Tuesday, March 23, 2010




Bruce Bernstein has earned promotion to L2 with the games he’s done over the past few months. This was announced last Wednesday night at a special joint session of the Tour Committee and the Party Committee, which was held in the bar at the Yosemite Lodge.

Formalities were observed.

Congratulations to Bruce!


We have only a small handful of games to assign on April 3. We will, however, need ARs and #4s for Pacific Coast college playoffs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The only way to guarantee that you will be refereeing that weekend is to raise your hand for the Humboldt U19 hosting Rohnert Park/Windsor.


Otherwise, let us know if you’d like to work one of these Pacific Coast college playoff events. Each event features two games each of the days listed. Obviously, we need some Friday volunteers.

Friday and Saturday:

Women’s D1 at UC Davis – games at 2 and 4 PM each day
UC Davis, California, Stanford and BYU

Men’s D1 at St. Mary’s – games at 1 and 3 PM each day
St. Mary’s, UO, Chico State, UC Davis

Saturday and Sunday:

Men’s D2 at the California Maritime Academy – times not known at present
Maritime Academy, Western Oregon, Sierra JC, Utah champ


There are a lot of budding ruggers who would appreciate your expertise, and none of them will question your calls:

Danville Mustang Soccer Complex, 9 AM until 4 PM
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. Let us know if you can help out.


From Phil Ulibarri:
Tuesday: 9am: Two Cessnas flew the gentlemen over Portola, Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Virginia City, Pyramid Lake, and back to the Reno/Stead Airport, site of the Reno Championship Air Races where we were treated to an overview of that great event by lovely Valerie the public relations officer.

Then onto a quick lunch and three guest passes to the Health and Fitness Club to earn credit for 6 or 7 rounds of beer at the Great Basin Brewery.
Wednesday had them back in Sacto by 9:15.

Think they had a good time. Del won $200 on the slots.

Wednesday our visitors were conveyed from Sacramento to Yosemite by Bruce Bernstein, where Bruce Carter met them with some bicycles for a self-guided and -propelled valley floor tour.

This led inevitably to thirst and a desire for the assembling flock to get to know each other better. Joining the EMRRS crew, Del Stevens, George Shield and Keith McLean, were the two Bruces, Ron DeCausemaker, Eric Rauscher and Chris Tucker.

Dinner at the Yosemite Lodge somehow led back into the bar where Bruce Bernstein’s promotion celebrated. An early closing at 11 PM elicited no complaints because of a 6:30 breakfast-for-trailhead-by-7:30.

Lunch reservations had been made at the top of Nevada Falls via the John Muir Trail, about five miles in and 2500 feet up, through significant snow and ice on the switchbacks. Four hours was not a bad time in the conditions.

Nothing would have been a bad time in the conditions: the weather was perfect. No clouds, no wind, temperatures in the sixties in the sunshine. Hikers who brought five layers of clothing set out wearing only two and never regretted it.

Surrounded by fast-melting, pristine snow a foot or more deep, a shirtsleeve lunch atop a polished granite slab comprised a whole smoked salmon, cheese and crackers, and the mystery contents of a small silver flask. For purists there was of course the usual assortment of dried stuff, melted snow, and gorp.

It’s heaven up there. You should go. And no other humans were encountered on the way up, an experience that cannot be had between next month and November.

From Yosemite our guests returned to the Bay Area, where they refereed college playoff games on Treasure Island on Friday.

Saturday George refereed East Palo Alto, Del had a morning HS game and then was at Cal, and Keith also was at Cal to watch Jim Crenshaw.

Saturday evening’s banquet at the Up ‘n Under in Point Richmond was delightful: this is the rugby bar we’ve all been looking for. Even the light fixtures are made of rugby balls. Not made to look like rugby balls – made OF rugby balls. You can spend an hour looking for yourself and your friends among the photographs covering the walls.

And we can now officially declare the demise of the English rugby-singing tradition: having an incredibly deep and rich vein of songs to mine, between the three of them our guests could only extract the tune and the first line of ‘Sunshine Mountain’.

That’s piss-poor, as they might have said.

But camaraderie ruled the day, and the night, and the ride home except for those two couples who were smart enough to book rooms at the nearby Hotel Mac and had only a short stroll home.

Thank yous to:
Bjorn Stumer for organizing the exchange and the banquet
Hosts the Merrills, the Rauschers, the Schwartz/Todd-Schwartzes, Don Pattalock and Phil Ulibarri, the Williamson/Marcuses and the Zanarinis
Tour guides Preston Gordon, Bruce Bernstein, Cary Bertolone, Lee Salgado
Everyone else who made our visitors miss their homes and families a little less

Got the fever? Want to go on the return exchange? This will be in September, either the second/third or third/fourth weekends. Self-nominations are being accepted. The society pays your airfare and your hosts will repay the hospitality that you showed them.


Preston Gordon was on hand at the Job Corps pitch Friday:
"Reserve AR" for the BYU - Sacramento State women's game. AR with Eric Rauscher for 1st half of Cal - Oregon women for George Shield. Tom Zanarini replaced me for the second half so I could get down to SFGG for the youth game on time.

BYU 78 – Sacramento State 0 Referee: George Shield
CALIFORNIA 54 – U. of Oregon 5 Referee: Del Stevens

Consolation: Sac State 5 – U. OF OREGON 17 Referee: Mike Gadoua
Championship: California 7 - BYU 52 Referee: George O'Neil


Reno 12 – OLYMPIC CLUB 41 Referee: Don Pattalock
AR: Lee Salgado, Phil Ulibarri

Seconds canceled

Tevis Vandergriff from New Orleans via North Carolina visited us this weekend for the third (?) time, and now he’s assumed a place among the flock with a Pelicus name:

All Hail Pelicus Creoleus!

Sac Capitals 30 – SAC LIONS 53 Referee: Tevis Vandergriff
Evaluator: Dixon Smith

First off, many thanks to the NorCal family for allowing me to venture west for this match...a carpetbagger if you will. I had been advised that many moons ago, these two clubs were one team, but now they are the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. That was enough to warrant this thought, “Will this be an old fashioned brawl or just good rugby between Cain and Abel?” No worries as this sounded no different than the backyard brawls that I’ve run before: ATL Renegades v Old White and Miami Tridents v Miami. So, off to the Golden State I went.

Since I see the inside of a plane more than my own car some months, the flight across from Charlotte was a breeze. Minus the chap that lost his breakfast right before takeoff and had to be removed (his fellow passengers didn’t want him to return), my flight still landed on time. Amazing how they do that, right...leave 30 minutes late and still arrive on time. Pete Smith and family picked me up for the short trek from SFO to Vacaville for the NorCal Youth hockey championships. Don’t laugh, those kids can skate, hit, shoot and stop the puck, although a wee bit slower than their peers in the USA v Canada gold match. Trevor’s team won 2-0 and off we went back to the Smith residence for a good night’s rest. Again, thanks to the many nights of hotel stay, it took me no time to hit lights out.

Saturday morning came and off we ventured for the capital. A brief stopover to wish Trevor and his team well, we got to the pitch about 90 minutes ahead of kick-off. After the traditional word with the clubs and coaches, I came away thinking, “These boys want to play rugby and nothing more.” The tone was set at the opening kick off and I was spot on. This game was going to match the famous NorCal weather...perfect. Although both sides decided to test me with some early penalties, the tone was set and everyone settled down for a very fluid game of rugby. It wasn’t quite “champagne” rugby, but it was close enough. Both sides found the try zone and slotted the odd penalty kick, leaving the Caps ahead, 18-15, at the break.

After some back and forth in the second half, it looked as if this match would come down to the last score. The Lions took the lead with an early try, but the Caps responded shortly thereafter. There were some testy moments for sure, but both sides were captained by “true captains” and the cards remained in my pocket. Again, we seemed to be on cruise control until the 50 minute mark or so. The Capitals were ahead, 25-22, but this is when the Lions scored 3 converted tries in ten minutes, all of which came from “did you see that” plays.

The first score came from a cheeky up and over by the Lions 10. He caught the ball in full stride after the ball cleared a very surprised Caps line. The fullback stepped left and the Lions standoff went right...try. On the ensuing kickoff, the Lions found themselves pinned back inside their 22. No matter as their flyhalf placed the perfectly weighted “kick pass” to the far side of the pitch. Thanks to a very cruel bounce, the ball went right behind the Caps winger and into the arms of a flying Lion. He went in untouched for the score. On the ensuing kickoff, the Lions knocked on, so scrum center to the Caps. However, the Lions pulled off a tighthead, went weak and had a fantastic ball through hands movement with 4 people for the punishing blow.

The Caps scored one last unconverted try, but the Lions scored another 12 points on a very tired and deflated Caps team. Make no doubt about it, before the 21 point barrage, this game was still up in the air. However, those 10 minutes of lights out rugby provided all the damage necessary to win a match. Again, the match was much closer than the 53 – 30 score line. And in true rugby fashion, a good time was had by all afterwards: players, officials, family and friends.

Again, many thanks to Dixon Smith for his time, Pete and his family for putting up with me, the Capitals and Lions for a fantastic day of rugby and I would be remiss for not mentioning Bruce Carter in making this happen. Thanks again.

Seconds: Sac Capitals – Sac Lions Referee: Pete Smith
Ten-a-side for fun, no score kept.

EAST PALO ALTO 62 – San Mateo 3 Referee: George Shield (EMRRS)
AR: Tom Zanarini

Seconds: East Palo Alto 7 – SAN MATEO 22 Referee: Tom Zanarini

Diablo Gaels 21 – SFGG 31 Referee: Paul Bretz

Stanislaus 5 – FRESNO 44 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
A Central Valley shoot-out in Turlock on the Field with No Name. Fresno scored first (at 3 minutes) and frequently (duh). But Stanislaus, outgunned but not out manned, never made it easy. Few penalties, no cards; good teams playing good rugby.

Fresno, so long in the wilderness as the outpost of Nor Cal rugby, has come of age. Fresno State and four high schools now have programs. It has a great rugby fellow in Greg Melton. It is undefeated in league.

Stanislaus, new to D2, isn't there yet. But I have had them twice now and nobody plays harder. With numbers up and injuries down, they will contend.

Vacaville – Seahawks Referee: Sam Davis
No report received.

Vallejo 0 – SANTA ROSA 70 Referee: Mike King
The home team is in a major re-building process after losing a number of players from last year’s stellar D-3 side. A number of players were fairly new to the game, which accounted for some defensive lapses. There was absolutely no lack of enthusiasm for the game, however. Rosa fielded a strong side, although some regulars were resting with injuries. There was little or no difference in the un-selfish, team oriented passing attack that Rosa is capable of unleashing in second phase. Vallejo hotly contested the loose, and played fairly even in set play. It was just not able to stop the constant pressure on the back-line, accounting for 12 tries for the visitors. Along with 5 drop-kick conversions, the visitors ran on all cylinders to make the margin wide.

Seconds: Vallejo 0 – SANTA ROSA 37 Ref: King
An abbreviated second side match led to a similar result, the Santa Rosa prevailing 37 – 0. This match gave Vallejo the chance to spread the joy of the contest to newer players who definitely saw improvement as the game progressed. With a wonderful facility at Mare Island, and great spirit and leadership, the future is bright.

Chico Mighty Oaks 31 – BA BARACUS 77 Referee: Chris Tucker
Chico men's club at home for once was not played in Gopherland, but at a high school down the road with a full-width pitch and 18m in-goal areas. Perfect for chasing grubber kicks, which we did a lot. To a series of 22s. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. Both teams showed up in good numbers, including one Mr. Chris Labozetta, who was propping. In his words, "I'll be the last one to the every ruck." Which wasn't actually true, he was there, just never behind the back foot. A second-half substitution spared me from having to bin him!

The opening kick went up, and what can only be said to be an all-star attitude prevailed -- have a good time, show off your skills, play no defence. This worked against my legs somewhat, still not recovered from 8 miles and 3000 vertical feet gain in Yosemite on the Thursday, and a similarly played high school match on Friday. Starting pitchers get 4 days rest for a reason. 16 tries in total is quite a haul. A few performances to note:

1) Chico #6 showed a rare talent for swimming through mauls. Baracus generally had a rolling maul that was going places, scoring 1 try and setting up another, but #6 stole the ball 3 times through the middle. The third led to the sweetest try of the game -- BA saw an overlap to their right of their maul, Chico's backs nowhere to be seen. But Chico knew what BA did not. #6 had swum in, pinched it, and worked back out to offload the ball. A 4 on 1 on the other side of the maul scored a great try.

2) BA #10 with the first successful drop-goal of the season for me. Taken under penalty advantage, he stepped back and slotted it. I'd noticed his intent, so was in good position to give the points for a well-taken kick.

3) Chico #8 and #9 for listening to my post-game explanation of how you can have a tackle without a tackler, and how that leads to the player who tackled the tackled player having to either go to ground and get back up as a tackler, or stay on his feet and go through the gate as any other player.

One final note for all full-backs out there. Here's the definition of a mark, under Law 18 (my emphasis added)
To make a mark, a player must be on or behind that player’s 22-metre line. A player with one foot on the 22-metre line or behind it is considered to be ‘in the 22’. The player must make a clean catch direct from an opponent’s kick and at the same time shout “Mark”. A mark cannot be made from a kick-off, or a restart kick except for a drop-out.

This does not mean shout "Mark" when the ball is at the apex of its arc, 40 feet above your head. This will result in your ex-fullback ref shouting "Play On!" and you getting thumped. At least know the law as it pertains to your position. In this match the fellow dropped it anyway, but it wasn't the first time this season I'd seen it called incorrectly.

Thanks to Baracus for the post-match beer watching the B-side.

Shasta – EPA U23 rescheduled for April 3

Diablo U23, 15 – SF FOG 27 Referee: John Coppinger
4:30 Saturday afternoon @ DVC
Gaels had more athletes, but SF Fog wanted the game more than Gaels and played as a team scoring late to win on the road.

Saints 10 – BERKELEY 26 Referee: Preston Gordon
TJs: Club supplied
I hadn't been to San Bruno's home pitch before, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice (mostly) flat space on top of the hill near a school, with a fully lined pitch. It seemed to be just a little less than full size. I was not pleasantly surprised when I walked onto it and found my feet sinking about 2 inches into the ground with each step. There wasn't any mud, but the surface was exceptionally soft, and difficult to run on. It felt a bit like trying to run on a dry sandy beach in fact.

However, it was time for rugby. Both sides had a full roster and looked keen for the contest to come. The first half was fought to a near-standstill, with ferocious commitment to the tackles and good offloading. The condition of the field didn't seem to hamper the speed of the game either. The Saints spent a large proportion of the first half camped in Berkeley's 22, but couldn't quite get that last effort to close the deal and get over the line with the ball. There were a lot of scrums for knock-ons and a few pile-ups, and repeated line-outs near Berkeley's goal line after they had relieved pressure with a kick to touch from within their in-goal area. Finally, at ~30', the Saints were able to work a try from a long throw-in at a lineout that found their fly-half about 20m in from touch. He dodged/ran over a couple of tacklers and scored, creating some confusion on the part of some of the Berkeley players who evidently weren't aware that such a move is allowed. I explained this after the game, but for those who are interested, have a look at law 19.15(c).

Shortly afterwards, one of the Berkeley players was knocked out as he was trying to tackle an opponent peeling off a Saints lineout towards the touchline. Not long after he was helped from the field, a Saints player departed for the sin bin for playing the ball carrier from an offside position after a penalty. By this point we were ~47 clock minutes into the first half due to the injury stoppage and a couple of chats I had to have with the captains to encourage their players to make the ball available faster at the tackle/ruck area. Berkeley wasn't ready for the break yet, however, and continued to attack until they were let down by a knock-on. The half thus ended at 5-0 in favor of the Saints.

The second half started at a similar level of intensity to the first. The Saints were a man down for the first 9 minutes, which allowed Berkeley to work the ball across the field in a counterattack and put a man into space, who went perhaps 50m for their first try. It was duly converted, with the score now at 7-5 to the visitors. Soon after the Saints returned to 15 men they got another try (unconverted), restoring their lead at 10-7. We had to stop for an injury again, this time to a Saints player who had opened up a gash on the top of his head that needed some attention before he left the pitch under his own power.

(An aside: rugby is the only sport I've seen where a member of the opposing team will instantly change gears and tend to an opponent's injury when play stops, and sometimes before then. The Berkeley player who looked after the Saintsman's cut may have been trained to do this or not - it seemed like he was - but he should be commended for the display of sportsmanship either way.)

We were maybe 15 minutes into the second half at this point, and I was expecting the tempo to increase even further. Unfortunately the Saints started to run out of gas soon after, allowing Berkeley to score 3 more tries similar to the first - counterattacking after a kick or a knock-on advantage and then putting a wing into space on the outside - in the last quarter of the game. 2 of these tries were converted, leaving the result at 26-10 for Berkeley.

This was a pretty good game of rugby, especially at the D3 level. After the match, the home team fired up the BBQ, while Berkeley got a second side ready to play a team I hadn't heard of called the Marauders. I was separately offered both the whistle and a Berkeley jersey for this one, but I had to decline each due to the banquet later in the evening as it was already past 3pm (that was my excuse, anyway).

REDWOOD 25 – Marin 19 Referee: Cary Bertolone
Evaluator: Mike Malone
At For Pete's Sake in Santa Rosa
Beautiful day, dry field for the 1:00 Pm kick-off. Redwood began the game with ball in the forwards and scored 4 1/2 minutes in with forward possession ball. 5 minutes later, Marin broke loose with a 50 meter run by their wing to take the lead 7-5. Shortly after this point in the match, I warned Marin about the talking. It got worse. I penalized them for chirping ("He's just a high school ref", etc.). I should have used cards, but didn't, and the constant complaining got a bit under my skin. Live and learn.

The second problem I had was several late hits and/or failure to wrap by both teams, but especially Redwood. This resulted in an altercation accompanied by a yellow against Redwood. One minute later, another yellow to Redwood. The score went back and forth. However, Redwood, down to 13 players, scored last to take the lead 15-14 at the half.

Taking an extra minute before kick-off of second half, I took captains away for a talk about the respective issues I had with each team. I made them communicate said talk to teams and I had a cleaner 2nd half.

Playing with only 13 players, Redwood scored a try 1 minute into the second half. The second half was back and forth. Marin was down by 6 points when their wing crossed the try line but stepped out before putting the ball down. That call, by me, was unpopular with the Marin club and their fans, mostly because their touch judge did not see it nor call it out of bounds, but I was right there and it was clear. The game ended with Redwood winning 25-19 in a game that I found little pleasure in reffing. At the 15 minute mark in the first half, I almost handed the whistle to a Marin player and walked off the field. Next time, I'm using the cards and won't let it get under my skin.

APTOS 32 – Mendocino 5 Referee: Craig Lusiani

ALL BLUES 87 – Sequoias 10 Referee: George O'Neil

CALIFORNIA 56 – St. Mary's 5 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
ARs: Bruce Carter, Del Stevens
Fourth Officials: Eric Rauscher, Ron DeCausemaker
Referee Coach: Keith McLean (EMRRS)

Seconds: CALIFORNIA 43 – St. Mary’s 3 Referee: Del Stevens (EMRRS)
ARs: Eric Rauscher, Ron DeCausemaker
Referee Coach: David Williamson

SAC STATE 24 – Stanford 13 Referee: Scott Wood

U. of San Francisco 5 – FRESNO STATE 44 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Match had to be held at the Beach Chalet (soccer fields) at 5 PM making it tight but easy for me to head over the GG Bridge to the banquet Saturday night.

Fresno St. was on fire with both their props scoring 2 nice tries each, their center making some nice moves for 2 more tries & a long run by their winger resulting in another try.

They showed promise for a novice team at he beginning of the season at the Slugfest at UCSC, but were exposed last weekend when I reffed them at SRJC. Here against a relatively equal opponent they showed what they will be capable of for the next game & next season.

USF only had 16 players to start & although looked good at times they knocked on at least two potential scores in or by the try line & had some costly forward passes when they finally moved the ball out. Their #8 scored a nice try to cut 15-0 Fresno halftime lead before Fresno opened the flood gates. Also both teams were disciplined enough not to talk after my calls--I think they listened, or I want to believe they did.

SIERRA JC 17 – Santa Rosa JC 5 Referee: Roberto Santiago
Dateline LDS Park, No swearing. No drinking.
The match can basically be boiled down to a few adjectives: good, hard, fast, open. Both teams played similar styles with similar athletes. Both teams had good attacking chances and good defensive stands before Santa Rosa JC broke through at 27:30. Eight and one-half minutes later a silly penalty cost the visiting side when a Rosa player threw the ball at an opponent. The following five-meter penalty resulted in a score. 5-5 at the half.

The second half played out much like the first. It's often little things that end up turning the game and for Santa Rosa it was the inability to get low on a strong runner. Sierra scored again at 45:50 (with the conversion) and added one more at 53:25 for insurance. Santa Rosa had some strong runners on their side too but just couldn't get the ball across the try line again. Sierra's victory was all the more impressive considering they lost a man to a red card (dumped man on his head after a maul) at 39:18.

Seconds: Sierra JC B 20 – SIERROSA- 34 Ref: Santiago
Rosa didn't have enough for a full B side so some of the Sierra boys donned the visitor's blue shirts and filled in a side. The game started with about 13 per team but filled out to full 15s as Rosa's A side got their fourth wind. The scrums went well despite having nearly every person in the pack playing out of position including a tight head wearing number 15. Both teams seemed to have a great time and I was glad to get a full day's run before the banquet that night.

Santa Clara 16 – CAL MARITIME 33 Referee: Sandy Robertson
Santa Clara put a try on the board in the first couple of minutes and soon added a penalty. Maritime responded with a converted try, Santa Clara kicked another penalty. Both teams executed well, finding space and width, and the ball moved end to end. Near the end of the half Maritime added another converted try and went to the break up 14-11.

In the 2nd half Maritime scored 2 more converted tries in the early going. After a period where neither team was able to score, Santa Clara pulled to within 12 with a try. Santa Clara continued to pressure Maritime, but were unable to break the Maritime defense.

Humboldt State 8 – SAN JOSE STATE 24 Referee: James Hinkin
The last time I drove up to Humboldt it was a foggy day and I was on an island of reality all by myself. This time it was bright and clear and I got to see all around. Hey! There are a bunch of trees on this road! I never saw them last time.

Arriving precisely at the stroke of noon to see both teams ready and waiting and with the home team sporting a prepared match card that gave me a few more minutes to loaf about while pretending to stretch my legs after the drive. Time to get things going came soon enough and we kicked off at 1:00 on a perfect rugby day. The first half was a story of constructive rugby that was let down by errors before points could result. SJSU finally broke through with a try when a wiper kick was allowed to bounce and then proceeded to avoid the next 4 people who tried to corral it. The 5th man there was a SJSU player who gratefully scooped up the ball, politely stepped over and around all the previous 4 lying on the ground, and dotted down for the try. The conversion sailed wide and we had a 5-0 scoreline. It stayed that way until the stroke of halftime when Humboldt was able to pull 3 points back so we went to the break in a close 5-3 match.

The second half was a better offensive half of rugby as passes were finding hands and holes were opening up. San Jose and Humboldt traded early tries before SJSU started to take advantage of gaps in the Humboldt defense. Two more converted tried followed for a final scoreline of 24-8.


SANTA ROSA 25 – Windsor 10
then rushed to Montgomery H.S:

Montgomery 17 – ELSIE ALLEN 24
Then the second sides:

MONTGOMERY 22 – Elsie Allen 10
Thanks Coach (and Referee) Sean Peters

Piedmont 12 – SAN DIEGO MUSTANGS U17, 35 Referee: Preston Gordon
AR: Rob Hendrickson
TJ: One of the San Diego coaches

This was an excellent match - fast and clean, and the players knew what they were doing for the most part (mostly high school freshmen/sophomores). At halftime it was 12-20. PITS scored 2 tries in the first half, converting one. San Diego scored 4 in the first half and 3 in the second, converting none.

I wasn't sure what to expect going into the game, but my impression afterwards was the following: if this is what these players look like now, then we're in for some really good college rugby in about 5 years. The pace was easily the same as most of the high school varsity sides I refereed last year.

Thanks to Rob and the San Diego coach whose name I can't remember at the moment for running touch.

BELLARMINE 22 – Live Oak 12 Referee: Chris Fisher

U19 Girls:
Humboldt 0 – SACRAMENTO AMAZONS 86 Referee: James Hinkin
The Amazons took the opening kickoff and went almost completely unmolested to score a try in the opening seconds. Humboldt rallied bravely after that and started putting some tackles in and putting their bodies on the line but the Amazons were too big, too strong, and too experienced to be stopped. Halftime saw Humboldt looking at playing with 13 due to injuries but the girls rallied and played. When further injuries reduced Humboldt's numbers the Amazons generously lent some players to keep the teams at full strength. A one sided affair that spoke volumes about both teams as Sacramento showed class all over the field and never devolved into taunting or showmanship while Humboldt showed spirit by never giving up and playing hard until the end as they learned from their opponents - the second half was much more even than the first as Humboldt started playing better and you could almost see them visibly thinking and correcting earlier mistakes.

At St. Mary's College:
Marin Highlanders 20 – SAN DIEGO MUSTANGS 22 Referee: John Coppinger
Marin led 13-8 at the half and controlled play for most of the game; however, Marin played all of its players to ensure that everyone on the roster, including all the JV players, got into the match. The result was missed opportunities on attack and defensive lapses, which allowed San Diego to take the win late.

JESUIT 43 – Golden Gate 12 Referee: Rich Anderson
If you ever get a chance to drive up to Sacramento to officiate a Jesuit High School match, take advantage of it. I am glad I did.

There were four other matches that day besides my match. Doing the math, there may have been as many as 150 high school ruggers from both squads. I heard that Jesuit alone has upwards of (I believe) 140 in their program.

[Editor’s Note: Simple matter to confirm – the USA Rugby website shows 143 CIPPed for Jesuit.]

Either way, we had a beautiful pitch and a nice day. The quality of the match was high on both squads, especially in the first half, with a tight 15-7 Jesuit lead. The Home squad was able to use their speed wide in the second half and take control.

Thanks to both teams for the quality of the match.

U16 boys:
LAMORINDA 34 – San Diego Mustangs 24 Referee: Tom Zanarini
[The same check of team rosters shows Lamorinda has 130 high school players and 230 youth players.]

U19 boys:
Lamo – San Diego Mustangs Referee: George Shield
No report received.

Bishop O'Dowd girls 5 – ALAMEDA 12 Referee: Eric Rauscher
An interesting game to do. Bishop O'Dowd shows great promise in that they display a knowledge of what to do with the ball, but need to be able to do it instinctively. Alameda played well all-around and has several players that have both size and talent. Both teams played hard to the last whistle.

7 p.m. Monday @ Bishop O'Dowd in Oakland:
BISHOP O’DOWD boys 7 – Alameda U19 Boys 0 Referee: John Coppinger
This match was tightly contested with lots of attacks, great cover tackles, and rookie errors, but mostly the match was young men earnestly playing a hard and fast game and having a great time doing so. The first half was scoreless and BO’D powered in a try midway through the second to run out 7-0 winners. A good crowd was on hand to witness this match and the girls’ match that preceded the boys’ match. Eric Rauscher refereed the girls’ match.

By Ron Myers:

I just wanted to report that Joe graced us with his presence last weekend at Chez Myers.

While here I roped him into officiating both matches at the PNRFU D2 Collegiate Playoffs in Monmouth. He did an exceptionally good job and hopefully the winners, Western Oregon, will find the intro to NCRRS law application helpful at Maritime when they meet Mr. Bretz.

There was just one small detail of his match management I wanted to pass along - hard to ref w/out a whistle. Yep, we had to loan him one both day...

I trust the Pelican Court will find a suitable punishment/fine for Mr. Leisek.


SHASTA 49 – Diablo Gaels U23, 10 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Got an early start Saturday morning for my jaunt up to Palo Cedro, for a match between the Shasta Highlanders and the Diablo Gaels U-23 squad.

Just for future reference for those folks coming up I-5 for points south, it's about 10 miles shorter to get off I-5 in Anderson on Deschutes road and take Deschutes road to Palo Cedro rather than driving to Redding and taking 44 to Palo Cedro.

It was a little breezy at kick-off, but the setting is spectacular, in the shadow of Mt Lassen and Mt Shasta looming to the north, both capped with many feet of snow.

The U-23 Gaels are a young scrappy team, but the experience of the Shasta gentlemen proved to much for them this day.

Shasta led 32 to 5 at halftime and won 49 to 10.

Nevada Falls
Bruce Bernstein, Chris Tucker, George Shield and Del Stevens can’t believe their good fortune to be in such a world.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris