Wednesday, February 15, 2012




Tim Lew has earned promotion to L3. You might know Tim as scrumhalf with the Olympic Club – now get to know him as a Pelican Ref!


The monthly meeting of the Pelican Society will be held at the SFGG clubhouse from 7 to 9 on Wednesday, Feb. 15. Food will be provided beginning at 6 PM, so leave early to allow for possible traffic.

Our special guests will be Murray Felstead and Nick Richards from the East Midlands, old and dear friends of our Society.


So far we have five to accompany the East Midlanders on the biennial Yosemite snow hike. That’s plenty to make the event a highlight of their trip, but there is room for others.

If you can get Wednesday, March 28 off work and can get to Yosemite on Tuesday (even after work), please plan to join us. We have participants from Sacramento, Marin and Monterey County, so we should be able to arrange rides.


Please make certain that the match cards you are using have John Compaglia’s address on them – not Giles Wilson’s. You can find them on or here:

And never forget to report red cards and yellow cards that you issue for foul play. (Not yellows for repeated infringements or wasting time.) The address is easy to remember: NCRFU Disciplinary Committee:

Reports should be terse:
“Red card to Bone Head of the Wankers RFC for violating Law 10.4(e), dangerous tackle.”

No narrative, please. None whatsoever. List the Law violated. If the circumstances call for a narrative, include the sentence: “Please call me at 867-5309 if you need further details.”

This means: CALL ME. THIS ONE WAS BAD. It also means we don’t want an electronic record of the proceedings to be established yet.


St. Mary’s will be hosting the University of British Columbia next Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 3 PM. Chris Tucker will referee.

UBC will have played Cal and will be completing their tour.

We could use an AR and some #4s. Please let us know.


Feb. 25: 36 refs, 45 games

Please let us know which weekends you can referee in March.


Arrived in Las Vegas on Wed afternoon, found out at the meeting at 9pm that I had no matches assigned to ref on Thursday.

Showed up at 7:30 am the next day at the ref tent and ran touch for 4 sevens games and the BYU - Penn St 15s game.

The next day I was assigned to the boys U19 elite 7s. Take out the word elite and put in FAST.

Three games as ref and six as AR

BRITISH COLUMBIA 17 – Rugby Ontario 10 These were two "All Star" teams from their respective areas. Ontario came out strong and scored two tries in the first half with BC reversing it in the second with two unconverted and one converted to win. A game of two halves.

ALL-AMERICAN seconds 22 – Rugby Ontario 17 Once again Ontario dominated the first half with one converted and two unconverted tries only to have the All American team come from behind in the second half with three unconverted and one converted try to win the game. Again a flip/flop game.

BC 27 – All American seconds 0 This time it wasn't a tale of two halves. It was BC 1 dominating.

In all of these games I was impressed not only with the speed with which they were played, but the teams’ ability to make 20/30 meter passes across field. Very exciting games to do.

Running touch for the last game of the day, one of the organizers came out at half to tell us that they still had two 15s games to do. I agreed to do one with the other AR taking the other.

Bayside Sharks Vancouver 21 – Bellarmine 19 This was a game of mostly fresh/soph. We played two 30 min periods. The play was pretty good on both sides with the score changing back and forth. Vancouver scored the last try of the game and kicked the conversion with no time left on the clock to win.

By that point I had no voice left and my legs felt like rubber, but it was a great way to end the day.


The Las Vegas Invitational has become the biggest tournament in the United States. More than 200 teams participated on 24 pitches.

This could not happen without volunteer refs. Not just volunteering to referee, but also taking three days off work, paying for flights and hotel rooms, for the promise of refereeing. The explicit promise – not a maybe, but an all-comers promise to referee games.

This year they stiffed a significant number of the referees who made this commitment. Those in charge did not think having too many referees was a problem, and made no effort to give everyone games. “Oh, you can AR all you want.” Meanwhile, some referees had as many as ten games assigned.

I will put my own record of touch-judging and assistant-refereeing up against anyone’s, in terms of paying my own way, hanging on through multiple games, and passing up refereeing to help another ref on a key game. But bait-and-switch doesn’t satisfy under any circumstances.

I have been associated with rugby in this country for 35 years. I have never seen, heard of, or even dreamed of volunteers being treated like this. It was disgusting. Those responsible should be ashamed of themselves for treating others so shabbily, and should step down from future involvement.

This is not the way to grow rugby, nor is it the way to make anyone fall in love with anything.


SFGG D1 over Santa Clara Referee: Craig Smith
AR: Dave Newport
Evaluator: Dixon Smith
The SFGG 1s vs Santa Clara was well contested. While SFGG had the size, Santa Clara were full of running and kept the pressure on SFGG who were down by a few points at half time. The oranges and team talk at half time obviously helped SFGG as they scored within a minute of the second half starting. The SFGG outside centre was a beast and must have broken around 15 tackles on the day. SFGG were winners in the end by a try or two. I'm not sure of the final score but Dixon Smith may be able to help as he was my coach/assessor for the game.

Seconds: SFGG D1, 29 – Santa Clara 19 Referee: Tim Lew
Referee Coach: David Williamson
B game began scrappy but cleaned up quickly. SFGG took an early lead but SC scored some quick tries to keep the game close by halftime. After a few subs (SFGG players), the game evened up and SFGG held on for a win.

