Wednesday, May 16, 2012




The Diablo Gaels will be hosting a touring side from Brisbane, Australia, the Outback Barbarians, this Friday evening at 7 PM on the new pitch at the California Maritime Academy.

Jordan Bruno will be refereeing and would appreciate a couple of ARs. The Gaels will then owe you food and drink!


It wasn’t the best weekend for NCRFU teams, save Santa Rosa. They advanced to the men’s club D2 semi-finals at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo., the first weekend in June.

The Amazons from Sacramento lost to eventual champions Fallbrook from San Diego County in the opening round of the girls’ national high school invitational.

Stanford, playing at home, lost to Penn State in the women’s college D1 finals on Saturday.

Stanislaus lost to Southern California’s South Bay in the men’s club D3 playoffs.

EPA Bulldogs lost to the Kansas City Blues in the men’s club D1 playoffs.

St Mary's College 17 – ARKANSAS STATE 31 Referee: Tim Luscombe (USA)
AR: Chris Tucker, Bruce Ricard
4/5/6: John Coppinger, Ron DeCausemaker, Rob Hendrickson (not necessarily in that order)
Evaluator: Dixon Smith
Also there, chilling out having a good time: Bryant Byrnes

Beautiful day in Moraga, shame the same couldn't be said for the quality of game on the pitch. To be sure it was exciting stuff, tied up at 17 with 20 minutes to go, but the technical quality wasn't present. Some aimless kicking from hand from both sides and a fly-half on the home side who was seriously out of sorts, and the game became a contest of two battering-ram sides.

First try went to the visitors, who set up a peach of a maul drive off a lineout and crashed over. They scored again, thanks to one of many loose passes from the St. Mary's backs, "How many chances are you going to give them?" Tim O'Brien called out after the second try. Back when I played, "one skip two loop three" was a designed play. In this game it referred to how the pass was delivered, and where the centres had to go to recover the ball.

While the home side were fighting back we had a couple of odd incidents. In one, the St. Mary's pack set up a maul off a lineout, then Arkansas State pulled out of it. The maul trundled upfield 30m unopposed before the visitors eventually engaged, pulling it down. Cue much confusion from players and coaches alike, but the maul does not end just because defenders give up and run away!

[Editor’s Note: Correct! If all defenders voluntarily disengage from a maul, it remains a maul. If they fall off by the natural molting process that driving mauls undergo until none of them remains, the maul ends. Good refs like the one in question understand this and can tell the difference.]

In another somewhat sad incident, one of the home coaches demanded repeatedly to know how many substitutes had been made by the visitors, alleging some form of malfeasance. Ref Tim informed him he didn't know, that's why we have 4/5/6. Ron DeCausemaker wasn't at all confused by the blood subs that came and went, he knew the answer: 3. Of course to find this out, the game was stopped, the coach was escorted over to the far side, where the answer was given, and then was promptly ejected for continuing to argue. Tim could have saved himself some bother by just tossing him out first, but at least he got to embarrass the hapless man and hopefully persuade him to keep his thoughts to himself next time.

As time wound down, a visibly tiring St Mary's team missed a tackle and allowed a long breakaway for a try in spite of the best efforts of the fullback. As they pressed for an equaliser, the halfback fumbled the ball at a ruck, and the Arkansas State wing-forward scooped it up, raced 60m and scored to ice the game.

All in all an enjoyable game, made specially so by the boisterous crowd we've come to know and appreciate up in Moraga. Shame that our NorCal representative won't get to prove themselves against BYU, but such is life -- in the biggest game of the year, they didn't bring their A game, and that was all she wrote.


Don’t forget to set aside Saturday evening, June 30th, for the Pelican Refs 2012 annual awards banquet. We’ll be returning to Scott’s in Walnut Creek for the festivities.


SF Fog – San Jose State Referee: Ray Schwartz
The game went fine, the field was not mowed, and was poorly marked... both teams weren’t on top of their games…

SJSU won the first 40 minutes 15-12, and the FOG brought in their 2nd side...

SJSU is getting ready to play their alumni match... the FOG is sending 48 over to the Bingham Cup in Manchester, England in three weeks.

A championship team of three: Steph Bruce, Leah Berard, and Jen Sporleder right after the Stanford-Penn State final on Saturday 5/12.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris