Wednesday, September 29, 2010




Kat Todd-Schwartz has been recognized as and promoted to National Evaluator by the Evaluation Committee of USA Rugby.

Such hard work recognized casts a happy glow that brightens all Pelicanland.

Congratulations, Kat!


October 2: We’ve got two alumni games in Chico this weekend and only one referee. Any takers?

October 9: need help in Reno, the Sac area, and Santa Rosa. Rooms will be paid for the Friday night in Reno for the Ruggerfest.


This Thursday morning finds the tourists heading off to Cambridge in the morning them returning to Bedford School for the afternoon games. This evening we are in for a pub games night with the East Mids Society.

Yesterday, we returned from Rugby to jump in the middle of our matches. The Wizard and The Jafa refereed at Stowe School, a palatial public school fit for kings; while I enjoyed a more organic experience at Shuttlesworth College. Enjoyed a wonderful meat pie dinner with all of our hosts families at Keith and Vicky's.

Bedford College 81 – South Essex College 0 Referee: D. Pattalock
TJ: Club Representatives
Venue: Shuttlesworth College
This match was a College (u-19) Cup match, and as you can tell by the score line, they just build them bigger in Bedford. The interesting points about this match surround the venue. Shuttlesworth College is a satellite campus of Bedford College which is home to their agricultural school. The grounds are large and lush with a nice rugby pitch. The field shed, in contrast to the palace the others were in, was a small wooded hut with 2 6'x10' rooms and a toilet. Nonetheless, all enjoyed the unique location of the pitch.

Don, Andrea and Addison

Thursday morning started early with a trip up to Cambridge with Bob Kamper for a tour of the city/college. Lots of interesting facts and stories in one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the world. The tour was led by a man with an unbelievable set of knowledge surrounding the college, its residents and its deep history. History, not just relative to the kings of England; but of religion, science and war. Then The Jafa and I were off to Bedford School for matches while The Wizard and Del headed to Leighton Buzzard for their matches.

Bedford School is one of the main rugby centers of the public school system in England. Today, Bedford was hosting Tumbridge, another rugby reveled school. We were met at the school gates by one of the headmasters, Trevor (East Mids referee who has been over to NorCal several times) the coaching staffs and three of the senior boys. The boys provided us a tour of the school, discussed the significant historical events and past students that went on to greatness.

There were several games on the afternoon, U16's A &B, U14's A, B, C & D. I took the U16's 1st XV while Steve took charge of the U14 1st XV. Steve then managed to poach a second match and also refereed the U16 2nd XV's.

Bedford School 7 – Tumbridge 39 Referee: D. Pattalock
TJ: Team Representatives
This was the most enjoyable game I have been involved in for a long time. Both teams played expansive running rugby. The breakdowns were managed (and more significantly, stayed managed) thus allowing the referee to truly enjoy the spectacle of rugby that was happening around him. Following the match and a shower, we all retired to the schools common room for a sandwich and pint with both coaching staffs. Tremendous day.

Trevor then took us around Bedford and its waterfront area. Wonderful downtown and river walk. Then it was off to Pub Night with the Society. Met lots of good folks, ate a fantastic meal, maybe a pint or two and a rousing match of Skittles. Trevor made a great presentation to us of maps of England and the Midlands as well as a couple of other rugby and Skittle related gifts. We then headed home to our hosts for a well deserved (and necessary) rest.

Don, Andrea and Addison

Following Thursday’s pub night with the society, Friday was determined to be a casual day around the house/town. The Jafa decided he would stay local and do some shopping in Northampton while The Wizard and I joined Del for a shopping trip to Milton Keynes. Following our economic endeavors at the giant mall, we decided to tour each and every pub between Del's house and the train station where I would catch my train back up to Keith's. Surprisingly, there are many pubs in Leighton Buzzard! We had a great stroll through the town, threw some arrows, drank some beer and finished up with a lovely doner kabab.

Perfect day off.

Saturday arrived with the anticipation of clear skies and day of cup rugby. The Wizard and Jafa were assigned matches at Olney, where a full day of rugby was on tap. Olney's 1st, 2nd, colts and veterans sides were all at home. The vets enjoyed a guest player by the name of Will Greenwood who quite regularly plays vets rugby for Olney. I was assigned an exchange fixture with the West Midlands Society with a level 7 match on tap between Droitwich and Shrewsbury.

Droitwich 12 – Shrewsbury 30 Referee: D. Pattalock
TJ's: Club TJ's
Assessor: Steve Hindson (West Mids)
This match, played on Droitwich's beautiful pitch, started fast and stayed fast for a full 80 minutes. Both teams played expansive rugby including a series of quick throw-ins at line out time which kept the ref streaming across the pitch. In the end, Shrewsbury's discipline and ability to finish line-breaks provided them with the win. Quick shower, cup of tea and a pint waiting for the ref on the bar lead into a pleasant debrief with the assessor.

Following the match, Keith and I headed back to our part of the island for the end of tour dinner. The dinner was fantastic with a great time (and a little wine) had by all. The Jafa made the presentation on our behalf and produced a terrific box framed plaque with the stars and stripes and union jack flags crossing with a commemorative label acknowledging the significant relationship of the two societies on the occasion of the 2010 tour.

Sunday is planned to relax and recover from the rugby/food/wine/beer as well a pack for our early morning departure for the new country on Monday morning. Reflecting back on the tour, I'm overwhelmed with the warmth and care all out host families have shown for us and I certainly know that I have expanded my family as a result of this care. Hopefully we have opportunity to return the kindness again on their return leg in 2012. Thanks to all for an epic experience.

Don, Andrea and Addison


The legends were so right: the East Midlands Society exchange program lived up to the best rugby trip ever! I could never have imagined the amount of hospitality and friendship extended to Don, Eric and myself at every moment during our visit. The Midland Society really laid out a great visit for us: Rugby School, Twickenham, Cambridge University, guided tours, exclusive private schools visits, club visits, after game receptions, school delegations, family dinners, pub nights, speeches, presentations you name it! On top of this I refereed seven matches with three very valuable assessments given by their society assessors.

Two matches really stood out for me as a referee. An under-16 match between Bedford and Tonbridge (private schools), these kids fought it out tooth and nail like lives depended on it. There was a one try difference in the end with Tonbridge victors. All players finished the match claiming that it had been the best match ever and refereed well (clearly very polite kids!). A second under-16 match between Old Scouts Northampton and Biggleswade ended similarly. In the last few minutes Biggleswade scored a try and needing only two points to level narrowly missed a conversion kick. But again it didn’t matter all the players were so ecstatic with their performance they did not care about the result. It felt so good, I felt like a player myself.

It’s impossible to extend enough praise to everyone involved. But special thanks to our host families: Chris and Cathy Pickles, Dell and Debbie Stevens, Keith and Vicki Mclean. Assessors: Peter, John Asker and Chris Rowan. East Midland’s Society president Collin Wright and chairman Ian Baggott. Thanks for the site seeing tours provided by: Andy, Bob Kamp, Dell Stevens, Keith Mclean, Paul Dickens and Trevor. Farewell dinner photographer and humorist: thanks to Gary Malpas, see link below. Thanks to my travelling colleagues Eric Rauscher and Don Pattalock for their friendship and support. Finally thanks to the NCRRS for making it all possible.

Best regards,

Tour summary:

Friday 9/17: Attended premiership game: Northampton Saints (32) v Bath (10)
Met international referee: Chris White

Saturday 9/18: Refereed: Northampton Old Scouts (13) v Leighton Buzzards (32) (Level 9 Seniors)
Olney Food Festival Dinner
Olney Bell and Bear Pub (late night lock-in and meet locals!)

Sunday 9/19: Sore head (a common tour malady)
Refereed: Old Northamptonians (43) v Huntington (21) (U16)
Exceptional English Roast Dinner (Chris and Cathy Pickles)

Monday 9/20: Stamford Burleigh House and Gardens Tour (Andy)
East Midlands Referee Society Meeting
Presentation: Pelicans Referee Grading System: Don Pattalock
Presentation: Eric’s Personal Rugby Story: Eric Rauscher
Presentation: Youth Rugby in San Jose: Steve Moore

Tuesday 9/21: Twickenham Guided Tour (Keith)
Hampton Court Visit (Keith)
Pub Dinner with Dell and Keith

Wednesday 9/22: Rugby School & Gilbert Museum (Paul Dickens)
Refereed: Stowe School (10) v Pangborne School (43)
Stowe School after game reception
Keith Mclean family dinner

Thursday 9/23: Cambridge University Tour (Bob Kamper)
Bedford School Reception and Tour
Refereed: Bedford School (46) v Tonbridge School (17) (U14)
Refereed: Bedford School (17) v Tonbridge School (22) (U16)
Bedford Town Tour (Trevor McCarthy)
Midlands Society Pub Night

Friday 9/24: Shopping Northampton

Saturday 9/25: Refereed: Olney Seconds (62) v Stuarts Lloyds (7) (Seniors)
Society Farewell Dinner, Speeches and Gifts

Sunday: 9/26: Refereed: Old Scouts Northampton (19) v Biggleswade (17) (U16)
Another exceptional roast dinner (Pickles)
Photos thanks to Gary: user/pass: norcal2010/norcal2010

Attached photos: Don, Eric, Keith Mclean, Steve (Twickenham Royal Box)
Eric, Steve with Chris Rowan and Jon Asker (Assessors) Olney Rugby Club


September 16th: My wife's birthday. Left her asleep in bed, with a present next to the freshly brewed coffee. Short walk to BART. Got to SFO with plenty of time. Good omens! In the seating area at the gate was a mural flanked in the corners by sculptures of sea birds. In the upper right-hand corner was a pelican.

Picked up at Heathrow by Colin Wright. Stayed with Del Stevens in Leighton Buzzard. Discovered that the town's name is after a nobleman named Leighton who was a bursar (de bursar) which became Buzzard. I discovered this by visiting the church in town, which had a little history museum attached. Back to Del's for lunch. He noticed me nodding off, so he said "Let's go for a walk!" We went to Woburn, a quaint old town famous for its false windows, which are painted to look like adjacent windows. Then off to meet Keith Bateman, the Pickles (Chris, Luke, and Cathy), along with Donny and Steve at a great Indian food place in North Hampton. This was followed by a premiership game starting at 8 pm. North Hampton 33/Bath 10.

Chris White was the ref and he met us after the game. Got home by midnight.

Saturday. A rugby day. Off to Blenchly RFC to do a match between them and Gossford. This was a second-side fixture for both clubs, meaning a mixture of young guys trying to make it into the first 15, and older guys who still want to play. Blenchly 40/Gossford 19. It was an interesting game for me. In the US, at the level I ref, most penalties are due to players making honest mistakes. Here the players make mistakes intentionally. They know what they are doing. In the second half I had to be more proactive in use of the whistle.

Sunday. Watched a couple of games on TV. Both were broadcast in Welsh. In the afternoon, Del and I went out to Luton RFC to AR for an under 19 game Donny was doing. After the game, we were sitting in the clubhouse with a couple of gratis pints and a plate of food in front of us. And I thought, "Boy, this is heaven."

Monday. Del dropped me off at the train station with a ticket for North Hampstead and the advice that if I missed it, the next stop was Edinburgh. Picked up by Cathy and Donny at the station and off to their home to meet up with Steve. Andy (?) dropped by to give us a lift to Stanford, where he lives. It touts itself as the best stone village in England. We walked to a 300 year old pub, had a pint, and sauntered to have lunch at a little shop. From there we walked to a rather stately home named "Burghley", the ancestral home of the first lord Burghley, William Cecil. Had a fish and chips dinner on our way to Olney, where the EMRFU has its monthly meeting. Donny, Steve and I gave our presentations after a short training session. Steve talked about the development of youth rugby; I gave a personal interest story about how I came to be involved in rugby and ended up in England reffing games; Donny finished up by discussing the US level system for refs and how advancements are obtained. After the meeting, we did a bit of socializing. Keith said "Oh by the way, Will Greenwood and Austin Healey may be showing up to play in your game on Sunday." Please! Don't tell me things like that before the game! When we got home, Del checked the website and discovered that I was scheduled to do the Colts game, not their first side. Whew!

Tuesday. Donny, Steve and I took a trip into London with Keith to visit Twickenham. The trip was led by a charming old gent who used as foils for many pithy comments about referees. Keith got to sit in the Queen's chair in the royal box. One of the last things we did was to run out of the tunnel onto the field (but not on the grass!). Afterward, we spent time watching the England under 20's practice. We dropped into a pub by the Thames for a pint, and then back to have dinner at a local inn.

Wednesday. Trip to Rugby with Paul Dickens. Visited the Rugby museum attached to the Webb Ellis Gilbert ball shop.We had our pictures taken in front of the Webb Ellis statue. Went to the rugby field in Rugby school. Made it back just in time to drop Donny off for his game that afternoon while Steve and I went to do games at Stowe school (a private high school). Stowe occupies an old country estate similar to Burghley. An incredibly grand setting. Steve did the varsity and I did the JV. Stowe 44/Pangburne 0. The score was one-way traffic, but I was impressed by the skill level of both sides. Then off to Keith's for a dinner with Keith and his family, Del, Steve, and others.

Thursday. Trip to Cambridge led by professional tour guide. Little bit of rain, but very interesting. Then off to Peterborough. Deacon 13/Sawters(?) 80. Once again, one way traffic. Met Nicola Reynolds before the game. After the game, a quick trip for a dinner at a pub with about 30 people. Learned the game Skittles, which entails knocking down wooden pins with another piece of wood called a "cheese". I came in 3rd.

Friday. A take-it-easy day. Spent time reading until about 11, met up with Donny, and Del took us off for a shopping trip at a local mall. Back to Del's afterward, and a walk to the train station to drop Donny off. It took about 4 hours, though, because we visited 5 pubs on the way. Got back and watched another game on TV, then went to bed.

Saturday. Kind of an easy morning. Didn't have a match until 3. Lazed about reading until about 12:30, and Del dropped me off at Olney RFC (est. 1877). Once again, a magnificent club house with three pitches and three more on an adjacent city park. There were 4 games that day. The first 15, second side, Colts, Vets. Steve did the seconds, I did the Colts. Olney 63/Stockwood Park 5. Once again, an uneven game. Colts is an under 19 team attached to a local club, as opposed to a school team. A player could therefore play for 2 different teams in a single season. This game had a lot of teenage testosterone and yielded three yellow cards. Del returned and picked me up at the train station, then took me to the Crown and Rose for our end of the tour dinner. Gifts, talks, exchanges, and much good companionship over the course of 4 hours. Then back home and into bed.

Sunday. Del dropped me off at Keith's and we took a walk through the English countryside with a bit of mist in the air. We stopped at a pub for a pint (what else?). Then back to Keith's to watch a premiership game on the telly, followed by a traditional English take-out dinner (Indian). A nice, slow, relaxed day to finish the trip.

It should be noted that when you do a game in England, you show up wearing your Number Ones and are met by the coach or an old boy who shows you to the dressing room. Then after the game, you take a shower, put your Number Ones back on again, and enjoy a plate of food and a pint or two in the clubhouse. A very social atmosphere. This was a wonderful trip and I enjoyed every minute of it. I encourage anyone to take advantage of the offer of going in the future.

Eric Rauscher


The NCRRS pre-season meeting and AGM HAS BEEN MOVED to November 13.

The Level Two referee course has swapped weekends with it: the course will now be given on November 6-7.

The Queen's Box
Eric Rauscher, Don McLean, Don Pattalock and Stephen Moore poachthe best seats in the house at Headquarters.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Thursday, September 23, 2010




The NCRRS pre-season meeting and AGM HAS BEEN MOVED to November 13.

The Level Two referee course has swapped weekends with it: the course will now be given on November 6-7.


Chico State will be holding a series of alumni games, probably three or four in all.

Please let us know if you would like to referee there.

Also, we’ll need a lot of referees on October 9. Without you advertising your availability in a return e-mail, you can’t join the fun!

Don Pattalock inspires our envy:

1.) We have made through the first weekend her in the East Midlands. There have been lots of great conversation, beer, food, wine, rugby and just a
little bit of sleep. All three of us had matches on Saturday, with Steve and I getting colts games on Sunday. Eric's game was unfortunately canceled so he
and Del ran touch for me. We had a great tour of Stamford and Burghley House yesterday and finished up with our presentations at the monthly meeting of
the East Mids Society. Murray was there and sends along his warm regards. Today, we're off to Twickers for a little tour and look-around with Keith.

Brackley 10 – BEDFORD SWIFTS 19 Referee: D. Pattalock
TJ: Team Representatives
This match constituted the second league match for each team. Classified as a Midlands South (3) match, it’s equivalent to our D2 comp. Both teams
had a mix of older players and younger players on their way up. There were several nice phases of rugby played by both sides; however, both sides clearly wanted the ref to provide them with nice clean ball in the rucks. Unfortunately, neither team really wanted to ruck to assist the ref. Following the boot check and front row chat, one wry old prop looked at the ref and says "you're not from around here, are you?" to which the ref promptly said: "Nope: Leicester."

[Editor’s Note: Don lived in Leicester once upon a time. Even so, that would not endear him to folks in the East Mids.]

LUTON COLTS 42 – Olney Colts 10 Referee: D. Pattalock
AR's: E. Rauscher, D. Stevens
County Cup Colts match. Luton is a Level 5 club and Olney is a Level 7 club. The game was hugely enjoyable and both sides played solid rugby. Luton
was the superior side and the results bore this out. Big thanks to Eric and Del who both worked well on the touch lines.

Signing off for now.
Donny Rugby

2.) We have reached the midweek games portion of our tour following two days of touring. Tuesday found our flock at the front gate of the hallowed ground
of Twickenham. We were provided a fantastic tour of the stadium, corporate boxes, RFU president's dinning and meeting rooms, the royal box, changing
rooms and even got to run our onto the pitch (well, at least to the edge of the pitch). The tour was given by this little character who we first met in a Charles Dickens novel.

Interestingly, he was the team liaison to the Eagles on their 1977 tour. This is the infamous tour where one of our members threw a quick lineout overhand to the middle of the pitch which was intercepted by the England #6 who promptly ran untouched 60m to touch down. We finished up the day with a fantastic dinner at a 17th century coach house with Del and Keith.

Today we head off to Rugby School in the morning to reconfirm our commitment to the sport at the site of its birth. Then it’s off to referee. Midweek
games are schools games, so we will chase the youngsters and develop an appetite, and of course a thirst, that we will quench with a meat pie dinner
at Keith and Vicky's farm.

For The Wizard, The Jafa and yours truly;
Take care,
Donny Rugby

New Team Runs Out

South Valley 29 – SEAHAWKS 31 Referee: Bruce Carter
The South Valley Sharks took the pitch Saturday night at 6:30 against the Seahawks at the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center.

The Sharks were born of the desire of a number of Live Oak program graduates to continue playing rugby locally and will be competing in the D3 men’s
competition for 2011.

Coaches Matt Guidry and Alatini Saulala had thirty players in numbered jerseys, but a few were experienced ringers brought in to lend a steadying hand for this way-early-season tilt. The weather was perfect. It had been about eighty earlier but as old Sol set it must have been seventy at kickoff and dropped few degrees thereafter. A slight breeze evaporated any perspiration as what will be the Harvest Moon in five days continued to wax, casting a benign glow on the proceedings.

The Morgan Hill complex has more than a dozen pitches, two with lights and grandstands. If they want to play late games on Saturdays during the season they’ll get teams of three happy to be working their second games on the day: it’s a lovely facility.

We went back and forth for eighty minutes, five trys being scored each way in more-or-less alternating fashion. The ‘Hawks managed to convert three, accounting for the difference.

The winning try was tallied by a fellow playing in his first game. We regret not having gotten his name for this report, but the referee brought his wife along to the match and she was ready to go home right away after the late-afternoon start.

Due to the same reason, the ref forgot to collect his touch flags!


Women's Premier League (WPL) - Round 1
BERKELEY ALL BLUES 36, Twin City Amazons 29 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: John Pohlman, Eugene Baker
Number 4: "Rookie"
Evaluator: Kat Todd-Schwartz

The opening match of the 2010 Women's Premier League (WPL) was played under warm, sunny conditions at well-marked Morton Field in Vallejo. Both teams
featured a mix of experience and newer players, but Berkeley, in particular, was missing several of its recent World Cup players. After observing a
moment of silence for 9-11 victims, the match kicked off just after 10am.

Twin City (Minnesota) scored early and looked more organized in mid-field with their fly-half and inside-center frequently breaking the gain-line. Berkeley did not attack through their forwards but were dangerous with space out-wide. Half-time score was 12-10 to Berkeley. The second-half was a back and forth affair with each team attacking in spurts. Twin City dominated possession through their forwards, but Berkeley was able to steal enough ball to feed their hungry outside backs and dampen Twin City's momentum. There were several one-on-one try saving tackles by both teams, but also missed scoring opportunities due to indecision. With 15 minutes left, the score was tied 24-24. Berkeley upped their urgency to edge ahead 36-24, before Twin City struck back 36-29 with minutes remaining. Twin City had an opportunity to tie the match, but their grubber kick ahead (with no defenders in sight) went into touch before the try-line. In the end, Berkeley did just enough to finish ahead, 6 tries to 5. Overall, it was an entertaining but scrappy game, indicative of an early-season encounter.

Much thanks to John, Eugene, and Kat for their assistance and feedback.

Seconds: BERKELEY 35 – ‘Amazons’ 17 Referee: John Pohlman
My rugby season kicked off by running AR for the Woman's Premier League opener between the Berkeley Old Blues and the Twin City Amazons. This was a competitive and entertaining match refereed by nationally-appointed Aruna Ranaweera.

I stayed and refereed a tens match between Berkeley's seconds and a combination of a new team from the South Bay and some Amazon players from Sacramento.

Berkeley won 35 to 17.

San Francisco Fog 10 – SEATTLE BREAKERS 27 Referee: Preston Gordon
Job Corps Field, Treasure Island, 1100

A beautiful Saturday morning was the backdrop for this women's league match on TI. I got out to the field at 1000 with plenty of time to get the paperwork sorted out - note that these matches have their own set of forms, complete with a mugshot gallery for each team listed by name and CIPP number. The ladies are definitely more organized when it comes to this sort of thing, which makes it easy for the referee too. Thanks for that.

Both teams had full rosters, and we kicked off on time with the Fog Ladies kicking south. There was a decent amount of sideline support for the home team that grew a bit (in both numbers and volume) during the game. One or two early knock-ons seemed to settle the nerves, and the game was clearly being played by players in good form, with the fitness levels to match. There was a lot of back-and-forth play with the occasional turnover at the tackle, and the first try was scored in the 19th minute by Seattle, and converted by their fullback and captain. It was more of the same, with neither side having a big advantage and able to keep the penalty count down too. At 36'Seattle took a successful shot at goal. A few minutes later, at 40', the Fog answered with an unconverted try of their own to leave the halftime score at 5-10 in favor of the visitors.

In the second half Seattle was able to get the upper hand, scoring tries at 43, 55, and 62 minutes (converting the last one). The Fog Ladies were still in the contest, however, and were only being beaten by the better offloading skills of the Breakers in and before the tackle. At 76' a contest for a bouncing ball on the ground in open play turned into a yellow card for one of the Seattle replacements when she decided to give her opponent a shove instead of trying to play the ball.

At the 80th minute, one of the newer Fog players did an amazing job brushing off several would-be tacklers near the halfway line and then beating a couple more on her way to scoring a beautiful try. That one was also unconverted, leaving the final score at 10-27 to Seattle.

I should mention that the 3 ladies that ran touch, two from Seattle and one from the Fog, did a good job and that I was grateful for their help. Thanks again!

Once the rest of the paperwork was finished, I had a quick run playing touch with some of the men's side to warm down. They were kind enough to offer
me a lift back to the city as well, going out of their way to drop me off at home (thanks again, fellas). After a stop at the local market for a sandwich, a small salad, and a can of bitter I dropped by the post-match social in SoMa. Most of the ladies came by and had a good time. This day being what it was, the Fog men's team were also putting on a memorial event in Mark Bingham's memory, and it was cool to see that he was well remembered. Not long after that, it seemed appropriate to depart, indicated by the arrival to the establishment of the next big group, composed mostly of large hairy men wearing various amounts of leather and looking like they were about to drink a lot of beer and have a good time.

All in all it was a good day of rugby and great to be doing 80-minute 15's games again.

Norcal Triple Threat 7 – SAN DIEGO SURFERS 44 Referee: Phil Akroyd

We started with 13 minutes of play, in which we only had two scrums and a couple of minutes later, a San Diego try scored from a knock-on advantage,
over 60 meters of the field.

Although the 10 am kick-off helped to make the warm conditions more bearable for me, some of the home pack were struggling and the tiredness eventually showed in the score line. After they got it back to seven each, NorCal started to fade and as they had few attacking options in the backs, their forwards tired at a greater rate. Continuous play saw several vomiting incidents and a few inhalers used up. NorCal had to grind away for their points while the visitors thrived on lazy kicks that were put straight down their three quarters' throats.

All of the S.D. Surfers points were scored by backs; first full-back Wilson, outside center Cheung and winger Strohecker, followed by wing-sub Valerie Griffeth who collected a hat-trick from the bench. When the writing was on the wall, the visitors really started to put their play book into action with great attacking moves, nice offloads and overall good team play. Fly-half Marea Blue also collected two tries in the second-half.

While all this sounds negative towards NorCal, they didn't really play all that badly. Their forwards were solid, but the fitness was lacking and they
just got beaten by a better team.

Thanks to Scott and Mark for heading out to Davis on a Saturday morning and the Triple Threat for a well prepared field and a very civilised social in the park afterwards.

Report by Phil Akroyd:

I also attached a photo from the Polynesian tournament last weekend. Mr. Gordon and I were the only two refs remaining at the end of the day and we thought we should mark our endurance (or stupidity) with a picture of the setting sun behind us (and victorious San Mateo celebrating their win and $1,500 prize pot). Having said that, every ref who showed up during the day did their bit, particularly Pete, Preston and most particularly Eric "The Bionic Wizard" Rauscher who pretty much reffed all day in the women's bracket without a complaint. Top man.

We made it with 15 minutes of daylight left after arriving at 9 AM. Long day, but the play was great. It was obvious that they were coming off 7s season and most games were very close. If they could get some better fields and a couple more teams, they could have a really special annual event, going forward. The rugby product was fantastic.

Report by Eric Rauscher:

Drove down Friday night with Bruce Carter. Got into San Luis Obispo late. We woke up fairly early and got to the three full-sized fields. As is usual, the tournament started a little later than 9 am. There were, I believe, 6 women's teams and 20(?) men's teams divided into women's division and four pools of men's. I ended up doing seven pool games. The pool game I enjoyed the most was San Luis Obispo Barbarians against Arroyo Grande. San Luis Obispo 24/ Arroyo Grande 22. It was a great game with both teams scoring two tries in each half. The difference came down to one converted try to two. The play was open and fast, side to side and up and down the field. A very enjoyable game for all involved.

Then I was over at the women's division field and I said "Well, I'll do whatever the next game is." I guess it turned out to be the women's final. It
was UCLA 5/ Merkin's 31. At the coin toss, the Merkin captain asked the UCLA captain if they could have rolling subs, because they were older and fat, out of shape... so the UCLA captain grudgingly agreed to it. The game was to prove that being older and more experienced makes up for youth. So after the game, I looked at the Merkin's captain and asked, "So what happened to the slow old people?”

I finished that game, walked back over to the referee's tent, and they said "Oh, Eric! You're doing the men's bowl final." Pendleton 36/ Ventura 10. Pendleton is United States Marine Corps from the San Diego base. They played excellent ball, and were in excellent physical condition.

After that came the cup final, and then some of that famous tri-tip and a beer or two, and back home. Looking forward to doing it again next year.


The Seahawks would like to extend an invitation to the NCRFU Referee Society to attend our upcoming 40th anniversary pre season haangi.

Come and celebrate 40 years of San Jose Seahawk rugby on October 2nd. Players, friends, family, supporters and teams from all over the South Bay are
invited to join us while we kick off the 2011 season NZ style by "throwing down a haangi" (feast cooked underground). Witness Bay Area rugby history
while we bring together men's clubs, women's clubs, old boys, and youth teams from all over the South Bay for a fun filled day.

-Great Food & Drinks
-Live DJ
-Games, Raffles & Prizes
-Jumpy House for the Kids

Party from 12noon till midnight
Dinner will be served at 5pm (Pig / Lamb / Tri-Tip)

Admission is $10 and kids under 12 are free.

Location: 1225 Audrey Ave. Campbell, Ca

Hope to see you guys there,
Kyle Oz
San Jose Seahawks


Tom Zanarini has made a nice present of this link, recapping some great times last month at Rocca Field:


All of those who wish to referee in the coming year should re-up now:

Be sure to print the liability waiver, sign it, and mail it to our treasurer along with your $10 dues for the upcoming year.

Note that there are two pages to the waiver, both of which need to be signed and returned, and six paragraphs where you initial. It’s like renting a car in that respect, although more rewarding.

Checks to: NCRRS
Jim Crenshaw
c/o Delta Supply
1248 East Oak Avenue #D
Woodland, CA 95776


Saturday, October 16: level one referee course in San Jose
Sunday, Oct. 17: TJ and AR course in Vallejo
Saturday, Oct.30: level one referee course in Sacramento
November 6-7: level two refereeing course in Vallejo
December 4: TJ and AR course in Sacramento

Please let our recruitment officer know if you would like to take any of
these courses, or simply go on-line to, click on Referees and then on Sign Up For a Course.

Rob Hendrickson:

Most of the Refs
Bill Caulfield, Bruce Carter, Tom Zanarini, Cullen Lowe, Eric Rauscher and
Gary Patterson pose at the end of the day at the Tri-Tip Sevens. Bruce
Bernstein and DeLyn Barclay had to leave prior to shutter time.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Wednesday, September 08, 2010




The women’s west coast league has begun play and the premier league kicks off this weekend.

Here are the games on tap for this Saturday:

10AM at Morton Field in Vallejo:
All Blues – Twin Cities Amazons Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
ARs: John Pohlman, Eugene Baker
Seconds: Referee: John Pohlman

10AM in Davis:
Triple Threat – San Diego Surfers Referee: Phil Akroyd

SF Fog women – Seattle Referee: Preston Gordon

These last two games could use AR support. Contact the ref if you can help out.


NORCAL TRIPLE THREAT 24 – San Francisco Fog 15 Referee: Paolo Diaz
Beautiful day at Treasure Island for rugby. Competitive, intense game throughout. Triple Threat had better forward play and better set pieces. Fog made too many unforced errors. It was the difference in the game. Four tries and two conversions for the Triple Threat that included two tries by their No. 14. Should have been a hat trick but she had a ball knocked out backwards in-goal and No. 3 from the Triple Threat jumped on it for the try. Their No. 3 also scored the other try but I think it was another No. 3. Three tries for the Fog, two from their No. 15. I don’t think this is the last time these two teams are going to meet this season.

Report by Eric Rauscher:

Saturday Sept 4th, Columbia Park, Sunnyvale
1st Bloomfield Cup Tournament (an all Polynesian affair)
I was assigned to the women's division. There were four teams, Sacramento Amazons, EPA lady Bulldogs, and teams from Las Vegas and Utah (but I forget their names). There were two grass pitches full sized but with short in-goal areas. Teams brought tents and lined up alongside both pitches.

[Editor’s Note: we did not receive any reports on the men’s games. Eric refereed all of the matches recounted below.]

There was also a vendors area and a food area (with great food) The game format was two 20-min periods with a five-min half.

SACRAMENTO 34 – Las Vegas 0
Las Vegas is a new team. This was their first game as a team, and the first game for half of the players on the team, so the score came as no surprise.

Later in the day their coach said that they were just happy to be playing and enjoying it all.

SACRAMENTO 31 – Utah 0
Utah looked well coached but were no match for Sacramento's backs, a pattern I would notice all day.

LAS VEGAS 10 – East Palo Alto 0
This was an abbreviated game of 10s with 10-min halves. I think EPA was trying to take it easy before the final and Las Vegas was playing as hard as they could. They were ecstatic when at the final whistle they had won a game. Three cheers for a new team that can head home with their heads high.

SACRAMENTO 20 – East Palo Alto 0
I was lucky enough to have been awarded the final. The game had a more serious side to it. Both teams played very well, but once again Sacramento's backs displayed superior ball handling skills and were able to fly the ball across the field. It was a very enjoyable way to end the day.

By the way, it was touted as a Polynesian affair, but I noticed token non- Polynesians mixed into several teams.

All day long there was a true festive feel and a real spirit of camaraderie and joy in the game.

I hope it happens again next year and becomes a fixture in the calendar.

Report by Eugene Baker:

The Pleasanton Scottish Games - Sponsored by the San Francisco Caledonian Club - Were a roaring success in every sense. Clan plaids filled every corner, the smells of multiple roasting pits filled the air, and men, women and children of all ages with the cross of St. Andrew painted on their faces.

Diablo, Stanislaus, the Marauders, Fairfield and a bevy of unattached players filled out four squads. In the first matches - Diablo handily beat Modesto/Stanislaus 28-7, and the Marauders beat Fairfield 7-nil on the lone try.

After a one-hour break for opening ceremonies that included the Marine Corps Band, the gathering of the clans and "Shinty" (apparently similar to hurling) we played a third and final match, a hodgepodge of players from all four sides and unattached players playing three twenty-minute periods with liberal substitution.

The sponsor presented a keg for the competitors and the postmatch included cold brews and sausage with a great view of the caber toss competition...Looking forward to next year's event in Dixon!


We’ve had ten folks register in the past week, now all the way up to twenty-six. That’s about a third of our actual membership. Get around to it – join the Society.

Be sure to print the liability waiver, sign it, and mail it to our treasurer along with your $10 dues for the upcoming year.

Note that there are two pages to the waiver, both of which need to be signed and returned, and six paragraphs where you initial. It’s like renting a car in that respect, although more rewarding.

Checks to: NCRRS
Jim Crenshaw
c/o Delta Supply
1248 East Oak Avenue #D
Woodland, CA 95776


Through the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, the NCRRS is offering free Level 1 tuition for any coach from a men's or women's college and one or two players from the team. (Coach attends course with the player.) Players must have at least two years experience.

This would provide benefits to teams (those who attend the course will be smarter players and can handle scrimmages), and to players (full-time students can receive money for refereeing matches). The Society benefits from a greater understanding of the laws among those we officiate, and perhaps some refereeing of regular season high school or adult matches.

We can provide coaching to any new referees at the Sacramento Kickoff Tournament in January.


Saturday, October 16: level one referee course in San Jose
Sunday, Oct. 17: TJ and AR course in Vallejo
Saturday, Oct.30: level one referee course in Sacramento
November 13-14: level two refereeing course in Vallejo
December 4: TJ and AR course in Sacramento

Please let our recruitment officer know if you would like to take any of these courses, or simply go on-line to, click on Referees and then on Sign Up For a Course.

Rob Hendrickson:

NY pelican
Ed Todd took this one in Manhattan across the street from the NYAC.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris