Wednesday, January 09, 2013




Remember to get on the road early enough to be at the Golden Gate clubhouse on Treasure Island for our first 2013 meeting tonight.

The Evaluation Committee meets at 6:30, the Society meets from 7 until 9.

Food will be available for early arrivals.


We are at least two refs short for January 12, and many more than two short the rest of the month. Please let Pete Smith know of your availability:


SACRAMENTO LIONS – Olympic Club by forfeit
Efforts were made to allow OPSB to compete for a national crown after the super league’s demise (where Beach finished second last season), because there are no other D1 teams north of Sacramento.

It was not practical to have every NorCal team travel to Seattle, so an unbalanced schedule was drawn up, with OPSB having fewer games than everyone else, but enough to qualify for the playoffs.

The problem is obvious: how do you determine who’s leading in the standings when everyone doesn't play the same number of games? Do wins or losses take precedence?

We remember when Cal did this for years – they played each of the other NorCal teams once, and those games counted for double points in the standings because the other teams played each other twice.

Why something similar couldn't be worked out, we don’t know (and ‘we’ weren't asked), but on the eve of the season Olympic Club objected to the unbalanced scheduled.

This somehow led to forfeiture last Saturday.

Not sure not playing rugby solves anything, but we’ll keep hoping things get worked out so that more games are played – even though we don’t have enough refs.

EPA Bulldogs – San Mateo cancelled
San Mateo was not able to meet the requirements to enter the competition and was written out of the schedule the week before the season started.

USA Rugby’s website show them with 32 registered player – but no certified coach.

This is the pioneering team of Islander rugby in USA, and former national champions in both Sevens and fifteens.

We hope that these players find outlets with other sides, and that they find a coach to enable them to resume playing for one of the storied names in American club rugby.


SFGG SEÑORS 40 – Bald Eagles 35 Referee: Giles Wilson
The Señors and Bald Eagles played a full game broken into 20-minute sections to allow recovery - several referees played with the teams. The Señors were short on players and several stand-ins were well below the age cut off, causing some concerns.

The Baldies started well working a good lead through the first two periods but in the last two Westie, at 38 one of the younger but legitimate Señors, dominated the game frequently being involved 3 or 4 times in moves by looping and supporting. Along with solid supporting play from the other Señors, pulled the Señors back to a tie with 3 minutes to play. Another move led to a final try with 7 seconds on the game clock.

Final Señors 8 to Bald Eagles 7 - no kicks at goal were taken. A vigorous old boys game played in good spirit and true old boy style.

SFGG seconds 24 – Sierra Renegades 21 Referee: Eric Rauscher
Overcast with a slight breeze from the south. A preseason game. SFGG field in good shape. The SFGG "B" side is made up mostly of guys trying to make their way onto the "A" side, one of the best D1 teams in America. Sierra I think is made up of guys coming out of the Sierra JC program. SFGG came out strong in the first part of the game, scoring at 5 min and again at 11, with very few resets in between. The play was wide open and all over the pitch. SFGG went on to score two more tries in the first half. to Sierra's one. The thing that kept Sierra in the game was repeated penalties by SFGG (mostly offside at rucks) which became 9 pts in penalty kicks. Score at half SFGG 24 / Sierra 14. The second half saw quite a bit of injury time. It started off with another made penalty kick by Sierra at 3 min in. The rest of the half was pretty much back and forth play, but no scores. I awarded Sierra a penalty at their own 22 with very little time left and they then put together a fine sting of plays that resulted in a try at 44 min. It was a fine end to a very good game played by two very good teams.

SFGG 35 – Old Puget Sound Beach 7 Referee: Marquise Goodwin (SoCal)
Referee Coach: Giles Wilson

Barbarians – EPA Razorbacks Referee: James Hinkin
Seconds Referee: Bob Polito
No reports received.

SIERRA FOOTHILLS 14 – Berkeley 7 Referee: Phil Akroyd
The main theme of this one was to create space. The field was a middle school football field in the City of Rocklin, making it very narrow. As both teams wanted to play 10 man rugby, enabling fast ball for the pick and drives, as well as clean offside lines for the backs, was key.

Sierra were slightly the better team, but had indiscipline at the tackle/ruck. Berkeley tried to play a more expansive game but kept getting held up in the tackles and turning it over. It took Berkeley sixty minutes to realize that their strengths were in keeping it tight, at which point they leveled the game up at seven each with ten to play. The visitors had their tails up and seemed to sniff a victory if they kept attacking the fringes and taking advantage of Sierra's indiscipline.

As my watch was beeping for time, one of the Berkeley backs was being held up in a tackle about 20 meters out. The Sierra #8 (Niico?) and standout player on the team, ripped the ball and took it all the way to the other end for his second try, and the game winner.

Vacaville – Baracus Referee: Chris Tucker
No report received.

SAN JOSE SEAHAWKS 41 – South Valley 0 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
The Seahawk venue is kinda retro; a high school grass practice field converted to a rugby pitch, obscurely behind the new football field and next to the community garden. If you had not been there before...

But there was nothing obscure about Seahawks game plan, which was straight at 'em. The loose forwards slashed, the backline spun the ball wide, and quick support at breakdowns.

My compliments to South Valley. Outgunned this day, but a credible effort-and no whining, no backchat, no lawyering (god forbid).

Seconds: Seahawks 10 – South Valley 10 Ref: Byrnes
A rump game, but a good opportunity for new players and old guys to get a run in. Pretty good stuff and kudos to all the new guys that played their first game, but both teams need to work on safe tackling-the two yellows are two too many. Everyone agreed before even stepping onto the field that safety is non-negotiable.

COLUSA 30 – Sacramento Capitals 20 Referee: Cary Bertolone
For this early in the season, we had a great, hard fought battle between two evenly matched sides. The Capitals opened up the scoring with a try at the 5 minute mark, Colusa came back with two unconverted tries, mostly from their running, driving forwards, the Capitals scored another try for a 10-10 tie. Colusa closed out the half with a penalty kick and another try to take a 18-10 halftime lead.

Between their unexpected lead and the sizeable crowd cheering them on, they entered the second half with enthusiasm, but the Capitals were equal to the task. Very even second half with both sides scoring 2 tries each. A yellow in each half against Sac for high tackles might have been the main difference between these two sides. Great game and both teams had positive attitudes.

Seconds: Colusa County 5 – SAC CAPS 21 Ref: Bertolone
The Capitals extracted a little revenge by scoring three tries to one in the second game in another fun match. Again, it was hard , tough rugby, but with an element of friendliness as the scrummies were joking and laughing, at times. Good rugby for this early in the year.

US U20's scrimmage at Cal Maritime Referee: Pete Smith
No report received.


Last weekend found USA Rugby’s Referee Training Committee meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was also the scene of a best practices two-day session for IRB trainers and educators (the folks who present the various referee courses).

Four Pelicans made the winter migration:
Bruce Carter, Mike Malone, Matt Eason and Scott Wood.

Bruce and Scott will be putting their newly-polished skills to work at a Level One refs’ course this Sunday in Fresno.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris