Wednesday, April 07, 2010




This is an appeal to all possible referees to be available the weekend of April 24-25.

At present we have 21 referees listed as available. We also have 22 games scheduled AND the Pacific Coast High School Invitational that weekend. (Super league, men’s D1 and D2 are still in-season. Men’s D3 and two tiers of high school playoffs will also be occurring.)

The tournament will be played on four pitches, which requires at least a dozen referees not to have anyone working one game on, one game off.


And we’ll do what we can to get some referee coaches to the Invitational.

Rich Boyer went to New York and sends back this report:

I arrived Thursday to be met at the airport by Jack Rosenhammer. He is matriculating at St. John's so Friday was a free day for me. Went to the Statue of Liberty and toured Wall Street. Pat Wickman and Jack took me to a nice Czech restaurant.

First game of the tournament was at 8:00 Sat. morning. The temperature was a balmy 35 degrees and it never reached 45 degrees during the day despite abundant sunshine.

First game was NY women’s' against Providence. NY has a few woman Eagles, notably the wing, who scored a hat trick of tries. Providence was game but could not counter NY's solid scrum and pick and drive. NY 29-5.

This tournament included women’s teams, college teams, club teams and old boys. And the old boys were truly "old" boys. Nonetheless, they played decent rugby.

Second game was between Wilkes Barre and Rochester. Rochester had the better pack and a solid 8-man replaced ref/rugger Randall Johnson at halftime to lead his team to victory, 26-5.

Third and final game was the semifinal between Beantown Women and the Lions, a local club. Beantown has a few Eagles of their own. The played awesome rugby with great rolling mauls, pick and goes and awesome backline moves (1 switch 2 switch 8 off a set scrum). The Beantown flyhalf, light in stature, had great field vision and put her runners into space time and again. Beantown 49-0.

Everyone at this tournament was great; players, fans, refs, administrators. This ref heard not a word from the sidelines all day: they were quiet as church mice. Although vocal in support of their respective teams, players, fans and coaches alike did not react in any way to any call made by the ref. What a pleasure!

Later that evening young Jack received a phone call from Army admissions. It seems he had applied, for the third time, to get an Army scholarship. Finally, on Saturday night, he realized his dream and was accepted. A great weekend for him!

Anna McMahan is nearing the end of her second year of medical school in Boston:

I felt nostalgic for a Hail Pelicus write up, and since Dave Williamson watched my match this weekend, I thought I'd send you a match report from the east coast just for old times sake. Dave watched my first match ever in NorCal when I picked up the whistle for Stanford 10's, so it felt a little like things had come full circle when I found out he was going to watch my match this weekend. I had the very good fortune of having his coaching advice for several of my matches during my year in NorCal, and I am a undoubtedly a better ref for his efforts.


BEANTOWN 93 – Boston 0 Referee: Anna McMahan

The score really sums up this one-sided affair played in absolutely beautiful weather on the turf fields at Madison Park HS. Aside from the annoying lines and lack of flags, the field created a fast running surface and allowed for good ball movement in this cross-town rival friendly match.

The first half was slightly less one-sided as Beantown had some ball handling errors and had a hard time maintaining continuity. Boston had a bit of possession, but couldn't break through Beantown's stiffling defense. Beantown dominated at the breakdown and had go forward ball to work with the whole game. First half tries at 5, 19, 28, 34, and 0 distributed evenly between backs and forwards.

The second half became a runaway game, as both sides made some switches. Beantown had pretty much all of the possession, including taking most of Boston's scrums and some of their line outs. 10 tries were scored in the half mostly through the backs as Beantown worked out some of their handling issues and had great continuity and support running. Boston. never gave up and worked hard to contest at every breakdown, but couldn't contain Beantown's runners. A special reward for the hard work of Beantown's pack came at 14 minutes into the second half when they scored a push-over try from a scrum taken against the head.

Thanks to Liz and Kristin for captaining, and to both teams for a wonderfully low penalty count. Thanks also to Dave Williamson for taking some of his time on the east coast to watch a former Pelican and give helpful feedback as always.


WOMEN’S D1 in Davis:
ARs: Scott Wood; Dave Ellis (Friday), Eugene Baker (Saturday)

STANFORD 19 – Cougar Rugby 12 Referee: Joe Leisek

UC DAVIS 17 – California 15 Referee: Tobin Ropes
Evaluator: Mike Malone

Third Place:
COUGAR Rugby – California Referee: Joe Leisek

UC Davis 10 – STANFORD 19 Referee: Tobin Ropes

Stanford, UC Davis and BYU all advance to the nationals. Stanford and UCD will be at UC Santa Barbara April 17-18.

MEN’S D1 at St. Mary's:
ARs: Preston Gordon, John Pohlman

ST. MARY’S 53 – Oregon State 12 Referee: Mark Ormsby
Evaluators: Dixon Smith, Bernie Brown

Chico State 11 – UC DAVIS 28 Referee: Joe Androvich

Third Place:
Oregon State – CHICO STATE Referee: Mark Ormsby

ST. MARY’S 41 – UC Davis 19 Referee: Joe Androvich

St. Mary’s advances to the sweet sixteen at UC Santa Barbara April 16-17.

MEN’S D2 at Maritime Academy:
ARs: Mike King; Eric Rauscher (Friday), Pat King (Saturday)

MARITIME ACADEMY – Western Oregon Referee: Tom Zanarini

SANTA CLARA – Snow College in Overtime Referee: Paul Bretz

Third Place:
WESTERN OREGON – Snow College Referee: Tom Zanarini

CMA 34 – Santa Clara 7 Referee: Paul Bretz

The Maritime Academy, Santa Clara and Western Oregon all move on the nationals, to be played in Sanford, Fla, in two weeks.


Reno forfeit to SAN MATEO Referee: Phil Akroyd
Reno 7 – San Mateo 23. No, not the half time score but the number of players from each team present at kick-off time.

How a home team cannot field a squad is beyond me. What is even more annoying is that they cannot let the refs or away teams know the situation, when they only had four people at practice on Tuesday night and seven people on Thursday night. It is really San Mateo who got screwed on this as they drove up on Friday night, through blizzards and chain controls, only to play a 60 minute scrimmage.

Scrimmage Final Score:. Reno 54 – SAN MATEO 67
So we kicked off forty minutes late with thirteen on thirteen, most of whom were SM guys. It was fun for what it was, and I got some altitude sprinting, in a very fun, well mannered game. It was 33 – 38 at half and the scores went back and forth all of the game. Not that it matters, as it was a complete waste of time and a thoroughly annoying day for everyone.

Well done San Mateo, thanks to Jim Crenshaw for driving and freezing his ass off on the touchline. Maybe I’ll get a competitive game next week.

Shasta 18 – EPA U23, 34 Referee: Dave Ellis
After spending the previous afternoon shivering on the touchline in driving wind and rain at the PCRFU D1 Women's Collegiate Playoffs in Davis, it felt good to dry out the cleats and get back on the field in near perfect rugby weather in beautiful Shasta County. The game was to be Shasta's last of the season, while EPA were readying themselves for next week's D3 playoff game against Berkeley. EPA drew first blood with an early converted try in the second minute of play following a pair of quick penalties against Shasta. Shasta responded quickly with a couple of penalty kicks, and by the 9th minute the score was 7-6 and it was game on! A lull in the scoring ensued for a while as both teams battled to gain the upper hand, but handling miscues and hard nosed defense on both sides kept the score close. It was the EPA forward's ability to keep the ball alive after the tackle and run hard and straight that finally broke the deadlock, and they were ably assisted by their impressive outside center who scored the final try of the half to take the score to 17-6.

The second half was almost a mirror image of the first, with EPA scoring early to further extend their lead. Shasta would not quit, however, and brought themselves back into the game with an exhilarating try by their outside center in which he covered almost two thirds the length of the field, breaking tackles along the way. The fact that he seemed to be one of the smaller players on the field made it all the more impressive. The score seemed to energize the entire Shasta team, and they battled their way back to within four points with seven minutes to play. Sensing an upset in the making, EPA put their foot on the gas and began to spin the ball quickly to their outside backs, where they found plenty of space to run. A tiring Shasta team proved unable to defend this tactic, and EPA ended with two tries in the last five minutes to finish the game with style. All in all an excellent, enjoyable game to have been a part of. The afternoon ended with class on the part of EPA, who delighted the spectators on hand when they formed a line and, in a choreographed move, thanked the home crowd. The spirit of rugby at its best!

SF Fog women 29 – SEQUOIAS 43 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Assessor: Bryan Porter
Treasure Island, Job Corps field Overcast and cool
I arrived at 11:30 am to allow for plenty of time before the friendly between these two teams. When I arrived only one Fog player was there. Players gradually showed up until Fog had a full team. At 12:15 still no Sequoias. By about 1pm, six Sequoias were there with no prospects of more to arrive.

It was decided to have Fog lend players to Sequoia and play 10's. We started with two 20 minute periods and played an additional ten.

The first period saw alot of points, 17 on both sides. That equals way more than a point a minute. After that Sequoia piled on the points but the play was still pretty close. Although it was not a full-on game it was still an enjoyable afternoon. Many thanks to Bryan who showed up to observe me, and stuck around to give pointers.


SAN MATEO/EPA/HAYWARD 36 – Napier HS of NZ 29 Referee: Preston Gordon
Steuber field at Stanford
Saturday at 1900
ARs: Bruce Carter, Sandy Robertson

Refereeing on this field is a pleasure. Refereeing on this field with 2 qualified ARs using the radios is more so. Doing that for a good match, where the players all know the game and it's an even contest, is even better!

The Napier boys were on an extended tour of the west coast, and were looking for some serious opposition. I believe they were in BC before coming to the Bay Area, have games with Jesuit and the Santa Barbara Academy scheduled, and would be stopping in Hawaii for another game before heading home. For this event, the best U19 players from the peninsula & south bay teams gathered about 3 hours beforehand to get ready for the challenge. By the time I arrived at 1715, the locals were well into running back/forward drills. The Kiwis appeared on schedule and we had a pretty good crowd (maybe 200) on hand to see this game, played under the lights. Unfortunately the scoreboard was out of service (field construction) but other than that everything was perfect. So was the visitors' Hakka before the game.

The game did not disappoint either. The locals, wearing EPA shirts, kicked off to the north. The Kiwis counterattacked, moving the ball inside the 22, and shortly turned the ball over in a tackle. The locals immediately broke to the outside, going almost the whole length of the field for the opening try - less than 2 minutes in. Soon after, Napier answered with a well-worked try of their own. This was the theme of the entire game, with tries coming out of nowhere and lots of multi-phase attacking play. The scoreline stayed close throughout, and was 22-12 to the locals at the half (4 tries to 2). Both sides could have used the points from the missed conversions.

Shortly after halftime one of the locals went to the bin after being found not releasing the tackled player after multiple warnings for this sort of team infringement. This was a perfect use for the radios - I saw the man on the floor not releasing, played the advantage, and decided he'd earned a yellow card, but could not get his number since there were others mixed up in the tackle.

Stopping the Napier attack to issue the card may have been technically correct, but would have killed the continuity of the game and their opportunity to earn a try on their own. What to do? Ask the AR to get the number of the offender, then pivot and take off for the next breakdown. A few steps later, Bruce tells me "White 17" - perfect, we play on and Napier gets the try. Before the kicker lines up the conversion, I call the White captain and #17 over, and issue the card. Apparently that was enough to keep their behavior in line at the tackle area, because it was no longer a problem.

Napier took advantage of the mismatch in numbers, scoring another try, and the game continued at a frenetic tempo right until the final whistle. Napier spent the last few minutes attacking the locals' goal line, looking for the equalizer, but ultimately were denied a minute or two after time had expired. However, Napier had outscored the locals in the second half, 17-14 (3 tries to 2).

As I mentioned earlier, this game was a real pleasure to referee. Thanks to Bruce and Sandy for coming out to help on the touchline. And, of course, good luck to the boys from Napier in their remaining tour matches.

LAMORINDA 49 – Marin Lions 12 Referee: Bruce Carter
This was a league game prior to both teams leaving for spring-break tours: Lamo to British Columbia and the Lions to New Zealand.

With Friday’s rain at St. Mary’s and the need to preserve the pitch for on-going Pacific Coast playoffs, Lamorinda could not ‘borrow’ Pat Vincent Field as they have been doing but instead moved to nearby Campolindo HS.

Lamo converted seven trys; many of them orchestrated or converted by #10 Wes Van Tonder. Their #8, who has won a scholarship to play football at San Jose State, showed why a D1 college program would want him, running unstoppably up the middle.

The Lions seemed to have a blind spot on the right side of their defense, where Lamo’s left wing found the passing lane on several occasions.

MARIN HIGHLANDERS 27 – Santa Rosa 12 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Field moved because of rain to Sir Francis Drake HS in San Anselmo--nice artificial turf, but no 5 meter lines for lineouts & great weather (65 degrees) & very good fan support.

The scrums were pretty even except Marin's hooker stealing at least 5 SR hooks; but Marin's back were very good with their ball & their flyhalf & centers either set up or scored their 5 tries.

The two try-of-the-matches went to Rosa's fullback (who looked & played like Ivan from Hayward), who zigzagged in to score; & their other captain/flanker who willed his way in from about 15 meters out.

Also Rosa showed a lot of heart for about 10-15 minutes in the second half to make the match pretty respectable against a quality playoff-bound Marin team.

PS--the BBQ'd oysters were great at Iron Springs Brew Pub down the road in Fairfax & the wine at Wellington's (English Wine Bar) on the water in Sausalito didn't suck--I don't think anything does in Marin!

JESUIT 45 – Dixon 5 Referee: Phil Akroyd
Dixon came out flat and basically gave the game away in the first twenty minutes. After that, the visitors held Jesuit to a total of 14 net points for the remainder of the game. Two yellow cards also slowed Jesuit – one for persistent offences on the ground and one for a loose fist, spotted by A/R Crenshaw.


Along with Dixon Smith, I was the evaluator at the playoff games held at St Mary’s College April 2 and 3. Many thanks to Dixon Smith. It was also good to meet up with Bryan Porter again. Thank yous to the referees Joe Androvich (Northern California) and Mark Ormsby (Utah). Also thank yous to the ARs John Pohlman and Preston Gordon as well as the other referees who readily stepped in as ARs, plus Giles Wilson who was the Match Commissioner/#4 on Friday.

A very special thank you to John and Eileen Pohlman who were such gracious hosts during my and Mark Ormsby's stay.

Bernie Brown


Received April 1:
“I realize that HP already went out, but I wanted to report that the Seahawks sent up their B-side to make up for the Harlots' lack thereof. The ‘Hawks B's were tired of getting screwed out of matches (what with Vacaville the previous week and Arroyo's complete forfeit), so we were able to sort out a quality 80 minute match in SF. Even though he had spent most of the A side match at tighthead prop, Chris Labozzetta was kind enough to step in as unofficial referee. The result: Baracus B: 50, SJ Seahawks B: 15

“Actually, now that I look, I see no report was received for the previous week either. That was another quality 80 minute match and I believe we even had a real ref, although I didn't recognize him. Older fellow. He also had a very suspect cadence that went something like "crouch and hold...touch pause...umm....engage!" That changed a lot during the match, though the other front row and I kind of gave up on trying to correct him. Anyway, that result was Baracus B: 38, Chico B: 20.

“Cheers and Long Live Div2 B-side Matches,

A Front Row
Bryan Arciero, Kat Todd-Schwartz and Aruna Ranaweera celebrate the day at the SFGG clubhouse March 27.


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