Wednesday, March 09, 2011




We barely have enough referees to cover all of the first-side matches scheduled for the next three weeks. Another referee was injured this weekend – another hole in the schedule each week going forward. And another referee no-show last weekend.

We are only able to cover March 12 because: two games have already been canceled and two referees happen to be visiting. Otherwise your assigner would be in the position of selecting a league match not to receive a referee.

We have been assigning brand-new referees to meaningful games. Not their fault. It’s either that or – no referee.

It’s tight for March 19 – we are saved by having three visiting refs. But again, ‘saved’ means we can cover only the first-side matches.

It is even worse for March 26: 16 refs for 26 games. The first-side games cannot all be assigned at this point.

April availability is now requested. We need twenty+ refs the first three weekends and then it falls off fast. PLEASE SEND IN AVAILABILITY FOR APRIL 2, 9 AND 16.

Here are specific and dire needs:
March 26 Chico
April 2 Humboldt

What is particularly frustrating: we have a number of ‘new refs’ who don’t seem to be available to do games. YOU CAN DO A GAME EVERY SATURDAY IF YOU JUST SAY THE WORD. There at least thirty-one people who will be over-joyed that you can rugby happen.

Something will have to give for next season. Referees need to be able to do two first-side matches in the same day, meaning some teams play in the morning and some teams play at 3 or 4 PM, or if everyone insists that all rugby games have to occur at 1 PM, then a sizable percentage of them will need to be on Sundays.

We rejoice at canceled games. Because of canceled games, we can just manage one Saturday until those games are rescheduled, knocking the problem on to another weekend.


The regular Society monthly meeting will be held at the SFGG clubhouse from 7-9 this evening. Please make every effort to attend. Dave Williamson’s programs are informative and the presenters are accomplished.


Humboldt Girls U19 – Bishop O’Dowd Local ref
Humboldt State 5 – SIERRA COLLEGE 27 Referee: Rich Anderson
Humboldt 10 – SHASTA 12 Referee: John Coppinger
HUMBOLDT STATE women 12 – San Francisco BATS 0 Ref: Anderson

Report by Rich Anderson:
John Coppinger and I had the pleasure to travel together up to Humboldt for perhaps the 10th time over our playing and officiating careers.

In that time, we have flown in Puddle Jumpers (which caused 8am Scotch nerve calmers) and had the CHP detour us through Marijuana fields when 101 was closed. Every time I pick up John at 4am, seeing him bright-eyed and eager to travel, I know what a lucky woman his wife, Liz, is.

A quick stop to Peete's Coffee in Santa Rosa, and the trek begins, as does the rain. There are 4 matches scheduled on this day, but we already know we won't make the first because of the weather, Humboldt U19 Girls v Bishop O'Dowd (who smartly traveled up the night before from Oakland). There was a player from the Humboldt women's team who took the Level 1 course and took on the match. As we arrived around half-time, we could see what a fine job she was doing. Afterwards, we let her know that while playing is always fun, it’s hard to match the travel, money and acclaim that goes with Referring. It is our hope that she sticks with it anyway.

My first match, in the rain, was Humboldt State versus Sierra JC. Although Sierra dominated the match (27-5), their side-lines decided that they could better influence the match and referee with many loud and useful tips. Once I reminded the Sierra scrum half that I played under John Tyler for many years, and my ear-drums were severely damaged, things calmed down a bit. One exchange of note occurred at half, when the Sierra #8 was asking me to watch the Humboldt throws in the line out. He was concerned that they weren't straight. He was a confused when I reminded him that he had stolen nearly every opposing line out. Maybe it was the rain.

John's match, featuring the Humboldt's men club, was saved from being a tie by a last second conversion in the mud. That would have been a costly miss for John.

The final match has the Humboldt Women versus SF State Bats. Humboldt #8 dominated the scoring, 2 tries and a conversion for a 12-0 win, in the rain.

The remainder of the trip featured a night in Arcada, dinner and a few beverages, John waking up in the morning with his clothes muddy, and rain. With the 10th Humboldt trip in the books, we need to discuss if there will be a #11.

John’s side of the story:
Saturday (3/5), aka Rainday, on the Lost Coast.
Shasta 12, Humboldt Old Growth, 10. Humboldt went out early but Shasta fought their way back to trail 10-5 with minutes to go and rucked and mauled to the Humboldt five meter line. One of the Humboldt players cynically played the ball on the ground at a ruck and earned a yellow card for his efforts. Shasta crashed over the try line to score just to the right of the posts and the conversion with 30 seconds left made Shasta the winner on a rainy day on the Lost Coast. Given the conditions, a well-played match.

I ran AR for Rich Anderson's matches that preceded and followed my match and we were both totally soaked and frozen after a long day and a long way from home.


Claremont College 27 – CENTRAL WASHINGTON 44 Referee: Phil Akroyd
This was a real performance of two halves from CW. After going up comfortably at half time, they seemed to shut off and pay for it in the second half.

The venue was one that a lot of refs would have been jealous of. If you ever get a chance to visit the Claremont campus, do it. The grass field is huge, flat, well lined (with red lines) and firm and the weather was sunny and 75 degrees before kickoff, pushing 80 during the game.

I had two A/Rs (Footie and Conrad, from SoCal) and a #4 (Woody from Claremont) who performed exceptionally. We kicked off and the first ten minutes were at a furious pace. With legs burning and sweat starting to emerge, CW played to the predicted script and put pressure all over the home team. They scored a try after 3 minutes, a PK after 14 and ran in a further three tries before half. Infuriatingly for Claremont, they gave their tries up easily by shooting their own ball out of the back of the ruck on two occasions. CW ran through, cleaned up and ran in for easy points under the post. To make things worse, Claremont were pushed into touch just inches short and knocked on over the try line. In the second half, they were also held up over the line.

The second half signaled the change around. Claremont came out hard, as if a new set of batteries had been installed. While attacking, an inexperienced full-back from Washington panicked and tripped the ball carrier, resulting in an easy yellow card. Interestingly, CW slotted two penalty kicks while they were down to fourteen when they could have taken more bold attacking moves.

Claremont continued while CW continued to cruise and get lazy. They failed to respond to earlier requests and warnings from me to retreat fully to the back foot, resulting in two quick yellows for repeat team offences. The second came at the very next ruck after the first was issued. I guess some players don’t take instruction well.

Claremont scored a couple of tries while they were one/two men up, but it never appeared as though CW were in real trouble. The teams scored five tries each but Washington nailed many of their conversions and three penalty kicks, making the winning difference.


O CLUB ALUMNI 24 – Silverhawks 7 Referee: Sean Peters
San Jose Silverhawks vs The Olympic Old Boys, this one was a fun and great game to ref and watch. It was the making of a “classic” old boy match, hard hitting, grudge holding, cheap-shot "I didn’t do that ref” fun game. First half Olympic Old Boys made an attack from their big forward pack scoring the first try. 7-0, then the Olympic Old Boys scored again before half. Off a penalty, that was awarded inside the 22 meter the Silverhawks, determined to score, saw their fly-half sneak in a try before the half making it 12-7.

The second half was more hair-pulling / toupee-tossing/Bengay-applying, with big tackles from both teams. The Olympic Old Boys back line with some subs, came in the second half. They started opening the game up from their outside center and wing, putting up another two trys before it was done.

Great day for rugby in San Francisco, last weekend snow, this week sunny and warm sky.

Thank you for one of my most fun games to ref. A big thank you goes to the Silver-hawks and the Olympic club for hosting this match.

O Club 2 – Stanford Business Referee: Bruce Ricard
No report received.

OLYMPIC CLUB 27 – Glendale 24 Referee: Paul Bretz
Very intense game.

SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 40 – Barbarians 10 Referee: Chris Tucker
Beautiful day in Sacramento at Danny Nunn for a game played in good spirit by both sides. A little early friction was quieted down with a penalty either way (high tackle vs. no-wrap) and the teams settled down to play. Capitals were too organised for the Barbarians, scoring 6 tries (only 1 missed conversion) although the visitors did earn a consolation try mid-way through the second half.

Seconds: SAC CAPITALS 46 – Barbarians 5 Referee: ‘Jimmy’
Refereed very competently by Jimmy, a Barbarians coach. While the score was approximate he did a nice job of managing the game while I brown-bagged a beer on the sidelines (in the absence of a brown bag, the GMGs worked pretty well!) After about 20 mins, the 1st side Capitals captain asked me if the Barbarians winger was allowed to wear his ankle monitor during the game. Yes, there it was on his right ankle, making sure he wasn't getting in any trouble -- he's on the wing, how could he? I said it's probably not approved by the IRB, but at least he's got something constructive to do for an hour and a half, and that he should address his concerns to the referee...

EPA BULLDOGS 25 – San Mateo 10 Referee: John Pohlman
Asst. Referee Stephen Moore and T.J. San Mateo supporter
EPA Bulldogs hosted San Mateo at Ronald McNair Field in East Palo Alto. The large and festive audience was treated to a very competitive hard hitting game. This is the field EPA has used frequently. Pretty bare and small. It would have been nice to referee these two teams on a regulation quality rugby pitch.

EPA won the toss and chose to kick. The game started a bit sloppy. Numerous dropped balls led to a high scrum count. The field being small and the players being large allowed for little space and loads of pressure from the defenses.

San Mateo #13 Peter Maola slotted a penalty at 6 minutes.

EPA 12, captain Jack Halalilo scored his first of twenty points for the day with a successful penalty kick.

The rest of the half saw the ball handling improve with lots of opportunities but strong defense kept the game tied until EPA #7 Laumanu Paongo finished a forward pick and drive sequence.

Half Time score EPA 8 San Mateo 3.

Captain Jack added three more points to EPA with a penalty 6 minutes in. EPA was finally able to create some space for their backs and Captain Jack scored his first try of the day.

San Mateo scrum Half Tevita Finau scored a bang-bang try three minutes later. This was scored after a couple of penalties to EPA and quick taps taken by San Mateo. As Finau grounded the ball tacklers converged and the ball bounced making it look like a knock-on. But the ball had already been grounded. This was at the 53rd minute.

The last try of the day was again scored again by #12 Captain Jack Halalilo at the 74th minute. In between were more opportunities turned back by some furious tackling.

Final score: EPA 25 San Mateo 10
This was a fun game to referee due to the level of play from both teams. Thanks for a lovely run.

Seconds: EPA BULLDOGS 12 – San Mateo 5 Referee: Stephen Moore
AR: John Pohlman
Solid clean game. Well played by both sides.

EPA Razorbacks 10 – SACRAMENTO LIONS 40 Referee: Preston Gordon
Terman Park, Palo Alto, 1330
Sacramento managed to sweep aside any serious challenge to their winning this game, despite 3 yellow cards (the second 4 minutes after the first). The lopsided score doesn't reflect the nature of the game though - the Razorbacks had their share of possession and weren't afraid to use it. Sacramento was able to finish more of their opportunities, however.

Seconds: EPA Razorbacks 7 – SAC LIONS 21 Referee: A Player

DIABLO GAELS 24 – Seahawks 11 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
This was my first assignment out to Vallejo's Morton Field, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a hidden gem in the form of a dedicated grass pitch, professionally lined, with goal posts, sideline barriers, spectator seating and everything. The Seahawks struck first, and went out to an early lead after a penalty goal and unconverted try, and after the Gaels scored an 80 yard breakaway try under the posts, the score at half time was 11 - 10, Seahawks. The Gaels were more persistent in the second half, scoring two converted tries after sustained drives to pull ahead and win 24 - 11. Really good D II rugby by both sides.

CHICO 39 – Marin 25 Referee: Phil Ulibarri
The trip from Reno to Susanville to Chester then on to California Highway 32 drops you right into Chico and only about 5 minutes from Pleasant Valley High School. The pitch was in good order and both teams were ready to go over an hour in advance. It was a great contest from the opening whistle with cleanly contested rucks and some good passing to the wings from both sides. Marin had most the pressure on in the first half scoring a converted try but missing two penalty kicks. Chico initiated a beautiful pop kick resulting in a try near the end of the first half and took an 11 – 8 lead into the break.

In the second half Chico ran four converted tries over the line due to some lackluster defense on the wing; one try came from a Marin restart with at least three clean passes from Chico as they sliced through the right side of Marin’s fifteen. Had Marin made good on the penalties and kept Chico from the easy score, it would have been a one-point game. As it was, Chico came out on top 39-25.

Seconds: Chico 0 – MARIN 5 Ref: Ulibarri
With many of the players and the ref doubling up for the second match, it was decided to run 20’s instead of full halves. Both sides brought on some new talent and the game was run with some really solid defense, albeit at a slower pace from everyone. Marin scored an easy try on the right side early in the first half.

A very light sprinkle brought a little moisture in the second half of the match, but it had no effect on play. The second stanza was scoreless.

SFGG COLTS 17 – BA Baracus 13 Referee: Cary Bertolone
Saturday at Treasure Island, kick-off at 1:00 pm (my third match of the weekend), Golden Gate wasted little time with an interception by the outside center and a quick 7 points for the early lead. Golden Gate controlled the rucks and had a lot of possession early on, but Baracus started exerting some of their power and scored a try to even things up. Golden Gate had one penalty after another, received one yellow, giving Baracus three attempts at the post, but they only cashed in with one made in the first half for a 10-7 halftime lead.

The backs of both teams were cheating up on the line of scrimmage towards the end of the half and the beginning of the second half, so I tried to clean that up. A few penalties later, it cost Golden Gate 3 more points. The game was pretty even for 20 more minutes and then Golden Gate smashed in a try to close the score to 13-12. It stayed that way until 5 minutes from full time when the team in green scored a well-deserved corner try for the lead. Baracus took it back down towards their try zone, but were held. They had an easy penalty kick, but passed on it as they were down by 4. The GG took possession of the ball on the 5 meter line and with Baracus being offside in the backs for three consecutive phases, that Golden Gate kept taking advantage of (didn't have to blow the whistle), the game ended with Golden Gate getting a hard fought win 17-13. Close game, played a bit sloppy, but with a lot of effort from both clubs!

Seconds: Golden Gate 44 – Baracus 2nds 0 Referee: Ewan Lithgow
Ewen Lithgow took the whistle and reffed his official first game and did a great job as Golden Gate controlled the match for most of the phases and won 44-0. A lot of hard rugby; another day of a great city rivalry.

SANTA ROSA 79 – Berkeley 7 Referee: Tony Levitan
AR: Dave Ellis
Evaluator: Mike Malone
A beautiful afternoon turned overcast with a bit of a sprinkle, but that change in environment did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of our two sides playing out a Division II match in Santa Rosa. After a hard-fought opening 20 minutes, Santa Rosa had their way with Berkeley in just about every facet of the game. Challenged with a notably less experienced side -- though girded in their effort by some seasoned vets -- Berkeley was under attack most of the match and yielded too many "track meet" tries to stay competitive.

Santa Rosa's dominant scrum play, active loose forwards, and well-coordinated backline saw them dot down 5 tries (3 converted) in the opening half, while Berkeley got on the board with under 2 minutes to play via a penalty try awarded for repeated infringement on Berkeley's quick tap attempts near the goal line. 31-7 at the break.

In the second half Santa Rosa ran almost at will, putting over another 8 tries (4 conversions). Berkeley's line-out play was probably the best part of their game in this match, reliably producing quality ball that allowed the backline to run and often run well. Unfortunately, their long gains were too often followed by turn-overs and more dynamic running rugby by Santa Rosa. Final tally, 79-7. Special thanks to Dave Ellis for running touch and offering the odd half-time and line-out check-in along the way.

FRESNO 63 – Vacaville 22 Referee: Jeff Jury

Mendocino 7 – COLUSA 12 Referee: Bjorn Stumer
California is basically hill country, and the hills were beautifully green and full of spring flowers on my drive up to Ukiah, in Mendocino County. Credit should be given to both sides for putting together Rugby clubs in small towns far from the action, and for presenting both sides handsomely kitted out and ready to go well before kickoff time. The two teams were pretty well matched, with Mendocino appearing at first the fittest one. The Colusa lads however came out firing on all cylinders and did not stop for the full 80 minutes of the match. Colusa, long a presence in the California Rugby scene, is back after an eight years absence. You would have not thought them a newer side though, because they approached the match with gusto, if not with finesse. Your writer is old enough to remember that rucks & mauls were never the strength of US Rugby, but how have times changed. The whole match, played with a soft pitch underfoot, was nothing but fast moving effective mauls and quick rucks. Although keeping all on side proved a challenge, the match remained free-flowing throughout.

Mendocino is a well-coached outfit which showed skill and pace, but they had a battle on their hands in containing a combative Colusa side, determined not to mar their unscarred record. The skill of the hosts was matched by the power of Colusa, and the first half closed with a converted try per team. The second half could have gone either way, as Mendocino ably deflected the repeated assaults thrown at them by Colusa. Ultimately Colusa broke through, and defended the score until the final whistle. Final Score Mendocino 7 (7) - Colusa 12 (7). Overall a scrappy, but fun affair enjoyed by all. Also enjoyed was the third half hosted by the Mendocino coach at his fine country spread. The fellowship harked back to simpler Rugby times and your referee, as probably all involved, thought this a good day.

VALLEJO 71 – Reno Zephyrs 35 Referee: No-show
The two teams agreed upon an un-named volunteer referee and agreed that the result will stand.

Redwood – Reno Academy CANCELED

Paso Robles 5 – MONTEREY BAY 52 Referee: Eric Rauscher
On the drive down I listened to Paul Butterfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Nirvana and Neil Young. The way back was more Neil, Decemberists, Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan. Getting to the pitch was a Field of Dreams kind of experience. You drive out through an agricultural area and then arrive at the end of a dirt road at a very nice pitch. It was a bit dry, but a great place none the less. They actually have access to 3 fields and are thinking about a little tournament there. The game was pretty much what I expected. This was one of Paso Robles first game as a team. While this is Monterey Bays' first year as a team (after a lapse of five or six years), it is actually two teams combined into one (Monterey and Aptos). The play was enjoyed by both teams and therefore I enjoyed the game also.

Two players stood out to me, one from each team. Paso Robles' #5 (Mark Ancli) had a great work rate and seemed to be always involved in the play. Monterey Bays' #12 (Lui Ma'aola) scored at least three tries, breaking through tackles right and left.

With more games under their belt, Paso Robles will make a fine team.

Arroyo Grande 12 – SOUTH VALLEY 75 Referee: Tom Zanarini
A beautiful day in Arroyo Grande. Sunny skies and tri-tip on the grill. AR had a youth match directly before the men's game. Good to see the game growing down the ranks. On the same note, South Valley is a men's club formed AFTER a youth rugby club, a definite plus. The match was pretty one sided. AR had trouble finding motivation and played pretty flat.

A special thank you goes out to my wife, Colleen, who saw fit to allow me to referee on her birthday weekend, just so long as we did it some place nice. San Luis Obispo is always some place nice.

If you get scheduled to do Arroyo Grande and want to stay in SLO, my recommendations are: Ramada Inn on Olive St. $64 a night with AAA. Dinner: Novo on Higurea or Kobrel at Blue on Monterey. Kinda pricey, but if your with your significant other it'll put you in good graces. Breakfast/Brunch: Big Sky Cafe on Broad St. And if you need new running shoes, Running Warehouse's showroom and distribution center is on Suburban Rd. (parallel to Tank Farm Road) and has a massive selection.

Saints 15 – STANISLAUS 19 Referee: Same Davis
It was a physical game between the Harlots and the Saints the Harlots, won 19-15.

Fog – Samoa United CANCELED

UC Davis 10 – ST. MARY’S 52 Referee: Joe Androvich
ARs: Jim Crenshaw, Donal Walsh
Assessor: Kat Todd-Schwartz
No report received. Score from the Internet.

Seconds: UC Davis – St. Mary's Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

Santa Clara 13 –CHICO STATE 22 Referee: Sandy Robertson
Chico pressured Santa Clara from the start but weren't able to score until midway into the first half. In the second half Santa Clara came back but Chico's 4th try of the match gave the visitors breathing room and a hard fought win.

Seconds: Santa Clara –CHICO STATE Referee: Chris Fisher
Chico State B a big winner of Santa Clara B on Saturday. My pen ran out of ink. Since it was only a B side I let it go.

SACRAMENTO STATE 17 – Stanford 14 Referee: Scott Wood
ARs: Lee Salgado, Tom Franzoia
No report received. Score from the Internet.

Seconds: SACRAMENTO STATE 34 – Stanford 10 Referee: Rich Boyer
AR: Lee Salgado; TJ: Tom Franzoia
Stanford had a number of "newbies" playing in their first or second game while Sac State had the size. Sac State used their forwards to their advantage, which set up overlaps in the backline.

Stanford got better as the game went on and scored their trys in the second half. This team will get better as they become more seasoned.

Sac State has numbers and replaced nearly the entire team at halftime.

It was nice seeing Dante Walters, whom I coached at Christian Bros., play flanker with reckless abandon and score a try.

Both sides were good natured and exceedingly polite.

A big thank you to Lee Salgado and Tom Franzoia for running touch.

Fresno State 0 – UC SANTA CRUZ 61 Referee: James Hinkin
With monsoonesque rain apparently slashing down on the Pacific coast the UCSC/Fresno St game was moved inland to Fresno. So I hopped in my car and arrived in Fresno with a packed kit bag and an interesting collection of low flying Central California insects on my windshield. After paperwork was duly inspected and stern words were had with the front rows and captains, we kicked off on a gorgeous 65 degree winter day.

From the opening whistle UCSC came out flying and won an immediately penalty at the breakdown. They didn’t leave the Fresno 22 until they had scored a try. Fresno seemed to have no response to the pick and go tactics around the breakdowns and soon gave up a couple of more tries. Fresno settled down, however, and the middle 20 minutes of the half produced exciting back and forth rugby. Fresno had several deep, penetrating attacks but lacked the finishing touch as UCSC always seemed to scramble back in time. Towards the end of the half UCSC started regaining their earlier momentum and after Fresno was reduced to 14 while their #7 sat on the sideline contemplating his sins they put a 4th try in for the half.

The second half was a mirror of the first as UCSC alternated periods of dominance with Fresno rallies, but Fresno was never able to complete their moves. A front row injury brought on subs for Fresno that were having difficulty with the Slug scrum and turned that phase into a lobsided contest. With 20 minutes to go #7 Justin Andrews completed his hat trick and 10 minutes later tried for 4 as he chased a kick and jumped on the loose ball... about a meter short. No matter. After a weak clearance the UCSC lineout delivered clean ball and the inevitable try was scored under the posts.

Fresno tackled bravely and made some impressive runs but didn’t have the support or nous to finish them off. UCSC created their own chances and took the ones that were gifted them well in an all-around performance. Special mention must go to the captains on the day Mike Rinaudo (UCSC) and JP Salvador (Fresno St) and the coaching staffs as both sides were well drilled, followed instructions and refrained from any dirty play.

U. of the Pacific 5 – NEVADA 24 Referee: JC Van Staden
AR: Ron Decausemaker
Carrying a calf injury from Friday night did not help my cause, but my 4 yr old offered to bring me water anytime I need some, and for that I booted up with high spirits. Nevada opened the scoring with a converted try. UOP, showing some good plays made it across the field a few times, but after losing one of their star players, allowed Nevada to score 2 more times and take control of the game. A second wind came up for UOP after their captain exploited some midfield defense, and after 65 min, UOP was on the board as well. Nevada did not let them go, and managed to fit in one more converted try to put their seal on a dominant game by the visitors.

San Jose State 7 – MARITIME ACADEMY 20 Referee: Pete Smith
ARs: Bruce Carter, Ben Bravo
(Score approximate from the AR. Three trys and a penalty kick definitely. One conversion?)
These two teams were undefeated in league play prior to kickoff. At the half SJS was ahead 7-3.

Matter of fact, they were still ahead with about ten minutes left. That’s when CMA scored a penalty try because the last defender laid on the tackle a foot from the goal-line with three on-rushing attackers looking to pick the ball up and move it ten inches forward.

Once the dam breaks comes the deluge. Two more trys were scored on the left wing in quick succession.

Seconds: San Jose State 22 – Maritime Academy 22 Referee: Bruce Carter
ARs: Pete Smith, Ben Bravo
Something seems to be wrong with my scorecard – it shows the same total for each team.

Referees lose notional credibility with their peers in ‘allowing’ mutual scores to occur. But when two teams are as evenly matched as these eager understudies, I feel privileged to have been in their midst facilitating a safe, fair and fast contest whatever the outcome.

It was good to see two old friends after too many years: Steve Hiatt, now coaching the Maritime Academy; and Paddy Shrimpton, visiting from Houston, who founded the CMA rugby program.

U. of San Francisco 35 –SAN FRANCISCO STATE 40 Referee: Mike King
This rivalry match-up played on Treasure Island was a barn-burner involving 2 very aggressive and intense sides. The intensity level was measured by a heated verbal discussion between the SF State try scorer and the USF defender after the very first try. For a while the sides tried attacking directly at the opposition, but the defenses held fairly well on the first phase. USF became effective with its #10 kicking for territory for a while, until State’s #15 began mounting a counter-attack. He scored a nifty kick ahead and gathered the ball himself, to score in open field play.

As the match continued, the players seem to tire some and the penalty count increased, more for the Gators than USF. State was issued a couple yellow cards for its repeated misconduct. They were however, even able to score shorthanded. USF was not willing to give up and persisted to bring the match to within 5 points- greatly aided by #10’s goal-kicking. A USF lineout at State’s 22 was stolen by the Gators and brought the final whistle. This exciting contest came down to the last very play. Both teams deserve to be proud of their excellent effort.

Sac State women 5 – UC SANTA CRUZ 46 Referee: Lee Salgado
Referee Coach: Scott Wood
No report received. Score from the coaching report.

California women 24 – Chico State 24 Referee: John Fouts
No report received. Score from the Internet.

NEVADA women 24 – Santa Clara 13 Referee: Don Pattalock
TJs: N. Jones, Michelle
A great game that went back and forth, 3 lead changes with the result in doubt until the 70th minute.

TUESDAY, March 8:
SFGG Colts 20 – Belgrano AC (Buenos Aires) 20 Referee: John Coppinger
ARs: Preston Gordon, Stephanie Bruce
Not unexpectedly, Belgrano came out aggressively attacking and playing to the edge of the law and were definitely trying to get under the skin of SF/GG, which they did. A chippy and scrappy match with many appeals to the referee from both sides about the many felonies committed by the other side. 2 yellow cards towards the end of the first half (dangerous tackle and the ensuing retaliation) settled things down for a while (although two more yellow cards were given in the second half for persistent violations). With two minutes left and Belgrano attacking along the tram line in the SF/GG red zone, SF/GG, playing a man down because of one the second half yellow cards, absorbed repeated phases of Belgrano attack only to commit a penalty at the ruck with virtually no time left. The Belgrano penalty was wide left and in the field of play where the ball became unplayable ending the match 20-20. I owe beers.

My thanks to Preston Gordon and Steph Bruce as this one really called for ARs.

SF/Golden Gate SL 23- BELGRANO ATHLETIC CLUB 29 Referee: Preston Gordon
Sheeran Field, Treasure Island, 1915
AR: Stephanie Bruce

This was a harder hitting, more skilled, and higher intensity contest than most Super League matches I've seen. Both sides were looking to win this one after the opening match drew level. Belgrano's scrum was formidable, their backs ran and moved the ball at pace, and their offloading in contact was very good. SFGG's loose forwards and ability to counterattack shone. The kicking game was also well executed by both sides, in open play and in attempts at goal.

At halftime it was 20-10 to SFGG (2 converted tries and 2 penalty goals to 1 of each) but Belgrano earned their comeback, with a couple more tries and points from the boot. Thankfully the match was not spoiled by the single yellow card to each team for ungentlemanly conduct (one in each half).

Stephanie did a great job on the touchline, and I'd like to thank her for coming out to run on a chilly Tuesday night.

At the after-match I was presented with a Belgrano AC tie, which suited the #1's I was wearing just fine. It was a great evening of rugby!


UC Santa Cruz women – Chico State CANCELED


Live Oak 7 – PENINSULA GREEN 39 Referee: Bruce Carter
Under the lights in Morgan Hill, led by the running and one-man rucking of Andrew (Maka) Tameilau, Pen Green established a 34-0 lead in the first half.

A renewed commitment on the part of the home team and some player substitutions proved enough for Live Oak to win the second half, 7-5.

BELLARMINE 55 – Silicon Valley 0 Referee: Chris Fisher

CARDINAL NEWMAN/ROSA 22 – Montgomery 14 Referee: Cary Bertolone
In a league game, under the lights, the Rosa High School team started out strong, rucking well and spinning it out for a 17-0 halftime lead. Montgomery started putting it together and they made a game of it with two converted tries in the second half, but Newman Rosa won 22-14.


EPA Razorbacks 12 –SAN MATEO WARRIORS 39 Referee: Preston Gordon
TJ: Ed Mortlock
Terman Park, Palo Alto, 1100
The first half wasn't much of a contest, with San Mateo scoring 25 points to 0. The second half was much better (2 tries each way with the difference being the extra conversion for San Mateo). A fair amount of fans had turned up by this time to see the game, and the men's game that followed.

GOLDEN GATE Gold 75 – Piedmont 0 Ref: Bertolone
At Treasure Island, Golden Gate kicked off at 11:30 w/ the sun shining and went to work, systematically working their way down field and scoring 4 tries for a 24 point lead at the half.

The PITS team played hard and never quit, but they were outsized and not able to contain Golden Gate's continued assault on the try line and the final score was 75 - 0.

Berkeley 17 – DIABLO 35 Referee: Mike King
This contest see-sawed into a very tight match until the waning minutes when Diablo’s #12 raced into a few quick scores. When he was given daylight at any time, he was devastating. Both sides were well-coached and played physical, intense rugby by these young men fairly new to the game. The assembled fans were obviously entertained by the contest. Diablo struck first, and started to widen its lead to a 15-7 halftime mark and an early second half try. At that point Berkeley seemed to settle down and march back in to the contest- down by only 3 points and gaining ground. It truly was only in the last 10 minutes that the final deluge occurred. It seemed like fun was had by all.

Monday (3/7) on the dry turf of Bishop O'Dowd.

SFGG U19 Silver 30 – Bishop O'Dowd Silver 0 Referee: John Coppinger
Good match, played in good spirits. SF/GG were better organized and able to exploit their breaks, while the Dragons could not.

Bishop O’Dowd 0 –GOLDEN GATE JV 21 Referee: Sam Davis


We have several incoming exchange referees in March.

If you would be able to host, please contact Bjorn Stumer:

Remember: hosting earns you not only good karma, but valuable Hosting Points, good toward a future out-going exchange.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris