Thursday, October 18, 2012




That’s trying to put together a referee schedule this time of the year.

We have a number of younger and newer refs. Your assigner will preferentially give such referees assignments in order to get them some experience, to get them ready for the coming season.

And yet – there are seven refs available this weekend (we need thirteen), the youngest of whom is probably John Pohlman.

If you are sitting on your hands thinking we don’t need you, WE NEED YOU. Get a run and get some rugby in. This is the time of year when you can pick your own game.

Saturday, Oct. 20
Donkeyfest in Ukiah – no refs at present
Men’s Slugfest at UC Santa Cruz – could use two more

SUNDAY, Oct. 21
Stanford-Cal women's sevens – six games – need one more ref

Saturday, Oct. 27
Women’s Slugfest at UC Santa Cruz – needs three refs

Saturday, Nov. 3
Mittry Memorial Tournament in Redding – we’ll be taking the Pelicanmobile on the long trip from Salinas. Anyone want a ride?

Saturday, Nov. 10
California College Sevens Qualifier at Cal Poly-SLO Need two refs and ARs. This is a two-day event.

Two games at the Maritime Academy in Vallejo

Sunday, Nov. 11
Women’s College Sevens Qualifier at Stanford. Need 4-5 refs.

Thursday, Nov. 15
Two games at the Maritime Academy, at 6:30 and 8.

Saturday, Nov. 17
NCRRS AGM at Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island.



Two Reports on Fiji Day, Morton Field

By Eric Rauscher:
The start time was supposed to be 9 am. I showed up around 8:15 to the smell of BBQs already in full operation, a whole pig turning over a bed of coals, but nobody that had any idea of game schedule. Kind of typical for an island event. Nic Talemo showed up a little while later and knew the contact people and acted a liaison. Eventually ten teams showed up to play in two pools of five; Sac Lions, LA, Vallejo, San Mateo and Bay Barbos 1 in the first pool with Seattle, Brotherhood, Bay Barbos 2, NorCal Barbarians, and EPA Razorbacks. The refs on hand were (in order of appearance) Eric Rauscher, Nic Talemo, John Pohlman, Jen Tetler and Bruce Ricard. We simply followed each other in doing games, with John and Jen leaving early. That meant that after the pool play, Richard and I did the semis and Nic did the final. Each of us did from 4 to 7 games. My semi was Sac Lions 5 / EPA 17.

In talking to Jen, I mentioned that at this kind of tournament the competition is fierce, but not aggressive. In speaking to the security guy, (who had a slow day), he said he noticed that the players would help each other to their feet after making a very good tackle. I replied, yes and they also giggle. It is that love of the game which makes this brand of rugby so interesting.

Having the pitch surrounded by about a million food stalls also makes it appealing.
Can't wait till next year.

By John Pohlman:
Smiles everywhere. If I had to sum up the Fiji Games in one word it would be smiles. Two words, big smiles.

Mare Island hosted this year’s games celebrating Fiji’s independence. Hundreds of spectators came out to watch the featured event Rugby 7’s. Volleyball and netball were included, as were numerous tents selling everything Fijian.

Eric was finishing his first game when I arrived. Nick had the second and I would do the third. This was the rotation until Jen and Bruce arrived.

A truly festive atmosphere was present. Field manager John said all Vallejo hotels were sold out. Teams from Seattle, Los Angles, Sacramento and the Bay area competed.

My first game was a Golden Gate Barbarian team led by Captain Mose Timoteo. I think they played an EPA team. There were at least three Barbarian teams competing and the games assigned sometimes changed. Thus my match card basically said Red vs. Black etc...

But the quality of play was such that in the first game I had no scrums and one line-out.

My second game had the Sac. Lions vs. San Mateo. Then changes to Seattle vs. E.P.A. Razorbacks. All I know is red scored at 6 minutes into the second half to take their first lead. Then Black scored off the kickoff to win. Final Black 17 Red 14.

And so the day progressed. Big, powerful and talented players leading to fun, fast games to referee.

I had to leave around 3:30 to meet some visitors. But with Eric, Nick, Jen and Bruce I am sure all worked well.

Stanford Men’s Sevens
Report by Phil Akroyd:

Refs: James Hinkin, Tony Levitan, Rich Boyer, Pete Smith, Phil Akroyd
A/R: Rob Hendrickson
Ref Coach: Kat Todd-Schwartz

A great day of some pretty high-level college 7s in places.

The Steuber pitch was in great shape in that it was a little softer than normal and the warm weather made for some sweaty, but fun games. All the refs (including myself) commented on how they were noticing the warm weather, fit college players and lack of off-season games. All refs manned-up and did five fast games each (Pete Smith relieved James Hinkin part way through the day).

Cal went 5-0 on the day and defeated Cal Poly in the final. Those two and St. Mary’s, along with UCLA were clearly the better teams. UC Davis, Sac State, Stanford and Santa Rosa J.C had their own battle among themselves.

Matt Sherman put on a very nice, well-run tournament with some nice little extra bells and whistles to compliment the usual positives of reffing at Steuber field. Refs had mics to the P.A. team who offered color commentary to spectators. Bill Cosden and Steve Harwood provided the insight and did an extremely knowledgeable and professional job.

Full scores:
Cal 21-7 UC Davis (Hinkin)
Cal Poly 26-7 Sac State (Levitan)
UCLA 26-0 Stanford (Boyer)
Saint Mary's 33-14 Santa Rosa JC (Akroyd)
UC Davis 17-12 Sac State (Hinkin)
Cal 24-14 Cal Poly (Levitan)
Saint Mary's 26-5 Stanford (Boyer)
UCLA 45-0 Santa Rosa JC (Akroyd)
Cal Poly 21-12 UC Davis (Smith)
Cal 41-0 Sac State (Levitan)
Stanford 14-7 Santa Rosa JC (Boyer)
UCLA 14-12 Saint Mary's (Akroyd)

Cal 26-0 Saint Mary's (Akroyd)
Cal Poly 24-7 UCLA (Smith)

Consolation Semifinal
Davis 17-0 Santa Rosa (Boyer)
Sac State 29-7 Stanford (Levitan)

Championship: Cal 31-14 Cal Poly (Akroyd)
3rd/4th Saint Mary's 38-5 UCLA (Smith)
5th/6th UC Davis 21-14 Sac State (Levitan)
7th/8th Santa Rosa 26-24 Stanford (Boyer)

UOP 26 – U. of San Francisco 19 Referee: Ray Schwartz
Preseason friendly (part of a round robin w/ SF State)

Jones'n for a run, I checked in w/ Scott Wood who said, "Yes, please help." He was gonna have to ref (3) 60 minute matches in a row if I hadn't raised my hand. Nice 45 minute drive down to UOP (nice pitch!) on a brilliant morning. Lots of friendly faces. Actually, several I did not expect to see.

Here's what I am seeing, at every level... the push to get more youth playing the game we all love continues to pay off. Each of these 3 programs, who just a few years ago may or may not even be able to field a full side, now easily fields a side +. Each club has several kids who played rugby in high school, and some, like Kyle, the UOP Captain, even when at Junior High, for Lamorinda. USF had a 9-10 combination who actually played high school rugby Singapore! The SF State Captain, Jake, came over to say hi... I had reffed him many times when he played at Oakridge High (now Mother Lode RFC). These three clubs might not feature many elite ruggers, but I think even the non-elite ruggers are getting better, and clearly every club, from top to bottom is benefiting.

The match itself was good fun. USF jumped out ahead 14-5 at the half. Odd things around the try line...two balls held up in goal, twice the ball taken back by the defense and made dead in goal...keeping me on my toes. Lots of rookies learning to pack down and scrum. This was a good match for me to help with. UOP seemed to send a few of their better players into the game in the 2nd half. They made a difference as they pulled away at the end, after trying the game at 19 with 10 minutes to play.

No cards to report, no injuries. In Scott's early game and then his match after mine, each game saw blood, major head lacerations. Scott made it through, his knee just starting to bug him. I'll do my best to keep improving my fitness. Fun with the UOP coaches later at a nice pub, Valley Brew, where I was joined by Kreg, Terry and Craig. Once the fresh keg of Lagunitas IPA was tapped, all was well again in the world!


Stanford Grad School 19 – McGEORGE 29 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
A beautiful Sunday on Stanford's excellent pitch. Stanford with good numbers but lots of new guys played the best McGeorge side I have seen in 10 years.

A well-played, good-spirited match saw an adept Stanford backline and large pack chivvied all day by the quick and opportunistic McGeorge fellows who ran straight at 'em all day. There was a bit of mild chippiness at the end; but it was a 3 point game, and lawyers – and to a lesser extent Stanfordites – just cannot help themselves. It is bred in the bone.

The new laws were applied and worked for the most part. (Note to self: call ''use it'' for rucks.) Good luck to Stanford in its upcoming Houston tournament.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris