Tuesday, November 30, 2010




We trust everyone enjoyed a peaceful and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving. Your editorial staff certainly did, sharing a turkey dinner with family at a hotel on Waikiki.

Now it's time to check the bathroom scales, re-calibrate the workout schedule, and prepare for some rugby.


December 4:
We have games in Rocklin, Redding and Fresno that need refs. Let us know if you can travel to any of these destinations. We have refs available but they are all in the Bay Area, where there are very few games.

December 8:
Society meeting from 7-9 PM at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island

FRIDAY, November 19, 7:00 PM
Maritime Academy 5 – STANFORD 7 Referee: John Hinkin
A rainy, muddy Friday night up in Vallejo saw Stanford take the field against Cal Maritime...eventually. Both the Stanford bus and the Refmobile were caught in ridiculous traffic so the match kicked off a half hour past the 7:00 designated time The conditions made handling extremely difficult as both sides struggled to maintain possession of the ball. Many opportunities went begging or didn't get off the ground due to knock-ons. Kicks at goal were attempted and missed by both sides as kickers struggled with their footing and accuracy. Eventually in the second half Cal Maritime was able to get on the board after some sustained pressure but the conversion was wide. Stanford were able to hit back with their own period of pressure that led to a forward try off a 5-meter scrum. This try was nicely centered allowing Stanford to take a lead by the second narrowest of margins. Play went back and forth at that point with both sides desperate for points. An audacious Cardinal drop goal was well wide and after that Cal Maritime seemed to pick up their game. The match ended with Cal Maritime pressing for a score but giving up possession allowing Stanford a counter that went nearly the length of the field. With the ball safely in their hands and time up, captain and scrumhalf Dan Ibarra kicked the ball to touch to secure the win.

Seconds: CAL MARITIME 15 – Stanford 0 Ref: Hinkin
An enthusiastic affair saw Cal Maritime's depth on display as they ran in 3 tries to none for Stanford. Stanford had exactly 15 players for the B game and ended up borrowing a Cal Maritime player after an injury, so thanks goes to Steve Hiatt and the Cal Maritime staff for donating a body and keeping the game going. With the level of experience and the conditions there were the predictable handling errors but also some surprisingly solid phases of play. The difference was that Cal Maritime were able to finish off some breaks and Stanford wasn't.

SATURDAY, November 20

MONTEREY BAY 20 – Berkeley 15 Referee: Eric Rauscher
The game was originally scheduled to be played at the Presidio in Monterrey. The rain came in and the field was re-scheduled to one in Salinas. Nine AM driving down, I got a phone call saying "We're back at the Presidio, since the rain is gone." Both teams did their warm-ups. Five minutes before the game, I did the coin-toss with the two captains and as we're about ready to start the game someone walks on the field and says "You're not playing on my field." I think to myself, "Surely someone knows the base commander and we can get this straightened out." Oh. It is the base commander. So we move to Salinas. Kind of a field, no posts, gopher holes, short, etc., but two teams that wanted to play. Monterey Bay is the old Monterey RFC and Aptos combined into a new team. Berkeley RFC is the same. Both teams had many new players, so we played two thirty-minute periods followed by one twenty-minute period. The last two periods had uncontested scrums. At the end of the day, both teams seemed happy to have had a friendly game and headed off for a social afterward which I was invited to, but could not go to.

SANTA ROSA JC 36 – McGeorge 10 Referee: Cary Bertolone
Saturday, 11/20/10 at 2:00 PM in Santa Rosa at For Pete Eiermann's Sake Field, McGeorge kicked off to Santa Rosa in a drizzle that soon turned into a torrential down pour. The game was even and started out tightly fraught, with Santa Rosa making a couple of long runs to take a 12 point lead. The JC had a bigger pack and controlled the scrums and rucks, but their superiority was obviously in the backline. When they got it outside, they were gone! They took a 26-0 lead into half. The rain was coming down so hard, both teams took about two minutes for the half and were back on the field for the kick off. It was so cold, nobody wanted to stand around. I hardly had time to change my jersey. It would have been no fun on the sidelines, yet there was a sizeable crowd. Both teams scored a couple of tries amid substantial thunder and lightning and pouring rain and the final score was 36-10.

SAN JOSE STATE 37 – Seahawks U23, 0 Referee: John Pohlman
The weather kept me close to home, but not by choice. I was originally slated to go referee a woman's tournament in Davis. That tournament was moved to Sunday. I then picked up a game in Stockton, University of Pacific versus Sierra College. That game was postponed due to field being closed for rain. I then got the opportunity to referee 15 minutes from home on Saturday.

San Jose State was splitting up their sides and hosting San Jose Seahawks Under 23 and then USF.

I got the noon game. The skies never cleared, but we had a pretty dry game. The field was much firmer than I would have expected, but poorly marked. The pitch was probably in better shape than any other game played this weekend.

State split up their forwards and played their A-side backs against the Seahawks.

The game was more competitive than the score. The Seahawks had a lot of ball possession. But the State defense was overwhelming. State scored three tries, a conversion and a penalty in the first forty. The Seahawks had a couple of opportunities. In one phase of play State stopped the Hawks three times on the goal line.

The State defense was one of the most dominating I have seen for a while. They simply pressured the Hawks into mistakes and turnovers. The Seahawks #10 usually received a tackler or two upon catching the ball. The second half saw State scoring three more tries.

Final score San Jose State 37 San Jose Seahawks Under 23 0.

SAN JOSE STATE seconds 8 – Uni. of San Francisco 0 Referee: Chris Fisher
SJSU have really recruited well. At the end of the game when they were taking off their jerseys many of the players had 6-packs. When I was there, most players had beer bellies. If you can pull in athletes and give them a good coach i.e., Rick Humm, then good things will happen. Watch out for them this year.


UC DAVIS B 24 – SF State 5 Referee: Chris Tucker
A cool, blustery day for rugby marked my first game of the season. Still, at least we managed a game on a wet weekend, a remarkable feat sometimes in NorCal. Both teams were scrappy, but the game was played in good humour throughout. UC Davis started to exert their authority as injuries took their toll on an already-depleted SF side. 2 quick tries just before the half, and two more mid-way through the second put the game away. To their credit the visitors kept at it until the 80th minute, when continued pressure on the Davis line yielded two quick penalties at the breakdown, for not rolling away and then for pulling down a maul. A quick tap from the scrum half and the consolation try was scored.

SF FOG 17 – Mendocino 5 Referee: Jen Tetler
Referee Coach: Dixon Smith
There was a little bit of a fight that happened at the end of the 1st half, but then everyone settled down. I was nervous, but Dixon helped out a TON and gave really good feedback. Thanks :)

SF Fog B 0 – SEAHAWKS 46 Rookies Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Pretty sure these weren't Seahawk "rookies" as advertised to play Fog B players (really rookies); but a pretty strong 2nd division team in mid-season form, now including a new set of Polynesian players that were fast, big, dynamic; but lost the party to the Fog.

Other highlights were the fact there was no rain at TI until we got in our cars, around the time it started getting dark; & a prelim 8's (3 forwards & 5 backs) match b/w San Jose State Women & Seahawk Women which the much smaller & younger coeds won at the end 10 (2) - 5 (1); which were both coached by former Silverhawk/Old Black Old Boys.

4PM: Seconds: Chico State 5 – CAL POLY 34 Referee: Jackie Finck
An afternoon match felt like an evening match due to the weather. Because of the downpour of rain, the field lights came on early. The field lights magnified each drop of rain, and they also gave the illusion it was warmer than it was, which was in the low-60s.

Despite the very wet conditions, I was impressed at how well both teams handled the ball and endeavored to stay on their feet at tackles, rucks, and mauls. However, it was Cal Poly who dominated both halves; with a slightly stronger scrum and better at creating space.

Funny, there were a few times 'fast ball' had to happen FAST; I almost thought I was going to have to stop some tackles and rucks because of unsafe conditions, say drowning to the tackled player. Everyone got muddy, including myself....I'm still finding dirt on my scalp.

6PM: Chico State – CAL POLY Referee: JC Van Staden
No report received.

We only have reports from one of the four refs.

ST. MARY’S 34 – UCSB/Indiana/SMC Combination 15 Referee: John Coppinger
Uncontested scrums with lots of first year players. Didn't rain.

Seconds: UCSB – USAFA


St. Mary's – Indiana

USAFA seconds, 25 – Indiana/St. Mary's Combo 5 Referee: John Coppinger
With lots of new players and wet ground, scrums quickly became uncontested for safety. 60 minutes running clock. Also no rain.

UCSB – Indiana

St. Mary’s – USAFA

Seconds: St. Mary's – UCSB

Stanford Many – ALUMNAE Many + Referee: Sandy Robertson
Tries came fast and furiously in a match that where the numbers on each side varied from 10 to 12 depending on the moment. Both sides played like Stanford women--always aggressive, attacking; good hands and support.

The primary blemish for the alums was a failure to properly execute the traditional "penalty moon"--the 20+ cheeks were never properly aligned, the students were never awed, and the alums smothered.

Stanford 22 – ALUMNI 54 Referee: Bruce Ricard
Referee Coach: David Williamson

Report by Sam Davis:

Four women’s college teams gathered in Davis for a pre-season tournament:
UCD 15 – Sac St 0
UCD 5 – USF 5 Great game back and forth USF came back in the last mins of the game to tie it up.
Reno 5 – Sac St 5
Reno 0 – USF 12
UCD 7 – Reno 5
USF 12 – Sac St 5

I did all the games. The level of play was very good and they were all great games.

SATURDAY, November 27

SFGG – Alumni Referee: George O’Neil
No report received.

By Phil Akroyd

NORFOLK 54 – Raleigh 26
The east coast weather was perfect for the Div 1 top of the table clash in Lafayette Park, Norfolk, VA. While it was raining back in NorCal, I arrived at the field (with my host, Jeffrey Anderson) after a morning walk on Virginia Beach, watching the military ships on manoevers in the Atlantic. By kick off, we were at 60 degrees, clear sunny skies and little to no wind.

Norfolk won the toss and elected to choose field position. A large crowd of one to two hundred gathered on the sidelines of the flat, firm field measured to maximum dimensions.

I'd been told that both teams were considered (somewhat) local rivals but it was based on mutual respect. Both teams wanted to play and play hard. After about ten minutes, it became obvious that the home team were a little better than their opposition in every area of the game. They controlled scrums, had a very effective lineout with tapped down ball to the half back and good ball recycling.

When Norfolk began to control the ball and get their backs moving via their number ten (who reminded me a little of England’s Will Greenwood, at least physically) they pressed the opposition line. Raleigh could not deal with the speed of attack and their forwards let the team down by not getting back onside quickly enough and therefore, giving away back foot penalties. Norfolk slotted a PK after ten minutes and four tries before half, to Raleigh’s' one unconverted try - 27-5 at half.

When Norfolk scored a fifth and sixth after the break, it looked like Raleigh would throw in the towel, but they did exactly the opposite. They seemed to remember that they had a lightning fast line breaker at outside center (wearing the 22 shirt) who helped create or finish three tries in a short period of time. The competition became more equal and Norfolk were reminded that they had a lead to defend. They started to put the nail in the coffin with a push over try from a scrum and another with try that started on one touch line and ended on the other, just outside the 22.

Norfolk now go onto playoffs with an unbeaten season which appears as though they deserve it with a good all around performance.

Thanks to Jeffrey Anderson and family for making me feel welcome in Virginia, although I wish I had more time to check out the surrounding area.


The basic rugby referee course will be offered in Sacramento on Sunday, January 9.

Any coach of a college team who attends with one or two players from that team will have their course fees reimbursed at the meeting, courtesy of a friendly donor.

The lead instructor will be Matt Eason: Matthew@capcitylaw.com Let him know if you plan to attend. On-line registration is not yet available (as of November 18).


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Wednesday, November 17, 2010




We’ve got the alumni games at Stanford this Sunday, November 21. Please respond if you would be available.


The basic rugby referee course will be offered in Sacramento on Sunday, January 9.

Any coach of a college team who attends with one or two players from that team will have their course fees reimbursed at the meeting, courtesy of a friendly donor.

The lead instructor will be Matt Eason: Matthew@capcitylaw.com Let him know if you plan to attend. On-line registration is not yet available (as of November 18).

November 13
Report by David Williamson:

We were honored to have three of the best coaches in the US join us: Paul Keeler from SFGG, Tom Billups from Cal, and Tony McKenzie from Lamorinda. The coaches discussed what they expect to see from referees at various times during Game Day. Preston Gordon moderated the panel.

Overall, the coaches were very complimentary of the level of refereeing in NorCal. But, as Tom stated, "the best can always get better." Tony appreciates seeing more discipline in HS matches, and seeing refs working the Frosh and JV matches. Paul noted the need
for more HS refs.

Before the game, Tony wants refs to provide a good briefing that covers interpretations such as "when is the ball out?" Tom is looking for a high level of professionalism. Paul stressed the ref being on time. "On Time" means 45 minutes to an hour before kickoff for high school, 1 hour for college, and 1.5 hours for Super League.

During the game, Tony is looking for tougher management of the game, which helps the players as they progress. He wants refs to work with the captains. Tom emphasized "life lessons" that can be learned in rugby, and asked referees not to coach the players. Paul said, "continuity is everything." Coaches want to keep the ball alive, and sometimes referees kill it by looking for an infraction. He encouraged refs to find a way to keep the game going.

At scrums, Paul urged refs to line up players in slots with their opposite numbers in the front row--the correct distance apart—to avoid collapses. Tom supports a slower cadence and utilizing input from the ARs to manage the contest. He stressed safety and recognized a dominant scrum's responsibility to manage it. Tony pointed out the different sizes of HS players.

After the match, Tony appreciates a 5 minute discussion with the referee regarding law interpretations. Tom prefers to review the video before engaging in a discussion. Paul said the post-match discussion "comes down to personalities." The discussion is much more productive if the ref has good "people skills" and is truly interested in the coach's perspective.

Finally, it was enlightening to hear how captains are selected: The Lamorinda players select their captain for the season, and the coaches encourage the players to look to him for on-field guidance. It takes a while to assume leadership at this level. At Cal, the captain has a defined role to manage team’s relationship with the referee. At SFGG, the captain may be selected based on who the referee is that week.

We're very appreciative of the time and energy the coaches devoted to the panel, and their candid remarks. Their efforts help make us better referees.


Friday, November 12:
Maritime Academy 6 – SANTA ROSA 22 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Maritime's Friday Night Lights. Hey, new refs, if you are offered one of these matches, take it. It is great college D2, wonderfully venued.

This was the first match for both clubs-and like football, the defense tends to be ahead of the offence. The first half was 6-0-all Keelhaulers. They kept it in the pack and spent a lot of time parked on the Rosa goal line.

For the second half, Rosa changed tactics-deeply angle the backs, swing the pill out wide right to the outside center/wing, and let them ponies run. Run straight, at full sprint. Support. It worked. A missed tackle and they were downfield for big gainers-and tries.

Seconds: MARITIME ACADEMY 19 – Santa Rosa 10 Ref: Byrnes
A bit of a shambles but a happy one. This was the first match for many if not most of the Maritime seconds players, so uncontested scrums. The challenge with these games is to keep it safe, work on stuff, but give everyone a run. So that is what we did.


SOUTH VALLEY 47 – San Francisco State 0 Referee: Cary Bertolone
On 11/13/10, a gorgeous day in Morgan Hill, South Valley kicked off to SF State at 1:00PM. South Valley is a new Div. 3 team from Morgan Hill featuring several graduates of Live Oak H.S. They have a lot of youth mixed in with some sizeable, more experienced players that make the core of a really good team. This being early in the year, a lot of mistakes were made by the bigger, faster men's team, keeping them in check. I was tough on the high tacklers as well as the players diving over killing rucks. I even yellow carded one player for playing the man (ripping a lock out of a maul and throwing him aside) to keep things civil. S.F. State, on the other hand, played with urgency and determination and we had a really close game for the entire first half, with the score being only 5-0 in favor of South Valley. In the second half, however, we had an entirely different game. South Valley scored 42 unanswered points for a total score of 47-0. They rucked and ran and passed and their backs completely dominated the S.F. backs. (I believe S.F. lost a couple of backs to substitution and those subs were not up to the task.) One back scored 4 times with some great running. Both teams had reason to be proud and we all had a great run.

Santa Clara 6 – SAN JOSE STATE 71 Referee: Terry Ryan

Seconds: SANTA CLARA 21 – San Jose State 15 Ref: Bertolone
Afterwards, I reffed Santa Clara B side against San Jose State B's. I know San Jose State won the first side game, I think rather handedly. My B side game was evenly matched. The smaller, faster Santa Clara side beat San Jose 21-15 with each side scoring three tries, but Santa Clara making their conversions. I awarded one penalty try to San Jose State, along with a yellow card, for a high tackle on the two meter line with the ball carrier appearing like he was going in. Everyone, even the Santa Clara coach, thought this was appropriate, even though it was not malicious or intentional. Everyone had a good run, once again!

SF/GOLDEN GATE 46 – Vancouver Rowing Club 6 Referee: Bruce Carter
This is a fixture that dates back to the Rowers’ annual trips to the old Golden Gate Tournament at the polo field thirty years ago. Some of the fellas on the pitch may have some shared memories with the ref.

But not most of them: youth was served alongside experience.

The different was in the front rows, Golden Gate having relative vigor, power and pace to make it a one-sided affair.

The referee meeting having ended in the clubhouse, the players were free to enjoy the fruits of the brand-new bar that now graces dining area.

Coaches Panel
Tony McKenzie, Tom Billups, Paul Keeler and Preston Gordon at the Pelican Refs annual training meeting.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Thursday, November 11, 2010




7 PM game at the Maritime Academy

6 PM game at Santa Clara
7 PM game at Stanford

6:30 PM game at Stanford

Sharp-eyed readers will notice that those who refereed this past Saturday did two or more games. There is an abiding need for referees over the next month. I keep hearing about new referees but with rare exception they (you) are not responding with a list of dates that you can ref.

There’s no other way to get a game. Answer this e-mail and say when you can run.

Friday, Nov. 19: One ref needed
November 20: Need at least ten more refs
Sunday, Nov. 21: Four refs

December 4: Five or six more refs needed

December 11: Ten more refs needed


At the SF/Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island
All of those who would like to referee over the next year should attend. New referees especially!

“Managing The Breakdown"
9:00 AM: Beep Test: The Multi-Stage Fitness Test (Beep test) will be given Saturday morning at 9 AM on the netball court at the Golden Gate clubhouse. Please be there early and warmed up if you would like to take the test. It's a back-and-forth shuttle run, so select your shoes accordingly. Those referees who aspire to territorial and higher levels should be taking this test annually. The more the merrier!
9:30 AM: Coffee, Bagels, and Juice for early arrivals
10:00-11:00: Seeing and Reacting to Tackle Scenarios (Pete Smith and Ref Coaches)
11:00-11:45: Coaches Panel--Paul Keeler, Tom Billups, Tony McKenzie
Moderated by Preston Gordon
11:45-12:00: Lunch
12:00-12:45: AGM: Reports/Registration/Safety Protocol
12:45-1:15: Managing A Dynamic Contest (Aruna Ranaweera)
1:15-1:45: 2010 Law Revisions and Key Video Links (David Williamson)
1:45-2:00: East Mids Exchange (E. Rauscher and S. Moore)
2:00-2:30: Video Quiz from South Africa (Aruna Ranaweera)


October 30:
Seconds: UC DAVIS 36 – Humboldt State 5 Referee: Scott Griffin
Late match report: Davis seconds beat Humboldt seconds 36-5 over two 30 minute halves. HSU was using some Davis players as they didn't have enough to fill out a full seconds team. Rain started coming down 1/2 way through second half, did not effect play substantially. Referee received much appreciated constructive criticism from 1st side ref at halftime.

November 5:

Stanford 18 – SAN JOSE STATE 24 Referee: Bruce Ricard
7th and 13th minutes of play, San Jose scored two try, and converted them (0-14). In the 15th minute, a San Jose player made a high tackle. This was already the third of the game, and after having warned the team on the second one, gave a yellow card to the player who committed this foul, for repeated fouls. The tackles were not particularly dangerous, but they occurred too often. At the last minute of the sin bin (25th), Stanford scored a try, not converted. Just before the half-time, Stanford scored a penalty. Score at half-time: 8 - 14 .

The second half started quite slowly. At the 15th, San Jose scored a penalty kick. Just after the restart kick, Stanford's ball carrier was high tackled, the advantage was gained, and 20 seconds later, the ball carrier was again high tackled. I sent the second high tackler to sin bin, and warned the San Jose captain that the next time, it would be red. The last 20 minutes were agitated, I missed two strange things in rucks, didn't see what was happening, it was on the other side of the ruck, even if I was close, and players stated to talk. I penalized a team for this, they talked a little less after that. Stanford made a couple of high tackles, but nothing dangerous; San Jose didn't make any other high tackles after the sin bin. San Jose scored a new converted try at the 25th. Stanford scored 2 tries in the 10 last minutes, not converted. But San Jose had too much of a lead.

Seconds: Stanford 0 – SAN JOSE STATE 32 Referee: Terry Ryan

November 6:

Anderson, Calif.

Report by Phil Akroyd:
It was a really enjoyable event that ran perfectly on time, was well organized with two pretty good fields (good and wide, but maybe a little short) and not one yellow card. We had a total of 4 refs (Pattalock, Wilkening, Ellis and Akroyd), so we ran one game on, one game off. I think there were too many games to give a detailed match report for each but I will include the highlights from the games I took.

My most entertaining game was Sierra College A V Chico State A. There seems to be some rivalry between these two evenly matched teams that meant a game with lots of aggression, intense rucking and a real desire to win.

Santa Rosa JC showed up with a large group of rookies who hadn't played before, not that you could tell. They went toe-to toe with Chico A and gave them a real fright with a game tied at 5-5 at half, which Chico finally won 10-5.

Sac State appeared to be their usual well organized squad with athletic players and strong forwards (the A side won all of their games, as did Chico State A). Having reffed UC Davis last week and Sac this weekend, I think that their games could be a lot closer this season.

Special mention to West Oregon who travelled a long way to play and came away winless. However, they conducted themselves magnificently under adversity with special mention to their captain who was a refs dream - in total control of his team and accepting of every decision from the refs. West Oregon also provided me with a "First". The coach asked that their opponents not wear full length tights, as he was well within his rights to request. Sierra College did not argue and obligingly, all three players removed them, as they did not have a break in the tights at the knee. Anyone else have this yet? Current Pelican law knowledge pays off again.

Report by Dave Ellis:
The imminent rain held off long enough to provide a glorious weather for a full day of rugby at the Mittry Memorial Tournament in beautiful Shasta County thanks also to my wonderfully obstinate mother, who despite being hospitalized insisted I go and ref the games (and I’ve never wanted to knowingly disappoint my mother). Once again the Mittrys put on a quality event in memory of their son Andrew - an ardent, ever-improving young rugger who was taken from us in an auto accident. Aside from an interesting array of field markings and lack of posts for a game or so, it was pretty much perfect out there.

CHICO 10 – Highwaymen 5
Two mostly veteran teams, with Chico gearing it up for another hard season. Chico have a nice mix of veterans and young guys in the team though, and as always are strong in the backs and tough in the tackle, which allowed them to eke this one out two tries to one.

Highwaymen 0 – SIERRA JC 5
JC rugby - you’ve got to love it! The Sierra squad seem to hold high aspirations for the season as they held off the veteran Highwaymen, who played as though they really did not want to lose this game. In the end a first half try held up for Sierra, who maybe had a little edge conditioning-wise.

Santa Rosa JC 7 – SAC STATE A 10
JC Rugby - you’ve got to love it!! Santa Rosa Junior College held sway in the first half of this thrilling game but resilient defense limited the first half damage to a converted try for Santa Rosa. Sac State came back strong in the second half with an early unconverted try, but even though Santa Rosa pressed again and looked dangerous, it was Sac State who battled to the final whistle and pulled it out with a try at the very end.

Santa Rosa put their foot on the gas from the kick off in this final game of the day and overwhelmed Sac State’s B side with 5 tries (4 of them converted) in the first half, coming from a mix of fluid running rugby and sometimes brute force. Sac State tightened things up in the second half, but couldn’t penetrate the Santa Rosa defense, which was impressive all day. JC rugby, you’ve got to love it!!!


Report by Bryant Byrnes:
On a pretty Fall day in the San Joaquin Valley, four teams, three refs, six games, 20 minute halves. Mike King did the first two, I did two and Sam Davis finished the day.

SOUTH VALLEY 17 – Stanislaus 7
South Valley is, I understand, the Morgan Hill High School Club all grown up. Hey guys, keep those tackles lower. Stanislaus is that same team I had the pleasure of reffing four times last year. Although they did not win a lot, they were always game. Same here.

FOG 17 – Univ. of the Pacific 12
This was tied until the last play, when the Fog dotted one in the corner. Much better back play from the week before. The Tigers had a motor that would not quit and will be a welcome addition to college D2.


UC Santa Cruz 0 – SF State 0 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
I got my first run of the upcoming season reffing the opening game of the delayed UC Santa Cruz Slugfest tournament, which pitted the Slugs against SF State in a 2 X 20 minute halves format.

The Slugs use the upper pitch until soccer gives up the lower pitch for the winter season, which was moist but firm, and by half time, the clouds were lifting and parting to open that prized view of Monterey Bay.

SF State controlled possession in the Slugs’ half of the field for most of the play, and came close to scoring a try as the ball squirted out of their maul at the goal line, only to wind up under a Slug in goal. SF State looked very strong in both back line and forwards, although scrums need work on both sides. The Slugs mounted a spirited defense, with a strong line, but need to work on not being so anxious to charge the opposing scrum half at rucks resulting in offside. A fun start to the season.

UNR 22 – Santa Clara 19 Referee: Blake Crawley
Well fought match. A seesaw match for the first 25 minutes, then UNR got ahead and traded scores while staying just out of reach until the death. Two long runs for tries by speedy UNR backs sunk Santa Clara.

Seconds: UNR 42 – Santa Clara Seconds 39 Ref: Crawley
Santa Clara Seconds jumped to a 15 point lead and UNR clawed their way back and took the lead, dominating the middle hour of the match. After an injury delay Santa Clara came back with intent, scoring two converted tries and actually had the ball at the end but inexplicably kicked it away to allow UNR an escape.

UC DAVIS 36 – Oregon State 17 Referee: Rich Boyer
Oregon State left windswept Corvallis for an eight hour bus ride to Davis for a perfect day for rugby. OSU came out quickly and took the lead through good back play. Davis looked a bit rusty, this being only their second game of the season (preseason). Davis countered with two tries to lead at half 12-10.

OSU continued spinning the ball wide and racked up more points, however, at halftime Davis replaced the starting fullback with a larger man. This fellow broke the gain line every time he touched the ball, had incisive running and great offloading skills. He was instrumental in the three late tries scored by Davis. OSU visibly tired from the quick paced game in the second half and was unable to mark the new fullback. OSU were game, forsaking penalty kicks in the hopes of scoring more tries. However, the backs made mistakes which were capitalized on by Davis. Davis captain Sam (#8), and #6 played very well, scoring a try each. OSU #8 was everywhere on the pitch.

Seconds: UC DAVIS 22 – Oregon State 17 Ref: Boyer
The seconds game was as fast paced as the first. It was nice to hear a number of accents: German, Australian and Austrian. The Austrian informed me rugby is gaining a foothold in his country. This game featured some less seasoned players, prone to making the simplest of mistakes. They took the penalties in stride, oftentimes apologizing for their infractions. OSU scored first, then Davis score 22 unanswered points and it looked like a rout. OSU fought back and scored three more tries near the end to make it a very close game. I particularly enjoyed refereeing a boy I originally coached while at Christian Bros. and another boy who played rugby with my son at Jesuit.

FOG Women B 36 – USF Women 10 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Played on the Fog's TI field in pretty good condition & what became sunny skies.

Highlights included: Both teams played very well for a pre-season scrimmage-type match with two 30 minute periods followed by a 20 minute one. Good ball control by the Fog; good kicks by both flyhalfs into space past the defensive centers; USF won everyone of their lineouts & were very crisp about it; & the best two plays involved the Fog's inside center (12) intercepting a USF pass & running a good 60 meters, only to be outdone by USF's outside center (13) returning the favor a little later & going a good 80 meters as the Fog was about to score.

Nov. 7:
Maritime Academy Intrasquad Scrimmage Referee: Joe Androvich

Mixed squads of experienced to true rookies played three 30-minute periods. The Blue team beat the Gold team 22-20. I always enjoy refereeing the Maritime Academy; they are well-coached, disciplined, and have a passion to learn the game. I wish them success this year.

Five Out of Six Refs
The Armed Forces Championships were contested all last week at Fort Benning, Georgia. The Air Force beat the Coast Guard in the final.

Six referees were assigned. Pete Smith had to leave prior to the picture-taking.

Left to right: Bruce Carter, Marc Nelson and Joe Zevin (Eastern Rockies), Carla Cross (Minnesota), Ed Gardner (USA Panel, living in London)

This event began in 1985. Your scribe has attended eighteen of the twenty-six tournaments, three times playing for the Army, four times coaching Army, and the remainder as an official.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, November 02, 2010




“To: Anna McMahan
I am delighted to tell you that the Northeast RRS Evaluation Committee has promoted you to the Territorial Panel of Referees.

“Congratulations. This is the result of a lot of hard work on your part, and we are looking forward to much more of the same in the future.

“All the best,
Peter Watson”


We've had several long moments of non-silence for the San Francisco Giants this past three weeks.

What an autumn!


Friday, November 5:
Two referees needed for games at Stanford, 5 and 7 PM

Men’s Slugfest at UC Santa Cruz. Games all day on two pitches. One ref so far.
Four-team short-game round robin in Turlock (just south of Modesto). No refs so far.
Several other games that need refs including Stanford and two in Reno.

We’ve got a tournament in Redding with three refs. Even though it’s two pitches, that’ll have to do.

Maritime Academy intra-squad game at 3 PM

Your assignments officer and re-assignments officer are both in Columbus, Georgia, and will be refereeing the Armed Forces Championships at Fort Benning the next four days. If you respond with availability YOU WILL GET AN ASSIGNMENT.


Fresno State 5 – SIERRA COLLEGE 74 Referee: Bruce Carter
It was a perfect day to drive over the Pacheco Pass, a World Series of a day: a bright sunny sky over smiling hills. In the Central Valley, cloud-shadows danced across recently-baled cotton and fit-to-be-trod-upon grapes were sagging the vines.

We had seventy-plus at kickoff on Halloween Eve.

The referee drove 150 miles, the visitors 190. Young legs proved to be more resilient out of the cars in the early minutes as Sierra set their point-a-minute pace immediately.

This official did a game three weeks previously in Reno when Sierra beat a senior men’s club, using pace and doggedness. They have twin brothers who are not to be tackled. (More information would be provided but the View Club Rosters portion of www.USARugby.org hasn’t been working.) We can safely predict a good season for them in the college ranks.

Fresno State is a new side, of which we can never have too many.

Seconds: Fresno State 12 – SIERRA COLLEGE 22 Ref: Carter
Each squad needed only to recycle four or five players to fill out two sides. We had a front-row clinic and then proceeded with full scrums in safety.

Report by Eric Rauscher:
Stanford 10s, overcast with patches of rain and sun
I ended up doing four games. Games were 24 min, no half, started and stopped by an air horn.
Stanford just out-played Cal. Both teams displayed decent skills and drive, but Stanford came out on top.
EPA BULLDOGS 57 – Stanford GSB 7
The Bulldogs were defiantly dominant. Stanford scored by a little chip kick forward into goal which was pounced upon by a teammate
The Bulldogs were again dominant.
My closest game of the day. Chico played well with a converted try, but EPA had two unconverted. All in all a fun day with 5 new refs showing up, three of whom were ladies.

Fog 15 – SAN FRANCISCO STATE 25 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Moist early days rugby on TI (after some mucky nonsense at the Baracus 10s). The sides wished 20 minute quarters and who was I to argue?

At the end of three quarters, SFSU 15 and Fog 15. Both sides then substituted. This is not your father's SFSU. Probably 30 strong, they are stout and fit. And the Fog were their usual high energy selves. Their coach is now Kathy Flores; welcome back to the Bay Area.

Report by Ray Schwartz
Jeff Ferguson had taken the Level 1 class at Bellarmine High two weeks ago, and got to ref his first matches. Like so many of us at the start, he has a long way to go! I watched him a bit, shared some training techniques and ref philosophy, and believe I was able to sell him on the opportunity in front of him. He appreciated the honest assessment I offered him.

I challenged Fergy to stop playing (or at least play less), to focus on his fitness (adding it would serve to improve the home life with his wife Heidi), and start reffing as many games as he can fit into his schedule. He lives in Berkeley, attends seminary school in Marin,... I mentioned lots of midweek youth and high school games need his help, and how his becoming a ref will only compliment a desire to professionally serve others as a mentor.

I invited Fergy to attend the next KOT (Jan 28/29/30) in Sacramento. Don Whidden (Alberta) will lead a ref training session, focused on getting newer refs more comfortable with the task at hand, and along with Kat, Josh Tameifuna and Peter Simpson (to name a few ref coaches) will be ref coaching all weekend at the KOT Sat and Sunday, to back up the training session Friday. Sounds as though Ed Todd will join us as well!

I'm starting to build a list for this Friday session and weekend long tourney. A formal announcement (promoting the KOT Ref Development Program) will go out shortly to all NorCal clubs (focusing on youth and high school sides), as well as to all Ref Societies across the US, once again inviting other refs to come in and help with the KOT. 96 sides are once again expected to compete in Sacramento at the KOT!

I offered they are doing the right thing providing leadership in supporting the ref coaches and the KOT RDP, and added that good ref coaches just do not grow on trees. But we have a good, growing pool of younger local refs in and around Sacramento (Tucker, Akroyd, Androvich), and we will continue to grow that pool.

But this conversation was coincidental with the Level 1 Ref Class scheduled for Sacramento being cancelled due to a lack of numbers. Not good.

UC DAVIS 38 - 5 Humboldt Referee: Phil Akroyd
Davis were in control all the way. Even though they are down on bulk and power throughout the team, they did enough to execute moves and win enough set-piece ball to see off a less experienced travelling team. Humboldt scored on a break-away; Davis mixed it up with tries from backs and forwards. Not a bad pre-season game.


If you are interested in taking the beep test for fitness level measurement the morning of the AGM meeting, November 13 at Treasure Island, please contact Dave Williamson to confirm.

This is strongly encouraged for anyone who would like territorial assignments or who hopes to receive national appointments this year or in the future.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris