Wednesday, February 22, 2012




JC van Staden is the newest L1 referee in Pelicanland. Congratulations!


We need a referee for the Chico State women hosting Oregon State this coming Sunday, Feb. 26. Please let us know if you’d like to cover this match.


At the moment we have 41 games on March 3 and only 14 refs. The good news is that many of you have not informed us of your availability for the coming month.

Please do so now:

Date Available? Able to travel?
March 3
March 10
March 17
March 24
March 31


We’ve reserved rooms for ten at the Yosemite Lodge for Tuesday night, March 27. At the moment, we have seven hikers. If you’d like to come along, it is guaranteed to be a memorable day.

By Bruce Carter

"The medial compartment of the thigh is frequently called the adductor compartment because the major action of this group of muscles is adduction.

"The adductor muscles include the adductors brevis, longus and magnus, and the gracilis.”

No matter how much you walk, run in a straight line, or ride your bicycle, these muscles don't get much use. But chasing two rugby balls and sixty players all over several acres in a four-hour period will tax them severely, because of the changes in direction required even by the most exemplary ball-line running.

The schedule this past weekend, dire as ever with respect to the number of available referees vis-a-vis the fixtures slated, called for doubling up blowers when possible (see also Ray Schwartz). I noticed that both the Otters of Cal State-Monterey Bay and the Monterey Bay/Aptos men had home games scheduled for my old duty post, Fort Ord. The men were kind enough to hold their game at 3 PM so that I could referee at both sites, about three miles apart.

It is very unusual for me to drive less than 150 miles for a game. It is 234 miles for me to attend our meetings on Treasure Island. On this red-letter day, I was able to referee two matches on different pitches in a mere 32 miles.

With the driving time thus saved, I was able to read my autographed copy of Team 7-Eleven: How an Unsung Band of American Cyclists Took on the World - and Won. The author, Geoff Drake, lives in Aptos and I heard him speak a few weeks back. Ref some rugger, read an entire book: better than a day at the office, even when you love your vocation.

CSU Monterey Bay 14 - SONOMA STATE 24 Referee: Bruce Carter
It was homecoming for CSUMB. The team is building credibility with the university and wanted to put its best foot forward for this match with Sonoma State. The pitch near the old post's main gate, built by the 49ers as a practice facility, was perfectly lined and prepared for the match, flags and ropes in place, and about 300 spectators were on hand including my wife and three old Monterey teammates from thirty years past.

Also in attendance were the cheerleading squad of the college. This took me back to the last time I was at a rugby game with cheerleaders (not counting the 'dancers' at the IRB Sevens), which was in Israel in 1983. Rugby memories have a way of folding in on themselves, wormholes of the mind.

Ryan Scott is doing a fine job organizing and running the team. He showed me his emergency action plan and medical summaries of the players. This came in handy when one fellow was concussed and seemed to want to continue playing shortstop.

Administrators from the school were on hand to see whether this rugby team is something they can support. The verdict, I trust, was affirmative.

Neither of these teams appears to have a coach. Both have a number of accomplished players and play the modern game well. It would seem to be worth someone's while to volunteer to help guide and shape their play.

For example: the penalty count was low except for three not-back-tens and a yellow card for third-man-in. Accountability to a coach can remove these sorts of errors.

A gray, windy overcast gave way to blue skies just at kickoff, the wind continuing to sluice in off the Monterey Bay. The footing was perfect, the grass ideal.

Both teams played multi-phase ruck-and-pod rugby, allowing me to hang around policing the tackle and the offside lines until some dunderhead shipped it wide. This is where problems occurred, a lack of depth in support and a dearth of creativity in running lines leading to another series of ruck-and-pod.

The Otter's captain and #10, Chad Patterson was the most incisive runner on the pitch, scoring a solo try up the gut while the visitors had a man in the bin. At the half it was 14-12 to the home XV and the crowd was noisy enough to require me to call the scrum cadence as loudly as I possibly could. That's a good problem to have to deal with.

Sonoma's defense improved in the second half and the Otters didn't threaten much thereafter. Sonoma tallied two more tries, with the one that ruined homecoming once and for all on a determined run by Tighthead Prop Robert Lynam.

I would have liked to have stayed to chew the fat with these squads and some of the spectators, but I was on my way to the Pelicanmobile even as the cheers for the opponents and the ref were blowing downwind.

Aptos/Monterey Bay 0 – SAMOA UNITED 52 Ref: Carter
The weather was the same five minutes away. But the Preston Park pitch is, by contrast, not the same. Let's just say it's smaller and leave it at that.

Smaller pitch, larger players: less running? Guess again. The Chiefs scored a try by spinning the ball wide and cruising down the sideline on their first possession.

To Aptos' credit, tries became less frequent as the match wore on, players committing themselves to the tackle. Samoa United was very good at off-loading in contact and from the ground, often almost-vertical floater passes to support that was not yet on-scene but arrived before the ball alit.

For a hard-hitting match on a small field, it was played in good spirits and tempers were kept to a minimum by everyone's love of playing rugby. No cards were dealt.

The teams lined up to play second-sides, a rare treat for D3, but I could only spectate as Aptos Captain Francois Nel took the whistle.

Running two full first-side matches in 3 1/2 hours left my calves twitching. Decades ago, I used to enjoy that feeling after running for an hour or two, but now I know what it portends for my aging self. Back then it meant I’d broken my muscles down and they’d rebuild the stronger. Now it means they are injured and will have their retribution.

The Samoa United players plied me with Gatorade, which I thought might help. But then, as often happens after a session of summer Sevens, I awoke in the middle of the night with both thighs intensely cramped along the insides.

My patients who are even older than me sometimes say, "My nighttime cramps are so bad that I cry." I tell them that I understand and I know.

If you've had this condition you realize: contorting yourself to alleviate cramps in one thigh is usually possible. But when they both go off at once, any movement that helps the one exacerbates the other. All you can do is suffer until it subsides and then reassure your angelic, concerned and long-suffering wife as you gingerly position your legs to try to get back to sleep, "It’s still worth it."


Friday Night Lights:
Seconds: SANTA CLARA 32 – Stanford 0 Referee: James Hinkin

SANTA CLARA 38 – Stanford 12 Referee: JC van Staden
Evaluator: David Williamson
Santa Clara was a little bummed out by having to play on the turf field, as the game had been scheduled for Buck Shaw Stadium. But with good weather, and a lot of spectators, (even 2 streakers) we were off at a little past 8pm.

Stanford made their intentions clear from the start, and worked a well-deserved try in just a few minutes into the game. Some discipline problems cost both teams a yellow for dangerous tackles, at about the same time in the match.

Despite the half time score of 5-17, Stanford kept their heads high, and even scored after being one man down, to close the gap to 12-17. Santa Clara's home-field advantage, cause for a bit more urgency from their side, and their coaching seemed to pay off. Short hand-offs pulled the defense in, and most off their tries ended up being back line tries, making use of the over laps.

Good-luck to both teams for the rest of the season.

Sacramento Lions – SFGG CANCELED

Round-robin in Menlo Park - D1
Referees: James Hinkin, Preston Gordon
SAN MATEO 24 – East Palo Alto Razorbacks 7 Referee: James Hinkin
The first two periods of Saturday’s round robin preseason matches kicked off at 10:40 with San Mateo and EPA taking each other on. A gorgeous day an on turf field meant fast rugby and the teams didn’t disappoint. Ferocious tackling led to several turnovers and both teams ran without fear looking for someone to smash. After exchanging tries early on the game settled into a pattern – both teams attacking from anywhere and not relenting until there was a knock on or penalty – kicking really wasn’t an option but more than a few times. Fun, exciting stuff, with the difference being that San Mateo reacted quicker to penalty situations to punch in a couple of quick tap tries and EPA not being able to finish off their moves.

Berkeley 12 – SANTA ROSA 76 Referee: Jordan Bruno
Evaluator: David Williamson
The weather cleared for a fast paced afternoon match with a calm breeze off of the Pacific making for great rugby conditions. Berkeley stunned Santa Rosa with a quick two tries in their first few phases of play. Berkeley backs moved the ball easily given space and offloaded well in the tackle. Santa Rosa awoke and bounced back after being down 12 nil on the board, playing a hard 70 minutes from then on. Their backs moved the ball easily and their forwards secured and poached well at the breakdowns. A hard hitting, physical, and well disciplined side. Berkeley, obviously overmatched in size and speed, saw their chances of winning dwindle with the start of the second half. With twenty minutes left in the match, it became more challenging to manage the Berkeley players, obviously frustrated, than it was to keep up with the pace of the game. A very good game on both sides, but with more depth and size with Santa Rosa, an easy win for them. Thanks to David Williamson for providing sound advice in the post-match debriefing.

Seconds: Berkeley – Santa Rosa Referee: Lois Bukowski
No report received.

Seahawks – Diablo Gaels Referee: Craig Smith
No report received.

Seconds: Seahawks 12 – DIABLO GAELS 17 Referee: Sam Davis
Great game both sides played solid rugby, Gaels took the lead in the first half with two trys and one conversion, Seahawks had 1 try first half and tied it up the second half with 18 min left in the game. The last 15 mins a lot of ball movement on both sides, Gaels got it out to their wing who turned the corner and scored with no time left on the clock the kick was missed and final whistle was blown.

MARIN REDS 53 – Chico 21 Referee: Mike Gadoua
Perfect weather on a good pitch with two teams that came out to play. The REDS forwards seem to have dominated the scrum and were definitely more assertive. However, the REDs backs also proved to be aggressive on the attack as well. Chico’s moments of brilliance were no match for the continuous pressure by the REDs.

Seconds: Marin 5 – CHICO 7 Referee: Ian Johnston
Unfortunately, Chico only had 4 extra players for a 2nd team game. Marin lent them some additional players and we only played a 20 minute 'half" to give the guys a run-out.

BARACUS 45 – South Valley 10 Referee: Bruce Ricard
Very windy day in San Francisco. Baracus started very well with 2 tries at the 1st and 3rd minutes, helped by many infringements at rucks by South Valley. At the 8th minute, their scrum half receives a yellow card for coming from the side at a tackle for the second time, the team is infringing way too much. At the 29th minute, another player is temporarily excluded for not rolling away at a tackle, and at the 35th yet another one for being offside at a ruck. At the 39th minutes, South Valley's fly half is temporarily excluded for repeated talking and whining and contesting the decisions (a penalty was turned a few minutes earlier because of him talking). Baracus scored 2 more tries at the end of the 1st half (37th and 39th minutes). Score at the break 26 - 0.

In the second half, South Valley infringed way less than in the first one, which created a much more balanced game. Baracus scored two tries at the 22nd and 28th minutes. At the 30th minute, South Valley scored their first points with a nice try, to which Baracus reply by an other try on the restart kick action. After that, South Valley plays and reaches Baracus 5m line, and plays a lot with the forwards. Repeated infringements from Baracus at the rucks this close to their line led to 2 yellow cards for not rolling away, and to South Valley's 2nd try at the 37th minute.

In the second half, South Valley received a penalty kick very close to the central point, they decide to try to find the touch. The kicker probably get disturbed by the wind, and he probably tried to kick so hard, that he missed his kick, and the ball went straight toward the touch line following the 50m line. But the wind was so strong, it pushed the ball backwards, both teams were running behind it to catch it, but the ball (or the wind), was too fast, and finished its run behind the dead ball line. 60m backwards penalty kick, was pretty funny.

Seconds: BARACUS 33 – South Valley 7 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
No report received.

Vacaville 22 – FRESNO 25 Referee: Cary Bertolone
TJs: Chris Comstock + Marcus Williams (Good Norcal rugby names)
A beautiful rugby day in Vacaville, clear with a 10 mile an hour wind, we had a barnburner and it's a shame someone had to lose.

Vacaville scored the first try only 5 minutes in, when their center cut back against the grain from 22 meters out, used me as a barrier and ran one in for a center try and a 7-0 lead. Fresno took it right back at them and scored a try to close the gap. The teams were pretty even, but Fresno scored a converted try as well as a penalty kick to take a 15-7 halftime lead.

With the wind, and just two minutes into the second half, Vacaville's scrumhalf booted a super high up and under to their wing for a gorgeous center try. Even Fresno appeared to be impressed. Vacaville continued to dominate with the wind and ran in another beauty of a try with another cutback from the backline at 13 minutes to take the lead. Fresno scored a try and Vacaville kicked a penalty kick and they were winning 22-20 with two minutes to go. They tried to score, but were held up in the try zone. Vacaville had their 5 meter scrum, won it, but lost a ruck at the three meter line, Fresno picks up the ball and proceeds to run it, with a few passes and a ruck or two, 97 meters for a try at the 79 minute mark and the final 25-22 score; unbelievable as I thought Vacaville had the game. Great game by both clubs!

Seconds: VACAVILLE 17 - Fresno 5 Referee: Cary Bertolone
Thirty minute halves were in order for the second game and Vacaville took a 5-0 halftime lead. Pretty even game with lots of energy from the fresh second side members, both teams scored in the second half and Vacaville came out on top, 17-5. Marcus Williams, Dave William's son, has a boot and played well! Ran into Dixon and Christine Smith at the overview near Vallejo on the way home! I thought he was evaluating my post-match bathroom stop! I know I did great (at the bathroom stop).

SHASTA 45 – Redwood 7 Referee: Lee Salgado
Driving north for a game was a nice change of pace, especially since it was only a 3.5 hour drive and not a 4+ hr drive. It was great weather for rugby with a nice warm sun on a soft pitch which will for sure make Sunday less painful. The game started off close with both teams scoring between the 23rd and 25th minute. Both teams had a great boot for touch and conversions; scrums were also solid. However, Redwood had a few more new players and Shasta seemed fitter. Shasta was very good at getting the ball wide and sporting each other. Redwood had strong runners, especially the 8 man who was good at penetrating the fringes. Knock-ons and lack of support wide was the bane of the Redwood backs unfortunately which resulted in a few turnovers. There was at least one flare-up in the field but both teams settled and continued play. Shasta's fitness was apparent in the second half and after the 50th minute kept going and never looked back.

Siskiyou 5 – RENO 43 Referee: Kevin Brown

COLUSA 69 – Mendocino 0 Referee: Mike King
It was a pleasant day on a nice, dry pitch in Colusa, with a fairly large turnout of spectators for the hosts. There is a certain camaraderie between these 2 sides, but that was definitely put aside when the battle began. Initially, the visitors were equal to the onslaught of Colusa, but seemed to be unable to tackle the hard running Colusa backs after awhile. Halftime score reflected the stronger running of the hosts: 26-0. The situation did not improve for Mendocino. To their credit, the Steam Donkeys played hard to the end. They were able to get some brand new players some time due to a few injuries. They came close to scoring on several occasions only to meet strong resistance from the hosts. Final Colusa 69 Mendocino 0.

Humboldt 20 – SIERRA FOOTHILLS 31 Referee: Tom Zanarini

Aptos 0 – SAMOA UNITED 52 Referee: Bruce Carter
See report above.

Seconds: Aptos 0 – SAMOA UNITED 31 Referee: Francois Nel
Played two 15-min halves, Chiefs ran in 5 tries to nothing.

STANISLAUS 45 – Sac. Blackhawks 19 Referee: Dan Wilson
From the start of the match, Sacramento showed flashes of great rugby followed by a mistake from which Stanislaus was able to take advantage. After kicking the ball off, Sacramento put Stanislaus under pressure only to see a line break resulting a chase down inside the 22-meter line. The defense could not align itself quickly enough resulting in Stanislaus touching down in the third minute of the game. This was followed by two other converted tries in the first quarter of the game. Stanislaus was spinning ball while Sacramento was starting to get a little frazzled.

At the start of the second 20-minute period, Sacramento started to put some nice rugby together, pushing inside the 22-meter line. With a quick succession of penalties against the defense and then not retreating, Sacramento had a penalty on the 5-meter line. Unfortunately for Stanislaus, players still decided not to retreat even though they were given ample warning. Result: penalty try, and Sacramento was on the board.

The penalty try seemed to give new life to Sacramento but fundamental rugby from both sides, especially in the tackles and subsequent rucks, plagued both teams. Sacramento went had to play a man down when the inside center, Dre Hoofkin, would not tackle safely. Halftime score: Stanislaus 21 – Sacramento 7

The second half started similarly to the first with Stanislaus scoring three tries before Sacramento woke up to fight back. Overall, the second half was much better rugby from both teams, but Stanislaus proved too much on this day.

SF Fog women – Maritime Academy Referee; Sean Peters
Referee Coach: John Coppinger
No report received.

SF FOG 24 – Vallejo 15 Referee: Chris Tucker

CALIFORNIA 13 – U of British Columbia 12 Referee: George O'Neil
ARs: Chris Tucker, Dave Newport
#4: Ron DeCausemaker
Evaluator: Mike Malone
This was a great game played by two of North America’s top sides. Cal won the game with an amazing counter attack and try in the 74th min by number 8 Danny Barrett. I would like to thank everyone that made the day possible.

ST. MARY’S 53 – Olympic Club 10 Referee: Pete Smith

Seconds: ST. MARY’S 45 – Olympic Club 0 Referee: Evan Schlinkert
Assessor: Bryan Porter
We had a great sunny Saturday afternoon with the second Side from Saint Mary's taking on the second side of the Olympic Club. The Olympic Club was down several front rowers so we went uncontested scrums and only played 2, 20min halves.

Saint Mary's moved the ball quite well utilizing quick hands and dummy runners finding gaps in the Olympic Club’s defense and space out wide. In the first half the Gaels had four tries and converted two of them and the Olympic Club had nothing. There was strong play on both sides of the ball at the breakdown but lack of discipline by the Olympic Club caused many penalties for both not releasing and entering the ruck from the side.

With the halftime score 24 to 0 both sides decided to put several replacements onto the field. With fresh legs on the pitch the Gaels were off and running in the second half. Utilizing deep penetrating kicks the Gaels dominated territory in this match and proceeded to score three more tries and convert on all of them. With seven minutes to go in the match tensions were high and a scuffle broke out on the Olympic Club’s sideline. No cards were given but both captains were warned and sent to speak to their respective squads. Saint Mary's seconds racked up 45 points in 40 min, and the Olympic club had 0.

SACRAMENTO STATE 32 – Chico State 27 Referee: Don Pattalock
AR: M. Franzoia, coach Favor
Opinionated spectator: Jim "yellow card" Crenshaw
Both teams enjoyed quick ball in the loose play but suffered from a lack of experience with what to do with it. The game was wide open and tied at 27 with 5 to play. Sac State scores the tiebreaker in broken play with 4 to go. Chico State applies pressure the remainder of the match but failed to cross the line.

Seconds: Sacramento State – Chico State Referee: Tom Franzoia
No report received.

MARITIME ACADEMY 36 – Fresno State 32 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Bang! Wham! Played at Mare Island's Morton Field, this was a clash of styles. Mainstay Maritime is a bit like St Mary's-not the biggest pool to draw from but good tradition, dedicated players and coaches. They play with discipline.

Fresno State is a new club (second year) but came to play. The pack likes to bang. Their big fast centers just want the ball, a bit of space, and will race you to the goal.

Maritime scores first at four minutes, and at half seems to be in control-24-15. But miss a tackle on Fresno's centers and they are gone. Scoring last, they simply run out of clock.

Many thanks to Tim Lin for ARing and constructive observations.

Seconds: Maritime Academy – Fresno State Referee: Tim Lew
Referee Coach: Bryant Byrnes
No report received.

UC SANTA CRUZ 15 - Humboldt State 5 Referee: Arturo Morales (New England)
Game was fun and good. 15-5 to UCSC, exciting and a great start to my season. Awesome pitch!

SIERRA COLLEGE 56 – Nevada 0 Referee: Ray Schwartz
AR: Mark Godfrey
Nevada seemed like a talented team, but was beaten at most every position from the start and throughout. The speed, power and discipline of these players, on both sides, was impressive. Sierra started scoring 3 minutes in, and just keep putting pressure on, scoring at a metronomic rate, running a 56-0 tally in the end.

At a 5 meter lineout, I heard “Woodcock” from the Sierra forwards, and just like that they had reproduced the All Blacks try from the RWC Final. First time trying it in a game. The connection of captain/#8 Steve Brown, w/ #9 David Burnett and #10 Keenan Mayfield, is going to be hard to beat.

Mark and I then raced back to Sac St to watch the 2nd half of Favor Taueva’s match, but found Tom Franzoia at the whistle. Favor’s a new Pelican, but tweaked his hammie reffing two on Friday night.

San Jose State 0 – SANTA ROSA JC 47 Referee: John Pohlman
This was another of those "much closer than the score indicates," games.

After a fifteen minute drive, I arrived at noon for a one o'clock kickoff. San Jose State was hosting Santa Rosa JC for a Div. II College league game.

Both teams were warming up when I arrived. I saw current SJS coach, friend and ex-teammate Ken Bousfield chatting with his captain. A few SJS players had called in as no shows. Ken took over SJS team a few months ago. Ah, the trials of the new coach. Good luck, Ken.

Santa Rosa JC looked a bit more organized, led by coaches Steve Wren and Patrick Culley. Both teams looked to have close to thirty players.

JC was more organized, controlled possession and had three impact players which led to a dominating win.

#13 Captain Austin Welch was the clear man of the match. Austin scored two of JC's eight trys. And looked good enough and big enough to be Cal's or St. Mary's #13.

The other impact players were #10 Garrett Briggs and winger #14 Tavila Tuisaaura. Both Garrett and Tavila dotted down two scores each.

SJS has some size and athletics. They were up for the physical contest. They simply did not have the strike players nor the organization of the JC team. This was the second time I have seen the JC's play this season. They have improved and looked to be one of the top teams in DII.

Both programs look to have very positive future. Did I mention, it was a 15 minute drive?=

UOP 43 – Sacramento College 26 Referee: Jeff Jury

U. of San Francisco 0 – SF STATE 69 Referee: Sandy Robertson
A more experienced, deeper San Francisco State squad ran in 11 tries against their in town rivals University of San Francisco. SF State controlled possession and tackled players had plenty of support.

CSU-Monterey Bay 14 – SONOMA STATE 24 Referee: Bruce Carter
See report above.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY women 32 - University of California 10 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Sunny 65F at Steuber Field. Stanford was noticeably larger and more structured than their opponents and raced to a 20-0 half-time lead. The lead would have been much more had Stanford's outside backs not squandered so many scoring opportunities by ignoring their wide-open support. Soon after half-time, Cal scored two quick, opportunistic tries to edge within 20-10, but Stanford answered with two more tries to seal the game. The last quarter of the game became sloppy as neither team played with consistency. In the end, Stanford won comfortably, 6 tries to 2.

Seconds: Stanford women – California Referee: Tony Levitan
No report received.

UC DAVIS 19 women – Chico State 17 Referee: Rich Anderson

Seconds: UC Davis women – Chico State Referee: Anthony Nguyen
Referee Coach: Dixon Smith
No report received.

Sacramento State women 59 –HUMBOLDT STATE 25 Referee: Ray Schwartz
AR: John Villaneuva
Kickoff at 9:30 AM
What started as a nice little game of back and forth rugby, opened up as the ball found Humboldt’s #8 at pace. All American Aoibhea “Bean” Cline would score 4 tries, and make 4 of 6 conversions on the day. She would often seamlessly link up beautifully with her #10 Karmen Ravel who took the ball moving forward again and again. The rest of Humboldt was skillful as well, but well matched w/ Sac St, who took a bit of time to get rolling. 33-5 at the half.

The Hornet’s wing Joana Sousa scored 4 tries, all in the 2nd half, but Humboldt kept scoring as well. Final was 59-25, Bean was afraid she tore her knee up a bit, so not all was joy. Thank you to both opponents for agreeing to move their kick off time up to allow me to ref another game elsewhere.

Santa Clara women 10 – SF BATS 89 Referee: Giles Wilson
SCU's new artificial Bellomy field is marked for rugby and has full sized posts - a nice set up.

SCU were short of players and BATS had plenty, allowing a full game to be played. BATS are well coached, run good support lines and nice angles; SCU have two or three good athletes but show the limitations of being short handed.

BATS scored with regularity, 7 tries in the first half and 8 in the second (the scrum half is a real live wire, scoring 4 herself including a blindside break with no space). SCU kept working and managed two second half tries.

(The final score is a correction from my field count).

St. Mary's 14 – U of BRITISH COLUMBIA 30 Referee: Chris Tucker
ARs: Bruce Carter, Dave Newport
#4: Ron DeCausemaker


Friday, February 17:
JV: Dixon 26 – CHRISTIAN BROTHERS 29 Referee: Anthony Nguyen
This was an excellent game that was a privilege to referee. Dixon and Christian Brothers fought out a hard battle with close encounters and great game play.

First half, Dixon led the game with scoring multiple tries and conversion kicks to take on the CB team. CB regained its confidence by scoring two tries midway the first half. The phases mostly were well organised and clean, up until the end of the first half where play got sloppy and slow due to fatigue. Good news is that there were few penalties in the first half. Dixon had 26 points and CB had 12 at the end of the first half.

Second half was a completely different story. Both teams strived to gain the win at the ending of the second half, where there were five minutes left and the score being tied. The beginning was similar to the first half but with more errors, penalties, and free kicks (for balking at the line-out three times?). The end was intense and the situation was fragile. Dixon was awarded a penalty in which the penalty taker tapped the ball illegally. I explained to him to make sure it left his hands. He did it a second time incorrectly and I gave a scrum to the CB side, deep in the 22 side Dixon was defending. About four more phases occurred before a penalty was awarded against the Dixon team. The score being 26 to 26 and full time over, CB decided to take a penalty goal, about fifteen meters out dead center with the goal posts. As the final moments were occurring, I decided what type of whistle tone to use to either end the match or award the PG and watched the kicker prance up and kick the ball, almost hitting the left post. The goal was successful and CB was roaring over their win. A great physical game for sure. Final score Dixon 26, CB 29.
Dixon players thanked me for a job well done and I was glad that they were good sports for the game. Great game!

Girl's Varsity
Rio Linda 17 – BISHOP O’DOWD 43 Referee: Jeff Richmond
The match was played at Rio Linda High School in front of a spirited crowd. Both teams were well-disciplined in the rucks maintaining possession even after 5 or 6 phases. Tackles were also executed cleanly - these teams had been coached well. BOD had a very quick backline and burst through the Rio defense for a couple of quick scores. Rio stayed in the match with a more pick-and-go, keep-it-tight attack and was able to tie the match up 12-all at the half. Rio brought in some fresh backs for the second half that were put to the test. The BOD backs were able to find overlaps or a defense out of position and ran away with the match.

2/17/12 ELSIE ALLEN 31 – Montgomery 17 Referee: Mike King
A cool evening in the LoboDome as the Lobos greeted cross-town rivals, Montgomery, who came ready to play. Play started tentatively with handling errors and ruck violations throwing off the visitors' momentum. Strong running by Elsie’s forwards paced an attacking mentality that led to a 19-5 half-time lead. Not to be deterred, the Vikings struck back in the second half, with the sides trading scores.

Seconds: Elsie Allen 5 – MONTGOMERY 25 Ref: King
The two sides were made up of mostly inexperienced players, although Montgomery had a significant size advantage in both height and weight. They used it to steamroll the Lobos at times, but some gang tackling slowed the advance by some of the stronger runners. The defense did not hold enough to keep Montgomery from rolling up 5 unconverted trys.

2/20 HS –JV Bishop O’Dowd 10 – ELSIE ALLEN 12 Ref: King
A crisp holiday Monday evening and two incredibly well-coached squads of mainly inexperienced players, led to a magnificent contest. At first, O’Dowd seemed to be in control and able to move the ball at will on attack. The BOD #10 is an exciting runner, who scored the first try and seemed able to score more. Elsie’s defense stiffened a bit and the center or wing grabbed a fortuitous mishandle by O’Dowd’s backs, racing 60 meters to score in the corner. O’Dowd continued to pressure to lead 10-5 at half. The second half started the same, but soon thereafter, the tide seemed to change. Elsie kicked for position, then pounded the try line, but was unable to cross due to excellent defense. Finally, near the end of the match, the #8 picked up from a scrum and ran through some tackles to reach paydirt which was converted. Bishop O’Dowd went back on the offensive, but was unable to reach position to score. Final BOD JV 10- Elsie Allen JV 12.

Monday Feb 20 7:30 pm
BISHOP O’DOWD 31 – Santa Rosa 17 Referee: Eric Rauscher
I showed up early to watch Mike King handle the JV game. It was a good, close match and I was looking forward to a similar game for the Varsity.

Santa Rosa scored first in the seventh min with a converted try. BOD came back to do the same in the 15th. It looked to be a see-saw affair.

The rucks were a bit messy with both sides not being behind last feet or coming in from the side. After several penalties on both sides I called the captains over and had a little talk about cleaning it up. They both talked to their teams, and it was clean from then on. BOD scored once again at 24 min with the half standing at 14/7. The second half started with a Penalty kick converted by Santa Rose followed by three tries by BOD. Santa Rosa fought on and got the last score at 31 min. Both sides played very well displaying good ball skills and good open play sequences. A most enjoyable game.