Friday, December 23, 2011




Several months ago we learned of an international Sevens tournament to be played in Honolulu. Acting quickly we asked, might they need a few referees?

They did. Self-funded referees, but Referees in Paradise nonetheless.

Who would pay good money to referee Sevens in Kapiolani Park at the foot of Diamond Head? Jim Crenshaw, Mike Gadoua, Don Pattalock and Bruce Carter, for four. With Susan Gadoua, Andrea Pattalock and Linda Carter, that made for an auspicious seven Pelicans: Semper Bonis Avis.

There are no bad times to visit Hawaii, but December prior to Christmas is particularly good: rates are still low and Hawaiian carols are in the air. Holy imagery of arid Bethlehem and secular imagery of the arctic North Pole contrast with tropical reality, while greetings of ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ tie it all together.

The weather is the same year-round: eighties in the daytime, seventies at night, warm rain for a few minutes every now after which rainbows spring up from the ground, fully formed.

On our first morning together, we hiked up to the top of Diamond Head to greet the dawn, a ritual all visitors to Oahu should observe. From there it was a short drive for another moderate hike to the Makapu’u Lighthouse, with a view of Molokai in the distance.

Tour mathematics: two hikes before breakfast equals macadamia nut pancakes with cocoanut syrup.

The first official tour event was an afternoon meeting with the Governor of Hawaii, commemorated in This Week’s Photo. The wives didn’t attend for lack of proper attire – the men attended in improper attire.

Shopping occurred in the interim. Drinking occurred in the afterim.

Poolside in December, surf breaking across the street, Sevens on the morrow, Paradise Regained.

The tournament was played on the gorgeous pitch in the park opposite the aquarium at the foot of Diamond Head.

Two auld acquaintances were brought to mind at the tournament. Justin Lam of the Seahawks was in town to run the Honolulu marathon and to visit his mother. He saw an article in the newspaper about the tournament and dropped by.

Apenesa Tui played fullback for Monterey for years in the seventies and eighties, and is now living on the North Shore of Oahu. He ran touch for essentially all of the matches that his team was not playing in, which was greatly appreciated.

On our last night in the islands we also ran into Tui playing speed chess on the beach. Coincidence? Or does speed chess bears an analogous relationship to regular chess as Sevens does to fifteens?

The tournament was won by Deadwood Rugby, an ad-hoc touring team put together to win purses for a children’s hospital in Sydney. They included players from the Wallaby’s world cup team (under contract – no names mentioned here) to collegians. They did not include any pedestrian players. They pretty much put the wood to everyone and then hung around afterwards to compliment, among others, the referees. Great guys!

This is meant to be the first annual event. If the tournament grows – as it should – they will need more than four referees next year. The tour party made certain that the NCRRS will be invited to send referees for any future iteration.

Start thinking about whether you’d like to go next December!


SF/GOLDEN GATE over Seahawks Referee: Pete Smith
Golden Gate showed the benefits of pre-season training and games, running out to an easy victory over the Seahawks.

Seconds: SF/Golden Gate – Seahawks Referee: Lee Salgado
No report received.

FRESNO 49 – Stanislaus 24 Referee: JC Van Staden

Diablo Gaels – Sacramento Capitals Referees: Tim Lew, Craig Smith
Referee Coach: Bryant Byrnes
Report by Craig Smith:
We did referee on Saturday but Sacramento only had 16 players so instead of playing two separate 80 minute games, Diablo Gaels 2 played Sacramento for two 20 minute periods (Tim refereed these periods) and then Diablo Gaels 1 played Sacramento for two 25 minute periods (which I refereed).

Vallejo 24 – SANTA ROSA 64 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
This one was played under sunny skies at Morton Field in on Mare Island in Vallejo. It was one of four matches on the pitch.

This cheerfully played and fast paced game was not a defensive battle. In the spirit of the holiday season, the Gaels gave Vallejo their pack from the previous match, which allowed their backline to frolic sevens style. That was just fine with Rosa, as indicated by the score.

History buffs, Mare Island was the US Navy's Pacific Shipyard from 1853 to 1995. It is huge-during WW2 50,000 worked there-and accessible. It is presently is slowly moldering away while various factions fiddle around. It is wonderful for a walkabout.

Santa Rosa JC 15 – SANTA ROSA seconds 44 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Two Santa Rosa teams traveled down to Morton Field in Vallejo to square off in what I was told to be the fourth of four games at the field that day, followed by a field social hosted by the Vallejo team. We played 4 x 20 minute quarters, which allowed the teams to substitute and me to try to catch my breath. The play was more even than the score would suggest, although Santa Rosa controlled in field position throughout the game. It was a real treat to ref a true friendly, as SRJC is a big feeder to SR mens, so virtually all the players knew each other, and many of the SR side had recently played for the JC.

Marin Reds 17 – SAMOA UNITED 34 Referee: Chris Labozzetta

Rugby Day in Hawaii
Governor Neil Abercrombie, the seventh governor of the State of Hawaii, presents a proclamation to Hawaii International Sevens Tournament Director Dan Sataraka declaring December 16th Rugby Day in Hawaii.

You’ll find four Pelicans nesting in the crowd.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Tuesday, December 13, 2011




Evan Schlinkert and Cody Juric have earned promotion to L3. They are current/recent college students respectively, at St. Mary’s and UCSC.

You will be seeing some new names in the match reports. One of the vital signs of Northern California refereeing has improved. Teams whose players don’t recruit their own replacements die on the vine, becoming solely the stuff of legend.

‘Tis the same with referee societies. The NCRRS, however long and illustrious our history, however many Test referees we have birthed, however well we are represented in the pantheons of American rugby, is only as strong as our current corps of blowers.

When a player asks the kinds of questions that reveal referee-like thinking, have a conversation after the match to emphasize the joys of refereeing. Recruit your own replacement. And, of course, you never have to retire…


The first monthly meeting of the 2012 season for the NCRRS will be held at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Wednesday, December 14, from 7 until 9.

Food will be available (gratis) beginning at 6. Leave early – if you get there early you can eat and talk rugby. If you get stuck in traffic, you still won’t be late.

New referees are especially encouraged to attend. Our meetings are well worth your time.


ST. MARY’S 39 – SF/Golden Gate 31 Referee: John Coppinger
ARs: George O'Neil, John Pohlman
SF/GG put a mixed side of RSL/D 1 players on the pitch to face St. Mary's A side and it was a barn burner with two fast, fit, and aggressive teams happy to go at it hard.

At half, after lots of end to end play, SMC held a 20-19 lead. SF/GG took the lead in the second half, but SMC scored tries at 75 minutes and 77 minutes to win. At the end, both sides were beat.

The difference in the match was that SMC was more cohesive and somewhat more fit across the team than SF/GG, which is just starting to make preparations for the upcoming season

My thanks to John Polhman and George O'Neil for doing a great job as ARs.

Seconds: ST. MARY’S 35 – SF/Golden Gate 17 Referee: George O'Neil

ST. MARY’S thirds 26 – San Francisco State 17 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
St Mary's has so many good players in its rugby program that they can put up a very good C side (and sometimes even a 4th), and they hosted a similarly talented and well-coached San Francisco State team at Saint Mary's on Saturday.

They played 3 X 30 minute halves, with open substitutions to give everyone a chance for a good run. The match was well played, with each side taking advantage of breaks in the defense to score a try in each half, and St Mary's scoring a second try in the final half to make the difference. These teams will definitely be teams to watch this year.

FRESNO 24 - Fresno State 22 Referee: Bruce Carter
AR: Ron DeCausemaker
A beautiful mid-December day began at 5:30 when I woke up my grandson and wife to watch the total lunar eclipse. As fate and geometry would have it, the darkening disc of the Moon could be seen out the window from our pillows, so we didn't even have to venture out into the pre-dawn cold, but merely to turn our heads.

It can be startling when reading ancient history to come across a passage giving the exact date and even the time of a battle. This is because an early historian noted the occurrence of a solar or lunar eclipse at the time of the events described, syzygies lending themselves to precise dating by running Newton's machinery backwards.

This eclipse did not disappoint: the Moon showed copper-red when completely occluded by the Earth's shadow, slipping beneath the hills on our western horizon while still in totality.

No point in going back to bed: it was a Rugby Day. Up, up and away. Off to Fresno.

As I usually do when driving over the Pacheco Pass, I stopped at Casa de Fruta to load up on seasonal gifts and healthy snacks, as well as custom trail mixes, and then again at Valley Pistachio near Madera just off Highway 99 for more of the same. After all, it's the shopping season!

My AR, Dr. DeCausemaker, took the train to Fresno. A text saying 'Passing through Madera' arrived just as I was passing through Madera. Pulling up at the station in downtown Fresno, I had to wait while the crossing gate came down and Ron's train entered the station. As he debarked I pulled up to the curb not twenty yards away.

Beats the heck out of meeting someone at an airport!

At the Fresno Regional Sports complex the $5 parking fee was waived because someone in the car had reached a certain age.

When we arrived at the pitch a game was in progress. I must say I didn't think this ever happened: someone played a rugby game in Northern California without telling me in advance. And they even had a ref! My lack of indispensability was revealed despite my continuing efforts.

The Fresno State women's team, augmented by four players from the budding team at Cal State, Monterey Bay, had an intra-squad scrimmage, with one side wearing CSUF’s old solid-red jerseys and the other wearing their new, solid-red jerseys. Guess it didn't matter if the ref, a Fresno old boy, was color blind.

The weather was rugby-perfect: sixty degrees, no wind, hazy enough not to require sunblock but with sun enough to warm the skin. Spectators were comfortable in shorts and shirts, while participants could work up a sweat without becoming over-heated.

This was a very good match. Fresno opened with almost three minutes of possession that led to a converted try. I thought: long day for the lads. But at halftime FSU scored their third try, all unconverted, to take a 15-14 lead.

In the second half, the club side scored a converted try and a penalty kick to open a nine-point lead. But with fifteen minutes left, their hooker was binned for hanging his foot out to dry in the tunnel prior to the put-in one too many times, having been put on notice previously.

The youngsters took advantage of the man-overload with a converted try right away, giving them eight minutes more to try to overcome a two-point lead.

It was not to be. Fresno played methodical, desperate defense, and with five minutes remaining the hooker returned.

The rest of the way the Bulldogs assaulted the Fresno line. This was a prolonged goal-line stand of epic proportions. There were a number of scrums, lineouts, and held-up calls, but no penalties to allow for either a 3-pointer or a clearance kick.

Twice State seemed sure to score but a Fresno player poached tackle ball right at the line. In each case the poacher either stepped or grubbed into touch to relieve pressure, which of course led to two five-meter lineouts.

Fresno's first jumper was adept at swatting opposition throws directly to his halfback. This preserved the victory on both occasions.

I don't always come off the pitch with that glow all athletes know, but on this day I did. What a game! Endorphin City, a close suburb of Rugby Central.

And then: it was a joy to see Jeff Jury on hand to ref the seconds, relieving me to AR and trade war stories with the coaching staffs of both teams, against whom many of my own war stories were written.

Seconds: Fresno 24 –FRESNO STATE 53 Referee: Jeff Jury

Cal Maritime 17 – ALUMNI 19 Referee: Giles Wilson
A close game - alumni brought to mind "Old Boys"; not quite right. This was recent alumni and this was a well contested fast game with the alumni being bigger and more experienced while the current crop of students have great numbers (at least 2 full sides) some good pace and are learning fast.

Played in 3 periods of 30 minutes. Both sides scored 3 tries and the scoring difference was in the conversions which stood at 2 for the alumni against only 1 for the students.

1st period ended at 5 - 5, each fought to a standstill. During the 2nd period the student brought in a number of less experience players who gave up a try but were unable to score themselves. In the 3rd period the alumni started to run out of steam and scored once to the students 2 - the last score being a penalty try for a dangerous tackle.

A good game, the future looks bright for Cal Maritime.


Report by James Hinkin:
Berkeley RFC put on a casual little tournament featuring 6 teams (Berkeley A/B, San Jose St A/B, Marin and Vacaville) in a round robin format. With limited field time the games needed to be short and quick but plenty of rugby was had by all. Unfortunately, due to the vagaries of scheduling the two best teams on the day (my opinion), Vacaville and Marin, did not meet. Apparently they will exchange pleasantries in the opening match of the season come the new year so nobody was really bothered. The society was able to blood a pair of new avian admirers in Cody and Eric and the entire team (myself, Phil and Jeff Ferguson) were ably watched over and advised by the paternal beaks of Bryant "I think 'B' and 'Y' should be in every name" Byrnes and David "I thought I had retired" Williamson.

MARIN 14 - Berkeley A 5 Referee: James Hinkin
The first game of the tournament turned out to be one of the best as both sides were committed from the get-go. With very short halves (15 min) the teams knew they needed to score early and the play reflected that. Berkeley scored first with a try out to the right that remained unconverted but Marin responded with one of their own, thoughtfully centered for the goal kicker. 7-5 at halftime and with the tight schedule there was only time to change ends for the restart.

The second half saw plenty of endeavor and plenty of mistakes from over-eagerness. The match was back and forth until Marin put it out of reach with another centered try. Final score: Marin 14 - Berkeley A 5

San Jose St A-ish 0 – 0MARIN 31Ref: Hinkin
With injuries and regular tournament attrition, the 3rd to last game of the day saw San Jose struggle to come up with 2 discrete sides so there were many tired Spartans playing in their 4th and 5th game up against a solid Marin side. An early San Jose St indiscretion let to a 10 minute sin bin - quite significant in a 30 minute game - and Marin took the chances with both hands. San Jose St played hard throughout and kept solid discipline but were outmanned the entire match. They did create some good chances but could not finish, a problem that Marin did not experience. Final score: San Jose St Aish 0 - Marin 31

Report by Bryant Byrnes
One pitch, six teams, nine games of 30 minutes each, five refs and two referee coaches. It was like speed dating.

Referee MVP James Hinkin. Contacted only Thursday, he came early and stayed late. In addition to doing several matches, he touch judged for our new guys and finished up as the ref in charge for the last several matches. Above and beyond!

Welcome New Guys. Two new Society members had their first matches-and survived! Welcome and kudos to Cody Juric and Eric Jorgensen.

Best Costume Jeff Ferguson. Jeff is a prop, a ref, and a man of the cloth (go figure.) Combining these avocations, Jeff decided to wear his collar during his match. To wonderful effect. May we soon expect a new tome, ''Mere Referring''? Perhaps, ''God Is My AR''?

And last but certainly not least a thank you for the multitasking Phil Ulibarri. Not only did he call several matches but he ARed for the new guys.

Eric Jorgensen:
First match: Marin- 4 tries ; 3 conversions (26) vs SJSU no score
(0) ; Second match: Berkeley A - 3 tries 2 conversions (19) vs SJSU 1 try ;
1 conversion (7) ;

Sacramento Blackhawks 20 – SANTA ROSA JC 34 Referee: Joe Androvich
Pre-season match, four 20-min quarters. Sacramento wore Santa Rosa' seconds jerseys, so it was Red v Red. Just for fun, I wore red too.

This was Blackhawks first game together. They got better as the minutes wore on. Santa Rosa's athletic backline proved too much for Sac.

Report by Lee Salgado:

Virginia was great, it really was one of the most inspirational rugby events I have ever been to, especially as a female. On Friday all of the refs and assessors were at the pitch either refereeing or running touch. The more experienced refs each had at least one game and us lower-ranking refs were ARs for at least one game. All these games were qualifiers and I ended up being a #4 for a few matches because I was restless with excitement and they were shorthanded. I have never seen such fast women's rugby, it was truly amazing. There was also a ref from South Africa who was on exchange who was there with the South Africa Women's National Team coach and the head of referee society.

Saturday was all in the classroom at the hotel. The instruction was very extensive: we talked about everything from how to carry yourself on the pitch, how to troubleshoot the scrum, how the last world cup was refereed, and physical fitness; Dana Teagarden talked about experiences and took questions. The group from South Africa also talked about how women's rugby in South Africa is really behind and how difficult it is to move up the ranks as a female referee. Lastly, the USA National Women's Coach came and spoke to us about how we can help advance the National Team. He said that women's games in the United States are refereed very slow and because of that the women here learn how to deal with slower games. He said this hurts us when we play teams tier I teams such as England because it is so much faster and we can't keep up. This was eye-opening for me because it really solidified how important referees are to rugby and how it effects the whole county. I stayed after the class and talked with Dana. I asked Dana for help with the scrums since I still feel a bit lost in them being a back. She gave me some great pointers and scrummed down with me for a little bit to show me some of the techniques player use to disrupt the scrum.

[Editor’s Note: Dana was also a back - #10 on the Air Force Academy team that won a national championship in 1989, plus or minus a year. If memory serves, she was MVP of the finals.]

Sunday we were back to the pitch. Again, the higher ranking refs each did a game and then us larvae were ARs for at least one match. I watched as much rugby as possible to observe the refs. I tried to pick some of the assessors’ brains to see what they were looking for; some of them let me listen on the radios. Again, just great rugby and Leah did an amazing job in the final match.

Thank you again to the NCRRS for helping me to get to this event. I really learned a lot and walked away with a much stronger perspective, I appreciate the resources that have been put into me as a referee. It was amazing to realize that I was surrounded by some of top dogs in rugby today. I asked Jen Gray how many active women referees there were in the county and she said maybe 30 or 40; meaning basically half of the women referees were sitting in that room with me! Crazy how few of us there are running around.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

Wednesday, December 07, 2011




We could use one referee in Fresno this Saturday, December 10, and two refs there on December 17.


The first monthly meeting of the 2012 season for the NCRRS will be held at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Wednesday, December 14, from 7 until 9.

Food will be available (gratis) beginning at 6. Leave early – if you get there early you can eat and talk rugby. If you get stuck in traffic, you still won’t be late.

New referees are especially encouraged to attend. Our meetings are well worth your time.


Saturday, November 26:
SFGG: GREEN 70+ – White 40+ Referee: John Coppinger
SFGG's alumni game was scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving at 3. By 3:30, enough players had shown up to play 12 on 12. Players split into White and Green teams and we set out to play two 30-minute periods. Play was wide open with uncontested scrums and there was lots of scoring of long range tries and gasping for breath. By agreement of the sides, the first period ended after 25 minutes of play. In the second period, players drifted in and out for various reasons and occasionally it was 12 on 9 in favor of one side or the other and the players pressed on for 20 minutes. The final was Green 70+, White 40+. Good fun for a good cause as the match was a fund raiser for a San Francisco based suicide prevention organization.

Monday, Nov. 28:
MARITIME ACADEMY 45 - Sacramento City College 0 Referee: Rob Hendrickson
Cal Maritime hosted the newly formed Sacramento City College rugby club in the NorCal championship game of the fledgling California arm of NSCRO (National Small College Rugby Organization) under the lights at Morton Field in Vallejo. The Keelhaulers have dropped down to DIII because their training cruise departs at the end of April, which is before the DII playoffs begin, so rather than qualify for the playoffs and then have to forfeit all their games due to the playoffs getting pushed back in the schedule so their players are no longer available, they decided to self-relegate and join the traditionally east coast-based DIII NSCRO. The game was at Morton Field because their turf replacement project on campus is not scheduled to be completed until mid-January. Morton Field was in relatively good shape, although several of the light stands were dark, which led to less than ideal but still adequate lighting. The Sac City team has talent, but was so new that they couldn’t field 3 suitably trained front rowers, so we had to go with uncontested scrums.

Friday, December 2:
4:30PM: Stanford men Cardinal/White game Referee: Tony Levitan
No report received.

5:30PM: Stanford women Cardinal/White game Referee: Stephen Moore
No report received.

Saturday, Dec. 3:
An unusual California combination: a relentless, bitterly-cold wind from the east tore down the pitch, blowing what would have been 70-degree sunshine far out to sea.

But wind can’t blow away rugby.

St. Mary’s ran out four sides and even provided a player for the Spartan seconds. They way they ran about, one might have thought they were warming up for the inaugural USA Rugby college Sevens championships that are coming up December 16-17.

ST. MARY’S 85 – Diablo Gaels 5 Referee: George O'Neil
ARs: Mike Gadoua, Dave Newport
Videographer: Bruce Carter

ST. MARY’S thirds 69 – Diablo Gaels seconds 0 Referee: Evan Schlinkert
ARs: John Coppinger, Dave Newport
Referee Coach: David Williamson

ST. MARY’S seconds 42 – San Jose State 6 Referee: Bruce Carter
AR: Mike Gadoua, John Coppinger
The wind let up a little and San Jose State were able to convert two early penalty kicks for a 6-5 lead. The Gaels weren’t dependent on the gale, scoring nine more trys the rest of the way.

The ref has been on a strict diet and workout schedule, getting ready to do a Sevens tournament in Hawaii next week, but couldn’t begin to keep up when one play went coast-to-coast twice in about forty seconds, a length-of-the-pitch almost-try for the Spartans leading to a Gaels’ try in the opposite corner.

After the game, the ref was introduced to the Bench of Truth, where superannuated ruggers relive the days of their wastrel youths.

I’m a guy who’s left his regrets behind but my focus is on the present and the future, which is so bright I’m still wearing shades.

ST. MARY’S fourths 40 – San Jose State seconds 10 Referee: Giles Wilson
First off, kudos to St Marys for genuinely fielding 4 sides, with few people doubling up.

This was the closest game of the day with the 1st half ending 19 - 5 but a few minutes earlier it would have been 12 - 5. SJS had to borrow a couple of props but other than that the numbers worked out.

Scoring was balanced with SJS scoring a try in each half and SMC scoring 3 in each half - 5 conversions increased the score differential.

Plenty of players with limited experience getting to know the game; it is good to see some faces from youth ranks combining with new faces to create depth in the college game.

It was nice to get the cobwebs out of the whistle in a game that ended 40 - 10.

SACRAMENTO STATE 86 - Nevada 10 Referee: JC Van Staden
Arriving at the pitch, I requested from the players to clean the leaves on the pitch before we can get going. The looks on their faces were priceless....

The score might not have reflected the game, but there was a lot of running. With about 3 tries "held-up" in-goal, and most tries scored on "advantage conversions" I could not have ask for a better afternoon of running-rugby.

Reno worked hard for their 2 tries, but were no match for Sac's speed in the back-line, with great forward support all way around.

Good luck to both teams for the upcoming season and thanks for a clean game.

SF FOG 60 - Shasta 15 Referee: Boris Pluskowski
Referee Coach: Bryant Byrnes
The Bingham Stein Match between Fog Men A's and the Shasta Highlanders was a hard fought and aggressive campaign this year, played under near-perfect conditions on the Treasure Island pitch. Although Fog ended up running away the eventual winners, both teams played tough hard running rugby throughout and the scoreline could easily have been much much closer.

The first half was dominated by Fog's forwards who put up an impressive display (as well as 4 of the 5 tries scored by Fog in the first half) to win and present good ball from which to run. Fog's fly half added to the score with a try of his own, along with 3/5 conversions and a successful penalty kick. Shasta responded with a try from their standout player at full-back who threatened all game long.

A fracas just before the half ended with a yellow being issued to the Shasta scrum-half for a retaliatory attempt to knee his opponent in the head whilst on the floor for some unseen aggressive play. That put them down to 14 men for the beginning of the second half and Fog took advantage of the weakness. In contrast to the first half, the Fog backs made most of the scoring in the second half with one a piece from #18,#25 and 2 tries from #15 (3/4 converted). Shasta though came back with tries from #8 and #15 signaling a potential come-back.

The game eventually ended with Fog winning a convincing victory by 60-15.

Fog Seconds 0 – SIERRA FOOTHILLS 44 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
This was played as part of a doubleheader on the Fog's TI crazily marked field (rugby, soccer, horseshoes.) Clear and bright, a good day for rugby.

So exactly who is Sierra Foothill (home port aside of course?) A brand new D3 team in their first official season, nicely kitted and about 25 strong. And an interesting mix of grizzled oldsters with fast youngsters.

The Fog Seconds played with their usual élan; ''anyone, anywhere, anytime''.

My MVP-the player who after vehemently disputing my calls during the initial 15 minutes simply removed himself from the game and went home, never to be seen again. Talk about having the last word.

Seconds: Maritime Academy 5 – SANTA ROSA JC 54 Referee: John Pohlman
TJs: Kevin and Lorez from Maritime
Cal Maritime's field is having the finishing touches before it reopens. So their home games are being played at Mare Island. The venue is great but the field has gotten really hard. Reminds me of my playing days in Phoenix, where hitting the ground hurts worse than the tackle.

This was scheduled as a second side match. Santa Rosa JC, JC, had exactly 15 players, Cal Maritime, CM, had 30 plus. Although the JC said they had no first side players, Santa Rosa was far more experienced and learned early they had speed outside.

One of JC's rookies had a #8 on his jersey but played in the backs. He scored a couple of trys and has potential to certainly break into the first side. As did the #8 and captain Tyson.

CM was big and strong but many players were playing their first game. This led to big strong forwards passing to backs with no support. JC would quickly poach and go out wide.

Later in the season when coach Steve Hiatt has harnessed these big guys I am sure they will be dominating the tackle and wearing teams down.

Ten minutes in JC's biggest player went off with a leg injury. CM coach Hiatt gave a player to JC so they would not need to play a man short.

Really classy sportsmanship.

COLUSA 52 – Mendocino 5 Referee(s): Lee Salgado, Anthony Nguyen
Driving to the pitch my little Saturn was getting moved around on the road due to the wind, so I prepared myself for a game full of scrums or 22 drops depending on the orientation of the field. Originally a friendly round robin was planned but one of the teams failed to show, so they ended up playing 4 twenty minute halves to give the teams a chance to teach the newbies.

Anthony also expressed a desire to try out his whistle so we decided to split the match or give him one quarter depending how comfortable he felt.

The first quarter was full of chirping from both teams, but by the end the rucks were cleaner and the ball was faster. The game really started to get fun when two minutes left in the first quarter a forward fell out of a ruck and crashed into my knee straight on, the hobbling forced me to work on position instead of relying on speed. By the end of the half Colusa was dominating the field with quick finishers on the outside which continued for the remainder of the game. Anthony took the second half of the game and did very well. Many of the spectators kept asking me how old he was and commented on his great performance. It was almost a shut out until Mendocino’s scum half snuck through the fringes and got the ball out to support for a finish in the corner. The wind made extra points impossible with only one being converted all day. All in all, a good day to play rugby and teach it to the next generation.


The NCRRS and the NCYRA offered the Level One Officiating course in two locations this past Sunday. Eight folks attended in Santa Rosa and forty-four in Moraga.

That’s good stuff! Here’s hoping we get more referees and better-educated coaches and players as a result of the instructors’ donating a gorgeous Sunday to the cause: Bruce Carter, Mike King, Mike Malone, Aruna Ranaweera, David Williamson and Scott Wood.

Hawaii 7s Tour Logo
Carter, Crenshaw, Gadoua and Pattalock are preparing to fly to Honolulu to referee an international Sevens tournament the week before Christmas.

Here’s the tour logo.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris