Friday, February 19, 2010




Please respond with your availability to referee and travel:

Travel? Yes/No
March 13
March 20
March 27


Sandy Robertson occasionally receives inquiries from HS (under 19) coaches on the Peninsula who are looking for a referee for an upcoming match. If you, on occasion, might be interested in doing one of these matches, send Sandy an email and he will alert you of teams looking for referees:

U19 Girls friendly Referees needed
By Rod Chance

I’m putting together a list of U19 Girls friendly Referees. If you are interested in helping and want to be on the list, please send back the following contact information.

Home phone:
Work phone:
Home location (town):
Best way to contact:
Are you or have you been a member of the NCRFU Referee Society: Yes/No.
If so, what is your current Grade?

Current Teams & Home Field Location
Alameda RFC - East Bay Area
Amazons - Sacramento
Berkeley - Treasure Island
Bishop O'Dowd HS - Oakland
Davis Lady Devils - Davis
Elsie Allan - Santa Rosa
Humboldt - Fortuna
Mother Lode - East Sacramento

Karen Chance
NorCal Girls U-19 Coordinator


With the excitement of the long weekend in Vegas and then with the crush of an unusually-busy work week, we haven’t written any value-added editorial material for this week’s edition of HP. Barely have time to write this…


University of Utah 22 – UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA 38 Referee: Chris Tucker
A swift red card made this a worthwhile competition, as a 15-man Utah team was able to keep up with the more skilled U Vic team who came down for some sunshine, some 7s, oh and a little rugger too. It was my second red card of the day, having already flagged one in the earlier game. Both were for dropping an opponent on his head. One day soon players will get the message that this is not OK. To their credit, both opponents apologised to their victims...

This evened up the scrum, in which U Vic had been crushing Utah in the early going. Now there was even ball on both sides, but the Canadian backs were clearly superior. Utah kept it close; within 4 with 10 minutes to go, but a couple of late tries sealed it. A last gasp Utah attempt to score from a 5m penalty failed when the kicker sliced his tap and the entire front row overran the ball. The slightest touch from a defender made the obstruction material, and that was that. Then the party started with 7s all weekend....

Wednesday, February 10
CALIFORNIA 39 – Cal Maritime Academy 3 Referee: Rich Anderson
ARs: John Coppinger, Rob Hendrickson

Nothing better mid-week than being assigned a match. It makes the work week fly by. Better yet, the match was at Cal and I was being assisted by two friends, John Coppinger and Rob Hendrickson.

Cal Started a Frosh/Soph squad that kept the attack on for 80 minutes. Maritime matched Cal's aggression early in the match, but got worn down later, allowing the Bears to put the match away in the Second half.

Thursday, Feb. 11
Seconds: CALIFORNIA women 25 – Stanford 12 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Gilman artificial turf field
Close at half only 15-12, Berkeley women pulled ahead led by their center who crashed over & by many Stanford defenders for multiple tries.


Chico State 18 – UC DAVIS 26 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Saturday morning, I fired up the old jalopy and cruised out the backroads from Woodland to Chico. This is the shortest route and is like an old friend as I started making this trip on Saturday afternoons during the summer when I was 19, but that's another story.

It brings back fond memories of what used to be along the route, what has survived the 40 plus years since and what's missing. The rice fields past Robbins are still there, but are no longer dry this time of year. Now they are full of water, so that the stubble that used to be burned every fall will now rot in the water in time for the spring plowing and planting. Colusa bypass had water in it from bank to bank thanks to the recent rains and a few ducks, geese and swans were still in attendance.

The soon-to-bloom peach, plum and walnut orchards along the George Washington Blvd. shortcut are all still there, although some are second generation, but after one makes the turn on Highway 20 to Yuba City, the new malls, big box stores and housing look plastic and out of place to me. Each generation gets its own point of reference and I miss the orchards, lack of traffic and traffic lights. Maybe we really do need another new Starbucks, Wal-Mart and Home Depot...

Chico State was hosting UC Davis and it promised to be a well contested match. Davis won the toss and elected to kick-off. Chico was very aggressive in the first half and at times pushed the envelope just a little too much resulting in a couple of not-releasing penalties and 2 Davis penalty kicks in the first 20 minutes of the match. The Chico pressure took its toll as a Davis player was caught all alone resulting in a Davis failure to release penalty in front of the posts.

Chico converted the penalty and a few minutes later scored an unconverted try to take the lead 8 to 6. Davis kicked another penalty kick, but Chico returned the favor at the end of the half the lead 11 to 9 at halftime.

Chico started the second half like the first, very aggressively, pressuring Davis for the first 10 minutes or so, but another failure to release, the resulting yellow card and the penalty kick by Davis slowed them down a bit.

With the score now 12 to 11, a little too much pent-up frustration and a punch in a ruck from a Chico prop with the resulting yellow gave Davis the opening that they needed with a converted try being the result a few minutes later.

Chico was back to full strength, but Davis now had the lead 19 to 11 and, more importantly, had gained the momentum. Davis scored another converted try late in the half to put the game away.

Chico didn't give up and scored the final converted try of the match with no time remaining to make the final score Davis 26 Chico 18.

Seconds: Chico State 21 – UC Davis 21 Referee: Cary Bertolone
After T.J. for Crenshaw and the first game, we had a spirited game with Chico State taking a 21-0 lead by half and Davis coming back to tie the game 21-21 by the end. Both teams had so many numbers, we played an additional 40 minutes for a third side game and Davis won 12-5.

Stanford 15 – Sac State 15 Referee: Roberto Santiago
AR: Rod Chance
Evaluator: Dixon Smith
Since Dixon was kind enough to come out and watch me I'll let him take the floor to start.

"This Men’s Collegiate Division 1 match was played on the Stanford practice football field as the rugby field was closed for rehabilitation. The field of play was 70m by 100m with 10m in-goals. The goal posts were on the dead-ball line. The turf was in very good condition, dry and firm. It was sunny, 65 F, with no wind, There were about 150 spectators. Roberto was assisted by AR Rod Chance and Stanford player as TJ.

“The two teams were evenly matched in skill and desire, but Sac State had a dominant scrum. At no time was one team more than five points ahead of their opponent. Stanford started strong and kept procession in Sac State territory for most of the first 20 minutes. Stanford scored first, an unconverted try at 22 minutes. Then the visitors took control and scored two tries to take a 10 to 5 half time lead."

Thanks Dixon. I'll add that the Sac State place kicker, who was a dead eye during warm ups, missed one of his conversion kicks from just about directly dead center.

The second half was more of the same. Both teams had decent attacking phases but found scores hard to come by. Stanford scored first to tie the game at 53:00. Sac State got back on top at 69:00. Lo, the sac State kicker missed another conversion from just about directly in front of the posts. This would prove important later.

Over the next ten minutes both teams got happy with kicking for territory with play continuing back and forth up and down the field. Sac State controlled the game for eight of those ten minutes. In the last two minutes of the game Stanford put Sac State under heavy pressure. The visitors seemed resolute and only had to play defense for thirty more seconds without any mental errors. This would prove important right away. With under a minute to play Stanford had possession at a ruck. It looked for all the world like Sac State was set up to turn the Cardinal back. But as the home halfback dug the ball out one of the Sac State flankers dove off his feet through the ruck and slapped scrummy's wrists. It was at the ensuing penalty that Sac decided not to defend. The Stanford 9 took the quick tap and ran it in for a score in the corner. The Stanford kicker was unable to make a very difficult conversion from just off the touch line and both teams avoided a loss.

Many thanks to both teams, both coaches, my traveling AR Rod Chance and a big thanks to Dixon for coming out and meeting with me after the game.

Seconds: Stanford – Sac State CANCELED

San Jose State 10 – NEVADA 22 Referee: Rich Anderson
What this match lacked in technique, it more than made up with attitude. Both squads continued the attack throughout the match, sometimes positively, sometimes forcing penalties. At the end of the day, Nevada-Reno's play was more sound.

San Jose State seconds 12 – SEAHAWKS OLDE BOYS (and others) 25 Ref: Anderson

SANTA ROSA JC 52 – San Francisco State 0 Referee: Joe Leisek
For Pete's Sake Field, Santa Rosa
Touch Judges: Dominic Patrick, SRJC; Jack Turner, SF State
With a deep roster featuring players with years of local high school rugby experience, Santa Rosa Junior College played with speed, strength, and confidence. The hosts scored four tries in each half, spinning the ball wide and maintaining possession well at the breakdown. SF State is enthusiastic and learning, and never gave up throughout the match. All credit to them. The SRJC backline is particularly strong this year, with flyhalf Pita Meanata directing switches and skipping players with long passes out wide. The centers are also playing well, with Austin Mount making a strong impression. In the forwards, No. 8 Bryce Paulson is a player to watch. Fun match to referee, always a pleasure to be at For Pete's Sake.

Thanks to Dom and Jack for their help throughout the match. Both were a pleasure to work with.

Sac State women 0 – STANFORD 56 Referee: Joe Androvich
Bright sunny morning. Field in excellent condition even with the recent storms. Stanford looked strong and dominated the scoreboard. Sac State has the fundamentals of a good team, but just needs more experience in division 1. Otherwise great match.


U. of San Francisco 3 – NEVADA 48 Referee: Preston Gordon
University of San Francisco 3-48 University of Nevada, Reno
Sunday, February 14th, 1300

When I first saw this assignment, it was listed as USF Women - Reno. A couple of days beforehand that was straightened out, and with Saturday's high school game, I had a pretty solid weekend of rugby. The rain held off, so the city allowed the game to proceed on the Polo Fields. However, they didn't unlock the gates until well past 1300, so some obstacle negotiation was required by everyone.

I was also surprised to find out that this was a league match - good thing I had a couple of extra copies of the match card in my bag. We got the formalities out of the way and kicked off on time.

USF was enthusiastic, and held their own in the scrums, but UNR was definitely the stronger team. Even though the Nevada guys had played San Jose State the day before (with the occasional black eye to show for it), they were faster, read the game better, and had the edge at the breakdowns. Their backline did an especially good job controlling the game and making territorial gains with ball in hand.

At halftime the score was 3-26 in favor of the visitors, who notched 4 tries and 3 conversions. It was a warm day, and even though the pitch was small (90m x 60m), we were all getting a lot of work done. Neither side backed down from the physical confrontation; there were 2 blood subs and a couple of moments where it appeared that the packs were about to exchange pleasantries after a reset scrum, but luckily they realized that might have been a bad idea with the ref watching from close by. (A general note to the backs: do not run towards one of these situations. It can only end badly, either by sanctions for being the third man in, or - probably worse - getting to grips with a forward.)

UNR kept up the pressure in the second half with 4 more tries and 1 conversion, helped by a late yellow card to one of the Dons for killing a quick-tap penalty from within 10 meters. Upon reflection, that decision may have been a bit harsh given the scoreline at that point and the 2 offenders being rookies, but then again this was a league game.

Thanks to the Nevada coach and the injured USF player for handling the touchline, and to the city's parks & rec staff for opening the gates - the obstacles would definitely have been harder to negotiate after that match.

USF women – Humboldt State CANCELED



Rio Linda 7 – DIXON 50 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: John (Rio Linda), Chris (Dixon)
Location: Rio Linda High School Football Stadium

Rio Linda hosted Dixon in a lighted stadium complete with an artificial turf lined primarily for football but also with (dark) soccer markings. I heart "new generation" turf fields. My knees are happy after the match and, if little bits of rubber stay out of my shoes, so are my feet. After serving as a buffet for mosquitoes, we got underway. Dixon capitalized off overlaps and switches to score five tries in the first half. Rio Linda fought hard but lack cohesiveness. Kudos to their captain/hooker, Johnny, for trying his best to get his team setup and into the action. A penalty by Dixon led to Rio Linda's lone try in the second period. While frustration was evident on the host's faces, they never lost discipline and battled for the entire 70 minutes.

VACAVILLE 21 – Christian Brothers 20 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
It was a very exciting match as both teams are well coached and played very well.

It was a back and forth match with CB scoring an unconverted try first followed by a converted try by Vacaville. CB answered late in the half to retake the lead with an unconverted try, making the halftime score CB 10 Vacaville 7. Vacaville started the scoring in the second half with a converted try about mid-way through the half to regain the lead 14 to 10. CB returned the favor a few minutes later to make it 15 to 14.

With about 10 minutes left Vacaville score another converted try to lead once again 21 to 15. CB scored the final try with no time left, but missed the conversion to give Vacaville a 21 to 20 win.


Elsie Allen 0 – JESUIT 43 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Dan (Elsie Allen), Pat (Jesuit)
Another day, another newgen turf field. Oh, happy me! The downside being a pig/sheep farm adjacent to the pitch from which wafted the aroma of agriculture ("where the hell are we?" Pookie asked as we neared the pitch). A relatively small host team versus built-for-speed visitors were the ingredients for this match. Jesuit was slow to get going and Elsie Allen was able to keep the score to 14-0 by halftime. Well, I say "slow" but it felt like I covered more distance in the first half of this match than in the entire full time of many matches. Upon hearing five minutes were left, one player commented, "In the first half?!?" The second half opened up for Jesuit as they found their stride on the outside running lines. By full time, both teams were gassed (well, certainly I was) as they met midfield to honor their respective best forward and back. Elsie Allen awarded the coveted "Matt Eshoo Cup" to Jesuit, promising to try their best to collect it at next year's test.

Side note and other tidbits: Apologies to leaving Bjorn before the end of his match. Pookie was unable to further continue loading her (our) lungs with the aforementioned aroma and we had a Gooch dinner to attend. The following day, I took my lovely wife on a tour. We visited the Charles M. Schultz Museum (aka "Snoopy Museum), attempted to enter Muir Woods (epic fail), had a wonderful lunch at Piazza D'Angelo in Mill Valley, walked halfway across the Golden Gate Bridge (time limited the full span), meandered through the Marin Headlands, and returned home exhausted and exhilarated.

JV: Elsie Allen 5 – JESUIT 65 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
The score pretty much says it all. The Jesuit kids were just too big, fast, and well-drilled for Elsie Allen who however, to their credit, never stopped fighting. The condition of the pitch, enthusiasm of the young players, and sportsmanship of the coaches were all just super.

Sierra Foothills 0 – JESUIT 56 Referee: Phil Akroyd
This was the first Sac Valley league game of the season and Jesuit came out looking sharp. They had the game wrapped up with 28 minutes played with their fourth try. They led by 24 to 0 and didn’t look like conceding a try.

At half-time, the Marauders were up by 34 unanswered points and they brought in their B side for the second half. This was a closer contest and the Golden Eagles only let in two tries.

JV: Bellarmine Prep School 10 – DE LA SALLE 46 Referee: Stephen Moore
A scrappy game all up with lots of discipline issues from players and side line supervisors. An inexperienced Bellarmine side versus a physically stronger De la Salle side. De la Salle discipline improved in the second half helping them move from a 5 point margin at half time (score 15-10) to add five more tries against a frustrated and depleted Bellarmine. One yellow card was given to a Bellarmine player in the first half for repeated break down infringements. In the second half a yellow card was given to a De La Salle player for same. Surprisingly the same yellow carded Bellarmine player repeated same in the second. A red card was given to him.

MONTGOMERY 14 – Santa Rosa/Cardinal Newman 7 Referee: Cary Bertolone
On Friday evening at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, we had two games between Santa Rosa/Cardinal Newman vs Montgomery. It was lightly raining, under lights with a new artificial turf surface. Lots of fun, Montgomery won the first game 14-7 and Rosa won the second game 31-5. Montgomery has some big forwards.

JV: Montgomery 5 – SANTA ROSA/CARDINAL NEWMAN 31 Ref: Bertolone

MARIN HIGHLANDERS 31 – Christian Brothers 15 Referee: Preston Gordon
This was a high school pre-season matchup that was well contested at Redwood HS in Larkspur. The score was 16-5 at the half, and was a pretty accurate representation of where the two teams stand. Although the number of tries was equal (3 each), the difference was in the goal kicking. Marin's goal kicker hit 4 penalty kicks from healthy distances, and contributed 16 of his team's points (he was the one taking the conversions too, if I recall correctly, and hit 2/3).

Of note: one of the coaches had a question before the game about U19 law variations concerning the maul. This was a surprise to me (there aren't any), and after we talked about it for a bit he told me that something was decided at the Kick-Off Tournament about mauls only being allowed to move for a meter and a half in high school rugby. I had never heard of such a thing, so I went by the book, but if such a decision was taken it would be good to spread the word.

SFGG Frosh/Soph 47 – Diablo Frosh/Soph 27 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
At Treasure Island
SFGG went up 47-0 at half & held on as Diablo similarly controlled the second half scoring 27 unanswered points with some of their explosive backs.

PLEASANTON 38 – Live Oak 22 Referee: Chris Fisher

DE LA SALLE 40 – Bellamine 22 Ref: Fisher

SILICON VALLEY 30 – Oakland Warthogs 5 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
A pretty rugby day on the Fog's TI pitch with well-coached, disciplined players. SV is the real deal- a big and fairly mobile pack, an excellent backline with a savvy standoff and speedster wing. It led 20-0 at half.

A good day for SV. But in spite of the score, this was a great day for the Warthogs-for it was the club's first official match. Initially tentative, one could see them figure it out as the game progressed; crisper hard tackles, running straight, good rucking-and their first try! Congratulations to everyone.


Good thing this doesn’t happen every day:

Report by Robbie Bellue:

It is with great sadness to announce that Slug Rugby has lost one of their own. On the evening of February 6, Ben Quaye was in an accident in Santa Cruz and died. Ben exemplified everything that is good in this world and will be missed. On and off the pitch he gave 100% in an effort to make himself and those around him better. Ben was 21 years old and is from Pasadena, Ca. The day he passed, Ben had an epic game and scored a try against Humboldt....his mom had comfort in that. As for the Slugs, we are committed to his legacy....on and off the pitch.


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