Thursday, March 31, 2011




We need a blower for a Sunday game, April 10, University of Nevada men hosting Fresno State. Let us know.


There have been a number of changes for April 2’s assignments, in large part necessitated by the putting off of the D3 quarter-finals for a week.

Please double-check your assignment on the website on Friday. Write for confirmation if you are uncertain.


The last regular-season meeting of the NCRFU will take place on Wednesday, April 9, at the SF/Golden Gate clubhouse from 7 till 9.

Please make every effort to attend. We will be discussing open play and restarts.

The playoff season approaches. We’ll need ARs for the next two months, as well as referees of course.


SANTA ROSA JC 53 – Univ. of Washington 0 Referee: Cary Bertolone
Santa Rosa did not provide a very warm welcome to the touring University of Washington Rugby Club. Not only did a steady downpour greet them for the 4:00 PM match, but so did a larger than expected rugby club from a Junior College. I think they were surprised at how good the SRJC team is as the home team powered in 4 tries for a 24-0 halftime lead and followed up with 5 more in the second half for the final 53-0 score. The For Pete's Sake field held up through the heavy rains, but it was still slick and sloppy.

Sacramento State – Univ. of Washington Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

California women 17 – UC DAVIS 32 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
55F and cloudy at the Gilman artificial turf in Berkeley. Regulation scrimmage between two teams bound for Pacific Coast playoffs. Cal had the edge in lineouts and mauls, but Davis was stronger at the breakdown and in open field. Cal led 12-10 at half, but Davis controlled possession in the second half to finish ahead, 6 tries to 3.

The UPS Bowl?
MARITIME ACADEMY 15 - San Jose St 7 Referee: James Hinkin
A wet, muddy night in Vallejo saw wet, muddy rugby. By the end of the game brown was playing brown but brown won because brown took advantage of the mistakes brown made in brown’s end. Brown defended well but brown was able to break brown’s line. Brown won the day.

SFGG SL 32 – Utah Warriors 8 Referee: Paul Bretz
ARs: Lois Bukowski, Bruce Carter
#4: Jim Marsh; Scoreboard operator: Stephanie Bruce
Evaluator: Kat Todd-Schwartz

Seconds: SFGG Colts – Marin RAINED OUT

Sac Capitals – EPA Razorbacks Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

Seconds: Sac Capitals – EPA Razorbacks Referee: Jordan Bruno
No report received.

SACRAMENTO LIONS 59 – Barbarians 26 Referee: Scott Wood
AR: Eugene Baker; TJ: Various Lions players
Location: Hagginwood Park, Sacramento
The Lions were able to secure use of a brand new artificial turf field for this match. Based on the park's availability, they got the field from 4 pm to 8 pm. Duct tape was used to extend the width of the playing area but fencing constrained the length. While the dimensions did not exceed the maximum allowed by the Plan, the pitch was rectangular.

Barbarians travelled short and both matches involved mostly the same players. The Lions have enough numbers to support two sides. The B Side match started at 4 pm (refereed by Eugene Baker) with the first XV slated for 5:30. Unfortunately, the clouds parted around 3:30 pm and we were left with sunny skies.

Participating in back-to-back matches takes a toll and it showed in the first half. The Barbarians were able to defend the middle of the pitch but the Lions managed to exploit the sidelines. Seven tries were scored to none in the first half. 42-0.

A Tale of Two Halves or How Reserves Spend Time When Put in the Game: The Barbarians fared much better in the second half as the Lions committed penalties at the tackle/ruck phases. The host's reserves missed tackles and would occasionally fall victim to two- and three-step misdirection that opened up gaps for the visitors to exploit. The Barbarians won the second half four tries to two but the damage was already done.

This was a very fast and enjoyable game played in good spirits. Thanks to both teams for a fun afternoon and to Eugene Baker for running touch.

Seconds: Sac Lions 12 – BARBARIANS 27 Referee: Eugene Baker
Cleanly played match with some backline speed on both sides. Wish the Barbos had more bodies; they were gassed during the "A" side match, which was played after this one.

EPA Bulldogs 17 – OLYMPIC CLUB 34 Referee: Pete Smith
AR: Bruce Ricard

Seconds: EPA Bulldogs 19 – OLYMPIC CLUB 40 Referee: Bruce Ricard
Both teams were pretty tired, and didn't have that many players to play a second game, so we played halves of 25 minutes.

First half was completely dominated by the Olympic club, more realistic, and helped by the many infringements of the Bulldogs. They scored 4 tries against one, leading 26 - 5 at the break.

The second half was much more interesting, both teams were really close, and scored each 2 tries (14 - 14).

SANTA ROSA 41 - Diablo 8 Referee: Tom Zanarini
An exceptionally muddy day at For Pete's Sake Field. The heavy rains held off for the matches, which was nice. Lots of attacking despite the conditions. Well played by both sides.

Seconds: Santa Rosa 0 Diablo 0 Ref: Zanarini
Snake eyes. I'm buying.

SEAHAWKS 27 – Berkeley 3 Referee: Bruce Ricard
The first half was pretty balanced. Nothing scored during the first part of the game, the Seahawks scored two unconverted tries at the 18th and 36th minutes. Berkeley made a penalty kick at the 39th, and this half ended on 10 - 3.

The second half was very different, San Jose scored 3 tries (one converted), and Berkeley didn't score anything.

FRESNO 30 – BA Baracus 10 Referee: Dan Wilson
With the wild weather and intense storms that had been hitting the Central Valley as well as the game being played at a farmer’s soccer field in the city of Lemoore, I was envisioning a complete mud pit of a game. Surprisingly, the field was in fantastic condition, with hardly any mud whatsoever. The best part was that it did not rain at all during the game!

Baracus had traveled the 3-hour drive with good numbers (more than 30 players). The game started off with both teams trying to feel out each other by crashing off of the rucks but not really spinning it past the centers for the first 10 minutes. Fresno finally scored the first try (unconverted) at the 14th minute when they were able to get their backs involved by spinning it fully across the pitch. Baracus pressured Fresno back with an unconverted try of their own at the 18th minute.

Baracus seemed to keep Fresno off their game for most of the first half by effective counter rucking and scraping for the ball at every turn. Also, Baracus' scrum also seemed to fluster Fresno's scrum no matter whose put in it was. Each team was able to score another try (Fresno converted theirs) and Fresno added a penalty kick prior to half, but going into the break, it seemed to be either team's game. Half-time score: Fresno 15, Baracus 10.

In the second half, Fresno seemed to control their scrums more effectively and attacked more with their compliment of backs. Utilizing the width of the field allowed Fresno to penetrate the defensive lines on a more regular basis, while Baracus still controlled the rucks by effective counter rucking. Fresno was able to touch down two more tries (one converted) and another penalty kick while keeping Baracus primarily out of their 22 zone. Final score: Fresno 30, Baracus 10.

Seconds: Fresno 17 – BA BARACUS 27 Referee: Bill Long
It was my first club match so I was a little anxious, both Dan Wilson and Jeff Jury stayed to help coach me. The first half was a fairly even game I believe BA scored first then Fresno twice then BA and finally with about 3 min remaining BA took a penalty kick to end the half in the lead. The players were extremely chatty with the BA a Captain doing a slightly better job of bringing the complaints from his team to me whilst Fresno players were a little more vocal with less control by the captain. The second half had more captain control although, there was an altercation between two for which I spoke to the captains and they settled the issue well. There were no further problems between players away from the ball after that. Fresno and BA went back and forth with no really remarkable play in the second half, BA seemed to scrum slightly better and was exceedingly better at the lineouts. Fresno had no answer for the extra try and conversion in the second half and ended up short.

CHICO 19 - 15 Vacaville Referee: Chris Tucker
Good news is that the gophers at the old Chico pitch have all drowned. Bad news is the holes are still there. The ball did not move particularly fast, except forward off the players’ cold, wet hands. The war of attrition was won by Chico in the last 10 mins with a come-from-behind try.

Reno Academy – Colusa CANCELED

RENO ZEPHYRS 12 – Shasta 7 Referee: Blake Crawley
On a very windy but otherwise lovely day in Fernley, NV, the Reno Zephyrs ground out a 12-7 victory over an evenly matched Shasta side. All the tries were scored in the first half. The most impressive play of the match was the Shasta try conversion at a tough angle and against a stiff wind. The ball was fluttering and dancing about in a life of its own but had enough steam to barely make it over the cross bar. Shasta began the second half with the wind to their backs but it proved a disadvantage as several promising kicks went into touch in goal, costing the visitors dearly.

Vallejo – Humboldt RAINED OUT

MENDOCINO 13 – Redwood 12 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
This could have been a pretty good match, albeit played in a mud bath, but was marred by indiscipline and back chat to the referee. Mendocino soon got the message and capitalized on Redwood's continued indiscipline to turn a halftime deficit into a one point advantage. As Redwood could not be controlled, and as their frustration was turning dangerous for the opposing team, and as one of their ejected player refused to leave the playing enclosure as required by the Safety Protocol, your referee called the match with 10 minutes to go and went home. This gave Mendocino a 1 point victory which way well have been overcome by Redwood had their demeanor and discipline allowed the game to continue.

SAMOA UNITED over Monterey by forfeit

Saints – Arroyo Grande Referee: Liz Palmer

Paso Robles 5 - SAN FRANCISCO FOG 27 Referee: Jen Tetler
A would-be-beautiful-if-it-weren't-raining-so-hard drive down to Paso Robles ended at an actually beautiful pitch in the middle of wine country.

It was probably the first rugby game in history to start EARLY since everyone was ready to go 5 minutes before 1pm, or maybe they just wanted to get warm and out of the rain sooner.

Paso Robles won the toss and elected to start the game defending into the wind, which was pretty strong. That might have been a bit of a detriment, since the Fog used their first half wind advantage well, starting the scoring with a penalty kick about 5 minutes in. There was lots of mauling and lots of kicking in the game.

The Fog scored a couple of their 4 tries in the first half off of some nice running lines by the backs, and the others from some strong forwards mauls off of a lineout. Two of those tries converted, leaving the first half score at 27-0.

Paso Robles came out hard in the second half, hoping to finally use the wind to their advantage. The only try of the second half came from a ball that flew out of a ruck and was picked up by a Paso Robles player who ran it all the way to the try zone.

Both teams started to get a little mouthy at the end, but the excellent wine tasting nearby made up for that.

Stanislaus 9 –SOUTH VALLEY 49 Referee: John Coppinger
South Valley traveled to Turlock to play Stanislaus.

The match was played on one of series of three retention basins built to provide storm water drainage for a housing development.

Surprisingly, although we have been pounded by rain and one of the retention basins was full of water, the pitch was firm under foot and held up nicely despite persistent heavy rain throughout the second half.

South Valley was simply too big, fast, powerful, and organized for Stanislaus, but Stanislaus was game and battled hard until the end and then wanted to play an added 10 minutes to prepare for the playoffs.

ST. MARY’S 44 – Claremont 0 Referee: George O'Neil
ARs: Aruna Ranaweera, John Fouts
#4: Rob Hendrickson
Evaluator: Dixon Smith

Saint Mary's College 2nd/3rd XV 20 – SAN MATEO 1ST/2ND XV 45
Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
50F on a muddy SMC field with intermittent rain; 40 minute-halves, running time. San Mateo led 21-10 at half and tallied a total of 7 tries to 4. San Mateo earned 4 yellow cards, all related to repeated team offside; the last two yellows were elevated to red according to a rarely invoked detail of law 10.3(b).

UC Davis 5 – UCLA 14 Referee: Leah Berard
ARs: James Hinkin, Ray Schwartz
#4: Ron Decausemaker
Evaluator: Mike Malone

Seconds: UC Davis – UCLA RAINED OUT

Nevada – Fresno State TO BE RESCHEDULED

SIERRA JC over U. of San Francisco by forfeit

Humboldt Girls U19 5 – Berkeley 5 Referee: Eric Rauscher
This was indeed the wettest field I have ever been on. Huge swathes of 2/3 inch deep water, but no rain until the end of the match.

The teams were evenly matched as is reflected by the score. Neither team scored until the second half. But I also saw something in the second half that impressed me greatly. As I was setting the 125th scrum, one of the locks noticed that her opponents boot was untied. She knelt down in the mud, put the girls' boot on her leg and proceeded to tie her boot for her. This exact same thing happened a little while later, but reversed. I was staggered by that level of sportsmanship. Kudos to both teams

Humboldt State 0 –SANTA ROSA JC 29 Referee: Eric Rauscher
So Bonnie and I took a road trip North. You make a river crossing at least 15 times and drive through some of the loveliest landscape that California has to offer. We drove up Friday almost all the way through rain. It rained all night. Ate breakfast and the rain stopped. Miracle! Got to the pitch at 10am to do a girls game.

The pitch is basically at sea level and it had been raining for a week. After the girls game it was a quagmire. As for the game, I have done Humboldt for the last two years and was looking forward to doing them again They have some fine players on their team, but just weren't able to handle Santa Rosa's cohesiveness as a team. Humboldt was able to make line breaks, but were a bit slow in support and were never able to really sting together enough phases to get traction, even in the mud. By the end of the game, most everybody was covered with a fine layer of the field. I would have liked to have hung around to socialize a bit after the game, but we had to be back home that evening.

Bertolone, King, Levitan, Ulibarri, Pohlman, Carter

Report by Cary Bertolone:
I only had one game; it was between San Jose Silverhawks vs the PAXOs. As in most of the games I saw, knock-ons dominated the game with the rain adding to the issue of nearly cold dead appendages (hands/fingers) being unable to catch the slippery thing. I should have brought whistles for the Silverhawks as most of them were more concerned about the calls than the rugby. PAXOs beat the Silverhawks 15-5. The PAXOs thought I reffed a great game. The Silverhawks thought otherwise.

After everyone played 3 games each, and most everyone still having to play two games more, and most everyone having already had their fill of rugby, rain and mud, tournament organizers tallied up the records and found Old Southwest tied with the Bald Eagles with 2 wins and a tie each (tied each other). Tournament organizers gave first place to Southwest because they traveled further, and the Bald Eagles received second place medals and the Up an Under Catering service promptly tapped the keg, which was thoroughly drained in record time.

Report by John Pohlman:
Stanford is hosting the Bay Area Senior Games this week with rugby being the opening competition.

This is an over 50's competition with close to 2,000 athletes competing in numerous sports. Many sports competitions were postponed due to rain...but as we know if they let us play rugby, rugby will be played.

Five teams converged at the Stanford Rugby Complex this past Saturday. Ages 50-76. A record day for rain. Even Stanford's pitch could not keep up with the downpour. Everyone was soaked.

Teams competing were Old Southwest, Hastings, Silverhawks, Bald Eagles and host PAXO/Back Bay.

Frank Merrill was the president in charge of rugby. Great job Frank. I was in charge of the referees who included players Levitan, Boyer, King, Bertolone, Gadoua and Pohlman.

Refereeing but not playing Pelicans included Ulibarri, Carter and Williamson.

Around 3:00 the rain stopped, unfortunately so did the tournament. In the final pool game, all teams had played at least three by then, a pretty severe concussion stopped play requiring a ambulance. The player was released from Stanford Hospital the next day and was driven home by teammates. He seems to be recovering.

At that point it was decided enough rugby had been played. Points were totaled and the hardware awarded.

First place went to Old Southwest, second to the Bald Eagles, Third Silverhawks.

I want to thank all the players who refereed the games. We had no complaints about refereeing. And if there is a blessing to being over 50, this type of competition must be part of it.


Stanford women 22 – ALL BLUES 27 Referee: Sandy Robertson
The two sides came together for a friendly at Stanford on Sunday. Over the first 30 minutes or so the ball saw all of the field, except the in goal area as the teams battled back and forth. Finally Berkeley got a try. In the second half Berkeley stayed in the lead as the teams traded scores. With a few minutes to go and about 5 points down Stanford had a lineout near midfield when one of their players absentmindedly ambled up the lineout just as the hooker was about to throw. Berkeley quickly took the free kick and after several phases got the try with about a minute remaining. Stanford kicked off, quickly regained possession, marched to the goal, and after a few minutes of battering got the consolation try.

NorCal Youth Championships RAINED OUT



Frosh/soph: ELSIE ALLEN 36 – Marin 20 Referee: Cary Bertolone
The heavy rains stopped for an hour and we kicked off at 5:30 between these two evenly matched squads. I was impressed at how many good players were on the field at the same time. The rugby was fluid with both teams having multiple phase possessions, good rucking and clean rugby. A heavy-duty hail storm nailed us towards the end of the first half. "SIC" was a popular phrase and everyone thought it was cool playing in the hail (the fans, not so much).


Friday High School Match
RAIN 3 – Scott Refereeing in the Rain 0


Varsity: LAMORINDA 38 – Pleasanton 5 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Lamo's varsity teams got quite a run Saturday morning, starting with a 9:00 game at O’Dowd, after which they quickly piled into cars to come back and play an 11:30 game against Pleasanton at Campolindo HS in Lafayette. Lamo's gold team dominated in the first half in terms of possession, and score, and at half time the score was 26 - 0.

Pleasanton's defense stiffened and they put more offensive possession together in the second half, which was only 12 - 5. We had decent weather for most of the game except for 15 minutes of hard rain midway through the second half.

Elsie Allen Lobos girls 0 - AMAZONS 94 Referee: Alan Petty
TJs: Jack Petty, Kevin Digulio
The Amazons showed up at Elsie Allen HS with only 13 girls, but they were the right ones. They scored often and through many different players. The #7 and #9 were really special players, the left wing was very difficult to tackle. The Lobos played all the way through and kept their heads up, but these two teams are on different levels.



For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris