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