Wednesday, January 05, 2011




This season will ring in like the rest of them: with more referees needed.

Sunday, January 16:
A few more refs are needed for the Stanford Invitational. There will be games on two pitches from 9 until 4.

Saturday, January 22: Need 4-5 more refs

Saturday, January 29: Need 3-4 more refs

If you have not responded with your January availability, please do so.

And you might as well start thinking about February! We can fill in the availability spreadsheet in advance, anytime.


We will meet from 7-9 at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island on Wednesday, January 12. Food will be available beginning at six. Plan to arrive early, eat, and talk rugby. If traffic intervenes, you won’t be late.

Saturday, December 18

MONTEREY BAY 49 – Paso Robles 7 Referee: Bruce Carter
Rain proved no deterrent for the new Paso Robles team, who drove a couple of hours up Highway 101 to play the Monterey Bay team in the week before Christmas.

Preston Park in the former Fort Ord hosted the match. Your writer recalls running by this park more than 25 years ago when the Army was kind enough to station him and his family at Fort Ord. In those days the local XV played on a couple of fields on the army base that have since gone to seed or been paved over.

Paso Robles is expecting Santa to bring their kit: upon seeing them in mostly-matching t-shirts, the referee was told, “We’ll be getting our jerseys next week!”

Despite the narrowness of the field, Monterey’s backs from touchline to touchline could find or make gaps, from whence came their nine tries.

Paso’s was the result of Richard Sowerby running about forty meters up the center of the pitch, dodging several would-be tacklers and stepping out of another’s grasp.

D3 is alive and well. The referee was invited, repeatedly, to join the lads in lifting a glass to share the sentiments of the season after the match. Alas, it was the night of the office Christmas Party, the same sentiments in a different setting.

But your writer being the boss, the folks at the office party could be made to listen to tales of the day’s rugby!

Santa Rosa 24 – EAST PALO ALTO RAZORBACKS 29 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Wet, damp cool breeze (aka: rugby weather!)
I was lucky enough to get a last minute assignment on Thursday for this match before rugby goes into holiday hibernation and I go back east to visit the families. EPA cited traffic issues due to weather for their late arrival, but sprung to life not needing much warmup. I asked the captain how much time they needed to get ready and the quick response was, "We're ready now." Uh, your team is still getting out of the cars, but ok.
The whistle blew a mere 35 minutes past one (see Bruce, not ALL games start at 1pm!) and we were on.

Tight contest but slippery fingers. Lots of rain induced knock-ons, including 2 EPA knocks in goal in each half. This was a good ole ruckfest, but I did have to put my sprint shoes on a few times. One unfortunate play left a Santa Rosa player on the pitch for 15+ minutes concussed and lacerated. Santa Rosa's finest were there quickly and hopefully the young back is recovering nicely. Luckily he already had a shaved head. Due to the late start and injury time the captains agreed to shorten the 2nd half to 30 min. to allow the B-side some playing time as well. Second half, same as the first. Players keeping the ball inside mostly. Santa Rosa had a nice push in the end, scoring at the buzzer. In fact, they scored at the buzzer of halftime as well. The scuttled 10 minutes could have produced a different result, but being preseason that doesn't really matter. Both teams performed very well and should have a great season in their divisions.

Santa Rosa is posting their videos on their website, password protected. If you get a chance to referee them this coming season, you'll have quick access to review your match. I've already worked out some positioning corrections.
Merry Christmas!

Seconds: Santa Rosa 15 – EAST PALO ALTO RAZORBACKS 19 Referee: Cary Bertolone
EPA arrived an hour late, so the times were pushed back. The second side game began at 3:15, getting quite dark by the end of the 80 minute game. It quickly became apparent that several players from EPA were new to the game and/or were very young. This resulted in some ridiculous rugby; wherein, EPA was trying to tackle the flyhalf from Rosa during a penalty kick, players playing it on the ground, over 7 penalties for not being back ten, twice having been found with 15 players on the field when there should have been 14 and the EPA scrumhalf not knowing anything about his job while on defense. I believed, at the time, that they were innocent mistakes and didn't take the coach to task as it was a second side, preseason game. These mistakes caused an almost-ruckus, early on. I called a time out and brought the entire EPA team together for a summary of the game and the fact that no tolerance will be given for foul play. That is when I saw how young and inexperienced some of them were. I then communicated this info to Rosa and I became much more verbal, trying to keep EPA from making so many mistakes.

For all of that, EPA was very tough in every way. Rosa took the early lead and were ahead until the second half, when EPA scored two more tries to win 19-15. For all of the mud that was flying, it was a lively second half and both teams played enthusiastically and it was probably a lot of fun to watch. Actually, I was able to watch a tape of the match and it was a good match to watch!!

SFGG 55 – Marin 10 Referee: Tony Levitan
The pre-season friendly was held in a modest weather break in the heavy rains of the week, offering just enough of an opening for the powers-that-be at SFGG to sanction a run on their terrific pitch and finishing immediately in front of another, well, front, that dropped another deluge on Treasure Island. Overall, it was a good spirited run by both squads.

The heavy-going pitch didn't slow down SFGG much in a match that featured 10 tries, including a number of long collaborative efforts by SFGG. The set play was well-behaved save a scrum or two marred by early engagement, the loose play a wee bit messy thanks to the conditions and early-season honing of this season's approach to the tackle and rucks (by both the players and the ref). Overall, SFGG was the more assertive, more directed side -- especially once a few seriously-impressive RSL players made cameos in the 2nd half (though the SFGG Coach did limit them to 2 on the pitch at any given time). Marin offered a slew of inspiring moments in attack but often lost out to either SFGG aggression or numbers after multiple probes of the SFGG defense. Nonetheless, Marin's effort was stout till the final whistle.

We did have a yellow card to each side, one for two consecutive high tackles by a Marin player, and SFGG's for an unabashed attempt to collapse a maul. The post-match gathering was yellow/red card-free ...


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: Let him know if you plan to attend. On-line registration is available.

O Club - Caps
Don Pattalock works the scrum at the Try For Others tournament in Sacramento on December 11, as the Olympic Club puts in against the Sacramento Capitals.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris