Wednesday, February 29, 2012




Anthony Nguyen has been promoted to L3. Congratulations to our youngest Pelican!


We still need another dozen or so refs for each of the following Saturdays?

Available? Able to travel?
March 17
March 24
March 31

By James Hinkin

[Editor’s Note: Mr. Hinkin has set the hosting bar pretty high for others to try to clear.]

Bay Barbarians 10 – SAN MATEO 35 Referee: Matt Robinette (Virginia)
AR: James Hinkin
Evaluator: Dixon Smith
Weather conditions were perfect for a day of rugby. After a delay in the start, the rugby was fast paced and well played. San Mateo came out of the gates early and maintained possession and territory for a substantial piece of the first quarter. Bay Barbarians were able to utilize the bend but don’t break defense for a while before San Mateo was able to break their defenses and score their first try of the match. San Mateo had the organization on the field, the talented, athletic players, and the plan to break the game wide open and they did by scoring two more converted tries to take the first period 21-0. The Barbos were still confident in their ability and were not discouraged heading to the sideline to speak with their coaching staff.

The second half saw the Barbos come out of the gates on fire, not ready to concede this match to the visitors. Two tries were the result of huge team efforts that brought the score line closer and the confidence level up for the Barbos. San Mateo, however, withstood the charge and were able to get back to their plan and structure. Great ball movements and effort were the storyline on the day as San Mateo were able to score two more converted tries. The Barbarians worked hard throughout the match and nearly scored on the final play of the contest.

San Mateo’s structure and game plan won the day over an athletic Barbarian side.

Final – Bay Barbarians 10 vs. San Mateo 35
Half – Bay Barbarians 0 vs. San Mateo 21

Seconds: Bay Barbarians 5 – SAN MATEO 34 Referee: James Hinkin
A picture perfect day was the result of the false spring here in Northern California as the Bay Barbarians hosted San Mateo at Woodside High School. With a 10:00 start scheduled I brought visiting referee Matt Robinette promptly at 9:00... and waited. With Barbos players still strolling at 9:45 it was obvious that a 10:00 start was not going to happen. At about 10:05 a deadline was put down (we start in 15 minutes - be ready) and the A side game kicked off. See report by Matt Robinette for details.

After the A side match finished I spoke with the 2 coaches who agreed to 30 min halves. With most of the Barbos team doing double duty and about half (?) of San Mateo as well the quality of rugby was close to the A side match. The game was tight in the first half with the only scores being a penalty and unconverted try from San Mateo. Many dropped passes killed several promising runs and ill discipline around the tackle doomed the rest.

The second half saw San Mateo pull away as their depth proved to be overpowering. What was a tight game opened up as the Barbos looked more and more tired. San Mateo ran in 4 tries (3 converted) to just a solitary reply from the game Barbo side. As the game wore on and the Barbos wore out more "lazy" penalties started occurring until I had to give team captain/coach/organizer and former teammate Saimoni Naivalu a 10 minute break for team infringements. As there was only 5 minutes left the Barbos finished down a man and San Mateo capitalized with their final try of the day, duly converted.

Both sides showed excellent sportsmanship and the game - like the A side - was a hard hitting, clean, enjoyable affair.

Final Note: Trying to think of a memorable activity for Matthew we headed up to the city via Oakland and the Bay Bridge, stopping at Treasure Island for some panoramic views of the city, the bay and the bridges - and SF didn't disappoint. After an Italian dinner in North Beach (or course) we went to go see Beach Blanket Babylon. As we were being seated near the back of our section we asked our hostess if there were any seats closer in... and she promptly reseated us in the front row (and was tipped handsomely for it). Sitting behind us was a happy, campy ("Ooo I want those shoes") gay couple who added just the right "only in San Francisco" touch to the evening.


Sacramento Capitals 15 – EPA BULLDOGS 65 Referee: Dan Wilson
Referee Coach: Jim Crenshaw

Sacramento Capitals 2 – EPA Bulldogs 2

EPA Razorbacks – OLYMPIC CLUB by forfeit Would-be Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
After watching the first quarter of the England v Wales 6N match on BBC America, I drove to Menlo Park for the 10am kickoff of the NorCal D1 league season. On arrival at the field, Olympic had their squads assembled and ready, but only 3 EPA players were present and the field had not been set-up. By kickoff, EPA had about 7 players and said their full team should arrive by 11:30am due to a miscommunication within their club. Olympic accepted the forfeit and decided against playing an unofficial scrimmage at 11:30am since their 1st XV had prior commitments at that time. I called the 2nd XV referee Bruce Ricard and informed him that his match would also not be played.

Seconds: SFGG 45 – Sacramento Lions 5 Referee: Evan Schlinkert
Referee Coach: Coppinger

SF/Golden Gate 10 – SACRAMENTO LIONS 28 Referee: Paul Bretz

DIABLO GAELS 55 – Berkeley 12 Referee: George O'Neil

Seconds: DIABLO GAELS 47 – Berkeley 34 Referee: Mike King
Nice day, nice pitch at Mare Island, 2 spirited sides: great mixture for a bang-up rugby contest. And a contest it was. Berkeley broke out to an early lead and seemed poised to put up a lot of points on a somewhat flat Gaels 2d side. About 20 minutes in, Diablo scored its first of 3 tries in the half and the battle was on. Strong running, good passing overall, some nicely placed kicks by both sides, and good tacking, led to a half that was knotted up at 19 apiece. The second stanza started out with more of the same, with both sides playing fairly even. There seemed to be a lull in Berkeley’s ability to cover the Gaels backline in numbers off the loose, and the home side moved to a comfortable lead. The lead was increased by accuracy in conversions on all attempts. Berkeley was not about to give up, scoring right at the end of full time. Final Diablo Gaels 47 Berkeley 34.

SANTA ROSA 39 – Vacaville 3 Referee: Rich Anderson
A close match for the first 30 minutes between two well coached teams quickly turned Santa Rosa's way in the second half. Their stronger pack and superior numbers wore down the Vacaville side and allowed Santa Rosa to maintain possession for the majority of the second half.

Seconds: SANTA ROSA 57 – Vacaville 12 Referee: Sean Peters

South Valley – Chico RESCHEDULED

SEAHAWKS 17 – Fresno 14 Referee: Jordan Bruno
Referee Coach: Bryant Byrnes
Both teams came to the match needing a win. Fresno had just moved from D1 to D2 and were undefeated on the season. They needed to continue to win in order to make the playoffs and overcome a 12 point sanction placed on their team by moving down a division despite making the Final Four last year. San Jose entered the match with a shaky start and needed a win to remain hopeful for a playoff berth. San Jose posted the first points in a match that remained close. Both teams tackled well, contested at the breakdowns, and spun it out well to the backline. With 20 minutes left in the match and Fresno down by 3, the tempo of the game increased as both sides were easily capable of pulling away with a win. The captains of both sides became more vocal, letting me know that player management would be paramount as the minutes ticked off the clock. With two minutes left, Fresno's maul was collapsed by San Jose's scrumhalf. Advantage was given but not gained. As time ran out, Fresno's flyhalf lined up for a penalty kick to tie the match from just beyond 30 meters. As he approached the ball, a distracting whistle sounded from the distance and he missed the kick. As I approached the sideline to determine if the whistle should be attributed to player misconduct or the soccer game next door, it became apparent that a certified AR would have been useful. The soccer referees on the adjacent pitch were the cause of the sound and the game ended--albeit on a sour note for the visiting Fresno squad.

Seconds: Seahawks 22 - FRESNO 27 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
Clear and warm in San Jose. Sometimes men's D2 second games are dreadful-9 aside, 15 minute halves. Not this one; it was contested, competent stuff.

The first part was all Fresno, 22-3. Deft passing, hard running. The Hawks, unimpressed, hung in there and outscored the gents in red 19-5. A closely run thing.

But at the end Fresno went from aplomb to fishwifery. It became a natter fest until this writer, now grown grey in his service to the game, put a sock in it. Gents, play rugby - please. We can talk over post-match beer.

Marin – Baracus Referee: Preston Gordon

Seconds: Marin – Baracus

SHASTA 41 – Humboldt 20 Referee: Eric Rauscher
AR: Michael McCarty
As I left Berkeley for my drive to Redding, I realized I had not prepared correctly. I had borrowed my wife's car (better gas mileage) and left my stack of CDs at home. I had to play radio roulette on the drive. Once I got there, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the field at the high school was a full-sized, correctly lined and flagged grass field rather than an astro-turf football field. It was a perfect warm sun, cool breeze kind of rugby day. Shasta was there warming up early. Humboldt slowly drifted in and finally had 15 players, so with a quick boot check and front row talk, the coin-toss was only about 15 min late.

Shasta ruled the first half 27 / 5. Having reffed a game with Humboldt last year in a similar situation, I thought to myself, Humboldt will start playing in the second half. Sure enough, Shasta scored first at 2 min, but then Humboldt scored 15 pts in 15 min. They were not able to overcome the commanding lead of Shasta however. The game was a very friendly affair with friendly bantering between sides at scrums. Both teams were able to get the ball quickly across field and showed good skills and tactics. Shasta seemed to have the upper hand at rucks and were able to get the ball out with good support. I would have liked to stay around for the social afterwards and shared in the camaraderie, but I had to jump in the car and get right back home.

Luckily I discovered a two volume set of Judy Collins to listen to on the way home as the sun set over the valley.

MENDOCINO 68 – Siskiyou 0 Referee: Cary Bertlolone
Beautiful, sunny day, although with a considerable wind. Kickoff at 1:30, both teams with about 22 suited players. Siskiyou is in their first year, so they have a lot of inexperienced players. Mendocino was kind enough to help Siskiyou with their bindings in the scrum as they had props with no experience. Hats off to Mendo for their good sports! They did enjoy a day of scoring tries, 12 of them. To Siskiyou's credit, they kept on playing to the end and never hung their heads. Mendocino had a considerable crowd and the crowd was roaring throughout the game. After the game, Mendo sang a song to the crowd; it was great for all involved!!

RENO 19 – Colusa 17 Referee: Bruce Anderson
Started on a very windy day in Reno with the Zephyrs deciding to play with the wind at their backs, the lead changed several times with the score at half time Reno Zephyrs 5 - Colusa 10.

Zephyrs started strong in the second half scoring 2 unanswered tries to take the lead to 19 -10. One minute before final whistle Colusa scored and converted taking it to 19-17. Colusa nearly scored a dramatic try in the dying seconds only to have the ball turned over and kicked out. Final Score Reno Zephyrs 19 - Colusa 17. Had the game gone on for another 5 minutes, Stan the man, Zephyrs # 2, would have had a heart attack.

Bruce, I thought we were short of refs but we had 31 refs on this field and about 20 more on the side line. :-)

SIERRA FOOTHILLS 41 – Redwood Empire Sharks 10 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Mary Azevedo Park, Rocklin

From an early morning JV High School match in Dixon, I rolled up the I-80 to 65 North to exit and find a very nice full-sized pitch. It was a windy location, but the grass was soft and spongy, so much so that I enjoyed the pleasure of busting out the fully studded boots for the trot. A rarity in a winter of drought.

Both teams featured old friends and familiar faces, but also plenty of rookies or at least first year players. Redwood's captain Sione was a nice fellow, soft spoken, and a smart and hard New Zealander once the match got underway. But it was Sierra's captain Mike Dopson, an "crafty" old #10, and multi-capped Clown rugger, who would make the difference on the day.

An early penalty to Sierra as Sione failed to release as he completed his poach (both teams commented that no ref has been calling the tackler assist, it was as if it was news to them!), and Sierra's #15 Doug Mooneyham slotted a big PK to open the scoring.

This was a clean, hard, and what looked to be a truly fun game. Sierra pulled out to 17-0 at the half. But Redwood threatened many times and finally scored a sweet try through their little firecracker of a scrumhalf.

The third half was what I was after, as I spend enough time coaching and reffing U19 rugby! So we retired to Downtown Roseville and a sweet little pub called the Boxing Donkey.... right near the train station. Finally sunny and warm as I was about to enter the pub and up walks my old teammate from UC Davis 28 years before, Arona Palamo. Arona's been busy flying to Mexico every week conducting plant genetic research. He offered that it was good to see some of the old guard out reffing.

Into the pub and around the back, I found a private room with both teams arriving, then further back a neat little spot lined with big, comfy leather couches and coffee tables. It was good to chillax and sip a dark ale amongst the rugby crowd. It had hardly been a year earlier that Sierra's Dave Faingold talked about starting a new DIII team in South Placer County. Dave and the boys had cause to rejoice.

STANISLAUS 14 – Aptos 0 Referee: Scott Wood
TJs: Paul Colyer (Stanislaus), Jeff _____ (Aptos)
It was a very windy day. How windy you ask? Aptos kicked off the second half. The ball traveled in the air the requisite ten meters then sailed backwards an equal distance (on a different vector for you pedantic physicists). The referee yelled "play on" prior to Aptos catching and running with the ball.

Aptos attacked well throughout the match. They had a stronger forward pack than the hosts but were unable to effectively contain the backs. The score was tied at halftime.

In other news, I found this recap of the State of Jefferson / Reno Zephyrs match quite entertaining:

SAMOA UNITED 56 – Sacramento Blackhawks 18 Referee: Giles Wilson
Two of the newer teams in the area faced off at Burton HS in San Francisco - beautiful day with great views out over the bay. A slightly delayed start due to a tire issue on the way down from Sacramento.

The Chiefs have a couple of players who have been with other NCRFU clubs (as do Blackhawks) but both also feature a number of new faces, several who are new to rugby - all good signs.

This game started fast but the Chiefs overall experience, size and aggression at the point of contact, combined with an early injury to the Blackhawks captain gave this the potential for a blowout. Dogged defense by Blackhawks and unnecessary first half yellow cards meant that the half time score was only 27 - 0. Chiefs had put 3 in the sin bin while Blackhawks had one - spread over the course of the half meant that Blackhawks had a one man advantage for 20+ minutes and 8 minutes (spanning half time) were played 14 aside.

In the second half all of the discipline issues had been resolved, but the pace and experience of Chiefs still had them 5 tries to 3 ahead for the half.

After a short break, both teams had a number of players who had not played in the game, many of whom for Blackhawks were complete rookies. Both sides fielded full sides with about 8 - 10 new faces, which bodes well for both sides as they look to move up through the divisions.

SF FOG 42 – Paso Robles 19 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Match was tight & could have gone either way until about the 60 minute when the Fog took advantage of all 7 subs; while Paso only had 2 who were also needed. Every match I’ve had so far this year has followed a similar pattern--the team with more subs has won--all home teams also have won.

Score was 15-12 at half & 20-19 midway into the 2nd half. Fog dominated all set pieces winning both teams lineouts & many of Paso's scrumdowns. Paso's 8 man had a nice try on a pick-up; & their flyhalf repeatedly broke the gainline on many swerving runs; while the Fog's 7 tries were more a team effort, scored by different players.

Fog seconds 5 – VALLEJO 48 Referee: Liz Palmer
1st Half
Fog won the coin toss and chose to kickoff. Vallejo had more size, speed, and their cohesiveness was quite evident in their style of play, but their very sloppy rucks earned the fog multiple penalties. However, their strong experience and high intensity kept the Fog from being able to gain much in ground. Penalties kept Vallejo from scoring too much in the first half as the majority were from diving over and hands in the rucks. The score at half was 17-0 Vallejo.

2nd Half
Fog received their only kickoff on the unsuspecting side of the pitch before Vallejo stormed in. Vallejo came in hard and strong, and better rucking produced more continuity. Fog was able to retain possession even through multiple phases, but were not able to break through Vallejo defense. Vallejo had multiple breakthroughs and scored 5 tries in the 2nd half. More tries would have been likely had there not been so many knock ons. 48-5 final score.

SF Fog women 10 – EPA Razorbacks 10 Referee: Sandy Robertson
In a friendly at Treasure Island courtesy won out, the sides scored 2 tries each, and plenty of rookies got a run.

ST. MARY’S thirds 52 – U. of the Pacific 17 Referee: Tim Lew
On a great day on the East Bay, SMC & UOP squared off for a friendly game to tune up their skills for the regular season. SMC had better athletes and strong rugby players for a 3rd side game. UOP had a few select players that lead their team and made some good plays. Both teams ran the ball often without too much kicking attack. SMC had some infringements in the ruck and high tackles, but they dominated most aspects of the game. UOP had a few good hard runs leading to some breakaway trys.

CHICO STATE 43 – Santa Clara 42 Referee: Chris Tucker
Santa Clara kicked off into the stiff breeze at Chico State's home field, and were promptly shelled with 4 tries in 20 minutes. They looked awful -- couldn't tackle, couldn't run. They gradually woke up, scoring a try at the end of the half after the Chico #10 had kicked the ball away to delay a quick tap (and found himself sitting on the sideline for 10 mins as penance). The second half didn't start much better for them, as they gave up another try after 3 minutes, and another after 15, for 36-7. Then something clicked. They moved forward with purpose. They broke tackles. They found space on the wing. They scored, again and again. 5 tries in 20 minutes, including one great moment when the #4 crashed through then tried to centre the score, only to drop the ball, "BACKWARDS! PLAY ON!", everyone stood looking at it, #4 dives back on it, Try. The only break Chico State got was a careless ball off a lineout. The tail gunner waited for the SCUTS tap back to the receiver, then charged the 9-10 gap. He tipped the ball up, gathered and ran the length of the field to score. This, it turned out, made all the difference. In spite of a perfect kicking performance, 6 tries is still only worth 42 points, not quite enough to take it from the home side. That said, no cheers went up at the final whistle. Seemed nobody knew who won. Well, except me and the crestfallen visiting captain. Note to home side: you have a scoreboard. You might want to use it!

Seconds: CHICO STATE 43 – Scuts 19 Ref: Tucker
The Chico second side did their best to top their senior brethren, scoring the same and giving up fewer points. Of note was one try when at a defending ruck inside their own 5, the Chico scrum half passed back to his stand-off, only to find a prop's face in the way. Again, much staring at the ball on the ground in-goal, followed by a SCUTS try as an alert player dived on it.

NEVADA 49 – San Jose State 24 Referee: Don Pattalock

UC SANTA CRUZ 31 - Maritime Academy 10 Referee: Pete Smith
It was an amazing day in Santa Cruz with visibility to the Monterey Peninsula. The field was perfect, teams ready to go.

The UCSC men were noticeably smaller across the board against the Maritime Academy. They played an expansive and well-drilled game with a ton of heart and managed three tries to one in the first half to make it 17-5 at the break. More of the same in the second half produced an almost identical result with the Slugs scoring two converted tries (the second came at full time) in the second half to one unconverted by the Keelhaulers. Final score 31-10. UCSC have Sierra coming up on the schedule, their similar scores against common opponents make that a very intriguing game.

Santa Rosa JC 8 – SIERRA COLLEGE 14 Referee: Tom Zanarini
Very fun and fast match. Teams were well matched and very competitive.

Seconds: Santa Rosa 5 – Sierra College 5 Ref: Zanarini
Sierra was leading until time ran out. However, instead of kicking the ball to touch they put it back in play. At the next ruck Sierra infringed and Rosa sent it wide eventually dotting down for 5. Contrary to my heeding, the kicker did not take his time and missed right. As I was meeting Preston Gordon for a few pints at Mill Valley Beerworks to deliver his kit, he was the lucky recipient of a few microbrews.

FRESNO STATE 37 – Humboldt State 19 Referee: Jeff Jury

Seconds: Fresno State – Humboldt State Referee: Barry Foley

Sonoma State 17 – SF STATE 39 Referee: John Pohlman
One of the pleasures of refereeing rugby in Northern California is going to new places. This Saturday took me to Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park. This is a beautiful campus situated toward the top of Sonoma Valley.

Pat Maldonado, who played for Jesuit and Santa Rosa JC, seems to be the man in charge of this Sonoma State’s first-year program.

I arrived to campus at 11:30 AM, both teams were in early phases of a warm up. I was expecting a good game due to both teams being undefeated in Division III men's college.

Sonoma State is new, young and being coached by a couple of Bay Area ex-high school players, Pat from Jesuit and Captain Jack McNamara from the SFGG high school programs. Great to see the leadership these young men offer to Sonoma State.

On to the game.

What a beautiful day for rugby. The field was smallish, only 60 yards wide. They have plenty of room but the soccer team was sharing a part of the field. Due to little watering, the good grass was on dirt as hard a concrete. I think just about everyone had bloody knees by the end of the game.

Sonoma State came to play. They tackled everything in the first half. Took advantage of SFS turnovers to score three trys. All the Sonoma trys were off of turnover ball and scored by some athletic and opportunistic backs. #10 Tommy Porter, #11 Vince Solini and #12 Foster Fretland scored.

San Francisco State on the other hand, totally dominated scrums and ball possession. But were caught making that 50-50 pass.

Half time score Sonoma State 17 San Francisco State 5

At half time I had a couple of fans congratulate me on the flow and control of the game. Hey thanks.

I really felt if SFS starts taking care of the ball and continues the scrum domination they could come back.

I guess SFS Coach Dean White saw the same game I did, because SFS came out in the second half with a different game plan. SFS dominated the scrums to the point Sonoma was picking up penalties for collapsing.

Sonoma could not maintain the tackle rate from the first half. Injuries started causing key SSU players to leave.

SFS scored trys at 3, 15 , 18, 31 and 40 minutes. This led to a final score of SFS 39 Sonoma 17.

SFS looks strong. They are well-coached and have very good size. If Dean gets them to have some patience with the ball they can wear some teams down.

Good luck to both teams.

Stanford women seconds 5 – MOTLEY 64 Referee Bob Polito
It was something like 64 to 5 with the Stanford twos losing to a side of alums and assorted club side players.

STANFORD women 72 – UC Davis 5 Referee: Bruce Carter
ARs: Donal Walsh, Bob Polito
The Stanford women seem to have found their playoff gears: all forward speeds and no reverse.

In each half they scored two tries in the first five minutes, setting a pace for the Parents’ Day crowd.

Stanford 22 – SAC STATE 23 Referee: Craig Smith
ARs: Tony Levitan, Sandy Robertson
Videographer: Bruce Carter
This was a very close game which was really won on the strength of the Sac State scrum. Sac State had two tight heads which led to tries. Stanford led at the break and then fell 8 points behind in the 2nd half. With only a few minutes to go Stanford scored a converted try but Sac State managed to grind out the win.

I had some great assistants in Tony Levitan and Sandy Robertson. Bruce was a star in administering a beep test for me in the morning and then recording my game.

Seconds: STANFORD 39 – Sac State 29 Referee: Brad Richey

CALIFORNIA women 34 – Chico State 10 Referee: Lois Bukowski
Beautiful Alumni Day rugby at Witter. The field is still turf due to the Memorial Stadium retrofit and upgrade.

Cal came out with a vengeance and scored 6 mins in off a lineout, spinning to the wing. 12 mins later the produced nice ball again off the lineout and loose forward, #6 touched down for the blue and gold.

The game was marred by multiple ball-killing infractions; offside, in from the side and diving. Cal had a series of repeat infringements and #6 got caught one too many times offside. Bin at the 17 min mark. They managed a shorthanded score, though.

Chico is tenacious. They are in a rebuilding year, but always tough. TheY did not let up and were rewarded with a try by their flyhalf dotting down with 5 mins left in the half. Cal would not be deterred, they answered with 2 minutes left.

Second half got progressively sloppier and even with more preventative talk the penalties abounded. Cal was too much for the Chico State women, they have some great athletes, #1: was the kicker and converted a few beauts from nasty angles. Their #10 is sweet to watch. She's tall, athletic and has an awesome first step. Cal added two tries in the second half and Chico managed 1 to wrap up the scoring. Not before another yellow for #8 stamping. This was a frustration penalty.

All in all, a decent fun, some good rugby and fun had by all.

Seconds: California women – Chico State CANCELED

NEVADA women over Santa Clara by forfeit

UC SANTA CRUZ women 36 - Sacramento State 15 Referee: Pete Smith
UCSC women played a very cohesive game and offset their size deficit with good support and off-loading in the tackle. They staked themselves to a 12-5 halftime lead. They opened it up a little bit more in the second half to score four more tries while giving up two to seal a 36-15 victory against Sac St.

CHICO STATE women 57 – Oregon State 21 Referee: JC van Staden


CAL POLY seconds 53 – Cal State Monterey Bay 15 Referee – Andy Doukas
A game of two halves; the 1st half dominated by Cal Poly scoring 43 points to Monterey’s 5. Poly committed defenders and then quickly moved the ball to the winger, Nate Nunno, side stepping & straight arming for at least three scores. A single try late in the half came from a great run by Chad, Monterey’s captain, weaving through many defenders for a 20 meter score.

A physical second half by Monterey with big tackles and rucks kept this even with 10 points to each side. Another great run by Monterey’s big man #25, who started out at #8 and moved to the centers; Great pace and side stepping 40 meters, caught just before the try line, support players finishing the job. I truly enjoyed the enthusiasm and positive attitudes towards the game.


Seconds: OAKLAND WARTHOGS 32 – South Valley 7 Referee: Tim Lew
Brisk night in Oakland. Both 2nds teams were ready to show the coaches what they had. The game was clean and quick. South Valley had a few good players, but they were unable to control the overall athleticism of the Oakland Warthogs.

OAKLAND WARTHOGS 60 – South Valley 5 Ref: Lew
Following the 2nds, the 1st side played. Both teams ran VERY hard and the game's pace was a step up above the 2nds. Both teams were much quicker, harder and faster. The OW forward pack were hard straight downhill runners with the 1st five/ captain slicing up the defense on the fringes. SV couldn't make their first-up tackles and the OW made them pay throughout the game. Starting the 2nd half, the game was stopped 5+ times in the first 10 mins for injuries. Both teams played hard but the OW had too much for the SV defense.

Friday night
Elsie Allen 11 – SANTA ROSA 48 Referee: Sean Peters

SAT morning
Elsie Allen Girls 20 – RIO LINDA 43 Ref: Peters

Varsity Silver: WOLFPACK 45 – Lancers 0 Referee: Anthony Nguyen
We started a bit late because of an earlier match I had but we still managed to get the game started. Overall, this was a great game. Jim Crenshaw was able to watch me and give helpful pointers and JC van Staden was there in support of confidence. I was a bit over-head during the first half as I was trying to adjust to the game but did so later. Wolfpack scored time and time again with finding holes and strategic passing. It did help several times when Wolfpack would call a play familiar to me, such as "two-three switch" which would allow me to get in the right position. Jim gave me very helpful pointers at half. Everything was cleaned up afterwards and the match seemed like a real traditional rugby match. Moreover, the players were laughing and joking whilst playing the game. A great fun match indeed. Lancers could not score and Wolfpack ended with a 45 to 0 victory. I did notice during the last few minutes Lancers were enjoying themselves and accepting their loss as an opportunity to just have some fun with the game.

DE LA SALLE 33 – Maclachey 19 Referee: George O’Neil

Stockton 10 – SAC EAGLES 34 Referee: Chris Tucker
A fun runaround at Stockton's home field just off I-5. Good play from both sides, marred only by Stockton's tendency to huddle under the posts after conceding and not coming out promptly. Normally I wouldn't mind, but I was getting eaten alive by the mozzies that lived at the centre spot. In the end, the visitors' ability to create -- and importantly, find -- the overload was the difference, with the backs scoring most of their tries. But good to see two of our newer sides come out and play the game the way it is meant to be played -- run hard, tackle low, grin and shake hands at the end.

Friday, 2/24
Varsity Silver
KENNEDY 26 – Nevada 24 Referee: Jeff Richmond
This was a pretty intense match. Nevada traveled with only 14 and some of those were true JV players. Nevada played very physical and were able to challenge Kennedy despite the difference in numbers. Kennedy took a first half lead 12-5 though Nevada had come up short on a few chances to score. In the second half, Nevada's backline caught fire and set up two tries, one off an advantage on dangerous play. Kennedy collected themselves and the lead changed hands in their favor. Nevada killed some opportunities for themselves in the closing minutes by not retreating following open field kicks by their backs.

For any referee at Kennedy High School, beware the gopher holes surrounding the field. I dropped into one during my pre-match warmup and nursed an ankle sprain through the match.

Saturday, 2/25
Varsity Gold
DIXON 64 – Bishop O'Dowd 14 Ref: Richmond
Dixon had command of the match throughout; BOD was scoreless until into the second half. Both teams were well-coached, play was very clean and orderly. BOD kept their heads despite the mismatch and engineered a couple of tries with good forward play.

Saturday, 2/25
Girl's Varsity Silver
DIXON 22 – Lancers 5 Ref: Richmond
The teams were more evenly matched than the score indicates. I believe both are new clubs this year. At times, play was a bit chaotic - ball carriers going down without a tackle to speak of then throwing the ball backwards to no one, without a ruck being formed. You get the picture. Lancers played a little more off their forwards, taking advantage of some size difference. Dixon found overlaps in the wings and that made all the difference.

Varsity Gold: East Palo Alto lost by forfeit SAN MATEO Referee: Tony Levitan
EPA showed up with only 10 or so players so they forfeited their league match. SM loaned EPA a handful of players so we could play a scrimmage/game.

Stanford 2-25-12
Sandy Robertson, Bob Polito, Craig Smith and Tony Levitan for a full day of rugby.


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Pelicus Scriptoris