Your scribe is off to Aspen first thing Wednesday morning, for the tournament that wraps up the summer and kicks off the fifteens season for much of the country. We have a lot of dear friends among the Eastern Rockies cohort, and a lot of fond memories of tournaments past.
Referees in California now have the women's clubs and the college sevens seasons to satiate our rugby jones for the next few months.
One of the most rewarding Sevens weekends on the calendar found ten California refs in lovely San Luis Obispo Saturday, September 8.
For Eric Rauscher and Bruce Carter, who carpooled down from Salinas, the weekend started out as Occupy SLO. We were told we'd be staying at a place that shall remain nameless, different from where the other refs were. Desirable location - two blocks from the first stop on Saturday's pub crawl (which we would miss), and when we pulled up we saw a very nice B&B.
We also saw that the office closed at 8 PM. Some guests in the reading room let us in. They said, the open doors are the rooms without guests.
Four rooms had open doors. Two of them had invoices and keys on the bed, with names that didn't match anyone in the rugby universe. So we slept in the other two rooms and, not wanting any uncomfortable scenes, made sure to be gone before breakfast was laid on.
The Tri-Tip goes back at least thirty years, when it was called the Pismo Beach Clambake. It was neither in Pismo, nor at the beach, nor were there any clams involved. Since then, as the Tri-Tip Sevens, there is plenty of both tri-tip and Sevens.
Almost too much Sevens, if there could ever be such a thing. Thirty-seven teams had eighty-one games scheduled. Remember: ten refs. And then there were half a dozen friendlies among the teams that didn't advance to the knock-out rounds.
Some of the - ahem - more experienced players stepped up to ref these add-ons, plus one of the official games, so the refs ended up with exactly eight games apiece.
SoCal: Mike Adams, Schalk Erasmus, Marquise Goodwin, Cullen Lowe, Mark Richards and Neville Smeda
NorCal: Bruce Carter, James Hinkin, Pete Smith, Eric Rauscher
Hosts SLO won the men's bracket and the Seahawks won the women's. After everyone had played or reffed a lot of games on a long day (8-5:30), the poor tri-tip didn't stand a chance.
NorCal Triple Threat 24 – SEATTLE BREAKERS 26 Referee: Lee Salgado
Very exciting game that went back and forth, especially in the second half. Both teams had a few players that have sported the USA rugby jersey so it was a fast paced, hard hitting game. Nor Cal started off strong, but the Breakers fought back all game and finished strong up the middle.
BERKELEY ALL-BLUES 20 – San Diego Surfers 17 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: Preston Gordon, Jen Tetler
Opening day of the 2012 WPL season. Warm, sunny day at Morton Field in Vallejo. New laws in effect. Exciting, back-and-forth game but both teams squandered scoring opportunities. San Diego led 8-10 at half and Berkeley scored an opportunistic try off a botched San Diego drop-out to eke out the narrow win with 2 minutes remaining. With no time remaining, San Diego worked multiple phases and almost scored, but Berkeley forced a knock-on just short of the goal-line to preserve the tense win. Much thanks to Preston and Jen for their help as AR's.
SF Fog 7 – SEATTLE BREAKERS 12 Referee: Jen Tetler
The Fog Women squared off against the Seattle Breakers (not the Mudhens) this Sunday at high noon (the Breakers has played NorCal on Saturday...apparently eeking out a win).
Both teams started off with a few unlucky knock ons in the first few minutes...the start of quite a few scrums and a chance to really practice the new engage call. There was some great back and forth, but both teams supporting strong runners and getting it out wide.
Seattle scored the first try about 15 minutes in with an outside run to score in the corner, which led to an unsuccessful conversion. They scored again towards the end of the first half off of a kick into the endzone that was chased and touched down by their 9. The first half ended 12-0 Breakers.
The Fog was not to be dissuaded though. They had held Seattle with some excellent defense, especially off of some tactical kicking, and they held up at least 3 potential tries. The Fog came out in the second half with a beautiful piece of continuity to score and convert in the first few minutes.
That was the last time anyone would score, though there were a few more close opportunities by both teams. Fog's 13 almost cherry-picked a couple of passes that were subsequently knocked on, and Seattle botched a penalty kick for touch very close to the tryline that ended up as a 22 drop.
Overall, it was an exciting and well-played game with some fantastic moves and great defense by both sides. A much better showing for the Fog than the last time they played Seattle.
Final score Fog 7 - Breakers 12
Saturday, September 15:
Sacramento Lions Tens tournament, with women’s teams playing either tens or sevens. Four refs so far. Need another three or four.
Saturday, September 29:
St. Mary’s Sevens – need four or five refs
SF Fog hosting Emerald City Mudhens
Sunday, Sept. 30:
NorCal hosting Mudhens in Santa Rosa
Saturday, October 6
Three alumni games at Chico State that need refs
Sunday, October 7
All Blues - New York game needs ARs
Two alumni games at Stanford need refs
Friday-Saturday, October 12-13
Fiji Day Sevens on Mare Island in Vallejo
Saturday, Oct. 13
Stanford men's Sevens from 9 - 5
Three-team round-robin at UOP from 10 - 2
Saturday, Oct. 20
Donkeyfest in Ukiah - needs three to four refs
Sunday, Oct. 21
Stanford-Cal women's sevens - six games or so
ANNUAL REGISTRATION WITH USA RUGBY DUE NOW
It is time to register with USA Rugby for 2013. Old registrations expire on August 31.
You need to register here. Your 'club' is the NCRRS. Print out the waiver, sign it, and mail it along with $10 dues to:
c/o Delta Supply
1248 East Oak Avenue, #D
Woodland, CA 95776
Then you'll be current with NCRRS and USA Rugby for the coming twelvemonth.
NCRRS AGM AND FIRST 2013 TRAINING MEETING
REO Preston Gordon has announced that our first meeting for the 2012/13 seasons will be on Saturday, November 17 at the SFGG clubhouse on Treasure Island.
Ed Todd will be a guest speaker, and the ever-popular Coaches’ Panel will also be featured.
Mark your calendars now, starting at either 9 or 10.
BEGINNING REFEREE COURSES ANNOUNCED
We will be hosting Level One match officiating courses at the following dates and places. Spread the word!
Sunday, October 7 in Dixon
Sunday, November 4, in Moraga
Sunday, December 2, in San Jose
Registration is available at www.USARugby.org, click on Officiate the Game.
THIS WEEK’S PHOTO
No photo. Penelope Pelicus took the camera with her to Zion National Park. The economists among you will understand the principle of maximum utility.
For the Senate