Wednesday, February 23, 2011




Chris Tucker has earned promotion to the Territorial Panel by the PCRRS. Congratulations! Onward and upward the Flock.


Referees talk about wanting to be ‘in the frame’ when rugby action photos are taken, especially of trys. We wish to be right next to the focus of the action. In our minds, we are always near the ball, yet sometimes we look at pictures of the games we ref, in vain seeking ourselves.

Joe Androvich did the Cal – UBC game Saturday. Have a look:

This was in the third minute of the match. Referees and evaluators talk about sometimes having to referee ‘under the tackle’. This is NOT what is meant.

We are happy to say that although Joe started out beneath play, for the remaining seventy-seven minutes he stayed on top of it.


A score was reversed in our account of a match played on February 5.

The Diablo Gaels defeated Chico 39 – 31, not the other way ‘round.

Thanks to referee Jim Crenshaw and Harry Batten of the Gaels for pointing this out.


Because weekend days are precious this time of year, the course will be taught on two weekday evenings:

Dates: Monday, February 28, 2011, and Wed, March 2, 2011 from 6:00 to 9:00.
Location: Greater Sacramento area, place to be determined.
Contact: Matt Eason:


Saturday, February 19, came at the end of an entire week of rain throughout Northern California. Rain on the coast and in the Central Valley translates into snow on the Donner Pass in the Sierra, which three or four teams have to cross each weekend to play.

We get all of our rain in the span of a few months, which happen to correspond to the bulk of the fifteens season. Over the course of the past ten years, more teams have obtained grass pitches that they control or use artificial surfaces on which rain matters not. Yet still, we count eight club and college games scheduled to have been played Saturday that were deferred to future dates.

One result: more referees at those games that did take place!

SeƱors 5 – SILVERHAWKS 12 Referee: Preston Gordon
10 AM, Treasure Island GAA
We played 2 halves of about 17' each with 10-a-side. This wasn't my first old boys game - I helped ref at the European Golden Oldies in Zurich in 2006 - but it was probably the best one. I only had to blow the whistle a few times, the players seemed to enjoy themselves, and we ended up with 3 tries to two.

As they say, a cold wet day at rugby beats a warm dry day in the office any time - even when the rain, which started while I was on the bridge heading to TI at 0830, stops right after the last game of the day. That's rugby!

SFGG COLTS 19 – Seahawks 3 Referee: Tom Zanarini
ARs: Preston Gordon & Paul Bretz
What a fine day for rugby. Seems matches were cancelled all over Pelican Land except for on the oval ball island. Rain was on order for the duration but teams came to play. Feisty match but played well despite the weather. San Jose was on the cusp of scoring multiple times so don't let the score fool you. Thanks to my AR's for policing the far sides, always a nice feature. A huge thanks goes out to SFGG for having that wonderful clubhouse. After the match I was able to eat a hot meal, shower and change into warm dry clothes just in time to get soaked again while running AR for Androvich's Cal v UBC match. What a day.

Seconds: SFGG COLTS 15 – Seahawks 0 Referee: Bruce Carter
We didn’t have enough refs for this D2 second-side match until the cancelations started. I was happy to pick it up – it put me on the scene for two of the top fixtures in our annual calendar: Golden Gate’s super league team against the Olympic Club, and the same Sheeran Field hosting the Cal – UBC game.

It was cold and it was raining. The players from the previous game retiring to the warm showers and cold beer had blue cheeks and chattering teeth. Yet fans remained!

We love our rugby here in Pelicanland. A weekend like this justifies those of us who moved to Northern California specifically for this sport.

Golden Gate’s depth runs throughout the fixture list. They scored three trys in 37 minutes and then the Gaelic Association folks realized that not only were those crazy ruggers out there playing, it was the third game of the day!

I got the word during a conversion attempt and relayed it to the captains. Norm Boccone of the Seahawks said, “Dang! We were just getting ready to score three tries!”

Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: John Coppinger, Preston Gordon
Just ahead of the Cal v UBC match, the defending Super League West champs played the defending NorCal D1 champs on a cold, rainy, windy 45F day at Sheeran Field at Treasure Island. SFGG took control early and earned several kickable penalties, but instead of kicking for points, they opted to run the ball or kick for touch and were never able to score. Olympic was under severe pressure most of the first half, but were able to defend just enough to keep SFGG out. Against the run of play, Olympic scored off a clean break down the middle of the field to lead 0-7. With this momentum, Olympic's forwards took control of the breakdown and the D1 champs decided to kick their only kickable penalty to lead 0-10 at half. Olympic's flankers were outstanding in the loose and did not allow SFGG to move forward or work their backs. Both teams struggled to handle the slippery ball and side-steps were not an option on the wet turf (with standing water). Olympic showed excellent mauling technique on several occasions and they added one more penalty in the second half to lead 0-13 before SFGG's forwards decided to impose themselves by ferociously pounding the ball forward with strong support which earned them two tries to close within 10-13. During a rare foray into SFGG territory, Olympic earned another kickable penalty to edge ahead 10-16 with 15 minutes to play. At this stage both teams were treating the crowd, which was swelling for the Cal/UBC game, to an entertaining display of back and forth, straight-ahead, physical rugby before SFGG earned a penalty 5m from Olympic's try-line, which SFGG quick-tapped to score near the posts. The conversion was good and SFGG took its first lead 17-16 with a minute to go. Olympic's kickoff didn't go 10m and off the ensuing scrum, SFGG kicked the ball into touch to end the match. In the end, SFGG was able to adjust their game-plan to win 3 tries to 1, but Olympic came within 2 minutes of pulling off a famous victory. Despite the high penalty count and two yellow cards for each team (all for repeated team infringements), this was a fun match to referee; the physicality was impressive. Much thanks to John Coppinger and Preston Gordon for their valuable help as Assistant Referees.

CALIFORNIA 21 – U. of British Columbia 13 Referee: Joe Androvich
ARs: Paul Bretz, Tom Zanarini
#4: Rob Hendrickson

SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 22 – UC Davis 0 Referee: Phil Akroyd
The pitch was nicely torn up after a full day of U19 play at Danny Nunn field and the recent heavy rainfall left areas of standing water on one side.

Kick off was at 5.30 with both teams raring to go. Twenty minutes in, the sun set and the lights came on in the nick of time. The Capitals were in control for most of the game and had about 75% of the possession. The Capitals also had about 25 pounds per man, maybe more in the forwards, where the Caps developed their platform to play.

The home side scored from their continued possession and some of the tries were surprisingly skillful, given the conditions. Davis continued to struggle throughout and still could not score even with a couple of Sac players in the bin on two separate occasions.

Seconds: Sac Capitals – UC Davis CANCELED

SACRAMENTO LIONS 41 – Barbarians 9 Referee: George O'Neil
Evaluator: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Seconds: Sac Lions – Barbarians Referee: Ray Schwartz

FRESNO 52 – Berkeley 10 Referee: Jeff Jury

BA Baracus 5 –SANTA ROSA 27 Referee: Rich Anderson

Vacaville 17 – MARIN 22 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Mike Comstock (Marin) / Vacaville Player
Location: Jepson Middle School, Vacaville

My lovely wife called me at work Friday afternoon to see if my high school game (Motherlode at Jesuit) would be cancelled due to the weather. I told her "not as of yet". Barely two minutes after hanging up the phone I received an email from Jesuit stating that afternoon's match was cancelled.....I'm just saying...

On to Saturday. The forecast was for showers and there was rain on my drive from Stockton to Vacaville (via Sacramento). Arriving in Vacaville the rain tapered off but the skies were threatening. Fortunately, the pitch drains well and it was too cold to rain. The surrounding foothills were covered with a dusting of snow. I looked wistfully at the scenery mentally putting myself in a warm lodge sipping "fortified" coffee.

This was Marin's first league match as a Division II club and their 100th since forming as the Marin R.E.D.S. Vacaville had moved up from D3 as well, earlier. Both teams took their time feeling each other out and the first score was not made until the 20th minute when Vacaville was able to cross the goal line for a try (unconverted). Vacaville lost territory on a handful of occasions due to penalties (early season technique). Marin tried valiantly to capitalize but their inside center was not keyed onto the game plan and would duck inside only to meet Vacaville's defenders. Vacaville had a chance at a third try but was held up twice before turning over the ball. Both teams swapped tries until the visitors scored a converted try to finish the half leading 19-10. Marin scored because the ball carrier went low into contact and Vacaville's lone defender did not have any support. Some angst abounded as the other defenders thought the ball carrier was held up in goal but that was not the case.

After a "helpful" suggestion from a self-proclaimed "Level One USA Rugby certified coach" waiving the Game Management Guidelines (he was correct, for what it's worth) regarding rucking by both teams, we entered the second half.

Marin's halftime talk (to themselves, not the referee...) paid off as they were now on the same game plan and played relatively well. However, Vacaville had bolstered its defenses and kept penalties to an acceptable minimum. Marin tried to expand on its lead but only made one out of four penalty kicks. Their inside center attempted a drop goal but the ground is not as level as he may be accustomed to in his native Fiji. In the waning minutes of the match, Vacaville mounted attack after attack at the goal line, each time being repelled by Marin until a slight gap was exploited.

Vacaville's Matt Hefner did a fine job refereeing the seconds but I was too cold to note the score.

Vallejo 21 – COLUSA 22 Referee: Cary Bertolone
At Mare Island, in the cold drizzle and rain, Vallejo kicked off to Colusa at 3:00 PM. The field, having looked pretty good in the morning, was a mess by now. Vallejo started out strong and took a 14-0 lead in the first 20 minutes. Colusa scored a corner try, as I allegedly missed a knock-on about the three meter line that preceded it. This gave Colusa some confidence and they were able to put another try down to make it 14-10 at the half. Vallejo scored again and seemed to have the game in hand at 21-10, but Colusa would not stop and closed the margin to 21-17 with a center try. Vallejo made several costly penalties, giving up large chunks of territory, some of them just rookie mistakes and three "not back 10's". With 2 minutes left, Colusa won a ruck and swung the ball wide at about the 50 meter mark and their winger made it in for a diving corner try to win the game 22-21. A very muddy, cold game. Vallejo was not happy, but they put on a great feast for all and both teams were a great bunch of guys. Good, clean rugby!!

REDWOOD 18 – Shasta 7 Referee: Sean Peters
The weather finally gave us a break here in Santa Rosa at "For Pete's Sake". The Redwood Empire hosted Shasta

The field was in great condition as Shasta Kicked off. Good head to head, from the forwards, played out by both teams. Lots of knock –ons were in this game, seemed like no one wanted to hang on to the ball, lots of scrums!!! Few break-aways from both teams in the back line.

Redwood's fly half and center put up the first points of the game. Shasta's forwards rallied and scored late in the first half to make it 10-7.

Second half was the same, wet condition lots of knock ons and scrums. Redwood Empire would manage to score another try and kick a penalty try. Both teams played hard.

Reno Zephyrs – Mendocino RAINED OUT

Humboldt – Reno Academy RAINED OUT

Stanislaus – Aptos Referee: Sam Davis
No report received.

SF FOG women 49 – EPA Razorbacks 5 Referee: Lois Bukowski
Cold, wet, muddy, and some decent rugby.

FOG 68 – Arroyo Grande 0 Referee: Stephanie Bruce

SAN BRUNO SAINTS 88 – Paso Robles 17 Referee: Bruce Ricard
The game started with a rainy weather, on a synthetic turf, with half football and half soccer lines.

San Bruno completely dominated the first half despite a yellow card for their scrum half who intentionality knocked on twice in 10 minutes; scoring 9 tries, converting 7, while Paso Robles scored one penalty goal. Score at the break: 59 - 3.

The second half was more balanced, San Bruno scored 3 tries (2 converted) and a drop goal, and got a player temporarily excluded for team repeated infringements at rucks, especially off-sides. Paso Robles then scored 2 converted tries, before San Bruno scored a last converted try at the 77th minute.

South Valley 13 – SAMOA UNITED 15 Referee: Bruce Carter
This game was scheduled for 6:30 PM under the light in Morgan Hill. Having refereed a frozen fixture seven hours previously, showered, warmed up and bundled up to watch the two feature matches, I was warm and content, these old bones not aching to run around again now that the sun had set and the rain had picked up.

But two teams were warming up in strength and again, dozens of people were braving the elements to be entertained.

We kicked off on time.

This was unlike D3 matches I have seen: skill levels and pace are distributed liberally across both teams. It was hard-hitting and fierce – fierce enough that the Samoa United captain received a red card for a second dangerous tackle in the first half.

After playing a man down for about thirty minutes, Samoa United took the lead on a 40-meter drop goal into the wind and rain.

And just in time – the lights, scheduled until eight, expired as we prepared to pack down a scrum with 14 minutes remaining.

There was nothing to do but give three cheers and seek shelter.

St. Mary's seconds 31 –DIABLO GAELS 39 Referee: John Pohlman
I walked out to get the newspaper in Fremont on Saturday morning and was pleasantly surprised to have a sunny blue sky overhead. As I drove to Mare Island where St. Mary's 2nd side was hosting the Old Gaels my surprise turned to disappointment as the rain and sky looked much like the last few days.

The kick-off was scheduled at 11:30AM I arrived at 10:30 with just a few cars in the parking lot. I walked the field, under an umbrella, and felt the field was draining well with no standing water and pretty firm.

Yeah, now let’s see if the players show.

The Gaels had 30 players changing in the shed, St. Mary's bus had not yet arrived. The bus showed around 11:00 and kick-off was moved to 11:45.

There was a steady light rain throughout most of the match. The game was very competitive and once the whistle blew to start the game, I never really noticed the weather until after the game.

The Gaels got into the try zone first but knocked on prior to grounding. St. Mary's showed their speed six minutes in with a turnover try from 60 meters out.

The Gaels forwards proved to be more experienced throughout the day and were rewarded with their first of four trys scored by the driving pack. So the game would be St. Mary's outside speed verse the Gaels bigger more experienced pack.

SMC's #15 Brewer scored his first of two trys twenty minutes in, for the third lead change of the game.

Gaels captain and #5 Mark Wilbholm scored the second try by the second rows. That does not happen often where second rows score the first two trys for the visitors.

SMC's speed got outside at half time for a 17-12 SMC lead. And the 5th lead change.

SMC scored a quick try 3minutes into the second half. The Gaels scored two more, the second by #10 Brian Lynn, the first Gaels try scored by a back in the game.

SMC retook the lead with Brewer's second try.

Then the Gaels forwards slowed the game down and scored their second try using a driving maul.

With 7 minutes to go Gaels scrum half slotted a penalty to take a 32-31 lead. The last minutes of the game saw SMC pressing hard to regain the lead. The Gaels got a final try on a turnover ball at the 78th minute.

Final Gaels 39-SMC 31, with nine lead changes.

ST. MARY’S thirds 36 – Diablo Gaels seconds 27 Referee: John Fouts
Assessor: Bryan Porter
The game was shortened (30 minute halves) due to field conflicts. Hard fought game in messy conditions.

SACRAMENTO STATE 95 – Santa Clara 8 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

Seconds: Sacramento State – Santa Clara Referee: Jeffery Lusich
No report received.

Nevada – San Jose State RAINED OUT (snowed out)

UOP – Fresno State Referee: JC Van Staden
No report received.

U. of San Francisco forfeited to SIERRA COLLEGE

UC Santa Cruz 0 – MARITIME ACADEMY 32 Referee: Stephen Moore
An especially wet and muddy game played on a sea of lakes. A challenge to find firm spots for scrums. Today I learnt why a referee must carry two whistles, the first one choked in mud. I struggled to tie shoe laces too, fingers frozen. A spirited game though, Maritime forwards very strong with several rolling mauls that took them 30+ meters down field, executed perfectly. Maritime very quick to the break down stealing possession with their excellent rucking. Santa Cruz struggled with offside positions at times. Some nice kicking duels. I love a ball kicked high into the air falling smack onto water and not budging an inch on impact. Lots of fun!

SANTA ROSA JC 35 – Humboldt State 3 Referee: Mike King
The Pat Culley Shield match started with a break from the downpour experienced over the past several days. For Pete’s Sake field in Santa Rosa weathered the rain well and the turf was in good condition. This allowed for good footing overall and some spirited backfield play by both sides. The beginning of the match also saw both sets of forwards rucking quite well, with defenses holding the gain line for the most part. SRJC drew first blood, as #8 Paulson crashed over for his first of several tries on the day. It was followed shortly by a penalty kick for Humboldt to keep it close. By halftime, the JC was only able to muster one other try, although there were some close calls. 10-3.

The second half was all JC with 4 more tries, a conversion, and penalty kick. No points for HSU. The Loggers did not give any quarter and gamely attacked the JC’s goal a few times, only to come up empty handed. It did seem that HSU was just not able to keep up with the speed and endurance of their JC counterparts. The visitors to their credit though, persisted until the final whistle.

Sac State women 17 – CALIFORNIA 38 Referee: Chris Tucker
An entertaining game played hard by both teams. The pace gave me chance to work on my positioning, which if you ask the Sac State inside centre meant figuring out where she was going and standing in the way. After an apology I got a little better -- never easy changing something you've been doing wrong for too long.

UCB were better drilled at the ruck, and consequently won more than their share of ball, the rest worked itself out from there.

After the first side we played B-side 7s. Checked my law differentials, and went to it, trying to position myself behind the backs. After calling ruck a dozen or so times in the first few minutes, I went back to approaching it like 15s. Sac State extracted a measure of revenge, coming away 24-12 victors.

And then ARed for Crenshaw's cricket-score match. Not sure I've ever seen a kicker who so accurately managed to make my life tricky, hitting my post 3 times. If he was that accurate, maybe he should have aimed left a bit...

UC Santa Cruz women – Chico State RAINED OUT

Santa Clara women – Humboldt State RAINED OUT

SF BATS women – Nevada RAINED OUT

Sunday, February 20:
STANFORD women 38 – UC Davis 17 Referee: Bruce Carter
ARs: Donal Walsh, Ben Bravo
These games were moved to a nice, sunny Sunday after the deluges of the previous several days. The assigned first-side ref could not make the switch so I picked up my third game of the weekend, before heading across the street to Palo Alto HS to referee the U12s.

The first twenty minutes were a forward-dominated stalemate, until Stanford began to assert themselves, led by Captain and #7 Frances Wehrwein, who scored three trys on the day. It was 21-0 at the half.

Davis’ rucking game improved such that they scored the first two trys of the second period, and it looked like all of the action would be at the same end of the pitch throughout.

In the end it was Stanford’s distribution of the ball that made a big difference, as Davis often found themselves running back to try to reorganize around a pass that went to ground.

Seconds: STANFORD 75 – UC Davis 0 Referee: Tony Levitan
The rugby folks at Stanford demonstrated the University's reputed intellectual leadership by pushing their match from Saturday's bone-chilling heavy rains to Sunday's delightful partly sunny, rugby-perfect weather. While all involved enjoyed their run on the day, most of the running was done headed toward and over the Davis goal line with Stanford dotting down 7 first-half tries (4 converted) and another 6 more (1 converted) in the second stanza.

Davis was game throughout while showing their inexperience from the opening kick-off (it took multiple attempts to find a player who could execute a proper drop kick). Stanford had a number of players who likely will see A-side playing time this season including (I predict) #8 Molly, a former hammer thrower who was just completing her first week of rugby competition. Big, fast, agile and seriously sports savvy, I'll be very surprised if this multiple try scorer isn't a stalwart of the Stanford scrum by season's end ... once she learns a few more of the laws of the game, that is :-).


Friday, February 11:

Santa Rosa 12 – ELSIE ALLEN 15 Referee: Mike King
A well fought close encounter that was decided on a late penalty kick converted in extra time extended by penalties at the Rosa try line. The 2 long-time rivals played hard fought, no quarter, energetic rugby which saw long periods of good second phase play on both sides, and good tackling for the most part. The high level of intensity did lead to a large number of off-sides on both squads as each side attempted to gain some advantage over the other to turn the tide. Elsie Allen led first, but after almost every score, Rosa would match so that it was knotted 12-12 until the very end. Both sides were winners in this engagement.

Friday, Feb. 18:

Elsie Allen 0 – MARIN 48 Referee: Sean Peters
A wet and very cold night at Else Allen H.S, where the Lobos hosted Marin H.S. First half Marin came out hard and fast, they put together a fast pace attack. They had the Lobos playing a lot of defense. Marin’s capt. #2 controlled his forwards, and had some big runs himself. Setting up their fast back line as they attacked the Lobos out wide.

Second half was more of Marin, attacking once again in the loose play. The Lobos played hard, but wasn't enough. Due to the conditions of mother nature there were a lot of knock-ons.

JV: Elsie Allen 19 – MARIN 26 Referee: Mike King
A barnburner with Marin racing out to a 26-5 halftime lead. It seemed that the Lobos were going backwards for much of the half. Tackling was not up to normal standard for these young men. Marin took turnovers from Elsie, for a few long scores. The second half was the opposite. Elsie pounded the ball ahead, rucked with abandon, and made key stops where the Highlanders had broken through before. Momentum shifted and the final outcome was a testament to the strong effort by both the Highlanders and the Lobos.
ROSA/CARDINAL NEWMAN 22 – Montgomery High 17 Referee: Cary Bertolone
Friday night under the lights found us with steady rain at 39 degrees-cold! Rosa scored the first two tries for a 12-0 lead, but Montgomery figured out how to ruck and tied it by the half. They actually took the lead, but Rosa tied it for 17-17 near the end, and then. scored one last try for a 22-17 final score.

Saturday, February 19

Peninsula Green 22 – EPA 24 Referee: James Hinkin
With temperatures in the 40s and rain sleeting down it was to be a rugby game played in conditions rarely seen in Pelicanland: Less Than Ideal. That being said when I arrived I saw both teams warming up and ready to go. With the weather a constant consideration it was decided to kick off as soon as possible and stay warm by running around on the pitch. The match was a close one with both sides exchanging tries early on. The skill was evident on both sides – a tribute to the growth of high school rugby and the coaching of these programs. Peninsula Green went into the half having scored last and took a 17-12 lead into the break.

The second half was a copy of the first half with attacking rugby in both directions. Peninsula Green was able to score again and maintain a 10 point lead with 8 minutes remaining when EPA started to press hard. A try in the corner at 5 minutes pulled the game into a 5 point lead and it seemed as if the last team to score would win. EPA did just that with a minute to go after a storming run by their MASSIVE #8 up the left touch line. This kid may be the biggest high school rugger I have ever seen and he is very difficult to stop once he gets going. Pen Green were finally able to get enough bodies on him to bring him down but he offloaded to support and the damage was done. A couple of phases later EPA was in for a try in the corner to tie it up. The scrum half slotted the sideline conversion with ease and we had a new leader.

With only time for the kickoff left Pen Green put up a beauty that was cleanly fielded by their flanker. Taking the ball in the air and on the run he powered to the goal line shedding tacklers. Finally brought down 10 meters short he decided he wasn’t finished and got up to keep going but failed to release the ball first. Penalty kick against and duly kicked into touch ended the match.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Wednesday, February 16, 2011




St. Mary’s will be hosting the University of British Columbia today at 3:30 at SFGG’s Sheeran Field.

Come early, watch the match, and stay around for our Society meeting this evening.


We have forty club and college games on March 5. So far eight people have responded with availability for March, and three of those are not available on the 5th.

We cannot make bricks without straw. Let us know if you can referee next month.

PLEASE RESPOND: Y or N Able to Travel?
March 5
March 12
March 19
March 26


The 2011 Game Management Guidelines for USA Rugby have been released. There are multiple edits so please do review them and apply across all competitions with immediate effect. They can also be downloaded here:


Because weekend days are precious this time of year, the course will be taught on two weekday evenings:

Dates: Monday, February 28, 2011, and Wed, March 2, 2011 from 6:00 to 9:00.
Location: Greater Sacramento area, place to be determined.
Contact: Matt Eason:


Friday, Feb. 4
Christian Brothers 15 – MCCLATCHY 22 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Mason Gunn, Casey Spaich
Location: Granite Regional Park, Sacramento

What a difference a week can make. The temperature warmed by 20+ degrees from the previous weekend so fans were out en masse. Having driven 1.5 hours from a client's office to the pitch, I was worried how well my legs would hold out. Fortunately, they were tested at the first whistle. Both teams traded the ball back and forth and ran around the pitch (between the 22s) for three or four minutes before the ball finally landed in touch. Phew. Legs? Check. Lungs? Somewhere out there. Oh, well, time to run again.

Both teams seem to be matched in size. McClatchy had more agile athletes but CB tackled well and contested the breakdowns. Silly penalties and ball handling errors resulted in a low scoring half. McClatchy led at the break 12-5.

The second half had more continuity and movement of the ball. The teams were willing to work the forwards and spin the ball wide but defenses were in place (on an 80m wide pitch...) to minimize easy breakaways. The teams traded two unconverted tries apiece. With under a minute remaining, CB moved down the field with a penalty kick to touch. They won the ensuing lineout but a knock-on by both teams ended their run for the evening. If CB's kicker slotted the three conversion opportunities we would have ended in a (shudder) tie.

Thanks to both teams and coaches for having a positive attitude. Additional kudos to Mason Gunn and Casey Spaich for running touch.

Saturday, Feb. 5

STANFORD 38 – Sacramento State 27 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Jake (Stanford), Malachai (Sac St)
Location: Steuber Stadium, Stanford

After running around for 70 minutes the prior evening, my legs were feeling pretty good. My concern was the heat. The temperature by kickoff was 74F! Quite a difference from the prior week’s highs in the 50s. The teams were raring to go by kickoff time and it showed when the game got underway. Sacramento scored easily off the kickoff but was quickly answered by Stanford running in a try several minutes later. Around the 20th minute, Sacramento scored a try in the corner and their kicker slotted a very difficult conversion. Stanford was undeterred and, after both several possession changes, battled down the pitch to score a near-centered try. With time running out for the half, Sacramento was awarded a penalty on Stanford's five meter line, about 15 meters from touch. After the kicker moved the spot back about 20 meters, the hosts had to be instructed they were to stand no closer than the goal line. The kicker lined up and as he approached to kick the defenders charged forward. The kick missed and Sacramento elected to try again. This time there was no charge but the result was the same. Halftime score: 14-14.

Matt Sherman's talk during halftime must have been inspirational. Stanford came out gunning and dominated the next 25 minutes of play scoring 24 points to Sacramento's one penalty goal. Entering the final ten minutes, Stanford led 38-17. Sacramento was able to regroup and fought down the field to score two unconverted tries. However, Stanford maintained possession on the final restart and was able to clear the ball to touch to finish the match.

Both teams should be congratulated for playing an intense and highly competitive match.

Tuesday, Feb. 8
STANFORD women 85 – Sacramento State 0 Referee: Pete Smith

Wednesday, Feb. 9
Maritime Academy 0 – CALIFORNIA 85 Referee: George O’Neil


Chico State 24 – STANFORD 34 Referee: Joe Androvich
These teams battled at every phase of the match. Chico took an early lead. Stanford didn't give up and eventually took a sizable lead.

Chico mounted a late comeback, and the game was tied at 24 in the 70th minute and it looked like Chico would win. However, two late scores by Stanford sealed the match.

Seconds: Chico State – Stanford Referee: Dave Ellis
No report received.

San Francisco State – USF Referee: Sam Davis
No report received.

Sierra College 15 –SANTA ROSA JC 19 Referee: JC Van Staden
AR: Ray Schwartz
We almost thought the summer is here, with a 68F on a beautiful field at Wood creek high...So, while the USA 7’s was well on its way, (and the Boks had everything under control of course) these two 2nd division teams left it on the pitch. Both sized up pretty good, and the ball was swinging across the pitched early on. With Santa Rosa pulling first blood, the half time score was 12-3 and the coaching sides were on fire. Sierra hit back fast, and with only 5 min left, moved into the lead with 15-12. Big tackles caused a few turn over balls, and a few missed placed kicks, brought Santa Rosa back from the dead, and with some hard running, squeezed one out right behind the post with only 2 min to spare. Great day for rugby, and very well-coached teams, have made up for the fact that I could not be at the 7’s...maybe next year :)

Seconds: Sierra College – SANTA ROSA JC Referee: Ray Schwartz
The Battle of the JCs!
Played at Woodcreek Oaks High, Roseville
Brilliant sunshine, no breeze, a typical February afternoon!

JC Van Staden reffed the A Side in this "Battle of the JCs". I hope the right team won. Jim Crenshaw watched as I ran touch.

Santa Rosa is the longer standing program, and with a few more veteran players (a lot of Cardinal Newman kids), but Sierra has ambition and on this day had the numbers as well. Rosa brought 25, Sierra perhaps 32 players. I tried to squeeze (2) 30-minute halves out of them. Rosa begged for 20-minute halves (or less), while Sierra wanted a full 80-minute match!

The game was fast and fun, Sierra jumping out front, Rosa storming back. I tried not to blow the whistle, but stopped play at 4 different types of tackles that varied from fairly to very dangerous and helped the boys learn what they could or should not do. Rosa scored more points, but the last points came from a talented wing wearing Sierra maroon socks and a red Rosa jersey! At the end of 60 minutes of play the lads on both sides surprised me and begged for more time! It was actually heartwarming. Though I awarded 5 more, they kept it alive for 8 minutes, until Rosa's big prop finished the day with another thunderous try.

SAN JOSE STATE 25 – Nevada 24 Referee: Rich Anderson
In a match between two evenly talented opponents, it is generally the little things that decide the outcome. That was certainly the case at Spartan Field, where a nice sideline crowd enjoyed the sun and the rugby as San Jose State took on Nevada.

State took a slim lead at half, 13-12, with both sides missing 2 kicks. In the second half, State scored 2 unconverted tries, allowing Nevada to still be lurking, down 6 with 2 minutes remaining. A Nevada back emerged from some attempted tackles at the State 22m line and scored a try under the posts. The conversion, however failed (the seventh missed kick by both teams), and San Jose State held on for a 25-24 win and kept themselves undefeated on the season.

Seconds: SAN JOSE STATE 46 – Nevada 10 Referee: Jeff Jury

California women 12 – STANFORD 30 Referee: Stephanie Bruce
Referee Coaches: Lois Bukowski, Dixon Smith

Seconds: California women 12 – STANFORD 15 Referee: Lois Bukowski
Close game between 2 spirited sides. Stanford's A side filled in some numbers for their B side and at least one alum was spotted playing fly half in the first half.

Cal mounted a good comeback but was fell short. Overall, good rugby on a beautiful day at multi-purpose Witter Field.

SF BATs women 20 –HUMBOLDT STATE 45 Referee: Cary Bertolone
A gorgeous sunny day in San Francisco. 1:00 PM kick-off and Humboldt wasted no time as their #8 picked the ball up from a scrum and went weakside for a try at the one minute mark. They scored again at the seven minute mark and so on; it was 31-8 at the half as USF closed the gap with a last minute emotional try while Humboldt was playing short. The second half was much more even. USF really started rucking better and had a couple of trys as their reward. Humboldt State won 45-20.

Seconds: Humboldt State 14 – SF BATS 15 Ref: Bertolone
In a short second game, new players got a taste of rugby ala 10's rugby. Humboldt State scored two quick tries, but USF came back at the end to post a win 15-14 on three unconverted tries. Everybody had a good run!!

SANTA CLARA women 43 – Nevada 7 Referee: Bruce Ricard
Game started around noon under a beautiful weather. So one hour late because I realized only this morning that I had a game today, by receiving an e-mail from the host team at 10AM. Hopefully a coach assistant came to pick me up and we had a good game.

During the first half, the game was really balanced; score was 7-7 after 20 minutes. Santa Clara was stronger, but made a lot of infringements at tackles and rucks, especially coming from the side. I talked their captain and they did less, but still sometimes. As they started infringing less, they kept the ball, and scored 2 more converted tries before the break.

The second half was pretty much unilateral, although the possession of the ball seemed to be even, Santa Clara was much more realistic and scored 4 tries against 0 for Nevada.

HS SL: Lamorinda 13 – JESUIT 37 Referee: Paul Bretz
At halftime Lamo was up 12-13. Overall a very good game with both sides listening and responding to directives. It’s nice when players react.

PLEASANTON 12 – Oak Grove 0 Ref: Bretz
There was a bit of a scare as 2 Pleasanton players had to be taken away to the hospital, one in an ambulance and one in a helicopter, from injuries sustained from a head-to-head collision. Both players were attempting to tackle the same opponent. One of them was knocked unconscious.

Both players are fine at home as of Monday afternoon.

McClatchy 10 (2T 0C) – JESUIT (7T 6C 2P) Referee: Scott Wood
Location: McClatchy High School
I arrived early enough to witness a breakdown in communication. The game was scheduled (or so I was told) for a 4 pm kickoff on the football field. Apparently, the girls’ soccer team scheduled practice for around the same time on the same field. Shouting was heard, permits were displayed, emotions ran high, the athletic director was called. In the course of civil discussion, clearer heads should be heard. Much to the consternation of the round-ballers (or at least their coach), rugby won out. However, I wonder if any collateral damage incurred as a result.

On to rugby. Jesuit struck early with a penalty goal. Then a try. And another. And another (conversion missed). And finished the half with a second penalty goal. 25-0
McClatchy defended the breakdown very well but their tackling was somewhat lacking at times when it seemed most important (e.g. whenever Jesuit backs had space). When on the attack, poor ball handling and marginal decisions led to McClatchy's downfall. This is not to say Jesuit had an easy run. Their game plan was broken up and they had to capitalize off their initiative.

The second half was nearly similar to the first. Jesuit scored a try. And another. And another. Then McClatchy scored (unconverted). Jesuit scored a fourth try for the half before McClatchy was able to break into the goal area for a second try (unconverted).

Kudos to both teams for providing me with another intense, multi-phased match. I definitely slept well that night.

BELLARMINE 19 – Alameda 10 Referee: Chris Fisher

Eric Rauscher had fun:
So I was assigned to the woman's open sevens. I ended up reffing nine games over Thursday and Friday along with ARing 16. A lot of the play was pretty industrial stuff with an occasional standout player on a team that was very good. There were however at least five teams down from Canada. The Canadian Maple Leafs had two, the red and black teams. On Thursday I predicted that they would play each other in the final. About halfway through Friday I was assigned to do the final and my prediction turned out to be true. The game was an absolute joy to ref. The penalty count was low, and readily acknowledged as such by the offender (usually). The play was fast and open and back and forth, just like Sevens should be. final Black 17 / Red 7

As far as I could gather the teams came from a rugby academy of some sort, not the national team, but a feeder to it. I guess I could have found out more, but there was a lot to do and enjoy that weekend.

So did Bruce Carter:
There were a lot of games needing referees on more than a dozen pitches over three days: perfect for a superannuated carpetbagger looking for another big score in the city of his youth.

The College Challenge featured 28 teams competing for one slot at the made-for-TV event in Philadelphia this June.

Eventual winners Central Washington opened with a clinical dissection, 54-0 over a nameless foe, for which I was AR. One Waisale Serevi was spotted in their halftime huddle, keeping them on script.

I was then assigned to referee their second match, with an also-strong Stony Brook (SUNY) team. So I reached into the sideline flock for some good ARs.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON 12 – Stony Brook 8 Referee: Bruce Carter
ARs: Preston Gordon, Tom Zanarini
A good crowd gathered for this second-round matchup. SUNY surprised by taking an eight-to-nil lead into the eleventh minute.

CWU kept their composure, scored one try with two minutes left and another at the death of SUNY.

In such a close and fiercely-contested game, I was very happy to have timely and reliable input via the Pelican Radio Network from both touchlines.

I also refereed Cal Poly in a blowout victory.

Friday I was at a rugby medical conference at the MGM Grand, sponsored by USA Rugby and Ohio State University, missing (but not missing) a lot of great games.

Saturday morning I was the match physician for the Women’s International bracket, so I was available to ref during breaks in the schedule

Saturday was perhaps the best day ever for referee ‘hobos’: most of the referees in attendance wanted to watch the HSBC Sevens in the stadium. Those who could live without seeing the Eagles get smacked around by South Africa and Samoa were treated to some excellent assignments.

The Club Championship Series was played among teams that won qualifying events across the country over the past year.

Quarter-final: DENVER 7 – Humless 5 Ref: Carter
ARs: Brad Dieringer, Leah Berard
This game was intense, fast and furious. A try was called back due to foul play. A drop-goal which the dead-ball-line denizens thought was good was waved off by the confident referee, positioned right where he should be.

Every call mattered. Referees my age have a name for games like this: the fountain of youth. Great stuff.

Semi-final: CHICAGO LIONS 38 – Denver 7 Ref: Carter
The Lions went on to avenge last year’s loss to Belmont Shore in the final. They were not to be denied this year.

And I got into the stadium in time to see the USA beat Japan on their way to the Shield for the second week in a row.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Wednesday, February 09, 2011




Spring has sprung in Pelicanland.

After the heavy rains of late autumn, a week of sunshine in late January fooled the daffodils and cherry trees into blooming. But this past weekend proved they hadn’t responded too soon.

It was eighty degrees at both of the sites that your writer refereed, doing 160 minutes at Talley Farms in Arroyo Grande on Saturday and 120 minutes (two youth games) at West Valley College in Saratoga on Sunday.

After that, the only thing to do was a long road bike ride with the remaining hours of daylight, the roads being bereft of cars on the first Sunday afternoon in February – the LVI is coming up and they’ll be trying to run our legs off.


The Arroyo Grande RFC hosted a super bowl Saturday of rugby games on the two perfect pitches at Talley Farms.

I arrived at 11 AM to find the parking lot almost full. This is a large, dirt lot for a complex of agricultural fields that I’d never seen even half-full. The under-10s and under 19s were playing.

Arroyo Grande played two against Monterey, with the visiting team requesting a second-side due to their numbers.

In addition, AG hosted a CPL pre-season game and a SoCal D3 match between SLO and the Sin City Irish.

CAL POLY 27 – Claremont 12 Referee: Bruce Carter
Referee Coach: Bryant Byrnes
Claremont are the new kids on the block, having won D2 at Stanford last year and then leap-frogged over D1 into the CPL.

They arrived in a chartered bus, looked around the bell pepper fields and citrus groves, and one of them asked, “Where’s the school?”

Your informant was tempted to say that Cal Poly was a UC Santa Cruz-type layout, just out of view behind a nearby hill.

The teams seemed pretty evenly matched, with only one try being scored in the first half, although Cal Poly broke the gain line more often. It was 10-0 at the half to the home side.

The visitors’ containment of multi-phase ball-crashing rugby suffered some in the second half and Cal Poly worked in three more tries while Claremont scored two of their own, one coming on a long, tackle-shedding run by their #7, making it 27-12.

Claremont applied sustained pressure for the last ten minutes of the match and had opportunities to score in both the left and right corners when an unmarked man went unused or knocked the ball on.

If they can work through their new-guy jitters, they can play in this league.

Thank you to Bryant for interrupting a vacation weekend with his wife Mary, on a non-refereeing weekend for him due to injury, to help an old friend work on his game.

ARROYO GRANDE 28 – Monterey Bay 22 Referee: Bruce Carter
There was a very good crowd for this D3 match, which was played in eighty degree weather and from end to end. Perhaps it was the promise of tri-tip burritos!

Having just finished eighty minutes on the other pitch, I was hoping more for an industrial-grade fixture but had no objection to refereeing advantage and open play as much as the players allowed.

Monterey Bay, with an influential end-to-end wind at their backs, took a 17 – 0 lead into halftime. I thought, ah, the second half will be a chance to take a few shortcuts and apply other Veteran Referee Energy Conservation tricks.

After AG’s old campaigners read the riot act during the halftime huddle, things changed.

In the first thirty-seven minutes of the second half, AG scored three trys, one converted, and two penalty goals to lead 23-17. But then Monterey Bay scored at the right upright to make it a one-point game, kick to come.

The kicker, facing the wind, lined up only about 15 meters out. Several of the AG players got into three-point stances and prepared to charge.

The kick, which was accurate, was charged down by scrumhalf Ben Jauregui, one of the old campaigners.

In more than 35 years of Total Rugby, I had previously seen only two kicks charged down that were going to be good. Both of these were in same game, blocked by James Hinkin.

Almost as likely, in my experience, is that the would-be charger-down tips a too-low kick that then sneaks over.

It was a dramatic moment that galvanized both teams for the last two minutes, but it was Arroyo Grande who scored an insurance try with no time left.

MARITIME ACADEMY 101 – U. of the Pacific 0 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Friday night under the lights in Vallejo. U Pacific is a relatively new club (newish?) while Maritime is varsity. UP had a much better second half. Their captain played for Lamorinda, which shows that even a new college club can have experience. A definite sign of rugby's growth.


SFGG SL 97 – Sac Capitals 0 Referee: John Coppinger
ARs: Rich Anderson, Eric Rauscher
Evaluator: Dixon Smith
On a beautiful, windless day at TI, SF/GG rolled by Sac Caps. Caps were game, but had no answer for the power, pace, and support play displayed by the home side. SF/GG played a number of younger players and rested stalwarts V. Rouse and D. La Prevotte. My thanks to Rich Anderson and Eric Raucher for acting as ARs and Dixon for his sage advice.

SFGG COLTS 46 – San Mateo 14 Referee: Rich Anderson
AR/CEO: John Coppinger
There couldn't have been many more beautiful places to be on Saturday than Treasure Island; playing or refereeing.

The Colts scored in a variety of ways, including three mauls off of line outs near the try zone. That is a tactic that may be coming back into vogue.

Special thanks to Mr. Coppinger, who was able to run touch and close a business deal on his Droid at that same time. Another tactic that is the wave of the future? We'll see.=

Seconds: SFGG Colts 10 – SAN MATEO 36 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Treasure Island was warm and sunny! This game was much closer than the score indicates. San Mateo twice intercepted passes in the first half and ran them in for tries, then twice picked up knock-ons in the second and ran them in for two more.

Both teams played very well with phases strung together up and down the field. SFGG had a fresh team while about half of the San Mateo team had played a previous game. All in all I really enjoyed the game.

EPA BULLDOGS 43 – Bay Barbarians 7 Referee: James Hinkin
Referee Coach: David Williamson
EPA looked strong and confident on the ball while the Barbos couldn't seem to string too many phases together. Attacking from all over the field EPA score 5 tries (3 converted) in the first half. The second half was more balanced as the Bulldogs were held to only 2 tries (1 converted) and the Barbarians were able to generate a well-deserved consolation try with a nifty move out wide. The successful conversion put the final score at EPA Bulldogs 43 - Bay Barbarians 7.

Seconds: EPA BULLDOGS 52 – Barbarians 0 Ref: Hinkin
A lack of depth will be a concern for the Barbarians as they played a B side match with essentially the same team as the A side match. EPA was able to field a mostly fresh side and the fatigue factor weighed heavily in a shortened B side match. 5 tries (3 converted) in the first half and 3 tries (3 converted) in the second half turned the match into a one sided affair.

CHICO 39 – Diablo Gaels 31 Referee: Jim Crenshaw

SANTA ROSA 48 – Sacramento Lions 29 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Discipline reduced the Lions to 14 players for the second half and resulted in uncontested scrums. Lions were scrumming very well. Loss of the player meant loss of their strongest skill.
Sunday: Kaiser Half Marathon: 1:50:30. A new PR!

MARIN REDS 40 – Berkeley 19 Referee: Mike King
Both sides were putting final touches on their game in preparation for the commencement of the regular season. The action was spirited and see-sawed for awhile.

Marin was able to use strong backfield play to open a 19-5 halftime lead with several good attacks down the touch line. The Reds continued opening up the lead in the second half, when Berkeley roared back with 2 converted tries of its own. The forwards for both sides played well in the loose, with some adjustment needed in the scrums by the time league play commences.

Overall, it looks like everyone is really in good form.

Seconds: Marin REDS – Berkeley Referee: Liz Palmer
No report received.

Shasta 7 – COLUSA 15 Referee: Dave Ellis
It was difficult to find a parking spot when I rolled up to the field an hour before game time. The field was lined perfectly, Colusa had brought a large squad and lots of supporters to witness their return to league rugby, and the sideline was buzzing.

The game started fitfully, with both teams struggling to find much consistent momentum. Colusa's forward pack have the makings of a strong unit, and used their size and energy to run right at Shasta. Shasta seemed to be just as focused on criticizing my calls as playing the game, which definitely had an effect on their performance. Their criticism of me was well founded midway through the half however when I blew it and allowed Colusa to kick for goal after awarding them a free kick. Unfortunately the kick was good. Soon after the restart a tripping offense by a Shasta player led to a yellow card. Shasta's frustration with my calls was still evident with ongoing comments made questioning my ethics and impartiality, although by no means were the calls going all Colusa's way. Colusa's forwards kept the pressure on and used their man advantage to work their way to a nice mauling try in the corner. A minute or so before Shasta was to be back at full strength, an incident subsequent to a scrum led to a red card for a Shasta player. Shasta seemed to refocus on rugby and the half ended with Colusa leading 8-0.

The second half saw Shasta step up their game and take on Colusa despite being a man down. Shasta's backline began to mix up their game more and use their blazing speed to attack the opposition. Shasta's stand-off kept Colusa off balance with some impressive kicks, and they pulled back to within a point at the 32nd minute with a converted try. Both teams battled to the end, but it was Colusa who put the game away with a breakaway converted try 2 minutes before the final whistle.

REDWOOD 27 – Vallejo 5 Referee: Cary Bertolone
I was pleased to have lists of CIPP'd players from both teams. Ben, the coach of Vallejo wanted to make sure I watched for high tackles and such, so I clearly warned both teams about late hits, no wraps and dangerous plays and was rewarded with a cleanly played rugby game. Vallejo showed up with a solid side, but it became apparent within 10 minutes that they were winded. Redwood scored their first try at the 17 minute mark , after an evenly contested beginning, but it started going Redwood's way as they were in better shape than Vallejo. It was 17-0 at the half. Same trend in the second half. Redwood had one almost center try, but the Redwood player spiked the ball down in the try zone without touching it down, so the score could have been worse. Vallejo scored a try on one of the last plays to make the final score more respectable, 27-5. Good food by Redwood afterwards!!

HUMBOLDT 28 – Mendocino 24 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Under blue skies, my 5-hour drive along the Redwood highway was scenic and pleasant, except for the ticket I received at a speed trap in Ukiah. The match was played in Manila Park in Arcata under overcast skies in front of a considerable crowd of onlookers. Mendocino seemed more organized at the onset, especially in the forwards, and scored the first converted try before Humboldt's adventurous backs found numerous gaps to race to a 21-7 half-time lead. Both teams initially struggled with tackle and ruck infringements, but adjusted in the second half. Mendocino dominated the lineouts, but scrums were even. Mendocino's play became quite dynamic in the 2nd half and the game really opened up with both teams playing up and down the field with quick ball-availability. Mendocino scored 3 tries in the second half, but Humboldt scored once to stay ahead 28-24 going into the final minutes of play. Mendocino repeatedly attacked and recycled possession within a few feet of Humboldt's try line and earned a 5m penalty with 2 minutes left, but their ensuing quick-tap resulted in a penalty turnover. Humboldt desperately weathered the last few minutes of Mendocino’s pressure to win the game. In the end, each team scored 4 tries, but Humboldt finished ahead because of their 4-2 edge in conversions thanks to their accurate fly-half. This was a fun game to referee.

Much thanks to both teams for their positive attitudes and for including me at the entertaining post-match event at Toby and Jack's in Arcata. Humboldt has done a nice job establishing a positive partnership with this local bar, which enthusiastically hosted the rugby community. Players and supporters from both teams were in good spirits and the post-match camaraderie they demonstrated is an example for other teams in the league.

Reno Zephyrs – Reno Academy CANCELED

SOUTH VALLEY (Morgan Hill) 88 – Paso Robles 0 Referee: Tony Levitan
Another idyllic, if a bit windy day in Paradise, sufficiently beautiful to devastate those in other parts of the country who are aching to scrum down in 2011. The opening Division 3 match for both clubs proved to be a very one-sided affair favoring the home team. South Valley has healthy numbers of high quality rugby players who could be playing a level or two (or three) up but geography apparently is a strong incentive to play for the new side based in Morgan Hill. Paso Robles brought too many freshly-minted players to be competitive this day. But both sides worked hard throughout, South Valley committing to wide opening running rugby and Paso focusing on executing their fundamentals.

South Valley ran across 6 first half tries, converting just one for a 32-0 halftime lead. Their predilection for spinning just about any ball was invigorating, entertaining and exhausting! Paso was no match for South Valley's strong, fast and capable backline. The second half saw South Valley add 8 converted tries -- their 2nd half kicker hit some seriously impressive conversions, especially in the windy conditions -- and, while teasing the try line once or twice in the second half, Paso failed to score. (Kudos to their Captain who urged the troops on by running a penalty in the hopes of putting one across).=

Fog 17 – STANISLAUS 24 Referee: Preston Gordon

Fog B 0 –SIERRA COLLEGE 71 Referee: Matt Heafey
This was a game of two different levels of rugby and fitness. The Fog are enthusiastic and the Sierra College Wolverines are a fiercely competitive, well-coached group that is hungry to play the game. Fitness seemed to be the major contributing factor and the pure athleticism of the SC Wolverines shined on several long uncontested runs. The game featured some good defensive stands by both sides near the end lines. It was a glorious day for rugby on Treasure Island and congrats to the fog for having enthusiastic fans on hand to enjoy the game.

San Bruno Saints 12 – SAMOA UNITED 17 Referee: Sandy Robertson
Samoa United outlasted the Saints in a spirited match on a beautiful California afternoon.

Vacaville 17 – OLYMPIC CLUB seconds 45 Referee: George O'Neil

ST. MARY’S 42 – Olympic Club 32 Referee: Paul Bretz
The Olympic Club pack was dominant in the first half.

However, a game lasts eighty minutes and the O Club’s fitness didn’t. St. Mary’s had the better of the last twenty minutes to win the match.

ST. MARY’S seconds 95 – Fresno 25 Referee: George O'Neil

CHICO STATE 97 – Santa Clara 0 Referee: Chris Tucker

Seconds: Chico State – Santa Clara

STANFORD 38 – Sacramento State 27 Referee: Scott Wood

Seconds: Stanford 22– SACRAMENTO STATE 89 Referee: Bruce Ricard
Sac State scored 10 tries in the first half, against only one for Stanford (5 - 58 at the break). Stanford played better in the second half, trying 3 times when Sac Stated scored 5.

February 5, 2011 report from Phil Ulibarri in Santa Cruz
UC Santa Cruz Women 5 – STANFORD University 64
It was an absolutely beautiful day in Santa Cruz; the temperature was in the high 60s with light winds. A pitch-er perfect field prepped in 1st class order awaited the sides. There looked to be about 80 women ready to play. Play started promptly at 11 am, and while Santa Cruz demonstrated spirit and enthusiasm the She-Slugs were just no match for Stanford’s precision and speed from the 8 position through 15. The 1st half ended, Stanford - 22 and UCSC - 0.

It got hotter in the second half not just weather wise - now the mercury was soaring into the mid to high 70s – but try-wise as well with The Cardinal putting in another six converted trys to UCSC’s one unconverted effort. Final score was UCSC 5, Stanford 64.

Second game:
UC Santa Cruz Men 12 – SAN JOSE STATE 15
The cub reporter on hand did an excellent job in reporting the game as read here in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Here’s some additional color...

A bagpiper led the Slugs onto the pitch from the terrace overlooking the field. The solemnity of the piper’s tune and parade took an even more dramatic turn as the Santa Cruz captain asked the crowd of about 200 players and spectators for a moment of silence in honor of a lost team mate. Once the whistle blew, the intensity did not stop for the full forty minutes in both halves. Some great hits and cleanly contested ball kept players and fans on their feet waiting for the next collision. The first half ended with both teams putting only one try each across the line. Santa Cruz made their conversion. Score at half UCSC 7, SJS 5.

The second half was as closely contested as the first. San Jose State was relentless in the forwards and had crossed the line more than once only to be held up in goal and then lose possession after both knock-ons and penalties followed the ensuing five-meter scrums. This was a testimony to the Slugs tenacious defense. After two lead changes late in the second half with the hosts scoring the go ahead try, the Spartans continued the methodical controlled scrimmaging which had put them on or near the try line throughout most of the final quarter. In the last minutes Santa Cruz did everything they could to slow down the onslaught but to no avail. A momentary loss of concentration sent the Slugs retreating, but this time San Jose State would not be denied.

Final score was UC Santa Cruz 12, San Jose State 15

USF 30 – Humboldt State 29 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Up 17 - 0 early in the match & 17-12 at half, Humboldt State gave USF victory by repeatedly being penalized for talking (one resulted in a yellow card), retaliating & late hitting USF's kicker, the last one leading to 3 points to put USF ahead with about 5 minutes to go. Then as Humboldt was driving they again stopped their momentum by opening their mouth a final time for a penalty to USF who kicked for touch ending the game. It helped USF that their foreign flyhalf controlled & cleaned up a lot of bad ball; drop kicked for 3 points, hit a long penalty kick to win the game, added another 4 points on 2 conversions & placed long kicks into the corner to keep Humboldt at bay.

Humboldt's inside center (bigger than most props) scored a very nice try taking on a number of defenders & stomping about 40 meters to score.

SANTA ROSA JC 74 – San Francisco State 0 Referee: Sean Peters

Sac State women 10 – UC DAVIS 53 Referee: JC Van Staden
We could not asked for a better day, with 70F and sunny!

There might be a lot that I don’t have time to say, but know this, women are fast learners. The forwards were pretty much matched, with great driving, and ball retention to both sides.

Both teams were coached good, but Sac State did not had any answers for the Davis back line, who ran with plan the entire afternoon.

CHICO STATE women 42 – Oregon State 24 Referee: Beau McSwain

NEVADA women 17 – Humboldt State 14 Referee: Blake Crawley
On a fine day to play rugby, the UNR women topped the Humboldt State women in a very well contested match played at UNR. The first half was an excellent defensive battle as Humboldt State opened the scoring with a breakaway try that was easily converted. UNR roared back right away to score their own breakaway try and the conversion leveled the scores. For both teams, those tries were the only defensive lapses in the first half. The second half offered more of the same until UNR scored a team try to take the lead at 12-7. A fired up Humboldt State team got a similar try only minutes later and converted it to take the lead at 14-12. As the game wound down, a fine individual effort by the UNR scrum half, highlighted with shed tacklers and a nifty sidestep or two, resulted in a 30 meter try that put UNR into the lead at 17-14. Both teams struggled mightily for the final ten minutes of the match as UNR held on to take the victory. For those who think women's rugby can't be exciting, this match would have been a revelation.

San Francisco BATS women 17 – SANTA CLARA 28 Referee: Stephanie Bruce
SF BATS scoring:
#14 - 31st minute
#9 - 44th
#18 - 62nd, Conversion made
Santa Clara scoring:
#15 - 8th
#15 - 10th
#14 - 14th
#11 - 38th
#10 - Penalty Kick in 47th
#11 - 72nd

Beautiful day for rugby. played on USF's Negoesco Field in SF. Both teams retained possession very well, but Santa Clara exploited SFBATS (combined USF / SF State team) alignment on phase defense to score multiple times with their back three in the first half. The second half saw the BATS regroup on defense and punch up the centers and score two tries to make it a game. However, all athletes were in preseason form and began committing multiple infringements around the breakdown, prompting warnings to both teams, and ultimately culminating in a yellow card against the BATS. In the end Santa Clara scored once more on the outside to finish with an 11 point margin over the home team.


Sunday, Feb. 6:
Report by Rod Chance:

Referees: Chris Tucker, Jim Crenshaw, Ray Schwartz, Mark Godfrey, Brad Scott, Donal Walsh, Jackie Finck, Tyler Nawrocki, Jeff Richmond, Jeff Lusich.

Gold Division Teams: Alameda, Amazons, Bishop O’ Dowd 1, Davis, Elsie Allen & Mother Lode
Silver Division Teams: Berkeley, Bishop O’ Dowd 2, Humboldt, Piedmont, Rio Linda & Sierra Foothill

It was a beautiful Saturday with 12 teams divided into a two divisions. The day started with nervous energy in the air, as teams question their readiness and with good reason for the entire tournament only had 42 returning players with rest were newbies. Thanks to Jim Crenshaw and Chris Tucker, the day started with quality games that set the tone for the day. A point system luckily landed the best teams from each division in the final games of the day, determining the tournament champions.

Silver Division Finals – RIO LINDA 17 – Sierra Foothills 12 Referee: Jeff Richmond
Both first year start-up teams Rio Linda and Sierra Foothills battled in an exciting game with the lead changing at each score. Rio Linda ended up on top with a last-minute score to earn the title. At the awards, it was clear that all were very proud of their efforts and first attempt at rugby. All the players were awarded medals for first and second place.
Gold Division Finals – Amazons 7 – MOTHER LODE 15 Referee: Jackie Finck
Another exciting game in the finals pitted cross-town rivals the Amazons vs. Mother Lode. Mother Lode surprised the Amazons with the first score. A motivated Amazon side methodically powered the ball down the field to score and convert giving the Amazons control at the half. After halftime, both teams came out motivated and determined to impose their game plan on the other. The Amazons strong forwards powered the ball down the middle of the pitch, while Mother Lode pushed to ball outside to some speedy backs. A late score sealed the victory for Mother Lode. At the awards, it was clear, both teams enjoyed the battle and had great respect for each other and the game.

A special thanks to Ray Schwartz, who ran a skills clinic with 50+ girls eager to learn more about Rugby.

Monday, January 31:
Bishop O’Dowd 5 – BELLARMINE 29 Referee: John Coppinger
Monday night, Bellarmine bested Bishop O'Dowd 29-5 in the varsity match played on the O'Dowd campus. The match was close at the end of the first period with the Bells holding a 7-5 lead. The Bell's back line found their legs in the second period and Bells won going away. There were a number of children of my former Santa Clara and Mission teammates on the pitch for the Bells and a couple of kids who played baseball for me last summer on the O'Dowd side--which is pretty cool. Both teams are well coached and will only get better. The players in the JV match were well managed by a young referee by the name of Aruna. I think he may have a future in this game.

Friday, Feb. 4:

Referee 1st half: Sean Peters, 43 – 0
Ref - Mike King 2nd half

Lobos looked fast right from the start, attacking the ruck and poaching lots of ball from Live Oak, putting them on their heels.

In the middle of the half, Live Oak’s #7 and #1 started to put some pressure on the Lobos forwards a bit more but the Lobos #10 and #12 picked them apart and gave the Lobos free range of long runs for trys.

The middle of the second half was taken over by the famous Mike King.

ELSIE ALLEN Bs 17 – Live Oak 5 Referee: Mike King
After taking over the last 15 minutes of the first side match for Sean Peters that ended with the Lobos opening quite a lead, I had the pleasure of working with the fine younger players for both sides. The home team was just better organized, especially in covering the field. They formed rucks and proceeded with second phase attack, with abandon. Both sides were trained well to tackle to stop the opposition and the defense was very good with just a few lapses in coverage. All in all, these young players are continuing to improve rapidly.

Santa Rosa 12 – MARIN HIGHLANDERS 15 Referee: Mike King
Friday night at Cardinal Newman HS was a tale of 2 halves. Marin started early attacking with good back play, allowing #10 to knife through for a try and conversion. A penalty and another try finished out the half for the visitors, while Rosa was able to counter with only a try by pounding away with their forwards. The second half saw the same sustained effort by both sides. The Highlanders looked like at times, they were going to score in bunches, but came up short. Rosa was able to pop a winger through for the last score, but kept the pressure on. Quite a contest that was exciting to the end.

DIXON 13 – Jesuit B 12 Referee: Phil Akroyd
Dixon dominated in every set play and out rucked at tackle/rucks. Jesuit had the better backs, but got little service. Dixon were smart and kicked a penalty in front of the posts with less than 10 minutes left to play to put them 8 points ahead. It paid off when Jesuit scored a converted try in the last play of the game, but were still one point shy.

Saturday, Feb. 5

Preston Gordon had already done the Fog – Stanislaus game:
PITS over Alameda (HS varsity), 2x30 halves, 1730 at Piedmont HS.

PITS over Lamorinda (8th/9th/10th grade), 2x25 halves, 1900 at Piedmont HS.
= 190 minutes of reffing on Saturday!

High School ‘Super League’: JESUIT 34 – Golden Gate 17 Referee: Phil Akroyd
Make no mistake, Jesuit were in trouble for a lot of this game. SFGG were within eight points at the most, for most of the game until the two Gate centers did a joint spear tackle on the Jesuit fly-half. I issued straight reds to them and the game was lost at that point.

Patriotic Pelicans
Bob Destafney, USMC (ret.), formerly with the Maritime Academy, ran into our old friend Pelicus Sibilo Egregius, Paul Gauthier, USN (ret.) in Pensacola, FLA, which styles itself a Pelican City as well as a being bastion of the US military.

Here’s Paul with Army, Air Force and Coast Guard representatives to the flock.

Thanks to Bob for sharing.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Thursday, February 03, 2011




Bruce Ricard has released the beta version of a forum for all to use:

Registration is easy. You informant went there and found an ‘authoritative’ comment just begging to be corrected, about the number of replacements allowed. [webmaster note: the comment has since been amended]

If you enjoy such interactions and have questions or ideas regarding our craft, browse on over, and give Bruce any feedback on the experience.


It’s going to happen, and it’s probably going to happen more this season than it has since your reporter has been involved in the referee match assignments: you won’t have an appointed referee at your game.

This past weekend it was due to car trouble. In future weekends, including this one, it will be because the number of teams and fixtures has outstripped the growth of the NCRRS. We are always a few refs short and any number of folks double up, doing two games routinely. But teams cannot expect the first-side ref automatically to cover two games – refs have other commitments, and some are aware that multiple-game weekends jeopardize their ability to continue to referee every weekend.

Always recall that the average age of officials is significantly higher than that of players.

When you don’t have an ‘official’ ref, the IRB states in the Laws of the Game:

The referee is appointed by the match organizer. If no referee has been appointed the two teams may agree upon a referee. If they cannot agree, the home team appoints a referee.
If the referee is unable to complete the match, the referee’s replacement is appointed according to the instructions of the match organizer. If the match organizer has given no instructions, the referee appoints the replacement. If the referee cannot do so, the home team appoints a replacement.

Of course, it is best if the referee appointed by the home team has taken and passed the Level One Refereeing course and is a member of the NCRRS. (Membership costs $10 a year.) EVERY TEAM SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE QUALIFIED REFEREE AMONG ITS MEMBERSHIP OR FOLLOWERSHIP.


Our February meeting will be on the third Wednesday of the month due to the fact that the hundreds of rugby games on tap in Las Vegas beginning at nine AM on the second Thursday will siphon off a significant layer or our members.

So: Wednesday, February 16, from 7 to 9 PM at the Golden Gate clubhouse.

If you can play hooky for a half-day, swing by St. Mary’s for their 3:30 PM kickoff with the University of British Columbia that afternoon.


Friday at the KOT

Seconds: UC Davis 20 –SACRAMENTO STATE 31 Referee: Phil Akroyd
The first game to start the Kick Off tournament in Sacramento on Friday night. Played under the lights in front of a good crowd, containing many referees, referee coaches and USA Rugby top brass.

The game stayed close through about two-thirds of the 80 minutes. Lots of continuous play and 10-12 at half, 15-24 with twenty minutes remaining. Toward the end, Sac picked up the pace and won 20-31.

UC Davis 19 –SACRAMENTO STATE 41 Referee: Joe Androvich
Decausemaker Wood

Olympic Club 5 – SFGG SL 48 Referee: Chris Tucker
Evaluator: Dixon Smith

Olympic Club seconds 7 – SFGG COLTS 34 Referee: Rich Anderson

SFGG Colts 2 – Seahawks Referee: Rich Anderson
No report received.

DIABLO GAELS 34 – Sac Capitals 17 Referee: John Coppinger
At Morton Field in Vallejo, Diablo Gaels ran past Sac Caps 34-17. Sac Caps had their opportunities, but squandered them. Sac Caps appeared to missing some players. A chirpy game with the players having a go at each other and the referee. Things eventually settled down and some good rugby was played.

EPA Razorbacks 24 – FRESNO 26 Referee: James Hinkin

Seconds: EPA RAZORBACKS 44 – Fresno 0 Referee: Sean Peters
Referee Coach: Bryant Byrnes
Second game was full of young players for a big E.P.A team this year, fast and fearless from the front row to the fly half.

Fresno didn’t really have much of a second side due to preseason , so they also grabbed from the E.P.A side line.

E.P.A was too big and fast for Fresno's seconds.

SACRAMENTO LIONS 89 - San Bruno Saints 12 Referee: Phil Akroyd
One of those "grass roots rugby" kind of games. The pitch at Earl Warren Park in South Sacramento was perfect for a U14 team - well lined, good surface and decent posts, but just too small. San Bruno showed with nine players, Sac with at least twenty, so this became a light-hearted scrimmage pretty quickly.

The Lions wanted to run their moves and get some fitness in before league play and they got better as the game progressed. The San Bruno select side were still in it with five to go in the first half at 20-12, but it was really the Lions players on the opposition side who made all the running. It appeared as though they gave up just before half time and the second half was not as competitive.

The Lions ran in nine unanswered second half tries.

The banter was very good between the two teams and I certainly laughed a lot, plus the barbecue feast after was worth it. Not sure how much Super League referee coach Peter Simpson got out of it, but the New York Met representative got to see a bit of Nor Cal rugby played in good Polynesian spirit.

ST. MARY’S seconds 62 – Santa Clara 19 Referee: Bruce Carter
AR: Preston Gordon
St. Mary’s attacks like a house afire, with everyone coming from every angle. The first option for most position players with almost any quality of ball seems to be turn it up and have a go.

Unless a defense is organized, relentless, and reconstitutes quickly, it is doomed.

ST. MARY’S 71 – Chico State 13 Referee: Preston Gordon
ARs: Stephanie Bruce, John Fouts
Videographer: Bruce Carter

As sometimes happens in Moraga, the sunlight disappeared a few minutes before kickoff and a slow but steady drizzle began. Luckily this didn't have too much impact on the game other than to keep everybody wet, and those who weren't running around cold. Both teams had full squads and there was a decent amount of sideline support.

St. Mary's opened the scoring with unconverted tries at 3' and 6'. The second one was a scrum pushover. After that it was pretty even for the next 20 minutes or so, with Chico State kicking a penalty goal at 17'. The Gaels answered with 2 more tries at 27' and 37', converting the last one. CSU scored a well-worked (unconverted) try at 41' in the corner after repeatedly driving at the line with their forwards, leaving the halftime score at 22-8 to the home side.

The second half was pretty much one-way traffic however. St. Mary's got tries at 42, 49, 55, 59 (converted), 61, 65, 70, 77, and 78 (converted) minutes. Chico State got one more, unconverted, at 72', with the game finishing at 71-13 to the hosts.

Both sides did a good job using the width of the field, and counterattacking from turnovers. The game was generally a pleasure to referee, especially with the assistance of Stephanie and John on the touchlines. Thanks to both of them, and to Bruce, for enduring the wind and cold on the scissor lift while videotaping the game.

ST. MARY’S thirds over Chico State seconds Referee: Stephanie Bruce

Stanford 0 – CALIFORNIA 74 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
The bay area rivalry match was played under partly cloudy skies on a 55F day in front of a considerable crowd at Steuber Rugby Field at Stanford. Cal started with a bang and scored regularly and with variety to lead 48-0 at half, 8 tries. Both teams played structured and enterprising rugby, but Cal appeared to have a significant size advantage in most positions. Cal's backs were particularly incisive, but Stanford was able to steal occasional set-piece ball and were competitive in the rucks. When necessary, Cal was able to muscle forward both scrums and mauls. Stanford missed a kickable penalty in the first half. In the second half, Cal made wholesale substitutions (three different captains), but still managed to score 4 more tries to notch a total of 12 tries for the match. Cal's reserve players were less disciplined than the starters, which resulted in numerous tackle and ruck penalties (and one yellow card), but Stanford did not have enough offense to capitalize. Stanford came close to scoring twice in each half, but knocked on within inches of the try line under heavy defensive pressure. The match video revealed an astounding statistic: of the 17 penalties in the match, 16 were against Cal and only 1 was against Stanford. Several Stanford infringements were not enforced because Cal gained advantage, but even then, the penalty ratio is unusual. Much thanks to Cal's professional media staff for providing a copy of the match DVD soon after the match.

Seconds: Stanford 0 – CALIFORNIA 128 Referee: Tony Levitan

Fresno State 5 – MARITIME ACADEMY 57 Referee: Jeff Jury

Seconds: Fresno State 0 – MARITIME ACADEMY 50 Ref: Jury

SAN JOSE STATE 57 – U. of the Pacific 0 Referee: Stephen Moore
Powerful performance by San Jose. Many UOP players new to the game with lots of mistakes due to ignorance. Good clean game nonetheless that was played in good spirit with no incidents, but no real contest.

NEVADA 22 – UC Santa Cruz 20 Referee: Jim Crenshaw
Left the Woodland dreary fog Saturday morning a little before 9 and by 10, I'd hit Auburn and the bright sunshine appeared. It was a perfect day in Reno, sunny, mild and just right for rugby.

UC Santa Cruz had driven up the night before and their bus was already at UNR's artificial pitch when I arrived a little before noon.

The match was a closely fought affair, with UNR leading 12 to 10 at half and winning 22 to 20.

UC Santa Cruz scored last, with no time left, but missed the kick to tie and thereby avoiding a second week in a row problem for me.

I am glad that the latest Hail, Pelicus discussed the tackle law, as it took a couple of yellow cards for the teams to realize that the tackle is being refereed differently than in the past.

San Francisco State – Sierra JC CANCELED

U. of San Francisco 0 –SANTA ROSA JC 74 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Santa Rosa JC looks like it is going to be one of the teams at or near the head of the Division II pack this year, as they simply overpowered USF on Saturday under foggy/drizzly skies at Negoesco Field [game start was delayed slightly by advance permission from the coaches to allow the ref to watch his freshman son’s team (Cal B side) overwhelm Stanford down at the farm.] The game was actually closer than the score, with the bulk of Santa Rosa’s scoring coming from line breaks and fancy jukes down field. A well-played game by both sides, with very few penalties.

UC DAVIS women 30 – California 10 Referee: Scott Wood
AR: Donal Walsh
Location: Russell Field, UC Davis
Weather: Forecast for 60+ and partly cloudy. It must be nice to be wrong more than 50% of the time and keep your job...

Both teams have good numbers and played well. UC Davis used its forwards to move the ball around the pitch, occasionally letting the backs play the ball. Cal tried the opposite but they had fewer opportunities. All things considered, the score doesn't reflect the fact that Cal was in the match for the full 80 minutes.

CHICO STATE women 54 – Sac State 12
Referee Dave Ellis’ car wouldn’t start, and he lives a long way from Chico. Thus is invoked Law 6, as discussed above.

Not sure who ended up refereeing the match.

Nevada women 5 – SF BATS 27 Referee: Blake Crawley
TJs: Siletti, Flores
On a really nice rugby day, the USF/Bats women ran in five tries against the UNR women. The match was closer than the score indicates as the UNR women squandered several real opportunities and allowed a couple of gift scores. After three high tackle penalties, the UNR side was warned that any more would result in yellow cards. Two second half yellow cards were awarded, though the tackles were the result of poor form and ill-discipline rather than malicious. Having to play short most of the final quarter made any comeback too difficult for the UNR women.

Round Robin in SF

Bay Area Baracus seconds – San Francisco State
No report received.

BAY AREA BARACUS 35 – Samoa 21 Referee: Jen Tetler
What was supposed to be a pre-season round-robin turned into two full games on Saturday in the spitting rain in San Francisco. After the Baracus 2nd side played San Francisco State, the Baracus 1st side took on Samoa, a newer team in San Francisco. The first 20 minutes was a lot of back and forth with some hard hits and good running from both sides. Baracus scored first, but Samoa answered back quickly with a try of their own. Baracus had control of the ball most of the first half, but gave away a lot of possession with knock-ons or forward passes. Samoa got two more tries in before the half, and converted all of them. Baracus took a penalty kick for points, an unconverted try, and a converted try at the last minute of the half to make the halftime score 22-21. The second half had a lot of kicking but didn't have much scoring until the end of the game when Samoa was clearly getting tired and Baracus was able to get a penalty kick and two tries before the game was called. Overall, there were several mistakes but a lot of promising play from both teams.

SAN FRANCISCO STATE 20 – Baracus II 17 Referee: John Pohlman
AR: Jen Tetler. TJ: Baracus dudes

Baracus was supposed to be hosting a round robin with South Valley and United Samoa. But South Valley could not make the game.

Fortunately SFS was practicing at the field and agreed to play the Baracus II in a game. Both teams were fielding some new players. But the game flowed well with SFS looking to be the better-organized team.

Early play was back and forth with a lot of scrums. SFS got a well-earned try 13 minutes in, finished by their winger.

Baracus followed with a try 5 minutes later.

Half time score 5-5.

SFSU pretty much dominated possession throughout the second half and were rewarded with a penalty kick early in the half.

Baracus had some experienced players sub in and scored two more try s in the second half to take a 17-13 lead.

SFSU fought hard and scored a late try to go up 20-17.

With 7 minutes remaining SFS controlled possession and the clock for a well-earned win.

SAN JOSE STATE women 22 – Fresno State 20 Referee: Chris Fisher



Report by Eric Rauscher:
Ended up refing five "games" (30 min). Doing under 12 and under 10 games is a trip. It is a bit of reffing, a lot of coaching and a bit of crowd control with the teams on the field. Had an interesting case in an under 10 game. Did my front row talk and noticed that the hooker was wearing "safety glasses".

They were soft frames but still had hard lenses. I said he had to take them off to play. After the game back at the ref tent, the father was pleading his sons case. It turned out that the lenses corrected for double vision, not blurry vision. It broke my heart.

In another U10 game I had a little kid (3'2" max) that was in my face about almost every call all game. I love ya kid, but get outta my face. He was however a very good player. He would take the ball out of the back of the scrum and box kick it to clear space, then chase it down. They had the put-in at the scrum when the hooter went. He looked at me and asked "What's the score?". He wanted to know if they were in the lead so that he could kick it to touch to win the game. Quite impressive. Keep an eye out for this kid. He plays for Granite Bay, soon for the Eagles. I wish I had got his name.

KOT U19 International Varsity Final
LIBERTY 34 - Glendale Raptors 14 Referee: Phil Akroyd
Back to the turf field that I ran on Friday night. Having two ARs on hand certainly helped in this game (thanks R. S. Wood and T. Franzoia).

Glendale had a lot of aggression but did not channel it in a productive fashion. In fact, they directed it into the kind of behavior that earned their team three yellow cards and the disapproval of most spectators. Liberty were not totally innocent in the whole game and got themselves a yellow.

One of the first plays involved a Glendale player streaking toward the try line on a breakaway run when out of leftfield, a defending player came across with a 'chop-block' kind of a tackle. Easy penalty try. Been a while since I last awarded one of those.

When I finally got the thirty angry teenage boys around to my way of thinking, the game developed quite nicely. To the surprise of many pre-match prognosticators, Liberty had the better backs (even though they looked smaller and slower), fed by a salty scrumhalf, providing a good platform on which to go forward.

A good game to finish the weekend, but I was ready for an extended sofa visit by Sunday lunch-time.

Report by Cary Bertolone:

SFGG Gold 50 – Marin 3
A last minute cancellation w/ San Francisco State gave me the opportunity to ref on Treasure Island. This high school matchup was competitive and fun to ref. The final score was lopsided, but it did not seem so one sided while we played. The game was 19-3 at the half, but Golden Gate kept on scoring in the second half for the final 50-3 margin.

Elk Grove High 17 – Marin B side 5
The mist turned into rain and we got pretty wet during this game, helping provide a lot of knock ons. Elk Grove is a new high school team and they have some very good players. They have size and they played hard, making a lot of rookie mistakes because they were raw, but they played tough and took a 17 -5 halftime lead and held on for a win. I did a lot of preventive coaching to keep the whistle from dominating the game

SFGG Silver 37 – Elk Grove 12
I had just reffed two games and was walking off the field when the Golden Gate coach asked if I could ref one more. I said no. He said every other ref is in Sacramento and I was his only hope. I told him it was my birthday and I just turned 50 and I couldn't ref a third game. He said it was no excuse because he was 53 and I was too young to complain, so back out I went. Golden Gate had a 20-0 halftime lead, but Elk Grove made a couple of second half tries to end the day on a positive note. Their first try came off a penalty when they gave the ball to their 300 L.B. prop and he crashed in for a score and the last try, on the last play, was after 4-5 phases of power rucking got the ball over the try line for them. A very good day of Treasure Island rugby and the clubhouse generously bought me two beers after the last game, making the fact that I was an hour and a half late for my birthday dinner less painful.

At the Kick-Off Tournament, a team of three with the average age of a new college graduate: Shawn Allison, age 12, Paul Bretz, not age 12, Liam Bretz, age 12.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris