Tuesday, March 16, 2010




Greg Lundell has been promoted to L2 on the basis of several recent games.

Congratulations, Greg. You are on your way.


If you are one of the thirty-plus who have confirmed for dinner, please respond to Bjorn Stumer with your choice of dinner: bstumer@comcast.net

1. STUFFED CHICKEN with bacon, onion and Gouda cheese. Covered in a mushroom au jus. Served with mash
2. NEW YORK STEAK with asparagus
3. TIGER PRAWNS, onion, bacon and cilantro in a garlic white wine butter sauce served over pasta
4. FRIED POLENTA with seasonal veggies and house marinara

All entrees come with house salad and dessert.

Appetizers will be provided beforehand.


Penelope Pelicus was by my side, the Pelicanmobile gassed and packed, playlists queued, with memories in the making on a sunny mid-March Saturday morning.

Our grandson was off at camp – a rare free weekend together for a couple on their second mutual marriage anticipating a second courtship.

We met thirty years ago this September, but are still always on the lookout for the time to keep our relationship current. Plans serve, as do surprises.

Such is the intoxication of togetherness that we left five hours before kickoff for a game two hours away. This allowed for a brief tour of King City, where I work two days a week, and a stop at another of the jewels of the California Missions.

The Mission San Miguel Arcangel was closed due to damage caused by the killer San Simeon quake of Christmas 2003. These straits stimulated a fund-raising drive which was seeded with insurance money paid by Lloyd’s of London and led, six years later, to the re-opening of what must have looked like the orbiting hotel in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey to the native Californians.

In the mission gift shop we learned that Camp Roberts, where the California National Guard trains, has a museum of military vehicles dating back to WWII that is open on Saturdays. Should have left seven hours before kickoff...

The game at the enviable Talley Farms pitches is recounted below. With rugby in my veins, may I stay forever young.

Penelope and I then took our leave after a single plate of tri-tip, having determined to support rugby sponsors: tasting at the nearby Talley Farms vineyard, directly on your route to and from the rugby facility. Some bottles found their way into our car, liquid memories of another of our chapters of shared joy.

It was warm after the tasting, internally and externally, and especially in the car which had been sitting in the sun. So we dropped the top and proceeded back to SLO the long way, up 101 along the coast through Pismo Beach, the sun winking through the picket of palm trees to westward.

Nearly thirty years ago we stayed at the Madonna Inn on a double-date weekend with Dave and Connie Jaquint. With my wife’s birthday just passed, I surprised her with a room there again. (She thought we were coming home.)

The rugby weekend may take many forms. Increasing the pair-bond is one of the most exemplary of the species.

And so to Sunday.

Forget the equinox: Spring has sprung. Last Tuesday’s rains were likely the last until after Halloween. A bumper crop of rain fell on the Golden State this season but that doesn’t really matter because we don’t need rain. We need snow in the Sierra – that’s where the water for forty million people, their agriculture and industry comes from.

An inch of rain along the coast and in the valleys equates to a foot or more of snow in our alpine reservoir. What delights skiers melts soon enough, fills the waterways, storage and transport systems, and delights kayakers and white-water rafters in the process.

The drive ascending the La Cuesta Grade, through San Luis Obispo’s County’s horse country, into Monterey County and following the Salinas River to the sea was enchanted by the awakening of the Earth, the blossoms, sprouts and tendrils yearning in their heliotropism, the colors of the pastel rainbow set against the earth tones of Terra Firma, the fecundity of life and love.


Our guests arrived Wednesday evening. Two of them made it to our society meeting at the Golden Gate clubhouse while one missed the trans-Atlantic flight and caught up four hours later. That brings us to Thursday:

SF/Wine Country Tour March 11
By Preston Gordon:
This is a brief recap of yesterday's 15+ hour odyssey... it was a pretty awesome time, and it was cool hanging out with everyone that could make it during the trip.

Our visitors seemed very entertained and happy. They were certainly well looked after by all Pelicans and honorary Pelicans on the day. Richard, Cary's friend and the owner of Pedroncelli winery in Geyserville, deserves our gratitude for taking the time to give us the ultimate insider's tour of his family's establishment (not to mention the 33% discount on all the wine we bought).


JPG Reveille @ 0645
Pick up SUV @ 0815
Drop Catherine off @ 0825

JPG in Millbrae @ 0845, picked up Keith & George at Frank's office
Back to Nob Hill @ 0930
- Met Eric/Del & Dave, coming from Berkeley
- Saw Nob Hill's (in)famous March Christmas tree
- Egg sandwiches on sourdough from Le Beau
Met Tom @ 1000, coming from Mill Valley
- Walk down Hyde St (Lombard, Bay views, etc) to Aquatic Park @ [pic]
- Walk through waterfront to Pier 39 & sea lions
- Walk to Mason St cable car @ [pic], take it back to Fairmont @ 1150
Dave departed
- Coffee at Caffe Cento
- Fairmont & Nob Hill tour, then walk back to car @ 1220
Golden Gate Bridge & Hendrik Point (Marin Headlands) @ [pic]
Pit stop for gas off 101 in Marin @ [ask TZ]
Healdsburg @ 1405 (Russian River drive-by)
- Look around the plaza
- Taqueria El Sombrero off the plaza for pollo asado/al pastor/carne asada tacos
& a round of cervezas de Modelo
- Met up with JPG's Mom over lunch
Drove to Pedroncelli Winery (101/Alexander Valley drive-by)
- Met up with Cary Bertolone
- Barrel tasting (2008 Sangiovese)
- Tour of the winery by Richard (owner) @ [pic]
- Tasting room @ 1545
- Bought a bunch of wine
Dry Creek General Store @ ~1600
- Look around
- Round of beers with Richard, Cary, and his old teammate who popped in.
We departed, leaving Cary, in order to see another winery before closing time
(Dry Creek Rd & Westside Rd/Dry Creek Valley drive-by)
Hop Kiln Winery @ 1640
- Wine & Mustard tasting room @ [pic]
- Bought a bunch of wine
- Depart 1720
- Russian River Valley drive-by
Pelican Inn @ ~1900
- Met Bruce Bernstein & Tina
- Round of beers
Back to Mill Valley for dinner at Piazza D'Angelo
- Met up with Colleen
- Wine/dinner/comped dessert for 8 (BB had 6 delicious custard-filled beignets)
Dinner finished @ [ask TZ/ER/BB]
Last round of beers at the 2 AM Club @ ~2200
BB/Tina & Eric/Del departed @ ~2220
JPG/Keith/George departed @ ~2230 - Tom stayed a bit longer
Back to Frank's in Atherton
- 45 minute delay for 101 accident in Burlingame
- Dropped off Keith & George at Frank's house just after midnight

JPG back to SF
- Gas on Howard & 9th @ 1235
- Home & in bed @ 0100

Total distance driven by JPG with guests: ~225 miles

Friday we believe that they were shown around San Francisco by Bruce Bernstein, and then they had high school games in the evening.

Saturday they refereed games in Sacramento and then spent the evening and night hosted by Kat and Ray.

Then to the high Sierra Sunday, and this report from Don Pattalock came in Monday morning:

“Just an update, everyone had a blast tubing on the summit yesterday. They proceeded to the River Ranch to drink beer and see a snow carving competition. Ulibarri convinced them to skinny dip in Tahoe. Even walked out on a snow covered pier to jump in. Dinner with steaks and lots of beers until late. Today it’s off to a local ranch for some horse and gun play.”

No telling what they did today (Tuesday). But tomorrow morning they’ll be shuttled back down to Saccamenna and thence to Yosemite.

You’ll have to come to our banquet Saturday evening just to catch up!

And be asking yourself: would I like to go to the East Midlands this September and receive such hospitality myself?


OLYMPIC CLUB 24 – Sac Capitals 19 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Austin (OC, Former PITS); Mike Dopson/________ (Sacramento)
Evaluator: Mike Malone

The match was played on the Gaelic Athletic Association's field. Due to a communication breakdown, the field markings were a couple weeks old and the faded sidelines posed a potential problem (especially when no ARs are present). While faint touch lines were visible, they were "enhanced" with saucer cones on the intersections (e.g., midfield, 10 m, 22, etc).

Olympic Club is at the top of the standings whereas Sacramento Capitals are near the lower end. Apparently nobody told either team that. The visitors were on fire producing intense pressure on defense, forcing turnovers and capitalizing (no pun intended) off Olympic Club's mistakes. One of the Capitals' tries was scored off a floating Olympic Club pass that was easily intercepted. Both teams worked the length of the field back and forth until halftime where the visitors led 14-11.

The Olympic Club, fresh off a reading of the riot act, opened the second half up by scoring a try to give them the lead 16-14. Undeterred, the Capitals continued to move the ball around, mostly east-west, until their backs got it wide enough to race down the side. Down 19-16, Olympic Club put its forwards to work. Repeated infringements by the Capitals put them in a dangerous area. With five minutes remaining, the Capitals lost a man to the bin. Olympic Club found touch and, from a 5-meter lineout, formed a maul that pushed over for a grounding and a try to take the lead 21-19. Play resumed with Olympic Club again attacking downfield and finding itself with a penalty goal attempt at full time. Victory was theirs by a mere margin and for the first time this season Olympic Club found itself at the end of a match without a bonus point.

Sacramento nominated Rikus Pretorius as Olympic Club's man-of-the-match. Olympic Club put forth Joe Schmitt as Sacramento's man-of-the-match.

I would like to thank Mike Malone for taking time to critique my refereeing and to Ray Lehner and Ben Parker for their insight.

Seconds: OLYMPIC CLUB 41 – Sac Capitals 5 Referee: Greg Lundell
Referee Coach: Dave Williamson

SAC LIONS 47 – Reno 17 Referee: George Shield
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Seconds: Sac Lions – Reno Referee: James Hinkin
Referee Coach: Keith McLean
Not played, and no-one was told ahead of time.

James drove 300 miles and Keith McLean flew eight thousand to watch a ref who didn’t ref.

EAST PALO ALTO 35 – Barbarians 15 Referee: Rich Anderson
ARs: Sandy Robertson, Pete Smith
Evaluator: Dixon Smith
EPA pulled away from the Barbarians after a 10-all intermission using the wide field to their advantage. The EPA backs proved quicker on this day, scoring 4 tries in the second half, three of which were scored in the left hand corner of the try zone.

Special thanks to my ARs, Sandy Robertson (hanging around for his Third match of the afternoon) and Pete Smith (performing in his fourth match of the weekend). Their assistance was appreciated with dealing with our Trapezoid Field. Also, a hand to Dixon Smith, for giving up part of his weekend to watch.

Santa Rosa 21 – DIABLO GAELS 26 Referee: Mike Gadoua
First Half: SR 0 v. DG 5
2nd Half: SR 21 v. DG 21

Wow - Great Rugby! I enjoyed two different games compressed into 80 minutes. While it appeared in the first half that both teams presented a lackluster appearance on the pitch, Diablo managed to gain a single try despite racking up more penalties usually learned in Rugby 101. Rosa’s failure to score from a penalty kick seemed to be the tip of the iceberg as potential tries were lost due to a breakdown in the backs’ hand-eye coordination while moving inside the Diablo’s 22. The half ended with a yellow card given to the Diablo fullback for foul play. However, Diablo came close to scoring in the remaining seconds. The half seemed dominated by the Gaels at set pieces who had a taller and heavier pack and their backs were larger as well. However, the Rosa captain kept his team intact and appeared to do better when the ball made it out to the elusive backs. Generally speaking, the play demonstrated by both teams was slightly more elevated than being comatose.

The teams recharged during the half. It appeared that Coach Petty gave Rosa a half-time pep talk. Rosa backs connected and even linked up with forwards to score three converted tries in this half. Diablo picked up their game, scoring their own 21 points. And different from the first half, both teams played a dynamic, physical, and exceptionally assertive Rugby. The caliber of play was ratcheted up by both teams and Diablo’s five point lead proved the deciding factor at the whistle.

FRESNO 111 – Vallejo 0 Referee: John Pohlman
A strong Fresno team hosted a rebuilding Vallejo side at the regional park in Fresno. Vallejo had a few players and game jerseys lost in the Fresno area so we kicked off at 1:30.

Fresno has three players from the New Zealand Universities side which played Golden Gate earlier in the year. These players filled the skilled positions of 8, 9 and 10.

The ability of the Kiwi three to spread the ball wide against a Vallejo team fielding 13 led to 10 first half trys.

Some Fresno substitutions slowed the scoring to 7 trys in the second half.

Chico 22 – SEAHAWKS 31 Referee: Joe Androvich
Way back in 2005, my VERY FIRST NorCal assignment (if I remember correctly) was for a San Jose Seahawks seconds' match. I have not refereed another one of San Jose's matches until this weekend. It was sunny but windy afternoon. Chico came out strong and looked as if they were going to dominate the match, but a second half surge by the San Jose proved too much for Chico.

Stanislaus 12 – SFGG 22 Referee: Sam Davis
It was a windy day in Turlock great field sunny day but if you sat the ball on the ground the wind would move the ball like a tumbleweed. This was a good D2 match up SFGG were deep with players being away Harlots had the home turf. SFGG drew first blood at the 36 min mark with a nice pass to the wing that had the overlap who touched it down in the corner. Kick was no good due to the wind blowing it off course. SFGG scored again with the half ending SFGG 12- Harlots-0

At the 32 min mark Harlots held up in goal I awarded a five meter scrum. SFGG back line off sides at the scrum so I awarded a penalty try. The kick was good score 12-6 At the 20 min mark Harlots score again and the game is now tied. SFGG came back with a score at the 12 min mark and 3 min mark sealing the Harlots fate. Great game played by both clubs.

Arroyo Grande 40 – VACAVILLE 46 Referee: Bruce Carter
We've all taken a wrong turn in navigating life's thruways, but going north instead of south on 101 won't get you to Arroyo Grande in time for a 1 PM kickoff.

So it was that thirteen Vacavillians kicked off to fifteen Arroyo Grandees. Playing with eight forwards and five backs, they elected to keep the ball in tight and thereby scored a try three minutes in. It was a lead they would hold for 75 minutes.

Despairing of the arrival of the late car, Coach Chris Motes suited up and joined the action after not having played for a number of years. He must have been saving up his good plays.

One: a well-timed insertion into the line to break free and score from about fifty meters. Two: a perfectly-timed intercept that would have led to a score but for a wiley gopher that popped to make a tackle. Three: a no-look inside pass to big, crashing Vacaville #3 who was big and crashing all day with two emphatic tries to show for it.

This last try gave Vacaville a thirteen-point lead with little more than ten minutes remaining.

This is when the game got exciting, and not simply due to the aroma of the tri-tip wafting across the pitch. Arroyo Grande scored and converted to make it feasible that they would come back.

Down 33-39 with two minutes left, a long break by Tommy Hayes with follow-up by Captain Mike Draper led to a pass to a player whose name I neglected to get. He was wrapped up in goal and spun around, dropping the ball which he then fell on for a try.

Some of the Vacaville players were despondent apparently to lose in such a fashion and accusing the referee of less-than-encyclopedic knowledge of the Laws. But there are two kinds of people it’s best not to start an argument with: those with whistles and those who buy ink by the barrel.

When a player in-goal is spun 180˚, drops the ball and then has to dive back towards the goal line to ground it, it didn’t go forward.

However, this is but Moot Court: Vacaville scored a centered and converted try from the restart, having been ahead on the scoreboard for 76 minutes and behind for almost exactly one.

The pitch-side tri-tip, beans, garlic bread, salad and salsa were perfect.

NorCal Triple Threat 5 – ALL BLUES 56 Referee: John Coppinger
At Pleasant Valley HS in Chico on a flat, gopher free, full-sized and freshly mowed pitch, All-Blues and NCTT went at it in a fully spirited, but good spirited, friendly match with the All Blues scoring consistently against the game, but slower, NCTT team in a 56-5 All Blues win. NCTT battled hard to score a well-deserved late try.

East Palo Alto U23, 12 – FOG 23 Referee: Sandy Robertson
Fog took it to EPA right from the start, controlling the early scrums, getting good ball to a couple of centers who barreled through EPA' s backline for an early try. EPA began to turn the tide just before half and got to within a point early in the second stanza, but Fog struck again with a penalty and a converted try to put some distance between the two clubs.

Shasta – Diablo U23 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

Humboldt Old Growth 10 – SAN BRUNO SAINTS 50 Referee: Roberto Santiago
Don’t you love match reports that open with long descriptions of the drive to the field? Good. I hear the drive from Berkeley to Humboldt is really pretty. I wouldn’t know since I did most of it in the dark. What I can say is that at night in the rain and fog it can be pretty harrowing. I pretty much thought I was going to die at certain points. In addition I had to struggle with the “Santiago Two-Hour Event Horizon”, which is a seldom seen physical phenomenon. I was tooling along slightly ahead of schedule at a pretty decent 70 MPH when the sign said I was 140 miles out. “Cool I’ll be there in two hours.” Twenty miles later as the rain picked up and the sky grew dark I was slowed to a steady 60 MPH. “OK, I’ll be there in two hours.” As the way grew curvy twenty miles later I was reduced to a white knuckle 50 MPH. “Huh, I’ll be there in two hours.” Twenty more miles, down to one lane, “Hhhhh, I’ll be there in two hours.” Twenty miles farther down the road, as I crested Mount Crumpet through the pea soup fog at just under 30 MPH, I found that I was just two hours away from my destination. A quick mental calculation indicated that at this rate my car would break down five miles from my hotel.

Lucky for me the fog broke, the road widened and I was able to break through the Two Hour Event Horizon and cruise into the hotel around 10:00pm.

The rest of the trip was much more pleasant. The sun broke through and gave us perfect rugby conditions. The air was crisp, the sun was warm, and the field was soft. It seems Humboldt is trying to give Marin a run for worst field in DIII but absent an in-goal that slopes gently into a light standard Marin still holds the crown.

San Bruno was there in force with around twenty-five players warmed up and ready to go. Humboldt trickled in partly due to a mix up about the start time. By 1:30 they had 15 and more showed up as the game progressed.

The Saints scored early getting the ball out to the backs and watching their big strong #13 break four tackles on his way to a try at 2:07. This woke up some of the late arriving Humboldt players who realized we were past the warm ups. Humboldt held for another thirteen minutes before the San Bruno #9 took a ball off the line out, through the remnants of the line out, and in for the score. Led by some nifty surgical kicking from their big #10 (it looked as if one of the props ate the regular #10 before the game and had to take his position, or perhaps it was the other way around) the Saints took chunks of territory scoring again at 22:17, 29:35, 35:19, and 39:03 converting all but one of them. To their credit Humboldt never hung their heads and kept up positive chatter among the ranks. They were losing, but they were competing, playing hard, and having fun.

The second half opened with another quick San Bruno try at 42:00. Humboldt got on the board at 58:00 by going hands down the back line from about 7 meters out. The quick passing paid off as the outside center found a little hole and carried a few would-be tacklers over the line. This came in the middle of a 33 minute defensive stand by Humboldt who improved their tackling, counter attacking off the kick and avoided penalties. As had been the case the whole game both teams dialed the intensity way up, and then when it seemed it might boil over, backed off and let things simmer. This kind of fire coupled with a sense of sportsmanship and respect made this one of the most enjoyable games I’ve had this year. San Bruno put one more over at 73:00 and Humboldt answered with just on a minute left.

Then it was off to the party. Humboldt’s hospitality knew no bounds and I wanted for nothing for the rest of the afternoon. As it turns out there were a couple players left from when I went on an epic trip to Humboldt as a player for the Old Gaels back around 1997. When I told the story of someone biting me on the top of my head during that game they all came up with the same name of who it must have been. (Cheers to the head-biting guy!) I had great conversations with members of both teams and got a rare “three cheers for the ref” when it was time for me to leave the pub. That last bit got me all energized for the six-hour drive home. Thanks to both teams and good luck to the Saints as I figure they’re going to the playoffs.

MARIN 40 – Mendocino 7 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Beautiful day in Marin City, except for the cornfield of a pitch. I think the grass is taller than the field is wide. At any rate, we started a tad late to wait for the Marin coach's arrival. Mendocino had no problem with this so we kicked off at a little after 2pm. Marin had the benefit of experience in this match but Mendocino should be commended for looking like a solid rugby team in their first year.

REDWOOD 41 – Aptos 19 Referee: Mike King
With a full day’s schedule in Santa Rosa, this match was played at an auxiliary field at For Pete’s Sake. Redwood was ready for bear and came out firing on all cylinders. They seemed dominant in loose play and took some lineout ball, but Aptos countered with short lines to maintain possession. There were a few Aptos forays into Redwood territory leading to a late first half score, but most of the opening stanza was pressure by the home side. 22-7 at Half.

It seemed like more of the same in the second half, with Aptos stopping most of the relentless attacks of the hosts, but a few drives led to 3 more tries, and 2 conversions. Aptos was not done, however, and mounted attacks off a penalty and a long burst and run, that finished the scoring. Beautiful end to a beautiful day.

Sacramento State 15 – ST. MARY’S 33 Referee: Del Stevens
AR: Eric Rauscher

Seconds: SAC STATE 20 – St Mary’s 15 Referee: Eric Rauscher
I had done a game between these two three weeks previous at St Mary’s. Before the game the two captains (Donny and Colby) and I joked about it being the second half. As I was headed over to the sidelines after the coin toss thinking I had 5 min or so, Donny said "Can we go ahead and start?"

Colby agreed and we were off. At the first kick into touch I remembered why I was headed to the sideline before the game. I usually have the captains give away the touch flags, but since we had an early start, I had failed to do so. Imagine my surprise when no flag went up with the kick. Short pause and quick run to get flags. Game back on. It was a really fun game.

By this time in the season both teams have a pretty high skill level and play was open and fast. The first half score was tied 5/5 and I hoped not to have to re-pay Del for his score on the previous night (see Santa Rosa/ Elsie Allen).

The second half was also close, but Sacramento was able to save me the drink. Both teams played in good, friendly spirit and with about 5/6 minuets left in the game at a scrum-reset, I heard someone say "Can we have 40 more minutes?"

UC DAVIS 34 – Stanford 7 Referee: Chris Tucker
AR: Cary Bertolone
Also in attendance: Dr. Walsh
A playoff-bound UC Davis team comfortably beat Stanford on a windy yet sunny day in Davis. This in spite of losing their starting prop to a red card early in the game after a dangerous tackle in defence of his goal line. In spite of this it was all one way in the first half, as the UCD scrum held up well and the team work rate rose to compensate. One other unfortunate chap left the game with a dislocated kneecap just before the half -- happily half of the faculty of the Med School seemed to be in attendance, and an orthopedic surgeon popped it back in and he walked off under his own steam.

The second half was more of the same, although the strong wind helped Stanford improve their territorial position. Finally a line break gave the visitors a consolation try at the end of the game, but overall it was a pretty one-sided affair. The seconds match was closer, but Stanford ran out of props and they had to go to uncontested scrums. So another team finished with a man down. Definitely a law change I approve of.

Seconds: UC DAVIS 29 – Stanford 12 Referee: Cary Bertolone
At Davis, beautiful, sunny, dry day of rugby. TJ the first side game for Chris Tucker as Davis won convincingly. Same with the second side game. Davis had a large advantage in the scrums and lineouts and took a 24-0 halftime lead. Things evened up in the second half, in some ways, as Stanford scored two tries, but the final score was indicative, 29-12. It was great to see my old teammate, Chris O'Brien, one of the coaches of Stanford, as well as the Meeson boys of Davis, sons of my other old teammate, Dave Meeson (whom most everyone around the bay area can say the same).

Chico State 12 – CALIFORNIA 97 Referee: Preston Gordon
After putting in ~275 miles behind the wheel on Thursday, I figured I would be a bit less than enthusiastic about driving to Chico and back on Saturday. But when the alarm went off I jumped right up, picked up the car, and was on the road out of San Francisco before 0900. Unfortunately, I was obliged to stop and sign up for a contribution to the CHP benevolent fund a few miles south of Orland (Note: I heard from a couple of people in Chico that they've been cracking down in that area lately). Even after that, I arrived at the field with more than enough time to loosen up and get the paperwork out of the way.

The game was a bit one-sided, not helped by 20 Chico State players apparently MIA due to Spring Break. Here's a good write-up of the match:


The only thing I would add to that, aside from Cal's dominance all over the field: the Wildcats put 2 good tries on the Bears. They both came off of lineouts: the first at 50' from a peeling move towards the touchline, and the second at 62' after an attacking ruck right on the goal line. Chico State caught the Cal defense napping by grounding the ball right on the line, from less than 6 inches away. This second try was converted, and Chico State was indeed able to take advantage of a 60' yellow card to Cal for a dangerous tackle.

Seconds: Chico State 3 – CALIFORNIA 72 Ref: Gordon

I did the B game too, which with 30' halves was pretty much a repeat performance of the A game, although not quite the same blowout. I figured I had had enough for one day when I heard myself say "maul" followed shortly by "hands off" in the last few minutes of this game.

Thanks to the 2 gentlemen from each side for running touch - all 4 of you did a good job. After the games I stopped in to the Madison Bear Garden, where the Chico men's club was hosting San Jose, for a bite and a pint (thanks Mitch). On the way home I took the back roads as far as I could, and then breezed into the city around 2100 with no traffic to speak of. All in all, it was a pretty good day of rugby.

USF – UC Santa Cruz Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Referee Coach: Jake Rubin

SANTA ROSA JC 34 – Fresno State 5 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
For Pete's Sake Field mushy but nice turf. SRJC was much better in every phase using teamwork & experience to dominate. Their tight head prop got the ball in the loose & set up his backs.

Somehow Fresno State managed to finally score a try in the second half after 2 very close held up in goals & SRJC only scored once in the second half with one knock on as they tried touching down--making for a more exciting half.

Jake Rubin was my ref coach & gave me some good feedback at a cool English pub in old town Santa Rosa.

(I was luckily able to ref this match, thanks to Pete once my assigned match USF-UCSF was canceled, after about 5 field changes due to the rain & approx. 10 phone calls on Friday.)

San Jose State 13 – SIERRA JC 27 Referee: Stephen Moore
Very competitive first half. Home side San Jose started with a try. Sierra somewhat disheveled in the beginning with late arrivals got their act together finally and responded with a converted try. San Jose took charge once more scoring off a penalty to put them a point in front. A tight contest for the rest of the half until Sierra scored just before half time. The second half remained tight in the beginning with Sierra scoring first. San Jose responded with same. From here on it was all Sierra though, San Jose ran out of gas, Sierra scored three more tries.

Seconds: San Jose State 7 – SIERRA JC 12 Ref: Moore
Game time was constrained by a field scheduling error to two 15 minute halves. A spirited short contest well played by San Jose but dominated by Sierra. A funny incident kinda.. the Sierra fly-half makes a break for the goal line just outside San Jose’s 22. Uncontested the player slows down close to the goal line ready to score, one of his team mates comes screaming up behind him in support. Generously the fly-half passes the ball to his mate to let him score. The ball is caught cleanly the carrier runs over the line and with ample time to place it down, believe it or not, fumbles it – knock on!

CAL MARITIME ACADEMY 34 – Humboldt State 3 Referee: Rod Chance
Assessor: Bryan Porter

Nevada 10 –SANTA CLARA 39 Referee: Craig Lusiani

Nevada women 23 – SACRAMENTO STATE 26 Referee: Pat Loo
Close match and hard fought. Final score reflects how evenly matched the teams were.

Humboldt St. women – USF CANCELED

San Jose State – UC Santa Cruz


Monday, March 8:
Bishop O’Dowd 10 – LAMORINDA 43 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Bishop O’Dowd is starting both a boys and girls team this year and is having "friendlies" with local teams on Monday nights.

It is a synth turf football field with all that that entails, plus a low fence on one side which drops over an embankment to a busy street below. Kicks to touch on that side are just an automatic 20-yards-marched-off-with-no-kick for obvious reasons. The first half was a close 10/10 tied game, but a combination of fitness and skill allowed Lamo to pile on 33 pts in the second half. Under Ray Lehner's coaching they should however be a better team next year and am looking forward to seeing their progress.


Santa Rosa (Newman) 12 – Elsie Allen 12 Referee: Del Stevens EMRRS
ARs: Mike King, Eric Rauscher
Was able to introduce Del to the fine Pelican tradition of tied games.

JV: Santa Rosa 5 – ELSIE ALLEN 14 Referee: Eric Rauscher
At least the rain had let up. After a whirl-wind tour (in car) with Bruce Bernstein of SF, Del and I headed up to Santa Rosa to do a night game.

The pitch reminded me of the old pitch at Saint Mary’s. Boots could leave the feet stuck in the mud and there were patches of standing water on the touch lines several inches deep. The game was pretty much a match between a larger and more physical team (Santa Rosa) that went for mauls whenever they could against a smaller but more skilled in the back line team. In the end Elsie Allen won, but it was an enjoyable game to do with both teams in it till the last whistle.

Montgomery – MARIN Referee: Dave Ellis
Montgomery hosted Marin in this Friday night high school contest held under the lights on Montgomery's field turf stadium. Marin looked the far more organized side from the start of the game, took the early lead and showed some real ability to gain chunks of yardage with a backline that was able to move the ball well through the hands and break the line with some tough runs. After a slow start, however, Montgomery picked up their intensity level and kept themselves in the game with some spirited defense and opportunistic offense. The half ended with a Montgomery try that covered most of the length of the field and tied the score at 12 apiece. Marin's organization and fitness showed through in the second half, as they took control of the game with a forward pack that began to dominate the set pieces. Two more second half tries (one converted) provided the winning margin for a well disciplined, athletic Marin squad.

RANCHO COTATE 30 – Humboldt High Schools 5 Referee: Mike King
In a prelude to the club side match, the local Sonoma County side took advantage of some moments of disorganization by the visitors to score twice in the first half and 4 more times in the second. The hosts had a distinct size advantage and used it by running up the middle to establish a phased attack, then passing out the backline,with the wings doing much of the scoring. To their credit, the visitors did not concede anything and struck paydirt themselves near the end of the contest. The defense improved as the match progressed and all seemed content that they had a full and satisfying opportunity to run.

PENINSULA GREEN 43 – Silicon Valley 12 Referee: Chris Fisher
Silicon Valley lead 5 nil at half time but fell to pieces when their half back went off injured.

East Palo Alto HS – Live Oak Referee: Sandy Robertson

LAMORINDA 22 – SF/Golden Gate 21 Referee: George O'Neil
Great game!


By Giles Wilson:
It is so nice to report that I refereed 3 games this weekend - a HS game (with one new club, Bishop O'Dowd who have great promise going forward), U 12 and U 14.

It was great, kids having fun, playing rugby and parents watching in awe.

YOUTH Rugby U12 (Sunday)

Palo Alto Seahawks 20 – Lamorinda 20 Referee: Stephen Moore
A highly spirited game tightly fought back and forth by each side for supremacy. 14 boys a side, two twenty minutes halves. Lamorinda arrived with a 30+ squad and substituted all boys on during the match. A great contest, highly spirited, well behavior spectators, coaches and parents. Nice to see such a determined and skilled bunch of kids playing for their lives.

From Joe Leisek:
Chronicle photographer Frederic Larsen captured some pelicans in a lovely shot in Sausalito.


Sunday, March 28, 9 AM until 4 PM: If you can spare a Sunday you can help a whole bunch of young ruggers finish their season on high notes.

Danville Mustang Soccer Complex
Competition in U8, U10 and U12 brackets.

Come for all or part of the day. 6 – 8 pitches going all the time.

Games are short, fun and easy to ref.

Free hot dog for all refs!

Let us know if you can help out. Your writer can attest that this is family-friendly entertainment at its best.


We visited Dublin for the Six Nations game last weekend, and went on a trip around the Guinness Storehouse, a self guided brewery tour.

Looking at the marketing over the ages, we saw that the famous Guinness Toucan, started life as a Pelican.

"A wonderful bird is the Pelican
It's beak can hold more than it's belly can
It can hold in it's beak
Enough for a week
I simply don't know
How the hell he can."

Dorothy L Sayers changed him to a toucan for a new rhyme for a new advert.

Type Guinness Pelican into google for all sorts of pelican memorabilia, including a nice badge (patch to you) suitable for a rugby jersey.

We also met up with Brian Gildea, and saw most of a game he did.
Dublin Medics v Cardiff Medics.
Cardiff won 29 -21, after trailing 17-11.

Fueling Stop
Keith McLean, George Shield, Tom Zanarini, Eric Rauscher, Del Stevens and Preston Gordon celebrate hands across the water.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris