keep their defensive line intact and some Fijian Sevens style rugby by the visitors made them pay for it. Two unconverted tries made for a halftime score of 10-0.

It was more of the same to start the second half and the Barbarians went up 15-0 with a centered try left unconverted. This seemed to lift the Lions spirits and they began to attack with far more vigor. They played a more smash-and-go style of rugby all game and they began to make larger advances and showed more energy as the game clock began to wind down.

Passing up three chances from penalties to kick for the corner and use their dominant lineout, they chose to tap and go each time, finally scoring a well-deserved try as time expired, which was slotted for a score of 15-7 at full time.

Or so I thought...they wanted to play some more! The Barbarians wanted more; the ref saw the Lions circling up, many bent over in exhaustion and said that was it. The Barbarians continued to plead for more time and some of the Lions began to warm to the idea. They talked their brothers into "just five more minutes' and we were off again! The players left it all out there for that last five (really nine) minutes and while both sides came close, they could not score again.

It was a day of really excellent spirits, two contrasting styles of play and good, clean, fast and hard hitting rugby.

Thanks to Scott Wood who stuck around to watch the first half and offering some sound advice before having to leave for a family engagement.

SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 38 – Chico 3 Referee: George O’Neil

Seconds: Sac Caps – Chico Referee: ???

Seahawks 12 – BARACUS 15 Referee: Roberto Santiago
San Jose came out very strong early on but couldn’t turn their backline play into points. Lost ball stemming from knock-ons and forward passes stymied the Seahawk line. Open field running seemed to be a particular challenge for the home team as they had no problems when going into contact. Preseason rust lay thick on the grass like manna. Penalties were meted out to both sides in the first half for high tackles and diving over at the breakdowns. Yet despite the sloppy play the home side found themselves up 5-0 at the half thanks to a try just behind the right post.

I should note that Baracus was playing at a bit of a disadvantage in the first half due to having forgotten their jerseys. I can only assume that their sartorial motley-ness was responsible for their lackluster play in the first half because with their kits having arrived at half time they came out for the second session like gangbusters. A couple of big plays got Baracus out in front.

First came a long run down the left sideline resulting in a try. Baracus extended their led to 5-15 with a penalty at 59:00 and a converted try at 70:00. With that it looked like Baracus might pull away but San Jose put one over the line just one minute later. But the story of the day was the Seahawks inability to turn field position and strong running into points. With just a couple minutes left they had the ball and were on the attack, and that’s how the match ended with the home team in possession but ending the game on mishandled ball.

As with many games there was a bit of grumbling from players about this call and that call, which is normal. But I’d like to take this space to clear one misconception I’ve encountered more than couple times over the years. Rugby players of America, by and large your referees do not get paid. In fact it is overwhelmingly the opposite. Like you, dear players, we also pay club dues and CIPP fees. The vast majority of your referees not only volunteer but they drive for hours, take time off work, ignore family, friends, and chores all to help make your match official. The result is almost always a net loss when it comes to money. So before you open your mouth and spew out an ignorant comment like “We pay to play and you’re getting paid” remember these simple guidelines:

-Unless you’re getting paid to play your ref isn’t getting paid to ref
-Unless the league you play in starts with the word “Super” your ref isn’t getting paid. (And I don’t know if those guys get paid either) [Editor’s note from long experience: no, they don’t]
-Unless you have a country’s name front of your jersey rather than the name of a local bar your ref isn’t getting paid

So you see, we’re all kicking a little bit of bucks up the chain for the privilege of running around on Saturdays. Now that we have that cleared up let’s remember that we all have the same goal, a good game of rugby. The ref isn’t against you. The ref is for you. The ref wants you to do well. Thank you.

[Editor’s Further Note: we can’t BELIEVE that NorCal teams think NorCal refs get paid. We’ve never been paid. And we don’t receive expenses. That ref you had in Redding, or Arcata, or Fresno, or Arroyo Grande or Reno – he paid for his gas, his bridge tolls, his meals and his hotel room if he stayed the night. And his speeding ticket if memory serves. No mileage. No stipend. No fees. No money at all. Got it? The ref who does your children’s soccer or softball matches makes more in one game involving eight-year-olds than we do in our entire careers.]

Seconds: Seahawks – Baracus

D2 pre-season friendly:
SANTA ROSA 54 – Vacaville 17 Referee: Mike King
This friendly pre-season was hard-fought with the home side showing a bit more organization and cohesion. Vacaville has unfortunately been kept off training fields thus far, which probably accounted for some of the rustiness. The game was divided into 4 quarters to allow maximum opportunity to both sides to substitute and try combinations. Both sides look ready to roll into the season. Special thanks to Tom Zanarini for staying after he completed the end of the Elsie Allen 10 a sides Tourney, while I traveled back from the JC v Santa Cruz 2ds and for Cary Bertolone for covering the 2d half of that 2ds match.

EPA RAZORBACKS U23, 31 – San Bruno Saints 24 Referee: John Pohlman
Two of the top Division three teams in the county met this past weekend. A very physical, fast and clean game welcomed me back to refereeing for 2010. I had not done a competitive 15's game since last April. I hoped I had the speed and management to give this game justice. Fortunately for me, two well coached and disciplined teams showed up Saturday.

EPA was hosting the new San Bruno team. Two mostly Polynesian teams, separated by 20 miles or so. Before and after the game it was great to see the friendship and community the players and fans presented. On to the game!

The game started fast, both teams making strong tackles and forcing a few handling errors. Other than the handling errors both teams looked to be in mid-season form.

EPA scored first. They were led by Captain Vaea Sanft, who dotted down a converted try 9 minutes in. The Saints answered back four minutes later with a converted try. First tie of the game. EPA answered back with an unconverted try. Followed by an unconverted try by the Saints. With two minutes left in the half, the Saints were camped on the EPA try line. The Saints had a pick and drive to the side line. I was not able to see the grounding of the ball. Thus a five meter scrum. The Saints scored off the scrum to go ahead at half time 17-12. And take me off the hook for not giving an iffy score.

Everyone regrouped and I refueled for an expected fast and furious finish.

EPA scored in the first five minutes to tie the game for the third time. The Saints score a converted try 5 minutes later. EPA 17-Siants 24. The game was back and forth for the next ten minutes with EPA finally able to tie the game again with a converted try with 15 minutes left.

At the 70th minute I got my first semi-dangerous tackle, with a shoulder charge. A stern warning and discussion on how great a game we had and how unfortunate it would be to give any advantage by sending someone off.

The last ten minutes was a clean whirlwind. EPA scored a converted try with six minutes left to take their first led since 9 minutes in. The Saints controlled most possession but the EPA defense held.

Final EPA Razorbacks 31 San Bruno Saints 24.

Thanks for a great game. You can go a whole season without being involved in a game with this competitive intensity. If they stay healthy, these may be the D-3 teams to beat this year.

MARIN 39 – Humboldt 5 Referee: John Coppinger
Rugby stars aligned last Saturday, as I was able to handle the Piedmont/Marin Highlander U19 match on the field turf of Redwood High in Larkspur at 11 in the morning and the Humboldt/Marin club match in Marin City at 1:30 that afternoon.

Piedmont traveled to Marin for a pre-season friendly. Both sides bloodied (probably a poor choice of a word given that a Piedmont player in either the JV or Frosh/Soph match split his head open and required a number of stitches before I arrived) a lot of new and younger players and the 31-19 score in favor of Piedmont probably shouldn't be taken as an indication of anything. It was 26-12 in favor of Piedmont at the half. Piedmont has a number of impressive players, including Jesse Milne at flyhalf, Travis Moscone at hooker, and Captain/#8 Carl Hendrickson. Milne is a junior and Moscone and Hendrickson I am told are Cal bound. Hendrickson has a reasonably prominent father in local rugby refereeing circles, whose name I can't recall. Marin was smaller than Piedmont, but more aggressive in the loose and were ably led by their impressive captain/hooker, whose name I unfortunately failed to note. Both teams showed discipline and accepted direction well and I wish them good luck in the upcoming season.

As soon as the Piedmont/Highlanders match ended, I left Larkspur and headed south for the short drive to Marin City. I remember when the Marin field first opened. It was a fine pitch. Years of Marin County budget problems and higher priorities have left the pitch a lumpy mix of different green weeds. There might be something a gardener might call grass mixed in with the weeds, but only an agronomist could say for sure. The pitch was loose and slippery after the small rain the Bay Area received a week ago Tuesday and the east side of the pitch was protected by a moat where the road is usually found. By the time the currently forecasted two weeks of rain passes, I will shudder to imagine the state of the pitch. A word to the wise: strap your boots to your feet and a floatation device may be advised.

Marin had 30 players; Humboldt had 16, including 2 who showed up 2 minutes before kickoff. Marin came out aggressively and organized led by their coach/captain Jed, a South African (and who is also the coach of the Marin Highlanders), at flyhalf who marshaled an attack that varied and always looked to run. Marin ran out to a 17-0 lead at half time and scored 22 more in the second half while Humboldt battled to the end and was able to score late to make the final 39-5. A good match played in good spirit by good guys. A fitting end to a good day of rugby.

BERKELEY 27 – Aptos 15 Referee: Henni Strydom
The match was played in ideal conditions, with a well marked playing surface. Aptos took control of the first half scoring 17 points (penalty, 2 tries, one conversation) without any BRFC response.

The second half saw BRFC claw back into the game scoring 5 tries (including a penalty try) and a conversion.

Aptos played a man down in the last minutes of the game due to foul play.

NOTE: I had to ask 2 Aptos players to remove a toe stud from their boots prior to the start of the game.

BERKELEY II 50 – FogAptoCinos XV 0 Ref: Strydom

FOG 53 – Mendocino 10 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
The Fog hosted Mendocino at TI with a 2:30 kickoff. Mendocino had sufficient numbers so they could actually substitute which seems like a big improvement over the early Saturday morning phone calls of yesteryear saying they only had 10 who would be showing up but they still wanted to play. The game was closer than the score would indicate, although the Fog seemed to consistently get to the breakdown earlier and with more numbers. Their back line play was very good as well, and they were able to get the ball out wide for large gains. The play of the match was a perfectly executed grubber kick by the Mendocino captain past the winger, which he then scooped up on the run and scored their first try in the second half (and getting the wind knocked out of himself in the process of diving in for the try).

Redwood – Shasta Referee: Cary Bertolone
No report received.

CHICO STATE 23 – Sac State 15 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
AR: Ron DeCausemaker

Seconds: Chico State – SAC STATE Referee: Dave Ellis
Suffering from a combination of holiday excess followed by a couple of weeks of serious hacking and coughing, I was looking forward to a run to help open my lungs up, and it worked well. After enjoying running touch for a hard fought and very entertaining 1st side game, I got the B side game underway.

Both sides seemed to be an equal mix of some experience and a lot of raw enthusiasm, the main difference between them being the size of the Sac State pack. Sac State used this advantage well, and were able to keep Chico State on the back foot as they multi-phased their way down the field to four tries. Chico State responded with spirit, willing to counter attack wide when the opportunity arose, scoring a try of their own in each half. Thanks to Jim Crenshaw for his sage post game critique on my performance, definitely food for thought on the drive home.

Silicon Valley – St. Mary's thirds Referee: Rod Chance

Stanford 31 – ST. MARY’S 38 Referee: Phil Akroyd
ARs: Preston Gordon, Bruce Carter
Evaluator: Mike Malone

According to the American Rugby News website, St. Mary’s head coach Tim O’Brien said of the game: “An awful display of college rugby is what I witnessed Saturday at Stanford. A lack of technical skill and tactical competence was the theme of the day.”

If that was the case, then I must like bad rugby. The game produced ten tries, of which half were converted, along with three field goals. Due the sheer amount of action, it felt like the whole game lasted about 20 minutes.

St. Mary’s showed the try scoring flare in the first-half, putting in three tries and converting two, while the home team kept in touch by kicking penalties, due to a series of not releasing infractions and midfield offside by the visitors.

At half-time, it was tied up at 19 each.

The open and fast play continued in the second half, and both teams had their share of possession and attacking opportunities. Stanford appeared to have trouble converting their pressure into points as they were throwing the ball from one side of the pitch to the other, along the opposition 22 meter line. They did manage to break through after ten minutes were played in the second half and actually took the lead for the first time in the match with a converted try. However, it was shortly after that St Mary’s tied it up at 26, with only seventeen minutes left in the game, and it was still tied with nine minutes left.

The Gaels scrum half put in a couple of cheeky little chips into the Stanford in-goal and the probing paid off when the home defense let a ball bounce which was pounced on by a St Mary’s back. They fired into a two-try lead with two minutes left, but Stanford was not done yet. The Cardinal gained good field position from the restart and managed to get the ball out to a football convert on the wing who broke a couple of tackles to score in the corner.

Time ran out for Stanford, but from my point of view, the entertainment value was immense. Thanks to Bruce and Preston for spotting the things from the sidelines that I missed and to Mike Malone for the feedback.

Seconds: Stanford 14 – ST. MARY’S 39 Referee: Preston Gordon
ARs: Rod Chance, Eric Rauscher/Phil Akroyd
An interesting game of rugby: there were lots of line breaks, 9 tries, and 3 balls held up over the line. Unfortunately there were also 5 yellow cards and 1 red. Stanford went from 15 men to 12 between the 35th and 37th minutes - 2 yellows followed by the red for repeated dangerous tackles right after being warned about that - but scored both of their tries while down 3 players. St. Mary's took it in the end though, finishing at 39-14.

Thanks to Rod, Eric, and Phil - it was great to use the radios too.

SANTA ROSA JC 15 – UC Santa Cruz 10 Referee: Mike King
A high-intensity affair played to the final whistle by both sides. Hard hitting, good rucking and counter-rucking, decent ball movement on a fairly firm pitch with some drizzle. The JC went up 10-0 on 2 tries in the first half, including a maul from a lineout. The second half saw swings of momentum - Santa Cruz scoring a converted try with the Santa Rosa following shortly after on a score off an attacking movement and penalty. Santa Cruz later converted 1 of 3 difficult penalty kicks to draw close, but not enough to prevail. Great start to the season.

Humboldt State 7 – SANTA CLARA 14 Referee: Sam Davis
This was to be a different weekend than the last time I refereed Humboldt vs Santa Clara in Humboldt. The last time it was a one-day trip on my Harley which everyone reminded me of when I saw on the field Saturday. My honey and I took off on Friday afternoon arrived at a cute bed in breakfast that night goofed around Saturday morning and then arrived at the field. After the game a shower, a massage a nice dinner good wine and a slow drive back on Sunday through the Avenue of the Giants. If you have the chance I would recommend the trip.

An hour before game time both teams were warming up and ready to play. Humboldt with a few veterans and a number of new faces. Santa Clara with a seasoned group many who I remembered in the High School games. The field is one of the worst to play on but we get to play rain or shine. The Loggers have been working hard to improve the field their efforts were evident and appreciated. Both teams were moving the ball up and down the field and for the first 20 min no one crossed the goal line. Santa Clara scored first on a great extra effort by the backs spreading the defense. Humboldt came back hard and with 7 min left in the half Santa Clara off sides provided a penalty try for Humboldt. The 2nd half was as fast paced as the first Santa Clara crossed the goal line twice: both times the Loggers did not allow the touch-down. They pushed Santa Clara back across the halfway mark and started their own attack. Santa Clara came back with a multiphase play that put it over the goal line and touched it down. Time ran out with Santa Clara ahead 14-7. It was a great game and both teams should be very proud of their performance.

Santa Clara women 15 – UC SANTA CRUZ 47 Referee: Rich Anderson
This match was a bit closer than the score indicated on the field, with UCSC stealing three SCUT passes for tries. Santa Cruz, though, came with superior numbers (I think I checked 122 pairs of SLUG boots pre-match) and kept the pressure on throughout the match.

ELSIE ALLEN 10s TOURNAMENT Referee: Tom Zanarini
This was a scrimmage type, round-robin with one team leaving after every 10 minutes, no scores kept.

STANFORD 21 – Western Washington U 0 Referee: Eric Rauscher
WWU amazed me. A Div 2 team with no coach drives from near Canada to play in the tourney and plays very well. They were not able to handle Stanford’s backs, but did surprisingly well otherwise.

UCD 34 – UC Los Angeles 0 Ref: Rauscher
Davis is very proficient at setting their rucks about a meter beyond the ball and were able to win breakdowns again and again. Very good work by the forwards. Davis also had very good communication among their players allowing them to play a co-coordinated attack.

U. of OREGON 17 – Nevada 0 Ref: Rauscher
Oregon was another team that displayed excellent ball control by placing their rucks well.

CALIFORNIA 10 – Univ of Oregon 0 Ref: Rauscher
ARs: Ben Bravo, Bruce Carter
This was a pretty even match in which Cal ended up on the winning side. UO played well but were not able to put points on the board.

3rd place match: CALIFORNIA 15 – UCD 5 Ref: Rauscher
ARs: John Pohlman, Mike King
This was the second time I had each of these two teams. It was a very well played, close and hard fought game marred only by injuries. The game was back and forth and side to side. A pleasure to ref. My thanks to John Pohlman and Mike King for acting as ARs for me in this match.

John Pohlman’s Sunday:
Sunday I was off to do a 9:30AM game at Stanford. Eric Rauscher and I were to referee a game and then drive up to Treasure Island to help with a Refereeing class. My game was a between Reno and Colorado. Reno controlled the game and won 28 to 5.

After the game I was notified I was not needed at Treasure Island. Yeah, I'd rather referee than teach.

COLORADO UNIVERSITY 25 – UC Davis 5 Referee: John Pohlman
I got to call one of the semis. This was UC Davis versus Colorado. I didn't think Colorado would make the semis due to their loss to Reno. I was informed Colorado had already qualified and played some reserves for the Reno game.

When I was talking to the UC Davis captain she stated their coaches had left due to family commitments. They said they would probably sub most of their players 20 minutes in, and were coaching themselves.

The real Colorado team showed up. They controlled the game and won 25-5, led by tournament MVP and Captain Loren Daley.

STANFORD 5 – California 5 (overtime; 5 – 5 in regulation)
ARs: Eric Rauscher, Rich Anderson

I had spent much of the weekend video-coaching the other refs, offering advice and focusing on reducing the penalty count. The semi-final I assigned myself turned out to be a Cal-Stanford matchup, always a treat in any sport.

The teams seemed evenly matched in the early going, which proved a reliable trend. Both had very active back row scrummagers and fleet-footed outside backs.

This game was an absolute joy to referee. Play was productive and the occasional ill-considered notion proved amenable to a timely word: “Six, No!” and so forth.

Cameo Motley, Berkeley’s left winger and tournament MVP- Back, lit off down the touchline in the early going and scored a lovely try after eluding the rarely-eluded Jess Watkins, who misjudged her opponent’s pace and took an unproductive angle.

It looked like this might hold: Stanford had a period of pressure towards the end that led to a knock-on an inch from paydirt, but then Watkins, playing scrumhalf, evened the count.

Time ran out with a mutual common score. The referee nevertheless felt good about a penalty count of FOUR. Read it and weep, refs.

To the organizers’ credit, knowing that Stanford would advance on the tie-breaking criterion of total point differential for the weekend, they informed me that we should play five minutes of sudden-death.

Alas, my penalty count increased by 50% and no-one found any points under the rugby ball.

Thanks, ladies. You made this AARP-eligible fellow the fan with the best seat in the house.

Stanford – COLORADO UNIVERSITY Referee: Rich Anderson
ARs: Ben Bravo, Eric Rauscher
Videographer: Bruce Carter

Finishing up my weekend of Women's College Rugby (1 match and a friendly on Saturday; plus a spirited Stanford v UC Santa Barbara contest earlier Sunday), was the 3:20 Final of Stanford v Colorado. Colorado's pack dominated the proceedings, with their No #4 Daley (who was later named the tournament MVP) continually gaining ground pounding the ball into the Stanford pack, and more importantly, kicking and chasing the ball downfield.

Colorado won the match and the tournament. It looks like it will be a very competitive season in the Women's D1 season.

Special thanks to: Young Ben, who took time from the NFL Playoffs to run touch (Years from now we will all be saying we knew him when); Rob Hendrickson and Bruce Carter for being kind enough to officiate over tied matches; And Mike King, Eric Rauscher, and John Pohlman for 'KeyStone-Kopping' it around the pitch during the match, looking for Bruce's $500 radio, which yours truly lost at the 3 min mark (and also helping with the AR-ing)

Bruce stopped his video to look for the radio himself, since it could not be found, but assured me that this short bit of film will be sent to the IRB for training purposes. The radio was safely lodged under the fence at the back of the North Try Zone, apparently having been thrown there by a player, and was returned to its rightful owner.

The referees who worked the tournament were: Richard McGrath, visiting from Australia, Eric Rauscher, Rod Chance, Sandy Robertson.

MOTHERLODE 36 – Live Oak 10 Referee: Chris Fisher
B sides: BELLERMANE 26 – Live Oak 5 Ref: Fisher


Yet another new camera lets us down…


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris