Tuesday, May 03, 2011



SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

From Hail, Pelicus for the week of September 11, 2001:


It was the bloodiest day on American soil since Antietam.

We lack the words properly to mourn and commemorate the missing and the dead or sufficiently to celebrate the heroism to be found in the skies of Pennsylvania or on the streets of Gotham, undoubtedly the greatest city in the world.

Our small family is even smaller now.

Spare a moment for the family, friends, loved ones and teammates of Mark Bingham. Mark played his rugby in high school, at Cal, with the Olympic Club and the San Francisco Fog.

Mark was aboard United flight 93, the one that was thwarted on its imposed mission of evil.

Those who knew him are convinced that he would have been with the other Bay Area heroes who made known that they were going to rush the cockpit.

Faced with terror beyond anything this nation had ever imagined, informed by the loved ones they telephoned that aircraft were being used as weapons of mass destruction, the doomed passengers of that fated flight VOTED to act.

No starker example of the strength of the system that our Founding Fathers invented on this orb two hundred and twenty-five years ago may be imagined. It may be contrasted with the methods of madness that led to these horrors.

The New York City rugby community is missing six members, including rescue and office workers.

No rugby folks that we know of are missing in the Pentagon.

We appreciate our friends and the sacrifice of strangers. Thank you. Rest in grace, rest in glory, rest in peace.


If you’ve been on exchange you’ve been dependant on the kindness of strangers. If you’d like to go on exchange you could earn valuable Exchange Points this weekend.

We’ll have a total of seven visiting referees, ARs and evaluators who need a place to hang their boots this weekend. All will be working at Treasure Island.

We could also use a few more refs – well, ARs really – so you could host, be someone’s ride, and get a run-around for some playoff games all at the same time.

Let us know.


Saturday MAY 14:
Three-way friendly in Redding. Get a jump on the summer fun!


Girls High School
April 30, NCYRA semi-finals, in Morgan Hill:
MOTHERLODE – Alameda Referee: Don Reardon
AMAZONS 42 – Bishop O’Dowd 7 Referee: Bruce Carter

Final: AMAZONS – Motherlode Referee: Drew Sagar (Vancouver, BC)

The Amazons are scheduled to host the Utah #1 finisher this Saturday in a Pacific Coast playoff game.

Boys Single-School
April 30, NCYRA final in Morgan Hill:
DIXON 31 – De La Salle 22 Referee: Bruce Carter

Dixon and Jesuit advance to the Pacific Coast playoffs in Sacramento this Friday and Saturday.

Boys U-19
April 29, NCYRA semi-finals in Morgan Hill:

GOLDEN GATE 38 – Hayward 15 Referee: Tom Zanarini
ARs: Preston Gordon, Stephanie Bruce
A beautiful Friday night on Treasure Island. A hard hitting well played semi-final. SFGG had the pace and skill to keep the win out of Hayward's reach. Many thanks to Preston & Stephanie for their assistance. Excellent job, as always.

JESUIT 20 – San Mateo 12 Referee: Andrew Lin (SoCal)
ARs: John Pohlman, Mark Richards (SoCal)

JESUIT – Golden Gate Referee: Sione Tanoa (Fiji)
We believe that Golden Gate will advance to the U19 track of the playoffs.

Men D2 College
April 30-May 1, Final four, in Pittsburgh, PA:
Sierra College lost to U. of Wisconsin, Whitewater, 20 – 29, in the national semifinal.

Women D1 College
April 29-May 1, Round of sixteen:
STANFORD 40 – Dartmouth 15
VIRGINIA 37 – UC Davis 17

Stanford lost to Penn State in the final.

Men D1 College
April 30-May 1, Round of sixteen, at UC Santa Barbara:
Stanford beat Northern Colorado, 33 – 12 in the regional semifinal, and then lost to UC Santa Barbara in the final.

Men D1 Club
April 30, Pacific Coast playoff game, in Reno:
EAST PALO ALTO BULLDOGS – Northside Tigers Referee: Jim Crenshaw
ARs: Lee Salgado, Phil Ulibarri
No report received.

Bulldogs will play next week in a CR1 game against a SoCal team.

ST. MARY’S – U. of California, Los Angeles Referee: Phil Akroyd
ARs: Tom Zanarini, Scott Wood
#4: Ron Decausemaker

Seconds: St. Mary’s – UCLA Referee: Tom Zanarini
UCLA informed St. Mary's Friday night at 9:00 pm that the B side will not travel. I found out when I arrived at the pitch. I wasn't too heartbroken since I had a great match the night before and was still AR'ing for Phil Akroyd in the A match.

Report by Eric Rauscher:

Rather that describe each game I did individually, suffice it to say that this end-of-the-season Tournament displayed marked improvement over the games that I did at the KOT at the beginning of the season. The skill level has improved remarkably. Hats off to the coaches who take complete novices and put together competitive teams in just a few short months. The highlight for me was running AR for one of the girls’ championship playoffs.

These games were played on a field right next to a synth turf field with a chain link fence in between. There was a girls’ soccer game being played at the same time and the team beach was right next to the field the rugby game was on. I looked over and saw all of the girls sitting on the bench watching the rugby game rather than watching their teammates play a game of soccer!

Looking forward to seeing NorCal High School rugby only get better and better.


CENTRAL WASHINGTON U 36 – San Diego State 27 Referee: Chris Tucker
AR: Dave Pelton, Bob Sproull (both Pacific NW)
Glorious day of rugby in Ellensburg, WA, as two well drilled, up for it teams went the full 80 with gusto and sportsmanship.

SDSU was out of the gate early, breaking through for a try after only 3 minutes and adding a penalty shortly thereafter. The game settled down after that, and the score just before the half was 22-7 in favour of the visitors.

CWU were pressing hard inside the 22, and the ball carrier chipped the fullback, who promptly took out the kicker, late and dangerously. He got the worst of it, however, injuring himself in the process. With him prostrate on the ground, the CWU captain called for a scrum, and with enough room for safety, we played on. Protests came that the game should be stopped to treat the fallen, but why do we need a fullback in a scrum? Feed, heel, pick, spin, score. 14-22 at the half.

2nd half opened brightly, with the home side scoring just before 1 minute was up. In total they managed 4 tries to the Aztec's 1, as the wind at their backs gave them a boost. Both sides could have scored more, with only last minute execution letting them down.
Final whistle went and several players went to ground, such was the furious pace of the last 10 minutes. Both sides left it all on the field, and your correspondent felt humbled to have had the best seat in the house. Thanks to David and Bob for their sterling work on the touchlines.

Back in the clubhouse, we got to chat to the umpires of the baseball game taking place on the next field over. First pitch was at the same time as our kickoff, and THEY WERE BACK IN THE CLUBHOUSE before we got there. When was the last time you went to a 9-inning baseball game that took 1hr 40 mins???? Apparently they have them on a watch, both between innings and between pitches. Exceed the watch, it's a ball. And if the coach complains? Well now that's arguing balls and strikes, and you get the thumb, no questions asked. Surprisingly, no-one argues, because no-one is ever late. Funny what a credible threat with no right of appeal will do...


SAN FRANCISCO GOLDEN GATE 95 – Dallas Harlequins 7
Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: John Coppinger, Cary Bertolone
Referee Performance Reviewer: Kat Todd-Schwartz
Referee Coach: Mike Geach (USA/Texas)

75F and sunny at Sheeran Field at Treasure Island for the final weekend of the RSL regular season. SFGG is unbeaten and has already clinched the #1 seed for the RSL West semi-finals; Dallas is winless. The many spectators in the bleachers witnessed a track meet as SFGG scored early and often to lead 45-7 at half and dominate the match, 15 tries to 1. The margin would have been larger had SFGG not made numerous unforced handling errors while running up the field. Thanks to John and Cary for their assistance during the match and Kat and Mike for their feedback afterwards.

We Remember
Your writer celebrates on the weekend that Infamy met the Iron Will of our nation in a far corner of the world, almost ten years later.

(Photo courtesy of David Barpal. Touch flag courtesy of Ray Schwartz Outfitters.)


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris