Wednesday, October 31, 2012




For those of you that qualify (refereed 5 assigned matches in 2012 - these matches do not include NCYRA matches) who haven't collected your 2012 green jerseys, please intend to do so at the AGM meeting on November 17. I also have a boat load of shorts and socks for sale. Extra green jerseys (and whatever blues and golds) will be on sale as well.

Also, please send me an email if you are interested in polos, workout tops or tracksuits. We can order pretty much anything through our sponsorship with Canterbury, but need a minimum order. These are not gratis, money will be due as the kit is distributed. Cost will be determined by the number of orders placed.


The Maritime Academy has a scrimmage this Sunday, November 4, at 4 PM that needs a referee.

The Stanford women will host a qualifying tournament for the USA national sevens championships next Sunday, November 11. We have two refs at present and need three. We have one AR and need one or two more. The winner goes to the national finals, so this should be a good one!


Berkeley All-Blues 14 – GLENDALE RAPTORS 17 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: Robert Phelan (Ireland) and Mike King
Warm, sunny day at Morton Field in Vallejo. Final weekend of the WPL regular season. Winner earns red conference #1 seed into the WPL semifinals; loser gets #2 seed. Lots of adventurous, back-and-forth, physical play, but also lots of unforced handling errors, so continuity was limited and both teams squandered scoring opportunities. Berkeley led 7-5 at the half. Thanks to Robert and Mike for their assistance.

Seconds: All Blues 17 – GLENDALE 19 Referee: Robert Phelan
2nd XV game finished 19-17 to Glendale - a thoroughly enjoyable experience, many thanks for affording me such a great opportunity.


Unlike the previous Saturday, it was nothing but sun and sky from atop the rolling hills that overlook Monterey Bay.

Six teams competed at the Slugfest on two fine pitches. Referees included Austin Brown on debut, who plays for the men's Slugs, Neil MacDonald, also relatively new, Lee Salgado and Bruce Carter.

USF 27 - Chico State 7 Referee: Bruce Carter
I had just ARed for Austin in a game where Chico State looked pretty good, and was surprised to see the Bats of USF come out strong.

Their scrumhalf took two penalties quickly, eluded several defenders, and scored both times. She then added a third try from open play, all in the first ten minutes. Quite a player!

USF 47 - UC Davis 10 Ref: Carter
USF's #9 and their #13 are both fast and difficult to tackle, even when in the grasp. Intriguingly, they are also two of the smaller players. Somehow, they didn't end up in the final.

Final: UC SANTA CRUZ 33 -Sac State 14 Ref: Carter
I keep thinking I've done my last tournament final. (I've been thinking this for at least ten years.)

But on this day, Austin had to leave early. Lee was assigned the final. Neil had the 5th-place match which kicked off thirty minutes ahead of the final on the other pitch.

It was then that AAA arrived to help Lee with car trouble that she'd called them about when she arrived at the pitch before 10 AM. So the old man did the championship match.

All of these teams were a mix of experienced players and abject novices. I'll bet I could tell you how many practices each team has had, vis-a-vis the others.

Sac State would have been shut out but for their #14, who poached a try and finished another.

It will be fun to see these teams again come the regular season.

Report by Neil MacDonald

Six teams in pools of three for round robin play in this pre-season tournament, blessed with sunshine, beautiful views of the Monterey Bay, and great hospitality from the Slugs. Lots of new players in their first matches, requiring selective penalizing and coaching by the refs. Every team had a win and a loss in pool play, so Pelican Math was exercised to separate teams on points scored for and against. I had one of the round robin matches, and the 5th-6th playoff.

UC Davis 12 – FRESNO STATE 14 Ref: MacDonald
AR: Salgado
Fresno kicked off in their first, and Davis's second, match of the day. Davis had lost a player or two to knocks in the first game. Two converted tries to Fresno separated by an unconverted Davis score made it 14-5 Fresno at the half. In a tightly contested second half, Davis came back to score in 5 minutes from time, but even with the successful conversion, it wasn't enough, and Fresno edged it. Thanks to Lee for her help on the touch line.

5th-6th place playoff: Fresno State 5 – CHICO STATE 22 Ref: MacDonald
Solid reds versus red with black and white hoops, neither team with alternate shirts. Lots of new and newish players, so sorting the scrum out was a bit of a saga. Fresno got the only score of the first half, leading 5-0 at half time. I had been, until this point, enjoying my day in the sun overlooking Monterey Bay, particularly since - unlike last weekend - you could actually see the Pacific. Alas, it was at this point in the proceedings that I encountered Chico's full back. I would like to thank her for the interval training she offered me for our upcoming beep test, with the 60m sprint interval session she led me on while scoring her brace of tries. While evidence may suggest that this training may be too little too late, it was very considerate of Chico's #15 to provide it. In all, Chico ran in four in the second half, turning the tables on Fresno, and secured 5th place.


Sat, Oct 20, 2012
3rd Annual Bryan Archibald Cup
Wildwood Park, Chico
Cal Poly 3 sides, vs Chico St A, B and Mighty Oaks
Refs: Ray Schwartz, Mark Godfrey, Favor Taueva, Tom Franzoia

All day long Youth rugby clinics and fundraising to honor fallen rugger Bryan Archibald preceded games that began at 4pm. Bryan grew in Chico and returned there after an All-American run at Cal Poly, only to pass suddenly from a heart defect. His passion for helping grow youth rugby touched both communities. The crew met for a lunch in North Sac before sharing the drive up, good chats about law and proper reffing along the way.

Tom reffed the 3rd side and did well. Favor reffed the Mighty Oaks v Poly's 2nd side and is doing fine. The lights were coming on during his match. I had a cracker of a game, which kicked off at 7:15.

Poly's #10, a freshman from Granite Bay High slipped through for the only try of the first half. Chico State answered back with a penalty, and we went into the half 7-3. Before halftime, I had been unsighted on a play that left many players on the field unhappy. Chico seemed to slip through to score a try, but Poly complained of a knock on, and body language from Chico players seemed to confirm it. I blew the whistle but rather than award a try turned to my AR. Having the luxury, I asked Mark Godfrey to come on and report. Mark dramatically paused before confirming the knock on...

Chico State were flopping a bit at the tackle, and though I tried to change this behavior, Poly did a much better job in the 2nd half of protecting the ball. Their method of sealing off the tackle had its own set of consequences, but they took the upper hand. They scored 4 minutes into the 2nd half and then again. Chico answered back but Poly was pulling away. Uncharacteristically, Poly's backs showed poor discipline on a kick and chase, when a wing changed his line and clearly shouldered his opponent to the deck. Yellow card. But Poly still scored 3 short a man.

As the match wound down, the Poly Captain complained of the Chico scrumhalf getting "chippy." I offered, "What do you expect, he's a scrumhalf, and after all, his name is Potato!" I suggested his scrumhalf get chippier! My vote for man of the match would be Paul Cappellano's kid (the dreadlocked white guy!), who played in the centers for Poly and scored two tries. The matched ended 33-10 for Poly. Overall, the forwards seemed well matched, Poly just a bit more disciplined. Despite some heroic efforts from Chico, the Poly backs took the day.

Good crowd, great park, wonderful cause, fabulous match (frankly I was lucky to get it), glad to help!

Thanks immensely to Tom, Favor and Mark.

Sac State
Women's DII Pre-season scrimmages at conclusion of joint training camp
Refs: Mark Godfrey and Ray Schwartz

(7) 20-minute periods played between about 100 student athletes from Sac St, USF, Humboldt, UC Santa Cruz, Fresno St, Nevada, Santa Clara... am I missing anyone? Good fun, fine spirits. Mostly new or newer players, but a few familiar faces from years past were seen as well. Gabby, a former Mother Lode rugger did well for Nevada, Monica, now playing scrummie for Santa Cruz shined, but Sal, the feisty scrummie for Fresno was the find of the day, great pass, good leadership, hard as nails.


Neil MacDonald, Lee Salgado, Ben Bravo and Austin Brown are dressed like referees for Halloween.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris