Tuesday, January 25, 2011




It comes to our attention late every week through a panic-filled series of e-mails from teams asking who their referee is supposed to be.

Please check www.pelicanrefs.com to see what your assignments are. We try to stay two weeks ahead but it’s nearly impossible.

It’s Monday. See where you are going to be this weekend. Contact the home team by e-mail (contacts listed on the website). If you don’t hear back by Wednesday, call them.

If you find out that the contact information is out-of-date, ask them to let webmaster Scott Wood know so that he can update the site. Otherwise, each subsequent referee will have to chase the same elusive quarry.


Your editor is only recently returned from the Fiji Islands, where Internet service proved spotty. Then too, the crush of business that descends after a week away means this week’s compilation may take a day or two longer than normal. So here, forthwith, are the match reports from the weekend of January 15.

Wednesday, January 12:
Sacramento State 3 – CALIFORNIA 69 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Seconds: Sac State 0 – CALIFORNIA 91 Referee: Rich Boyer
The weather and field were perfect for the track meet, er game.

Cal started off with back line play, a few scissors, and good ball handling. 40-0 at half.

Brandon Kraft, former Jesuit flyhalf, played well, as did the inside center Nafisi, with each scoring multiple tries. Sac State was game, but had many unseasoned players. They tackled well, but did not come near the disciplined, surgical approach by Cal.

The Sac State players tired from being on the back foot in the second half (with limited subs) and the back line defense became disjointed. Cal exploited this at every opportunity, despite wholesale personnel changes. Cal rarely went past the first phase in the second half: 15 meter pass from scrummie to fly; 20 meter pass fly to inside; wide ball to fullback, then 2 on 1 pass to the wing #14. The speed of this game was unrivaled by any I have reffed.

Former Jesuit standout Jason Fry scored a nice support try from a long break by Kraft, who converted on 8 of 15 conversions.

Dante Walters, former Christian Bros player, played his heart out and made numerous critical tackles. Sac State's #14 is a strong player who will continue to improve with games played. Marquis, the other winger, had a fine game for Sac State as well.

Final score 91-0. Great sportsmanship from both sides and no issues. Special thanks to ARs Tristan Boyer, Rob Hendrickson and Jim Crenshaw, the ageless one.

Saturday, January 15:
Barbarians 13 – SAN MATEO 23 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
On a sunny 65F day in Hayward, visiting San Mateo RFC and the referee were told to arrive at the artificial turf field at Alden Oliver Park for 1:30-2pm kickoff, but we were then informed that kickoff will be at 2:30pm. This was further delayed while the team rosters and improvised field markings and barriers were established, so actual kickoff was around 2:45pm. The match was played with physical intensity and open play was indicative of a preseason encounter with many missed passes and late support. Both teams showed good structure in the set pieces and mauls, but back play resembled a pickup game. San Mateo exploited gaps in the Barbarian defense to score two tries en route to a 15-6 half-time edge. (To account for the delayed start and the need to play a 2nd XV match before the field closed, actual playing time was 30-35 minutes per half.) In the second half, both team established better continuity and had several opportunities to score, but the last pass often went astray or was dropped. In the end, San Mateo was the more organized team and did just enough to stay ahead, 3 tries to 1. With more practice, both teams will be fun to watch during the regular season. Preston Gordon drove from Stanford to referee the 2nd XV match. Much thanks to the Barbarians for the post-match pizza.

Seconds: Barbarians – San Mateo Referee: Preston Gordon
No report received. Not sure if they played this one.

SACRAMENTO LIONS 39 – EPA Razorbacks 10 Referee: Joe Androvich
Big men. Big hits. Slow and narrow field hampered EPA’s skilled and crafty backline. Lions proved more physical in defense and attack and took the victory. A mid season rematch on a different field may yield different results.

Seconds: Sacramento Lions 5 – EPA Razorbacks 5 Ref: Androvich

Chico – Sac Caps Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

Seconds: Chico – Sac Caps

Stanislaus – Paso Robles Ref?
No report received.

RENO ACADEMY 62 – Santa Rosa 34 Referee: Don Pattalock
AR/TJ: P. Ulibarri/Seletti Mokofisi
On a beautiful day in Reno, the rugby was running wild. In a great match of rugby, Reno’s mix of youth, experience and athleticism won out over Santa Rosa’s youth and solid game plan. Played in great spirit and ultimately great rugby won the day.

Monterey Bay 7 – FRESNO 59 Referee: Bruce Carter
For those who will be games listed as Aptos on the schedule, do not be discouraged when you see one only CIPP member of that club. They are taking the field as a combined Monterey Bay team and have more than thirty players registered under ‘Monterey’.

But the third division is a long way from the second, maybe as long as the 150-mile drive from Fresno. But with high-sixties weather and no clouds, it was a drive worth making to escape the tule fog and the tedium of pre-season practices.

The referee has to sheepishly take credit for Monterey’s try. Having worked out the pattern he got a little lazy around the base of the ruck. Monterey’s halfback made an unexpected spin to the left to pass weak and found a non-combatant in the passing lane.

Double-clutching, he tucked the ball and turned upfield, apparently surprising all thirty-one on the pitch. Thirty-five meters and five points later he accepted the referee’s apology.

Marin 32 – BARACUS 42 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Marin City Field grounds rough and soggy, weather sunny and clear
The friendly was played in three 40 min periods with open subs at dead ball. Baracus seemed to have not only a larger squad, but more experienced also. Both sides had rookies. The first period saw good rugby played side to side and up and down the field with the first score only coming at 30 min in. At the end of the first period, Baracus was up 12/5. Baracus dominated the second period and the Reds seemed to get a little frustrated. A yellow card for foolishness 28 min in cooled things down and at the end of the 2nd period Baracus was up 32/13. The third period was a joy to ref. We were back to good play with both sides scoring back and forth. In the end Baracus had the lead, but the Reds played with heart and played well stringing together phases, something that they just didn't seem to be able to do in the second. There being rookies in the game, it was a bit difficult to ref, but it was an enjoyable experience none the less.

SF Fog – San Bruno Saints CANCELED

SF FOG 29 – U. of the Pacific 24 Referee: Jen Tetler
A beautiful day on Treasure Island. Since the original Fog A-side match was cancelled due to lack of CIPP'd players, University of the Pacific gamely agreed to play 30/30/20 against the Fog's A and B sides. The college players came out hard and surprised the old guys by scoring the first try of the game. The Fog answered pretty quickly with a try of their own and then two more before the end of the first half. "Halftime" score: 17-5. The second half included two more tries by each team, including a beautiful pushover try by the Fog (as a tight 5 player, this always makes my heart swell). At the end of 60 minutes (what the Fog was considering their "a-side" match) the score was 29-17. Both teams had some new folks playing in the last 10 minutes and there was a lot of back and forth. UoP kept up their fast pace, and a well placed kick (followed by a penalty plus not getting back 10) resulted in a penalty try for UoP.

Berkeley – South Valley Referee: George O'Neil
No report received.

St. MARY’S thirds 48 – Stanford seconds 24 Referee: Sandy Robertson
Stanford drew first blood but St Mary's dominated most of the wide open, running match with Stanford counterattacking to a couple of late tries.

ST. MARY’S 77 – Stanford 7 Referee: Paul Bretz
AR: Ron Decausemaker
St. Mary's defeated Stanford 77-7 in an entertaining all be it one sided affair.
Stanford never gave up and I'm sure they will apply the lessons learned in future matches.

St. Mary's seconds 27 – SIERRA COLLEGE 33 Referee: Tony Levitan
Referee Coach: David Williamson
Glorious weather for the closing match of a trifecta at St. Mary's magnificent pitch, the first two which were hardly contests with St. Mary's A and C sides running roughshod over Stanford's As and Bs respectively. Our match would prove to be a bit more competitive.

The match featured 10 tries and loads of wide-open play with Sierra claiming and holding on to an edge in scoring that lasted to the final whistle. After Sierra jumped ahead 14-0 on the strength of two converted tries, the sides traded unconverted tries to close the half with Sierra leading, 19-10.

Two more converted tries early in the second half were just enough cushion for Sierra to hold off a furious closing rush by St. Mary's which, under the dynamic leadership and play by their scrum-half and captain, put across 3 more tries (2 converted) in the closing 25 minutes.

As a coach and evaluator, Dave was enormously helpful to me on a number of points, providing feedback both at halftime and post-game. He also helped heroically putting into context outbursts of distemper displayed by coaches from both sides, and offering guidance on how to better manage the situation.

Thanks, Dave!

UC Davis 13 – CHICO STATE 16 Referee: Chris Tucker
AR: Scott Wood, Donal Walsh
A good, closely fought game on a cool, misty day at UCD's recreation fields. Game was close throughout, with Davis opening the scoring mid-way through the first half with a penalty, quickly answered with one for the visitors. Davis came right back, winning a lineout deep in the Chico 22, a well taken ball, several phases resulted in a try under the posts, duly converted.

Davis looked to continue their pressure, after the kickoff, but they never got out of their own 22 after the kickoff. A turnover was spun out to the wing, who skipped a tackle and dotted down out wide. The missed conversion set up a close game in the second half – Chico scored a penalty 9 minutes into the second half for a one point lead, and then after a dangerous tackle after 20, Davis took the lead back again.

Both teams played hard right to the end, and Davis looked to have it in the bag with a scrum after 79 minutes inside the Chico 22. Instead of keeping it tight and squeezing the life out of the game, they span it wide where it was duly picked off by the Chico outside centre.

They took it straight down the field to the Davis 22, where several phases, crossing the pitch line to line 3 times, and finally making the overlap count in the corner for an 82nd minute try. Crowd goes wild. Well, half of it does anyway.

Thanks to ARs Wood and Walsh, as well as Kat Todd for pointing out my amusing 'holding on' secondary signal. At least I had one :)

Seconds: UC Davis 5 – CHICO STATE 12 Referee: Rich Boyer
Referee Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Chico State showed up in ones and twos so the game began a bit late under very foggy conditions. Both teams were willing to run the ball, but back play was spotty and continuous passing a rare thing. UC Davis had a number of new players who, although good athletes, were challenged by the rules at times.

Chico scored first on a ball passed inaccurately from a scrum into goal. A quick-thinking Chico back dived to touch the ball down. UC Davis replied with a fine try from the base of a scrum, 8 man scoring. The final try was awarded in the second half through good pick and drives by Chico, with the lock being the beneficiary.

Maritime Academy – Santa Clara Referee: Rich Anderson
AR: Bolen
No report received.

Seconds: MARITIME ACADEMY 15 – Santa Clara 13 Referee: John Coppinger
At fog-bound Vallejo, Cal Maritime dominated possession, but Santa Clara hung in the match until the end.

Santa Rosa JC 15 – UC SANTA CRUZ 17 Referee: Tom Zanarini
A tale of two halves on a beautiful sunny day at For Pete's Sake Field. SRJC was up 10 to 0 at half time, attacking steadily and foiling a couple of sure UCSC tries. SRJC scored within a minute of the second half kickoff and seemed to be in control. UCSC gathered themselves and spent most of the second half in attacking position. Missed conversions kicks made the difference.

Lobo Tens at Elsie Allen
Referees: Sean Peters, Cary Bertolone, Mike King
Lobos, Montgomery, Rosa /Newman
A great day it turned out to be, started with Elsie vs Montgomery fast ,hard hitting teams going back in fourth till Lobo's # 15 turned on the speed and scored 2 trys within 2 min, it was back and forth with some hard hitting forwards from Montgomery and some good runs from their backs but was stopped short due to the Lobos defensive counter rucking and quick speed.

Lobos vs Rosa/Newman, Rosa showed up a little late, players were not really ready for the Lobos, fast rucking and fast backs kinda stunned the defensive line of the Rosa boys early on and they couldn't come back.

Rosa/Newman vs Montgomery this was a good match up both teams pretty equal, big forwards from Montgomery and fast backs of Rosa, lots of fun both went back to back good hard tackles, some long runs from both sides but Montgomery wanted it more and was more of the Victor today .....

All clubs are looking great they have some new talent and some old returners should be a fun year .....

Palmer, Byrnes, Rauscher, Bruce, Wilson. Pohlman, Ricard, Moore, Jury
Report by Bryant Byrnes:
Stanford Invitational Tournament. Starting at 9:30 and going until after 5 on a lovely warm Saturday, twelve women's college sides played eighteen games. Nine refs did matches, and were assisted by two others, Eric Rauscher and Preston Gordon, who did peer coaching.

The days of their youth are the days of their glory. Three new members of the Society-Bruce Ricard, Liz Palmer, and Stephanie Bruce- had a full slate of matches. This is an excellent rookie crop. The improvement was palpable.

Tournaments are the rock concerts of rugby; the gathering of the rugby tribe. If one has the opportunity, sign up!


2011 Rugby refereeing started up for me this weekend. From the games I did this weekend the state of rugby in the US is alive, growing and going to reach a higher level in the coming years.

I started at the Stanford Women's tournament. Twelve woman's collegiate teams from the west coast were competing in a two day tournament.

My two games were UCLA 12 Stanford 0. And Oregon 12 Santa Barbara 7. Both games saw quality athletes, plenty of players and good coaching.

On Sunday I refereed an under 14 game between Los Gatos and Santa Clara. Again good athletes and good coaching.

Santa Clara only had thirteen players, so Los Gatos loaned two players. One I recognized was pelican Ben Bravo, an under-12 stepping up to play in a higher age group. The game was competitive throughout. The Final score was Los Gatos 25 Santa Clara 15.

Man of the match was Santa Clara's captain Carmon, an 8th grader from New Zealand who is looking to play with a high school side after the under 14 season is finished.


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