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