UC Santa Cruz 12 – ST. MARY’S thirds 19 Referee: George O'Neil
It was a very close and contested game with a lot of younger players.


GRANITE BAY 17 – Lancers 5 Referee: Scott Wood

Golden Gate Gold 24 – JESUIT 27 Referee: Tony Levitan
If there is a better match of high school rugby teams to be played in the US this season, I'd sure like to see it! On a magnificent day for rugby on Treasure Island, Jesuit and SFGG battled back and forth in a 70-minute tussle of strong wills, enviable talent and sheer determination. After mentioning to the teams during our pre-match chat that I was looking forward to an afternoon of enterprising, running rugby so I wouldn't have to head for a workout after the match, they indeed obliged me. In fact, one of the Jesuit forwards was cheeky enough to ask while his kicker was setting up to take a penalty, "Getting enough exercise, ref?"

The teams traded scores in the first half as both sides made quality use of both their set piece ball and multiple phases after. Once the early nerves went away, we saw strong tackling, physical rucking and some resolute counter-rucking. SFGG opened with an unconverted try, Jesuit countered with a converted try and a penalty until SFGG ran in two more first half tries -- the second a penalty try with 14 seconds in the half -- to end the opening stanza in the lead, 17-10.

Jesuit jumped right back in the match 5 minutes into the second half, capitalizing off a five-meter scrum earned after charging down an SFGG clearing kick in-goal, all tied at 17. SFGG answered with some powerful forward play, before Jesuit slotted a penalty with 19 minutes remaining, 24-20. The winning converted try by Jesuit (27-24) came amidst a level of rugby that rivaled technically the D2 match I reffed the week before. This was a match in which it truly was a shame that only one team walked off the pitch as victors.

Huge thanks to Bryant Byrnes for both his active support as AR -- and to Coach Steve of Jesuit who manned the other sideline -- and his coaching comments following the match. As a final observation, I must note how surprised I was to return to the pitch to catch some of the adult match that followed only to note the dearth of spectators in what had been packed bleachers for the high school match. Great to see the support for high school rugby at SFGG on Saturday. Now, if I could only get my kids to put down their lacrosse sticks ... :-)

Golden Gate varsity Silver 12 – DIABLO 38 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
This was the second of five games on TI at Gate's rugby factory on a balmy winter's day. All rugby all day and all quality.

Diablo scores twice converts once, but Gate by dint of hard work makes it 7-12 at half. The second half is much better stuff, but Diablo cracks it open with two late long solo tries, which were converted. Full time finds the scoring Diablo player and his Gate pursuer in goal, exhausted and supine-and the ref 10 meters away, hands on knees and thankful to the Lord for the horn.

My good game was followed by two great games. It was a shame to have to go home with a game left.

Bishop O’Dowd 15 – OAKLAND WARTHOGS 22 Referee: Jordan Bruno
Bishop O’Dowd squared off against the Warthogs in a city championship match Monday night that had all the makings of a great game. Both teams had size and agility in the forwards, speed in the backs, and experienced players who could have easily competed at the CPL second side. Bishop O’Dowd was the first team to run it between the posts for a score. A knock-on in goal minutes later by the BOD winger allowed the Warthogs to stay within striking distance. Penalties at the ruck and an undisciplined defensive line kept the Warthogs from seeing any development in phase play. However, a few incredibly powerful runs down the field (and missed BOD assignments) allowed the Warthogs to stay ahead 15-10 with two minutes to go. The BOD backs ran in back with under a minute, but missed a sure conversion to tie the match with seconds to go. BOD knocked the ball on in the ensuing kickoff. A few ground and pound phases by the Warthogs saw a try with no time left. An incredible match by two experienced and hard-working sides. Hats off to BOD head coach Ray Lehner for starting the inaugural tournament and developing some great players I am sure we will see playing in the CPL soon.


George O'Neil
BERKELEY 49 – Silicon Valley 32 high school
SFGG D1 seconds 54 – SF Fog 5
SFGG D – O Club seconds friendly. No score to report.

SF STATE 40 – U. of the Pacific 5 Referee: Jen Tetler
A beautiful Saturday on Treasure Island and both teams seemed excited to play. SF State won the toss and kicked off, but scored off of a turnover ball in the first 2 minutes of the game. UOP fought back valiantly and held them off for a while, but SF State scored again with 20 left in the half. A third try was converted, and a penalty kick was taken to make the score at the end of the first half 20-0.

UOP didn't give up in the second half, but they still got some possession stolen from them for two back to back tries by SF State, one a breakaway all the way across the field. UOP finally got the ball across the line after a nice breakaway followed by support up the side to put some points on the board. Before the half, however, SF State got two more, one a nice weak side play off of a 5 meter scrum. Unfortunately, the kicker for SF State was having a bad day and none of the 2nd half tries were converted.

Sacramento State women 5 – SF BATS 24 Referee: Pete Andrew


SONOMA STATE 65 - U. of San Francisco 5 Referee: Mike Gadoua
A typo - the "0" after the USF 5 is supposed to be end parens - ")"
(65 to 5)
The country boys just steamrolled around, over, and through the City dwellers.

Seven Sevens Fans
Seven Sevens fans are proud to be among more than thirty thousand like-minded followers of the bouncing ball in Las Vegas at the IRB Sevens.

Left to Right: Bruce Carter, Susan Gadoua, Murray Felstead, Linda Carter, Mike Gadoua, Sue Felstead, Nick Richards


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris