Friday, May 20, 2011




Bruce Ricard has earned promotion to L2, in part due to a fine performance on his recent exchange to New England.


There are a lot of experiences that rugby referees enjoy which probably are rarely, if ever, appreciated by our colleagues in other sports.

For example: does a local basketball ref ever find Michael Jordan in one of his games?

Tom Zanarini went out to do a game involving a touring side against Baracus last Wednesday evening. A substitution is made and now he’s refereeing the most capped forward in rugby history, a man who played on four teams that won the Grand Slam and one that took home the Webb Ellis Cup, a member of the International Rugby Hall of Fame and also a fellow who has the distinction of having scored as many tries against his country as for it.

The rest of the story is below!


We wish the best to the eight Northern California teams still playing for USA Rugby national championships.

These four will be decided this weekend:

Super league: SFGG – Life
College Premier Division: California – BYU
Boys High School: Jesuit in the final eight
Girls High School: Sacramento Amazons in the final eight

These men’s clubs are playing this weekend to qualify for the finals, which will be June 4-5:

D1: Olympic Club and Sacramento Lions
DII: Fresno and Santa Rosa
DIII: South Valley


Make your plans now to attend the 2011 NCRRS Banquet and Awards Ceremony at Scott’s Seafood in Walnut Creek on Saturday, June 25th. Drinks at six, dinner at seven.

Those who are eligible for free kit (5 or more club/college games by assignment in the past season) are also eligible for free dinner. Drinks are on your own and guests are fifty dollars.

RSVP to Bjorn Stumer:


SF/GOLDEN GATE 53 – Old Puget Sound Beach 22 Referee: Paul Bretz
ARs: Phil Akroyd, Chris Tucker
#4s: Scott Wood, Bruce Carter
Scoreboard Operator: Preston Gordon

May 13
Men's Collegiate D1 National Semi-Final
UC SANTA BARBARA 30 – Bowling Green State University 3
Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: John Coppinger, John Pohlman

May 14
Men's Collegiate D1 National Final
Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: Marc Nelson (USA/Colorado), Scott Florence (Florida)


Cal defeated Utah while BYU beat Arkansas State, setting up a Cal – BYU final for the sixth year in a row.

If you don’t have whatever obscure network is necessary to watch it, find a sports bar. This should be a great game.


JESUIT 79 – Dixon 17
Jesuit also beat Fallbrook 47 – 8 to win the California State Championship

Wednesday night Rugby:

BA Baracus 10 – CHINGFORD (London) 22 Referee: Tom Zanarini
AR's: Bjorn Stumer, Steph Bruce
#4: Preston Gordon
Touring sides are the lifeblood of rugby. It really demonstrates why we play and referee rugby and not some other sport. 30 men fly from London to San Francisco, bang heads for (in this case) 60 minutes and then become lifelong friends after, if they can remember each other's names after the keg floats on the melted ice.

Chingford, based in Northeast London, was on an end-of-season tour after finishing mid table in their league London North 1, I believe (Level 6). First stop was SF, second stop, Las Vegas.

Arriving at the field was its own comedy of errors. Chingford emailed BA Baracus's match secretary confirming the pitch address, only to interpret his 'email signature' with corresponding work address as the field. Half an hour before the 6:30 kickoff we discover the bus is in San Mateo and is hightailing it back to the City.

Chingford literally rolls of the bus in full kit, do a few hamstring stretches and off we go. As one would expect, Chingford was not fully prepared with their game plan, or hands. Knock-ons and scrums ruled the first half. Baracus scored a delight of a try after kicking forward and two Chingford backs both going for the ball take each other out. The winger retrieves the bouncing ball and dots down center post. This concludes the first half with Baracus up 10-0.

Chingford finally warmed up ready for the second half. They sorted out their arrangements and attacked with fury. I should add that both clubs were match fit and ready to go full steam for as long as it took.

A little into the second half, Chingford subs out a prop. The new guy looks like he's played a few games, puts on the old jersey then manages to singlehandedly demolish Baracus' scrum. This happened at every succeeding scrummage. Chingford had a great rolling maul in the corner and Bjorn was in perfect position to rule a try. He then finds a moment to tell me the subbed prop is none other than Jason Leonard. Ah, domination confirmed.

As the sun set, the clocked ticked zero. Baracus had a keg of America's finest (Pabst). Hopefully they treated them to better beer at the after party.

Moral of the story is...never pass up a touring side match. You may have the honor of telling Jason Leonard to get his bind on the jersey.

Propping up the Refs
Apologies for the low-resolution telephone cam, but it’s all that was available to capture the moment: Bjorn Stumer, Preston Gordon, Stephanie Bruce, Jason Leonard and Tom Zanarini.

Propping up the Refs in the same folder as Hail Pelicus on the jump drive.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris