Author Archives: James Hinkin

The Weekend That Was

HAIL PELICUS!

The Weekend That Was

April rugby – you gotta love it. Playoffs matches were fiercely contested across the land and the Official USA D1 National Championship Preview Match was played between Cal and St Marys. St Marys won in a tight match where neither side committed their full squads but the crowd was certainly entertained. It is a good time to be a Pelican, that is for sure.

The Weekend That Wasn’t

It is a good time to be a Pelican except up in Sacramento, apparently, as the late season storm that ran through last week cancelled the Epic Wrap Battle In The State Capital. This has lead to one of the more head scratching decisions I have ever heard of. At the start of the day San Jose Seahawks had a 4 point advantage and a 99 point advantage in point differential over Sacramento Blackhawks while Life West trailed SFDD by 5 points for the 4th and final playoff spot with a significant, tie breaking point differential advantage. So for Sacramento to get the #1 seed they would need a bonus point win and for Life West to make the playoffs they would need a bonus point win – any other result than a bonus point win for either team and the table wouldn’t change with Vacaville in the #3 slot to round things out.

Then the game was rained out.

So what to do? Neither Life West nor Sacramento were able to arrange a midweek game so it went to (I assume) the competitions committee to sort out the final table. What the result of that meeting was… well that is the head scratching part. Somehow it was decided that 7 wins, 0 losses and 1 draw for 37 points with a +191 point differential was not as good as 6 wins, 0 losses and 1 draw for 33 points with a +92 point differential. Yes, Sacramento was awarded the #1 seed and will play SFGG while San Jose got the #2 seed and will host Vacaville. Sacramento was rewarded for playing fewer matches because the committee decided to average out the points per game. Yes, the rainout was unfortunate but does that equate to a bonus point win? Someone needs to take a very long look at the NCRFU regulations and come up with a more equitable system for rainouts at the end of the season. Granted, this is Northern California and April rainouts are rare indeed, but this can not be allowed to happen again.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

The various competitions all have their own disciplinary chairs and this will make it difficult to centralize the communication and data. To help Scott Wood has developed a form that will centralize the process, regardless of the competition. The link to the discipline form is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mmUNg11uVOSkIsUtHifSqQzalhWbwohk_J6AmPyrucQ/viewform

1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.
2. When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.
4. If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 03/31/2018
Fresno State Women 76 – Univ Nevada Reno Women 17
Referee: John Lane
AR: Jessica Turner
AR: Giles Wilson

As befits a conference final, Cal Maritime was basking in glorious sunshine for Saturday’s game between Fresno State and UN Reno.

Two enthusiastic squads were going through their pre-game routine while the boot checks, coin toss and general chat with both captains were executed. As this was a game requiring a result, a quick discussion was held with the Tournament Commissioner and the two coaches to confirm the Extra Time policy to be applied if it were to be required.

After a pre-game consult with my two AR’s, JT and Giles, the game was started with Reno kicking off to Fresno.

From the early stages it was clear that Fresno were collectively slightly better drilled in their game plan and looking to play on the front foot at every opportunity while Reno, with some strong talent in their ranks were a little less dynamic.

This showed in the first 15 minutes with Fresno scoring 3 tries (one converted) following multiple phases – Fresno were managing to keep the ball moving through offloads and quick tackle recycles which stretched the Reno defense and created the try scoring line breaks.

Reno, with some strong running from 10 and 15 started to get field position and following a few forward charges recycled well and moved the ball left to the stretched defense and a cutback lead to a score by the posts, converted. 17-7. The strong tackling of the Reno No 8 also became a feature of the game through this phase.

Fresno restored their momentum over the next 10 minutes and crossed for 2 tries out wide, left and right, pushing the lead to 27-7. Reno responded with a similar score to their first with some good hands creating the scoring opportunity, unconverted for 27-12. Fresno responded with another 5 pointer and the half finished shortly after Reno closed the score to 32-17 with a more forwards driven score.

The scoreline reflected the game well at half time. The second half became one way traffic on the scoreboard with strong midfield running creating the openings for 8 second half tries with the Fresno No 12 being very prominent on the try count with 4 (later named player of the match). No 12 also took over conversion duties and managed 3 successful kicks.

Reno remained fully committed throughout but playing into the breeze in the second half failed to capitalize on the opportunities they created. The last 20 minutes were punctuated by many scrums as players tired and more frequent knock-ons occurred.

The final score was 76-17 in favor of Fresno. At the end of the game winner and runner-up medals were presented along with the Conference Trophy.

A special thanks to Giles and JT for excellent old school (no radios required!) team of 3 assistance with great eye contact and simple, clear visual signals throughout!

Date: 04/07/2018
Colusa County 36 – Redwood Empire RFC 24
Referee: James Hinkin

With the air freshly scrubbed by the previous day’s rain and the sun shining down we had a perfect, sparkling day for playoff rugby up in Colusa. Colusa hosted Redwood Empire and both sides brought everything they had in a wildly entertaining game. Redwood started out on fire with a try almost directly from the kickoff and then added to their scoreline with a converted try just a few minutes later. At that point I thought I was going to be in a track meet but Colusa seemed to wake up and realize they were in a rugby match. They started making tackles and dealing with Redwood’s kicking game much better and soon enough managed a try of their own. The momentum shift was palpable as Colusa was gifted a second try on the trot off a badly thrown skip pass from the Redwood flyhalf that drifted forward by quite a few meters. Redwood seemed to stop waiting for my whistle but Colusa didn’t and their center scooped up the ball on the first bounce and raced 40 meters untouched, scoring to even up the points at 12 apiece. Only then did I blow my whistle, but to award the try and not for a forward pass. Redwood regained their composure and the match settled into a back and forth heavyweight match. Colusa was able to get a third try on the board just before half to take the lead. The score at the break at 17-12

The second half started just like the first half with an immediate score, only this time it was Colusa who scored first to extend the lead to 24-12. Redwood knew they had to score next or the game would be out of hand and score they did to tighten things up at 24-19. Both teams were running hard and tackling harder in a real barn burner of a match. Colusa struck next with about 10 minutes to play to reestablish a two score cushion but, yet again, Redwood would not give up. This time it was the Redwood fullback who intercepted a long skip pass and raced 80 meters to score. This set up a tense final 5 minutes as Redwood was only down 5 points and Colusa was desperately trying to kill the clock. Unfortunately for the visitors they just didn’t seem to be able to get their hands on the ball as Colusa camped in their 22, twice getting over the line only to be held up in goal. Finally, with time expired, Colusa got their reward with a try, duly converted. The ball sailed over the uprights, I blew for the successful conversion, then blew full time. What a match!

Special thanks must be given to captains Sili Aiono of Redwood Empire and Cody Beckley of Colusa. They were a pleasure to work with and there was never a hint of foul play in the entire match. Both teams were extremely well behaved and were quite obviously there to play rugby, and play they did.

Date: 04/07/2018
Stanford Women 97 – Oregon State University Women 17
Referee: Andrew Stockton

I originally expected to show up for a nice, easy day of ARing. 2 games, a light jog, nothing too much However, when Pete Smith went down 20 minutes into the match with an ankle injury, I was called into action and ended up taking control of a very one sided match. Stanford had complete control of the match that was disrupted by bursts of excitement when OSU would score a try on a great few phases of crash ball and then a wide pass to their speedy wing. There were few issues with both teams (in fact, i think there were 7 total penalties in the entire game). Congrats to Stanford on their advancement to the championship game.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: To the sniper who took Pete Smith out, job well done. The money has been transferred to your offshore account.)

Date: 04/07/2018
Washington State University Women 22 – UC Davis Women 36
Referee: Andrew Stockton

One of the most entertaining matches I have seen in quite some time. WSU was clearly the better team with most of their runs making 6 or so meters. However, Davis was able to stay with them through the first half, and quite a few second half mistakes from WSU, including a knock on .2 seconds before a try, and a girl pulling another down by the pony tail, led to Davis being victorious.

Date: 04/08/2018
Stanford Women 31 – UC Davis Women 44
Referee: Paul Bretz

Fantastic game to officiate and thanks to John Pohlman and Jen Tetler for contributing to the event. First half of the game saw Stanford in the driver’s seat with a comfortable 24-15 lead. Both teams were playing good, well-disciplined rugby and only committed 4 penalties in the first half; Davis committed 3 of the 4 penalties and they were the result of sustained pressure.

In the second half of play both teams looked to contest the breakdown more; Davis committed 3 penalties in the third quarter of play and received a yellow card for the third infraction deep in their own defending 5 meter line. The resulting play saw Stanford jump to its biggest lead, 31-22 with 15 minutes remaining.
Stanford appeared to take their foot off the gas and it resulted in Davis scoring 4 tries in the last 12 minutes of play. Both programs demonstrated balanced attacks and good defensive composure. All-in-all a great demonstration of college rugby in Northern California: 75 points scored; 12 penalties total; and fantastic back and forth action. Both programs will benefit from the lessons learned during the game.

Date: 04/08/2018
Washington State Women 31 – Oregon State Women 12
Referee: Jessica Turner

No Report Received.

This Week’s Photo

A special shout out to the best captains I have had all year, Sili Aiono from Redwood Empire and Cody Beckley from Colusa County enjoying a refreshing post match beverage.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Wrap Battle

HAIL PELICUS!

Wrap Battle

April has arrived and that means that the season is wrapping up here in Pelicanland. Playoffs have starting for Men’s D3, while the collegiate men and women get into it this weekend. Division 2 has most of their playoff teams set with only one game left to determine teams and seeds. Vacaville is set as the #3 seed and the final D2 Wrap Battle pits Sacramento Blackhawks against Life West with the Blackhawks needing a bonus point win to take over first place from San Jose, while Life West needs a bonus point win to take the #4 seed from SFGG. Both teams have it all to play for.

Of course, for non-league friendly fun there is Cal at St Marys. A nice little friendly game between neighbors.

Epic Wrap Battle In The State Capital

As mentioned above, a highly entertaining match is set for Saturday in Sacramento and for that large percentage of rugby enthusiasts who are also grammar enthusiasts (and really, who isn’t?) this would be a chance to visit the capitol while in the capital. A capital idea, to be sure, because then one could discuss if “capital” and/or “capitol” requires a capital letter and one could even wager some capital, because this would be of capital interest to us rugby grammarians. This is of great interest because poor grammar should be a capital crime. Just kidding! We don’t condone capital punishment for grammatical errors here at HP!

As a side note, I tried writing an actual rap for this Wrap Battle and, even when looking at it as satire, it was horribly, unfathomably, painfully bad:

Rugby Ballers!
Grammar Hollas!
Epic Wrap Battle!
In The State Capital!

All readers will be relieved to know that this marks the beginning and the end of Hail Pelicus’ rap career.

Just One Thing, Again

We have reached the point of the season where playoff games will be scheduled and they are often listed as “Pacific Northwest #2 v Northern California #1” or, on a Sunday, “Winner Match 4 v Winner Match 7”. Please make sure to include the team names in your writeup and a clue as to who scored what so I can record them properly.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

The various competitions all have their own disciplinary chairs and this will make it difficult to centralize the communication and data. To help Scott Wood has developed a form that will centralize the process, regardless of the competition. The link to the discipline form is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mmUNg11uVOSkIsUtHifSqQzalhWbwohk_J6AmPyrucQ/viewform

1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.
2. When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.
4. If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

(Some catch up reporting from long distance correspondent Pelicus Ex Jerseius.)

Date: 03/18/2018
Chambersburg 20 – West Carroll Girls 39
Referee: Stephen Valerio
Location: Union Bridge, MD

A friendly match, with 2 fiery, if raw sides. The first half was evenly match, with a lot of pick and go rugby. Usually an isolated player rather than in a unit. However, when either side spun it wide the remaining backs found plenty of space and all 4 tries came from out wide with the Chambersburg 14 ripping the ball out of her opposite numbers hands and going the other way to give Chambersburg an early 10-0 lead. West Carroll picked up 2 tries to end the half up 12-10.

In the second half, West Carroll’s conditioning gave them a decided advantage and they were able to score several breakaway tries to coast to the win. West Carroll’s run was interrupted by an unusual play when one of their centers broke through on a break away. However, the player grounded the ball in the field of play. The ball went straight down, so no knock. So I stood there. Finally, the Chambersburg players noticed I was standing in front of their goal line, with the ball at my feet, and I was just waiting. So they picked it up and play continued. Always something new.

Date: 03/18/2018
Chambersburg Bs 15 – West Carroll Bs 0
Referee: Stephen Valerio
Location: Union Bridge, MD

Chambersburg’s B-side played with more cohesion than West Carroll, punched over an early try and then spent the rest of the match with a decided territorial advantage. Eventually that led to further scores while West Carroll never seriously threatened the Chambersburg line.

Date: 03/24/2018
NOVA D2 43 – Mary Washington University 37
Referee: Stephen Valerio
Location: Fredericksburg, VA

The system stated the match was at NOVA’s pitch, maybe 45 minutes from my house. Turns out the match was at Mary Washington, an hour and half from my house. Longer, but I have seen worse (road trips out to Montauk were never fun). However, there was a march in DC, and traffic was a mess and it took me over 2 and half hours to get to the match. I love showing up 20 minutes before kick-off.

Mary Washington won the Chesapeake Conference going away in the autumn and was looking for some sterner competition. NOVA’s men’s side gave it to them. The first half was a thrilling back and forth affair. Mary Washington’s put across 4 tries, to NOVA’s three, but Mary Washington’s difficulty in going for posts left them with a mere 1-point lead at the break.

The second half started strongly for NOVA as they appeared fitter and pulled out to a 43-25 lead. However, 2 yellow cards for dangerous tackles left them down 2 men for 6 minutes and Mary Washington came roaring back in the last 10-minutes, even eschewing a conversion attempt to keep the ball in play. However, they ran out of time in a thrilling match.

(And now we return you to the present week)

Date: 03/31/2018
South Shore Anchors 19 – Providence RFC 20
Referee: Tom Zanarini
Location: Randolph, MA

As I write this on Monday morning, looking out the window at 5 inches of snow, it seems as though my match on Saturday was a whole season ago. A beautiful, sunny 50+ degree day awaited a fun rugby derby between South Shore and Providence.

Teams were evenly matched in skill and pace, but Providence ran out with a more aggressive style that garnered them a 12-0 lead at halftime. Tackling was an issue, as was playing the ball in the ruck. Teams were put on notice. Unfortunately notice had to be served with a yellow to Providence for dangerous tackle. Both teams adjusted, but more so South Shore who outscored Providence 19-8 in the second half, with a converted try at full time. Unfortunately one missed conversion kick earlier in the second half kept them one point down at fulltime.

I’m looking forward to sending my next 5 match reports from Gloucester, England while on the New England Rugby Referee Society’s 20th Anniversary exchange with the Gloucestershire & District Rugby Referee Society.

Date: 03/31/2018
Colusa County 64 – Google 24
Referee: Lee Bryant

Great playoff match! Google showed up without any subs and it became a long, hot match for both teams. Hard hitting game from both sides that wasn’t a true run away until the second half. Colusa’s outside speed was the ultimate difference in the match.

Date: 03/31/2018
Life West Gladiatrix B 53 – Berkeley All Blues B 0
Referee: John Pohlman

Life West woman’s B side hosted Old Blues at Sunset Park in Hayward this past week. Like the last game I did for the Life West woman a few weeks ago, they played a number of the D1 players. Life West won the D1 national championships last year and had hoped to move into the premier league but have not been accepted as of yet

This has led to no one wanting to play them, both locally and nationally. Stuck with no games for the first side players… they play some in the D2 which leads to a forfeit. But if USA rugby won’t allow you to move to the top league and no one will schedule games with you… what can you do?

Old Blue had some talented players and gave Life West a good game, but they were simply overmatched this day.

Date: 03/31/2018
Redwood Empire RFC 27 – San Joaquin-Stanislaus RFC 14
Referee: Jessica Turner

It was a nice and sunny day yesterday, and I was looking forward to going back into the redwoods to do another match. I got to the field a little late due to traffic from a couple accidents along the way, but there was still plenty of time to get sorted. We kicked off the match, and not soon after the penalties starting adding up, in particular around the breakdowns. Very soon after that, the disputing of my every call was standard. There was so much lack of discipline in the first half, with players from the Redwood team arguing with me over calls and all sorts of dissent surrounding the entire game without a moment to get away from it. The captain was not doing well with managing this, so I did it for him. After 40 minutes, many penalties and 3 yellow cards later, I finally made my point. For me this greatly detracted from the quality of rugby being played because they were not trying to play at all. The Stanislaus-San Joaquin team was able to cash in a couple penalty kicks off their opposition’s errors, including a very intelligent piece of play from their #10. They had a penalty advantage about 22m just to the right of the sticks, and he scored a drop goal in open play!! Absolutely brilliant rugby, knowing that if he missed they would get the call. I really would like to see more teams “gamble” on penalty advantage like that, since I don’t see it often here. Anyways, both teams did have a bit of a grinder, with lots of contact but some nice possession in the mix. Even though they were down to 13 players for a lot of time, they still managed to punch a try in.

Halftime score was Redwood 5-SSJ 9.

I was praying for a much better second half because I was quite frustrated with having to be such a disciplinarian, but they literally had given me no choice but to do so. I’m proof that prayers work people, because low and behold the second half looked a lot like this thing called rugby! The second half was such a treat to referee! Finally, nobody trash talking me and people are now focused on playing footy…even though they still had 1 man in the bin, once Redwood got it together the rugby was so nice! Great skill execution and field vision, with lots of individual effort and brilliance to score 4 tries over the course of the half. SSJ just couldn’t contain the space, and the Redwood team just found every single space possible to utilize. Even still, much credit to SSJ for playing hard the entire match. They never once gave up, and had much individual brilliance on their own, and did string together some beautiful phases with really nice plays, they just couldn’t maintain the pressure to finish those as tries. But, with that fight all the way to the end, SSJ got the final say with a try with no time left on the clock, but it simply wasn’t enough at that point for the win. Thank you to SSJ for being a respectful side to officiate, and thank you to Redwood for figuring it out and ending the match on a good note.

Date: 03/31/2018
SFGG Women 17 – Sacramento Amazons 10
Referee: Preston Gordon

This was a great game on a beautiful morning. The freshly-mowed and marked pitch was in pristine condition, with plenty of dew still on the grass from the overnight fog. My feet were soaked within a couple of minutes, but the ground felt great.

Sacramento Amazons and SFGG played an extremely well-balanced and close game, with both sides putting on an impressive display of technical skills even with a wet and slippery ball. The Amazons pack was stronger, and the SFGG backs were faster. Sacramento scored the first try at 15′ before SFGG could answer at 27′. SFGG then added another try at 35′ to lead 10-5 at halftime.

The second half was a very similar affair. Amazons scored first, at 12′, to tie the match at 10-10. The score remained that way for about another 20 minutes, with just a few opportunities missed by each side. In the 67th minute, I sent an Amazons player to the sin bin for a high tackle. SFGG capitalized on this 4 minutes later, at 71′, and scored a converted try. There was no further scoring in the match, even though SFGG had a 2-player advantage for a couple of minutes due to another Amazons yellow card for a high tackle. Amazons were missing at least one player for the last 13 minutes of the match, but this didn’t seem to make a lot of difference in their attack or defense other than the one try they conceded.
There was one sideline issue late in the game, but all in all, this was a great opener to a full day of rugby on Treasure Island.

Date: 03/31/2018
Chico State 66 – Stanford 19
Referee: Cary Bertolone

A rather warm day, about 85 degrees, in Chico. Chico scored first at the two minute mark. Their number 8 and captain, Matt, crashed through for a second try. Stanford made an interception and ran it almost all the way back, allowing them to score a try at 18 minutes and then tying up the score 12-12 at 26 minutes. Chico scored 3 points and then two more trys to take a 27-12 lead at the half. In the second half, Chico scored immediately with great passing and crashing back play. Stanford intercepted and ran a try back from 80 yards out, making it 32-19, but it was all Chico after that, as they scored 5 more trys. Strong upfield running, solid team, solid effort. Thank you Scott Wood and Jeff Richmond for AR ing and James Fonda for taking care of #4.

Date: 03/31/2018
Univ Nevada Reno 36 – UC Santa Cruz 29
Referee: Chris Tucker

Arrived early with Pelicus Radix Lectii as he was ARing the Chico domination of Stanford, so I got to chill out in the warm sunshine and watch a very organized Chico defensive unit strut their stuff while I prepared for my own game.

After I blew the whistle to start, I was glad that I had had the time to prepare, warm up and get into the right mental frame, because this game went off with a bang. Both teams heaved into each other, ran hard, kicked deep, moved the ball around well and generally went for it. Everything was well controlled, with all aggression channeled as the Law intended. In fact there were more acts of violence committed on team-mates (2 — a dropped player from the lineout, and a boot to the stomach) than opponents (1 — charging into the ruck).

As Reno scored their third try after 16 minutes to take the score to 15-5 (the place kicking was hopeless for 20 minutes, then near-perfect for 60), my watch chimed the first mile completed. On pace for 5! Santa Cruz were in danger of getting overrun, but they settled down, and their position game began to pay dividends. 2 offside errors by the UNR wings put real pressure on the rest of their side, and SC capitalized to bring the score back level at 15 apiece at the half. One costly moment for SC came when the left wing took the ball into UNR’s in-goal in the corner, only to make a hash of touching it down. I looked at a perfectly-positioned Jeff Richmond, thinking “did he just step out??”, and Jeff gave no sign, except to slowly walk backwards away from the pitch. This confirmed my suspicion, and Jeff soon gave the detailed account. 22.

At the end of the half, I was at 2.25 miles — we had slowed down to a more normal pace.
The second half began as the first ended, but the energy soon sagged. We began to scrum more and more as errors crept into both sides — the score kept ticking over, however, and was tied up at 22 with 20 minutes to go, before UNR got a commanding lead with 2 solid tries in 4 minutes. Didn’t stop SC from giving it their all, gaining one back with 10 minutes remaining, but time eventually ran out on them after a frenetic attempt to score.

1.96 miles in the second half, reflecting the many, many scrums…

Thoroughly enjoyable game, played with skill and tenacity by both sides. A privilege to participate!

This Week’s Photo

2017 USA Rugby Referee Coach Of The Year Lee Johnson hard at work or hardly working? Depends on who you talk to.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Post Equinox Effect

HAIL PELICUS!

Post Equinox Effect

What with this, that and, of course, the other thing it has been a very busy week. Only match reports to keep everyone current.

Just One Thing

We have reached the point of the season where playoff games will be scheduled and they are often listed as “Pacific Northwest #2 v Northern California #1” or, on a Sunday, “Winner Match 4 v Winner Match 7”. Please make sure to include the team names in your writeup and a clue as to who scored what so I can record them properly. Many thanks to Paul Bretz who did that very thing with his report this week.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

The various competitions all have their own disciplinary chairs and this will make it difficult to centralize the communication and data. To help Scott Wood has developed a form that will centralize the process, regardless of the competition. The link to the discipline form is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mmUNg11uVOSkIsUtHifSqQzalhWbwohk_J6AmPyrucQ/viewform

1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.
2. When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.
4. If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 03/24/2018
Harvard 46 – UConn 31
Referee: Tom Zanarini
Location: Mignone Field, Harvard Athletic Complex, Allston, MA

The match took place directly after the Harvard Women’s Varsity 7’s Tournament, which was decidedly won by Army over Harvard in the final. Mignone Field is definitely a jewel for New England. Dedicated World Rugby approved turf rugby field, sky high goal posts and plentiful bleachers. This setup rivals anything else in college rugby (I’m looking at you Cal and Stanford). This was the first spring season match for both teams, so it was treated as a live fire scrimmage. Although once the whistle blew to start the match, it felt much more alive than just shaking off the winter cobwebs.

Breakdowns were a bit messy with Harvard doing most of the infringing. Off-side and off the feet at the ruck were the favorite penalties. A few quick penalties and a conversation helped put the whistle back in my pocket.

Harvard’s backs really took the match. They had better ball handling and more of a game plan once they had the ball. One Harvard back managed two yellow cards (for a red to complete the color wheel), including a high tackle/penalty try. That’s how you work out the cobwebs, I guess.

Many thanks to Amelia and Marty who rant AR for me after running all day at the 7’s tournament. And a big thanks to Nick Eldred for hosting me for the night. The pizza was excellent!

Date: 03/24/2018
Cal 101 – Dartmouth 1 31
Referee: Andrew Stockton

Another beautiful weekend out at Witter Rugby Field. I had been expecting rain all week for my Saturday match, but miraculously, the weather cleared, and we were luck enough to be able to play in warm, sunny weather, rather than cold and rainy.

This was Dartmouth’s final stop during their 2018 San Francisco Tour where they also played UCSC and USF and scored two resounding victories. As their coach James said after the match, “We wanted a crack at the best team in the country. Who doesnt?”

Dartmouth came out and scored first, kicking a penalty goal after winning a couple of not releasing penalties on Cal. Cal quickly added a try, missed the conversion, and then added two more tries before Dartmouth was able to take advantage of a Cal knock-on at midfield and run it back for a try. Dartmouth went on to capitalize on another Cal mistake during the half and was able to go into half only down 51-17.

In the second half, Cal’s dominance, as well as maybe Dartmouth’s lack of gamete fitness, certainly showed. On at least 2 occasions, Cal was able to score a quick try off of a kickoff, and then immediately put another try on the board following. Dartmouth was able to score one more try in the match thanks to another Cal mistake, and a great run through one or two tackles by their replacement #22. The other Dartmouth score came from a penalty try about 10 minutes into the second half. A Cal player, who we were unable to identify in the moment, made a high tackle on the Dartmouth winger in his attempt to score a try in the corner. Both Grant and I were in agreement about the penalty try, but because of the odd angle of the tackler, neither of us were able to get a number, and in the unpinning of bodies, we couldn’t properly identify the number (An error that I am going to work on correcting for the rest of the season and into 7’s). Cal was able to add 50 more points in the half, at times making their big 60 meter runs to the try-line look easy. All told, Cal easily won the match 101-31.

Date: 03/24/2018
Central Coast RFC 17 – San Joaquin-Stanislaus RFC 57
Referee: Stephen Moore

Fun end of season match, good spirited, good fun.

Date: 03/24/2018
Fresno State Women 96 – Univ San Francisco Women 5
Referee: Jeff Jury

No Report Received.

Date: 03/24/2018
Lamorinda Rugby Football Club 5 – San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club 31
Referee: Preston Gordon

I was originally scheduled to do Lamorinda vs Solano-Yolo varsity, but for whatever reason, the visitors were not able to field a team and that match was canceled on Friday. The Lamorinda coaches were able to rearrange a couple of their fixtures, however, and I ended up doing the Lamo-SFGG JV game. I think that was a bit of a treat for both me and the players – I haven’t done a high school JV game for quite some time, and they certainly seemed happy to see me.

Having said that, I almost didn’t make it do to some kind of protest in downtown San Francisco. I have no idea what those people were mad about last Saturday (as opposed to the previous Saturday, or the one before that, etc.), but I found myself unable to get my car on the road due to traffic being completely blocked. But BART + Uber got the job done, and I got to the pitch about 45 minutes before kickoff.

The game itself was very good, with both obviously well-coached teams looking for attacking opportunities wherever they could be found. The defenses held on both sides, with the first (converted) try not coming until the 23rd minute for SFGG. Lamo responded with their only try of the day at 29′ to pull within 2 points at 7-5. SFGG added one more at the very end of the first half to lead 12-5, which was a pretty close reflection of the contest.

I found the JV players to be gradually, but gladly receptive to my game management approach, which really helped the game flow. Clearly, neither side had seen much in the way of referees managing a game before, but I was really happy to hear that each side had several players certified as L1 refs (a few of whom are already reffing their own games). This portends well for our future rugby competitions here.

One hint for any younger or less experienced players out there: it doesn’t do your team any good to be yelling at any level of referee for a penalty if he’s standing 10 feet away and already has his arm out pointing towards your side – i.e. playing advantage for your team for the offense you’re complaining about. As in this game, that will always lead to an immediate game stoppage followed by some firm and direct verbal feedback. In other games, especially more senior ones, you will almost certainly get penalized, and perhaps yellow carded as well.

Back to the match: the second half was not one-way traffic at all, but SFGG did score the only points of that half with a converted try 7′ in. Their larger bench probably helped. A SFGG player went to the bin at 24′ for a high tackle, but they followed up with another try at 34′ while still one man down to lead 24-5. The last score of the game, at 39′ (running time, due to an injury), was a penalty try to SFGG. This came from a touchline Lamo high tackle that earned the player a yellow card. The ball carrier was perhaps 30m from scoring at that point, but the high tackle also came from the last defender, hence the decision.

Thanks to both teams for a great game, to the touch judges, to the Lamo coaching staff for reorganizing this fixture at short notice, and to my former O Club teammate Mateo for dropping me back at BART so I could get home.

Date: 03/24/2018
Mother Lode Rugby Football Club 13 – Marin Highlanders Rugby Club 7
Referee: Peter Sandhill

Upon exiting my car the air was frigid with snow clouds forming not far away. The high school football field in the Sierra Foothills was a 3hr drive for the Marin team, 2.5 for me and I had a moment to both enjoy the breadth of rugby in Northern California and also appreciation for the all the away travel that Mother Lode must do plus other teams that travel a lot to play.

This was a super game of clean, fast, tight varsity high school rugby of a good standard. Clearly two well drilled and coached teams. Marin had superiority in the scrums, otherwise there was parity in most other areas. Mother Lode scored early off some tight forward running, pick and drives close to the ruck, which helped them progress up the field. The try was converted. 7-0 From there, it was an arm wrestle with possession going back and forward due to dropped ball, at speed. Following a high & long Mother Lode punt deep into the opposition half, there was some deft passing by the Marin backs and their winger scored after a burst down the side, at speed. The try was converted 7-7 and the scores stayed that way for the rest of the half.

The second half was similar with both team running hard at each other, with some skillful moves and an appropriate level of intensity for two teams equal on the scoreboard. Around the 12 min mark, a penalty against Marin and successful PG took Mother Lode into the lead, 10-7. Ten minutes later another PG from 40m out and Mother Lode were up 13-7. Marin then lifted their intensity and Mother Lode matched it. Marin had a lot of ball in the final 15 minutes, plus were a man up due to yellow card (high tackle) yet knocked it on during several plays, in the Mother Lode half. While the players seemed frustrated, they kept at it, attacking and trying to find a way through the Mother Lode defense, to no avail. Hats off to both teams – great skill and attitude with good old rugby camaraderie and culture on display afterward.

Date: 03/24/2018
Pacific 7 – Mira Costa College 88
Referee: Jessica Turner

It was a beautiful day for some rugby at Cal Maritime for the NSCRO Regional Playoffs. After some pre-match complications of all sorts including an unfortunate last minute drop out by CSU Monterey Bay, then being replaced by UOP, and then a slightly delayed kickoff time, we were finally underway! The visiting Mira Costa College from San Diego came out with a solid Sipi Tau prior to kickoff which was awesome. Once the whistle blew, it was all MCC the overwhelming majority of the game. They came out strong and stayed fairly consistent with their attack, dotting down multiple tries. UOP was in the mix fighting hard at each play, but losing a bit of shape as the phases ticked on, creating the space for MCC to get through. However, midway through the second half UOP got a sweet 7 points off a brilliant play from their winger. They actually had just turned the ball over deep in their 22m and now they were down in the attacking 22m from some kicks forward, as the chase was on one of the MCC players grabbed the shirt of the UOP winger preventing him from scoring. After a short consult with my AR, a penalty try was awarded along with a yellow card for the grab. There were some lovely conversions taken from the MCC kicker as well, easily PRP level kicks, with one being scored from the outside and getting a nice bend around and in the posts. All things considering including the scoreline, the game was very well contested and I was happy to see the last minute UOP side come out with some good fight in them. Thank you to both UOP and MCC for a lovely match with respectful players and coaches, and many thanks to my wonderful AR’s Scott Wood and Giles Wilson for their assistance during this match.

Date: 03/24/2018
Reno Zephyrs 40 – SF Fog 33
Referee: Jeff Richmond

One of the more competitive matches I had this season. The match was played in Fernley about 30 minutes east of Reno so even the home team had a bit of a drive. It didn’t look promising for Reno as players straggled in. Only about a dozen were on hand for warm up. The coach kitted up to play and his 15th player showed up 10 minutes before kick-off. Meanwhile, Fog showed up early, in good numbers and had a sharp pre-game prep. Once the match began, none of that seemed to matter mattered. Reno jumped out with two early tries, seemingly catching the Fog backline unprepared. Reno kept the pressure on with strong attacks and stout defense. A few more regulars showed up and the coach retired to the sidelines. Even when Reno played short because of sanctions, Fog couldn’t capitalize. The second half saw a more aggressive SF team and their disciplined approach rallied to tie the match 33-33 with about 10 minutes left. Reno made another solid attack to give them a go-ahead try and conversion. With time expired, Fog was advancing and threatening to at least even the score but possession was lost, Reno kicked to touch and it was over.

Date: 03/24/2018
Santa Rosa 23 – San Jose Seahawks 52
Referee: Roberto Santiago

It was a beautiful day for rugby at For Pete’s Sake field in Santa Rosa. Both teams came out with good energy and good spirits. Santa Rosa controlled the first 15 minutes of play, leading 10-0 halfway through the period. shortly after the 20-minute mark San Jose started to click with a relentless kick-heavy attack that included a brilliant chase and score by their #14 who barely outraced two Rosa defenders for the ball and then accelerated away for an outstanding try. At half time the Seahawks led 10-26. The second half saw the teams trade tries. San Jose’s first try of the half saw another spectacular kick/chase that caught 29 of the 31 people on the field by surprise. San Jose took a penalty kick near midfield and looked like they were going for touch. It looked like the ball would be caught by the defending wing, when Rosa’s own winger materialized as if out of nowhere, leapt, gathered, and took off for a score cutting the Seahawk lead to 15-30. Santa Rosa would score on more gritty try at 39:45 and nearly took the ball across for another score off of several phases from the ensuing kickoff. Special mention goes to the San Jose #15 who had several long scores and made all but one of his conversions. I also want to recognize both teams’ captains and coaching staffs for their leadership. Despite one or two potential flash points, both teams played the game in the spirit of rugby exactly the way we imagine it. Refereeing is easier and much more fun when the players have the focus displayed both both sides in this match.

Date: 03/24/2018
Santa Rosa Faded Roses 31 – San Jose Silverhawks 24
Referee: Cary Bertolone

A back and forth match that was evenly played throughout. Neither team had a lot of subs, but played tough for the entire match. Silverhawks scored first, Rosa converted two tries for a 14-5 lead. Then it was 19-17 before Rosa scored again. Faded Roses ended up with a higher point total at 31-24.

Date: 03/24/2018
SFGG Women 51 – Santa Rosa Black Roses 5
Referee: Nome Tiatia

No Report Received.

Date: 03/24/2018
Silicon Valley 18 – Fresno 38
Referee: John Pohlman

Silicon Valley hosted Fresno in East Palo Alto at Rich May Field. This was my first time seeing the new all turf field built in memory of Rich May, Frank Merrill’s son in law who was killed in the line of action as an East Palo Alto police officer. The field is lined for rugby, with a shed full of goal pads, cones and scrum sled. Very nice memory..thanks Frank.

OK rugby. I had refereed both teams earlier in the season and both looked improved. Silicon Valley missed an early penalty to gain the first lead. Fresno scored first at 18 minutes. Fresno was better on this day but this was a very competitive game, played by two good D-3 teams. Fresno traveled with sixteen players including their 51 year old player coach, Rodger. Rodger started at #8 and looked to organize the Fresno pack. This led to two more try’s and Rodger converted all kicks for a 24-3 half time lead.

Fresno substituted Rodger at half time and there organization suffered. Second half score Silicon Valley 15 Fresno 14. Silicon Valley may have won the second half but all 80 minutes count.
Final score Fresno 38 Silicon Valley 18. Well played guys good luck for the rest of the season.

Date: 03/24/2018
UC Santa Cruz 57 – Stanford 15
Referee: David Pescetti

Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the UCSC rugby club. Many members including some of the original first 15 were on hand to watch their former club go up against Stanford.

Thankfully the rains spared the match and the conditions were pristine except one of the four goal posts was a little shorter than his brothers. No matter.

Stanford had been ravaged by injury since I last saw them. Many new faces dotted the field. Coupled with the home side playing in front of a big, alumni filled crowd. The day was to be sluggy.

Both teams played with consistency. Hard and physical game that got the home fans up in arms and cheering. A great game by all participants. Good luck to both in playoffs.

Date: 03/25/2018
Humboldt St 22 – Mira Costa 25
Referee: Paul Bretz

Sunday’s NSCRO pool finals hosted by Cal Maritime pitted Humboldt against Mira Costa from Oceanside. As happens during playoffs, team that win move on and those that don’t conclude their seasons.
Mira Costa appeared to be the more dominant side initially as they jumped to an early lead and seemed to be pulling away from Humboldt. However, Humboldt was able to adjust their play and managed to close the deficit built on in the first half and score 17 of their 22 points in the second half. The game was as enjoyable to officiate as it was to watch by all accounts of the fans who witnessed the competition.
Thanks to Peter Sandhill and Giles Wilson for aiding in making the match enjoyable for all parties

This Week’s Photo

The Unknown Pelican poses with Pelicus Parvus Scurra in their World Rugby kit at the Vegas 7s.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Weathering The Storms

HAIL PELICUS!

Weathering The Storms

After a winter dominated by a lack of rain we here in Pelicanland viewed the approach of spring with a bit of trepidation, hoping that we were not to be immediately plunged back into a drought after last year’s super soaking pulled us out of one. The Miracle March has allayed our fears somewhat with a series of storms to bring up water levels to something approaching acceptable, although still well below normal. With spring set to begin Wednesday. March 20 we can look forward to the Weather Priestess settling into the relaxed California groove that she is well known for. We still need to pull through this weekend and the incoming pineapple express, though, so don’t put the galoshes* away just yet.

* For those expats who have yet to Americanize, galoshes are wellies. Get with the program!

The ending of winter inevitably brings forth change. The world is waking up from its long sleep as the days start to get longer than the nights. New life forces its way into these longer days and as such old life must give way. This is true not only in nature but in rugby as well, or at least in rugby reporting, as I have to give up old, cherished narratives and seek new topic sentences to extrapolate upon. Thus, it is with a heavy heart that I must say a fond farewell to the Narrative of the San Jose Seahawks, a team that fought and won against relegation to start the season with a series of 50 point blowout wins, only to get bored with that and win a series of games decided on the final play, and finally deciding that wasn’t fun enough so they played to a tie… decided on the final play. Previously I had written that “should they have a well managed 10 point win that might be the biggest shock of the season” so naturally… it happened. Much like my NCAA brackets this prediction was shot to hell. Goodbye old narrative, it was fun while it lasted.

Defense Against the Dark Arts Classes

A big thank you must go to the St Mary’s Rugby Club and Coaches Tim O’Brien, Johnny Everett and Mark Bass for the use of a classroom and match video for our scrum session at the monthly NCRRS Training. In addition to classroom work they also brought the team out for demonstrations and live scrummaging scenarios to help referees understand not only what is going on in a scrum and why, but how to identify foul play and distinguish foul play from dominant play. Their insight and meticulous breakdown of body position, angle, foot position, ect were extremely helpful. I am sure they didn’t disclose all of the Dark Arts that are taught to the front row but many referees have never been in a scrum before and this kind of inside knowledge can only help in our understanding and adjudication of the game we all love. I’ll leave you with a quote that I feel is entirely apropos of that session:

“It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.” -Terry Pratchett

No Reports Received?

Last weekend was probably the busiest weekend of the year here in Pelicanland, so much that we had a number of referees from out of town fly, drive and train in to help cover games. Yet, when I downloaded the action from Whostheref I got only 14 match reports and 2 of them had no narrative so are listed with the score only and “No Report Received”.

This is not how we should be doing things. Many people in the Northern California rugby community and beyond read this not for my commentary but for the match reports. They want to see how other teams are getting on. Shocking, I know, but true. Without the referee reports we do not, in fact, have a newsletter but… I shudder to think this… instead we have a blog. I don’t want to be a blogger. I have more self respect than that. Help me out. Write your reports.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

The various competitions all have their own disciplinary chairs and this will make it difficult to centralize the communication and data. To help Scott Wood has developed a form that will centralize the process, regardless of the competition. The link to the discipline form is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mmUNg11uVOSkIsUtHifSqQzalhWbwohk_J6AmPyrucQ/viewform

1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.
2. When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.
4. If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 03/13/2018
Cal Maritime 13 – West Point Military Academy 27
Referee: Steven Fenaroli

Army had a busy weekend and they fielded their second side. Maritime hosted senior day. Army was hard hitting and disciplined and Martime was up to the challenge. Army scored first but it wasn’t without some extra work to get across the line. At halftime the score was 3-22. Army would only score once more in the second half and Maritime didn’t stop working. Great game and the weather held out.

Date: 03/14/2018
UC Davis 14 – Grand Canyon 45
Referee: Steven Fenaroli

Davis held off GCU for a while, but the hard hits and scrappy breakdowns were too much. GCU could get the ball out quicker and recycle faster. Breakdowns were contested from both sides and led to turnover ball. Davis didn’t stop fighting and they were rewarded with two scores.

Teams were not disciplined and there were issues with repeat penalties from both sides.

Date: 03/17/2018
Berkeley All Blues B 62 – Santa Rosa Black Roses 0
Referee: James Fonda

Great day for rugby, the field however was not in the best condition. Both teams played hard. I was impressed with the All Blues play. Santa Rosa scrum was not the best but we took our time and got through the day until they did not have any more subs so in the second half with 10 minutes left we went uncontested.

Date: 03/17/2018
SFGG D2 43 – Santa Rosa 21
Referee: Andrew Stockton

With all the rain over the last few days, I was hesitant as to what the potential quality of the match was going to be. As I was driving to TI, there was a wall of water over Berkeley, but thankfully the game was rain free.

Santa Rosa opened the scoring early into the match with a try and a conversion under the posts. SFGG responded shortly thereafter and dotted down a try of their own, but missed the conversion. Play continued back and forth until I awarded a yellow card to SFGG 14 for a no wrap tackle. However, GG was still able to add two tries before the end of the half.

In the second half, GG continued to press their advantage and scored 3 more tries while Santa Rosa only managed 2 tries. Santa Rosa had limited numbers for the day, and the fatigue clearly showed toward the later stages of the game. GG was able to continuously make runs through their defensive line and gain 6 or more meters at the time. However, to Santa Rosa’s credit, they did have a great 80 meter run on the last play to score their final try.

Date: 03/17/2018
BA Baracus 40 – Vacaville 50
Referee: Robert Hammack

Competitive match with a real punch/counter punch feel. Vacaville started strongly with 3 unanswered tries. BA Baracus adhered to their game plan of taking the points when there were on offer and slotted 2 penalty goal to turn the tide. 3 BA tries followed for a 27-19 HT lead.

Vacaville started the second half strongly with 2 tries in the first 10 minutes, including a length of the field, against the run of play try (by their very fast #7) from an errant BA pass. As the match wore on, Vacaville’s fitness seemed to gain the upper hand and they ran in several more tries. In the last 15 minutes, BA only managed a penalty kick and a mysterious drop goal by their Frenchman replacement who subsequently disappeared for the remainder of the match. FT 50 – 40 Vacaville.

Date: 03/17/2018
Marin 26 – Shasta Highlanders 7
Referee: Grant Mcdougall

No Report Received.

Date: 03/17/2018
Mendocino Steam Donkeys 39 – Central Coast RFC 27
Referee: Cary Bertolone

Clear day, a little chilly, 48 degrees at kick off. Central Coast scored 3 points at the two minute mark, Mendo quickly scored a try at the 5 minute mark. A very close game, Coast was up 15-10 at the half. Mendo scored in the first minute of the second half, both teams traded scores and Mendo pulled it off at the end, scoring a try at full time, winning 39-27. Fun game to ref and a great social after.

Date: 03/17/2018
SF Fog 39 – Sacramento Blackhawks D3 52
Referee: Tony Roulhac

Regarding Tech Zones. Sacramento did not have any subs. Their coach requested to film from an elevated position in the stands. It was not a worry to me and I confirmed with the Fog coach that he was also ok with it. Fog did keep its players and Coach in the Tech Zone. No complaints. Not sure what the official society policy is on it, but it worked for this game. As a Ref, I was fine with it and the coaches had no disputes at the field.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: No problems – the official policy was followed here. There is no requirement for a team to have a coach in the technical zone – only that should a person be acting as a coach they must remain in the technical zone and adhere to the policies laid out. If the team’s coach wants to watch and film from the stands then he becomes a fan and is not considered a coach.)

Date: 03/17/2018
Fresno State Women – UC Davis Women B
Referee: Rodney Tuisavalalo

No Report Received.

Date: 03/17/2018
SFGG PRP 44 – Olympic Club 31
Referee: Paul Bretz

Spent an enjoyable St. Patrick’s day refereeing SFGG V Oclub and then coaching Andrew Stockton. 1st half of the game saw some rather smash mouth rugby between both sides as they struggled with the offsides lines. With the first 20 minutes both teams had scored due to offside penalties called at mid-field coupled with good penalty kicks to touch and strong line outs. Seemed that the early penalties were effective as there were no more offsides issues called during the game. Prior to the intermission O Club found themselves up 17-15 and two SFGG players in the bin.

2nd half saw more enterprising play from both teams however SFGG were more effective in linking multiple-phase play and consistently making the gainline. Late in the game SFGG’s subs dictated the pace of the game. Final score SFGG 44, O Club 31.

Date: 03/17/2018
Univ Nevada Reno 19 – Chico State 5
Referee: Sam Reagle

On a snowy day in Reno, Chico State travelled in harsh conditions to maintain their undefeated record. Accordingly, UNR agreed to a 30-minute delay to the kick-off. CSU arrived, warmed up and were ready to play so we actually kicked-off only 15 minutes late. There was about half a foot of snow on the pitch with more coming down, but the critical lines were all shoveled and easily visible.
Running an offense was challenging, but UNR got on the board first with a converted try 9 minutes in. CSU answered back with an unconverted try in the corner about 8 minutes later. UNR earned another converted try at the 26 minute mark before the defenses took over the game. The sole remaining try was earned by UNR 28 minutes into the second half. Final: Reno 19-5.

Date: 03/17/2018
C K McClatchy High School 40 – San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club 20
Referee: Steven Fenaroli

Rain kept the field location in flux until the day before. We ended up on a football field at Burbank High School. Upon arriving, there were soccer goals still on the field. Once we got those removed, and some cones put down for tech zones, we had a game. SFGG scored first with a penalty in front of their goal. Then CKM responded. The score was 17-14 at half but CKM pulled away. SFGG would only get another penalty while CKM used their speed and width to score in the corners.

Date: 03/17/2018
Lamorinda Rugby Football Club 23 – Granite Bay Grizzlies 43
Referee: Jeff Richmond

A lot of action – both teams showing excellent skill and speed in all phases. Granite Bay got to in-goal first; unfortunately the player kept going past the dead-ball line. After reorienting themselves to the goal line, Granite Bay came back minutes later with the first try. Lamorinda has a strong group of forwards but Granite Bay was too quick at getting the ball out of the loose for them to counter ruck. Lamo committed fewer players to the loose in the second half and was able to slow down the Granite Bay attack. Lamo had a pair of tries early in the second half and it looked like they might close the gap. Then Lamo found themselves down a player for a good chunk of the second half because of a sanction and couldn’t keep the comeback alive.

Date: 03/17/2018
Marin Highlanders Rugby Club 59 – Solano-Yolo Rugby Club 7
Referee: James Hinkin

A highly anticipated high school varsity match between Marin Highlanders and Solano-Yolo County turned out not to be the case on a very wet Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately Solo didn€™t have a full 15 so we declared a forfeit and Marin lent them some players to have a game. After all, we were here, wet and cold so might as well run around for a bit.

Marin was the more organized and stronger side on the day. Not to say that there was no fight back from Solo, but the lack of subs and unfamiliarity of the lent players was a combination that could not be overcome. After about 10 minutes an injury to a Solo front row player led to uncontested scrums for the rest of the day freeing up both sides to concentrate on running, and run they did. The skill level of the U19 game continues to impress as both sides were well coached, with the difference being continuity of the Marin side. Excellent work from both captains kept this a fun game with no issues in spite of the scoreline.

This Week’s Photo

Preston Gordon signaling the end of my Winter Narrative.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Keeping Things Interesting

HAIL PELICUS!

Keeping Things Interesting

Welcome back everyone and I hope that you all have recovered from what may have been the Greatest Weekend In US Rugby History… more on that below. Lots of action this week as everyone was in full swing and we even had a few teams playing over the Vegas 7s weekend for some strange reason. There were a couple of top of the table clashes scheduled that I had metaphorically circled on the calendar and they didn’t disappoint, but one in particular needs special attention.

Before the Vegas break I wrote that the “San Jose Seahawks have alternated between blowing out teams by 50 and winning at the final whistle – including a rare defeat for St Marys B side. There is no middle ground for them – should they have a well managed 10 point win that might be the biggest shock of the season.” They were scheduled to meet with fellow undefeated Sacramento Blackhawks who held the points lead in the table by virtue of playing one more game but San Jose had a decisive lead in the point differential column. This was a classic clash of heavyweights that could go either way as they both came rolling in firing on all cylinders. Will San Jose’s revamped style and never say die attitude beat out Sacramento’s experience, physicality and home field advantage? We had to play to find out and last week I offered a rather tongue in cheek challenge to the Seahawks to keep the excitement going.

Responded San Jose, “Hold my beer.” Sacramento was keen to oblige as well.

You want to throw everyone for a loop and make not only a single match but the whole league table more exciting? Try having the last two undefeated squads meet in a high scoring game with massive lead swings until the last 20 where it becomes neck and neck, until 5 minutes left when a try to take the lead was followed by a disallowed try that would have extended the lead before culminating in a multi-phase, length of the field sequence by the trailing side resulting in a try at full time for the most incredulous, unexpected, sister-kissing result: a 46-46 tie.

Just to keep things interesting.

The Greatest Weekend In US Rugby History?

That’s a bold claim right there, but it deserves some consideration. Who are the other contenders? As impressive as it was, winning the Olympic gold medal in 1920 and 1924 wasn’t really even that big to Americans back then as most of the country didn’t know we had won nor would they have cared much – it was a different era then and the Olympics weren’t as high on society’s radar. To be honest, has the US Men’s curling team won gold in 1924, as unlikely and exciting as that last shot was, there would have been about 40 people who cared. There is too much empty history after our Olympic glory to make it more than an interesting footnote, at best.

The USA Women won the inaugural World Cup in 1991 and followed that up with runner up performances in 1994 and 1998. Any time you win a world championship it is hugely impressive. Unfortunately that was more of a seminal event for the rest of the rugby world signaling that they needed to start taking their women seriously and as the tournament grew and the rest of the world caught up we finished out of the top 4 the next 4 tournaments until 2017 where we finished a very respectable 4th. Even then, we played well but lost big against England in pool play and New Zealand in the semis and were clearly outclassed by them. Blame can be placed on coaching, resources, selections or a number of other issues but the point I am making here is that the World Cup win in 1991 was not at the same level of, say, the US Women’s soccer team winning the FIFA World Cup in 1999. The win by the USWNT sparked a huge cult following and even a pro league and today they fill 60,000 seat stadiums for their matches. The win by our Women’s Eagles went largely unnoticed. Unfair comparison? Possibly. Probably. True, nevertheless.

The weekend of March 3 and 4 saw not one, but two major championships for USA Rugby. The USA 7s team won the USA Sevens at home in emphatic fashion, thoroughly dominating in all phases, proving that the win in London a few years back was not a fluke. I remember when we used to give away needless possession at restarts by not kicking 10m or kicking directly into touch and top teams would crucify us for it. Now we are by far the best restart team in the world retaining nearly 40% of our own kicks and that extra possession in 7s is huge. Mike Friday has a team with skill, power and oh so much pace. There were many highlights and the one that everyone remembers (and made that night’s ESPN Top 10) was Perry Baker’s 98 meter try against Fiji, but that wasn’t the play of the weekend to me. That came a few minutes before in the first half. Fiji had scored first and worked the ball out to their speedster Naduva who caught the ball 60 meters out with nothing but green grass in front of him. Perry Baker turned, chased and CAUGHT him. He made up 5 meters in 50, bringing Naduva to ground and crucially into touch 5 meters from the goal line. There are maybe three people in the world who could have made that play and we have two of them in Baker and Isles (although for Isles, the tackle would have been by far the more difficult task). The momentum shift nearly knocked me off my feet it was so profound, although beer may have been involved as well. The difference between a 7 point deficit and a 14 point deficit against a world class side like Fiji is more than a mere 7 points and you could almost see the air go out of the Fijian sails as they though “what do we need to do to score?”

At the same time our 15s team was in Uruguay taking care of business against Los Teros. We had already done the hard work in the ARC by beating Argentina and Canada but Uruguay at home is still a difficult opponent. At 61-19 pasting showed our class even with none of our elite European based players available. We have now won the ARC 2 years running and must be considered the class of the Americas… until we play Argentina’s full side. That being said, their ARC team is not to be sniffed at and we beat them – we are not as far off as we used to be.

How often has the US won any major World Rugby championship? Much less two at once?

So now we come to Sunday, March 4 2018. This may yet be our coming out party, if it is handled right. Unfortunately, the people in charge of USA Rugby’s media relations seem to have fallen asleep on the job. Aside from the EPSN Top 10 clip I didn’t see any major media coverage – and because ESPN was broadcasting the 7s that was possibly the least they could do. This should have been blasted out to all media centers. America loves winners and we were showing the world we could win.

The only rugby media I saw generated by RIM? Advertising for Wales and South Africa playing in Washington DC.

March 3 and 4 may one day be considered The Greatest Weekend In US Rugby History as the day the US Men announced their arrival to the world.

March 3 and 4 may one day be considered The Greatest Weekend In US Rugby History as they day the US Rugby community realized the Rugby International Marketing is not interested in promoting US rugby, but merely in making a profit (and they aren’t good at that, either).

March 3 and 4 may one day be considered The Greatest Missed Chance In US Rugby History.

Shady Results In Vegas

Congratulations to Brian Vizard, chairman of the USA Rugby Foundation who won the USA Rugby Foundation I’Maul In Poker tournament, run by Brian Vizard. Hmmmm… I have to tell you it is highly suspicious when the person who runs a poker tournament just happens to win it. I have my eye one you, Viz.

Only In Vegas

Our final Las Vegas note: last year the players played on artificial turf and with the high desert air being so dry combined with high winds, the turf needed to be regularly watered between matches to prevent turf burns on all the players. This year they went back to grass so the end result was, since the surface was grass, they didn’t need to water it.

Yup, they had to water the turf but didn’t need to water the grass.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

The various competitions all have their own disciplinary chairs and this will make it difficult to centralize the communication and data. To help Scott Wood has developed a form that will centralize the process, regardless of the competition. The link to the discipline form is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mmUNg11uVOSkIsUtHifSqQzalhWbwohk_J6AmPyrucQ/viewform

1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.
2. When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.
4. If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

Date: Apparently not relevant
Brown University 43 – Salve Regina University 34
Referee: Tom Zanarini
Location: Providence, RI

Finally after 4 months I can say “SATURDAY IS A RUGBY DAY!” When better to start the beginning of the New England spring season then a day after a ‘noreaster? Since power was out at the Zanarini residence anyway, why not get on the field.

Salve Regina is tuning up for the NSCRO Championships while Brown is just tuning up in general. The match was played on the turf at Berylson Family Field and probably the widest setup permitable. This may have been scrimmage on paper (30 minute halves) but the action was full on. There were at least 3 lead changes in the match, Salve was in the lead at the half. I was using a new scorecard and did a poor job of noting when tries were scored, but suffice it to say Brown charged back in the final quarter, dotting down repetitiously.

To get some more minutes in my legs, I took on the B-side match (20 minute halves) as we previously agreed in the pre-match emails. A much different game that showed very good athletes taking to rugby. Salve came ahead 10-5.

Also, my friend and new referee Michael Adamson came by for his first taste of officiating, taking an AR flag for both matches. Michael has no previous rugby experience save for 2 practices in a Tennessee high school many moons ago. He is a recent Navy vet making his permanent home in Rhode Island. He was for a time my upstairs neighbor where I force fed him rugby during the PRO Rugby and Olympics telecasts. He took to it and came with me to the USA v Ireland match as well. The hook was set after that. He just took the level one and is jumping in. Make sure you buy him a beer when you meet.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: I will overlook the lack of a match date this one time in recognition of your shepherding another convert into the Church of Rugby.)

Date: 03/03/2018
Humboldt State Women 51 – Cal Women 22
Referee: Jessica Turner

The journey up the north coast to beautiful Humboldt county was a cold one! The ride up was wet and also snowy on some parts of the 101, but we all managed to arrive in one piece in good time. I was happy to have this match, to officiate my alma mater for the first time and to have my adopted college team with me was a treat. From the start this game was great! With 2 well disciplined sides it was another series of back and forth scoring. Both teams had lots of ball, but Humboldt was able to cash in on the end phases to get into the try zone. Humboldt showed a bit more intent and aggression overall, which contributed to their success. The Cal women were a little less intense, but showed incredible skill and vision when in possession. They had some cracking runs from their backs that were able to weave in and out of traffic, keeping me honest with my speed; one try was scored from deep in their 22m after some quick thinking using a quick tap to push the pace after being awarded a penalty. The second half was less tight for Cal as the sunny first half had changed to rain, and we Humboldt ruggers know how to navigate the worst weather conditions better than most in California. There were many scrums due to knock ons, which stunted some of the momentum that Cal was trying to build. Relentless to the end, the Cal women continued to fight until the final whistle, but Humboldt’s second half consistency allowed them to pull away from a very well contested match with a comfortable scoreline at the end. Thank you to both teams for a lovely skills and an exciting game!

Date: 03/03/2018
Pacific 0 – Univ San Francisco 58
Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Gardemeyer Field, UOP, Stockton, CA
Game time temp: 53F
Attendance: 225

For over nine years, the weather gods have not bestowed rain, sleet, hail, or snow on any match I have refereed. Sure, water in one form or another has fallen prior to matches, at halftime, and after matches, but there has been a remarkable lack of precipitation during playing time. And so it was for the onset of this match. Some sprinkles prior to the match and some during halftime but, despite the ominous, foreboding skies, it remained dry.

USF’s game plan: Give the ball to #4 for he shall score. UOP’s game plan: Dang, they gave it to #4, again. Halftime: Pacific 0, USF 48

Apparently, the gods on high do not like being taunted, or I told too many people of my precipitation-free streak. The whistle tone for the second half jarred, agitated, and disturbed the molecules with such force that the skies erupted with a downpour of near biblical proportions. Hyperbole? Sure. Nonetheless, the temperature to a five to ten degree downturn and the rain slowly appeared with bits of hail. USF scored two relatively quick tries before UOP was able to stitch together consecutive phases.
Ten minutes into the second half, the rain transformed to sticking hail. Five minutes later, a UOP player face down on the ground after contact yelled “My neck! My neck!” A surefire attention-getter, play was stopped to ensure rapid medical attention. While discussing the weather during the break in play, two bolts of lightning flashed across the sky. I offered to wait out the storm but the coaches agreed the players will be too cold to restart. Alas and rightfully so, the game was called.

I’m not a superstitious person (too many people knock on wood….); however, my pre-match driving playlist will no longer consist of “Again We Rise” (Lambs of God) or “Live for the Kill” (Amon Amarth).

Date: 03/03/2018
St Marys College B 128 – UC Davis B 0
Referee: Robert Hammack

One way traffic. UCD down to only 13 players in the second half due to injuries.

Date: 03/03/2018
Stanford Women 0 – Chico State Women 55
Referee: Preston Gordon

This was a fairly lopsided match, properly reflected in the scoreline. Chico State was up 0-24 at halftime, and tacked on 31 more points in the second half, including 3 rapid-fire tries by their captain at fullback.
In the B side game, Stanford got some points on the board. Halftime was 0-21 to Chico, but Stanford matched them in the second half to finish at 12-33.

The occasional microburst didn’t seem to have any effect on the game, though it certainly made things chilly.

Date: 03/03/2018
Univ Nevada Reno 67 – San Francisco State 5
Referee: Jeff Richmond

4 inches of slushy snow on the field at kick-off. A wet ball and cold hands made for a lot knock-ons. Still Reno was able to put on a show running through the SFSU backs pretty much at will.

Date: 03/10/2018
Central Coast RFC 10 – Marin 20
Referee: John Pohlman

Great day for rugby this past Saturday. A bit overcast and cool but perfect for rugby…with pitch being in good condition. Aptos/Central Coast hosted Marin in San Jose at Independence High School, Seahawks home field. About a fifteen minute drive for me. Yeah.

Kick off delayed five minutes due to a couple of Aptos players running late. Aptos had 16 players or so and Marin had 20 plus. Just a very competitive, open, enjoyable game to referee. Marin scored first at five minutes with a strong run from their fireplug center. Aptos realized Marin came to play and committed tackling was needed. Aptos commitment to the tackle led to a turn over try at 10 minutes. Marin realized how dangerous Aptos can be on turnovers. Score Marin 7- Aptos 5. Marin continued to control the ball early which led to a second converted try at twenty minutes. Aptos tackling led to another turn over try at 26 minutes. Marin finished the first half scoring with a penalty kick. Half time score Marin 17 Aptos 10 Game on.

The second half was back and forth from goal line to goal line, but no try’s. Marin’s kicker added three points at 18 minutes. Just a well played and competitive division three game. Thanks to both captains Arron and Kyle. Final Marin 20 Aptos 10

Date: 03/10/2018
Fresno 42 – Berkeley RFC 26
Referee: Giles Wilson

Both teams had about 20 players with a mixture of new heads and old heads; in the end Fresno had more young and physical players as well as more old heads running good support lines. Both teams created some good moves and nice overlaps but Fresno had better fitness overall. Two tries apiece in the first half with one missed conversion for a 14-12 home lead. The second half went more for Fresno with 4 tries to 2 and a final score of 42-26.

Date: 03/10/2018
Fresno State Women 45 – Univ Nevada Reno Women 22
Referee: Jeff Jury

It was a perfect day for College Women DII’s #1 and #2 to collide to see who will get the top seed. Cooler than the 70’F we’ve been experiencing in Fresno, but still a little warm for the Reno side who’s averaging 40’s. Field, was dry and fast.

There was battling in the first 20 minutes. Both side were exploiting gaps and making good tackles. The physicality keen and equally spread across both lines. Fresno drew first blood with a try at the 20 minute mark. Reno didn’t waste any time and answered 3 minutes later. Fresno scored another try wide on the same side as the first, but again, was not able to convert. The contest raged till 5 minutes left in the half, when Fresno pushed over for a converted try. Fresno 17 Reno 5

The second half did not see a drop in performance. Both teams made changes and continued to trade punches. Reno was obliged to return the halftime kickoff for a score following some good tight play about Fresno 22m at about 8 minutes in. Fresno’s changes started paying off, once they got the ball back. Fresno found gaps for 3 converted trys over the next 23 minutes. Reno answered under the posts with 9 minutes to go. Fresno converted one more with 4 minutes left, and Reno tryed with no time left. There is no quit in these gals. The final could be epic. Fresno 45 Reno 22

Date: 03/10/2018
Jesuit High School Rugby Club 41 – Granite Bay Grizzlies 10
Referee: Steven Fenaroli

JHS dominated from the start. This match between two recent national champions proved for hard dedicated rugby. Both teams played like they wanted it. There was no shortage of emotions.

Date: 03/10/2018
Life West 55 – Olympic Club 22
Referee: Phil Akroyd

Two competitive teams going at it in a good display of rugby, but improvements still to be made by both squads.

Life West ran out to 24-0 leaders, so there was never any real jeopardy in terms of the result, but OC came back and later had the score at 36-22. From there, Life West pushed on again and put the game away.

Date: 03/10/2018
Olde Gaels 12 – Colusa County 22
Referee: Preston Gordon

This was a pretty close matchup of two as-yet undefeated teams in D3, and it didn’t disappoint, with lots of action. Defense was a big part of the game for both teams. Accordingly, the first score took 23 minutes, with Colusa’s unconverted try. They added another at 33′ to finish the half leading 0-10.
Shortly after the second half started, the Diablo #3, who was maybe 5 feet in front of me, kicked an opponent in the face and earned himself a red card. One would think that Diablo playing the last 37 minutes of the match with a 10-point and 1-man deficit would lead to a blowout, but that’s not what happened. Colusa did score next, with another unconverted try at 45′, but Diablo responded with a converted try of their own at 58′ to make it 7-15. Soon thereafter, Diablo made a couple of great breaks, but the would-be finisher dove over the dead ball line before grounding the ball for a try. At 64′, Colusa was awarded a penalty try due to a collapsed 5m scrum on the Diablo goal line (7-22). At the last minute, Diablo scored another converted try to finish the game with a 10-point deficit.

Date: 03/10/2018
Stanford 14 – Chico State 34
Referee: Jessica Turner

It was another beautiful day for some footy down at Stanford University, hosting the Chico State men. Thankfully the weather held up which made for some much better conditions for the match overall. Not soon after the kickoff, did the match get interesting. There was a lot of intense contest the first few minutes, with a penalty awarded to Chico in their attacking 22m. They were able to capitalize off it it with a 3 point jump to get on the board first. Soon after that, Chico earned the only yellow of the match with a shoulder hit to a man off the ball about 6 minutes in. Stanford was able to get down the pitch and get the first try soon after that taking the score up to 7-3. There was a lot of back and forth between the sides in the first half, with Chico having a clearly dominant scrum and better attacking options with the ball. In fact, my “try of the match” goes to Chico’s flyhalf who chip kicked into a nice hole in the Stanford back 3, and was able to gather and bring it in for a try. There were more penalties than usual for me in the first half, I felt like both sides were trying to contest for the ball so intensely that they were constantly testing my standards that I was attempting to enforce. After a relatively evenly matched first half, the halftime score was 15-14 with Chico leading. The second half was much better for me; the teams had now figured out what I wanted from them which led to a significant reduction in penalties. But, the separation was now starting to become obvious as to who was going to have the consistency to pull out the win. There was still much contest, however Chico was able to finish off their stints of possession at key moments with 3 tries dotted down, while Stanford was unable to get anything on the board. They did have plenty of moments of brilliance, but just couldn’t get it together on the final phases to get the points. After a fun and fast game, Chico State came out victorious.

Date: 03/10/2018
Sacramento Blackhawks D3 56 – Mendocino Steam Donkeys 10
Referee: Jeff Richmond

A literal run-away match with the Blackhawk finding overlaps in the backfield all-day. The first half ended 42-0. Mendocino traveled with 16 and looked like a couple of their backs would be more suited playing prop. To their credit, the Mendocino defense was able to stiffen up in the second half, plus score a couple of tries.

Date: 03/10/2018
Sacramento Capitals 64 – SFGG D2 32
Referee: David Pescetti

Gloom and the over-hyped predictions of rain did not stop this game for a second. The only thing that did that was that damn ref. This game was exciting and close. Capitals opened the game with the first score. They looked very sharp, controlling the ball, and tempo. GG answered right back. When Sac got the ball back, they systematically marched down the field. But then an errant pass turned the tide. A full pitch length try opened the game up for GG. They didn’t look back.

Date: 03/10/2018
San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club 24 – Lamorinda Rugby Football Club 30
Referee: Robert Hammack

Very competitive match between two well coached teams. LaMo jumped out to an early lead with 4 first half tries to none for SFGG. LaMo had some wonderful strike runners in their backline, #13 specifically proving hard for SFGG to tackle. Repeated team infringements within the 5-meter line saw SFGG’s wing sent to the bin just before the half. HT 22 – 0.

Second half saw SFGG score several tries early and LaMo’s #13 sent to the bin for repeated team infringements. The tide seemed to have turned but LaMo regrouped well and kicked a penalty to stem the tide. When #13 returned from the bin, the match returned to more of an arm wrestle and LaMo carried their lead to full-time. FT 30-24.

Date: 03/10/2018
San Joaquin-Stanislaus RFC 33 – SF Fog 0
Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Northgate Park, Manteca
Attendance: 368

The Fog arrived in numbers; Harlots were slow to show. SJS Harlots were held to one converted try in the first half. HT Harlots 7 – Fog 0

Both teams took five minutes for the intermission and were ready to get on with the match. The Harlots maintained a majority of the possession and spread the ball wide. Despite a number of forward passes, quick hands and crashing offloads were in the recipe for success.

Date: 03/10/2018
Santa Clara B 28 – San Diego State 30
Referee: William Nelson

No Report Received.

Date: 03/10/2018
Santa Clara Women 38 – Sacramento State Women 27
Referee: Stephen Moore

Very competitive and fun match to referee. Santa Clara came out strong in the first half scoring three tries to Sac’s one try, scoreline 17 v 5 at halftime. Santa Clara appeared stronger at the breakdown and Sac less disciplined. First-half resulted in two yellow cards for Sac for repeated infringements. It felt like it was going to be a runaway match for Santa Clara. However, Sac got their act together in the second half leveling scores at 22 all, at about the midway point. Santa Clara responded with a converted try, Sac responded with a try but was not able to convert. The match completed with Santa Clara scoring a final converted try.

A key difference was Sac’s inability to convert tries (except one), and some discipline issues resulting in three yellow cards. Santa Clara was not without blemish, they did commit a professional foul with a side entry on their goal line resulting in a yellow. Sac quickly scored thereafter, so the harm was repaired. Overall Santa Clara was penalized much less for infringements.

Date: 03/10/2018
Shasta Highlanders 38 – Reno Zephyrs 39
Referee: Sam Reagle

77 total points and a 1 point margin of victory. Two teams battling it out with the Reno coach (KC) providing the only sub for either side. Brings back memories of the old days when “If you don’t start, you don’t play”.

The game started a bit ragged, but transformed into a fun game to be a part of. Reno took the opening kick-off and worked their way to their first try. They scored again on their next possession and it looked to be a rout. However, Shasta regrouped and took the lead with 2 tries of their own, one converted. Reno answered back 31 minutes in to retake the lead and Shasta scored a converted try at 37 minutes to end the half ahead 19-15.

The second half started like the first with Reno scoring just 3 minutes in to lead 20-19. Then Shasta scored a converted try and an unconverted try to go up 31-20. Reno answered back with their first CONVERTED try to make it 31-27 with 16 minutes to play. Reno scored again at 28 minutes to take a one point lead 32-31.

They exchanged converted tries to end the game. Awesome!

Date: 03/10/2018
Solano-Yolo Rugby Club 0 – Peninsula Green Rugby Club 38
Referee: David Hosley

Just a few drops of rain on an overcast afternoon in Dixon. Both sides were hustling to get their teams sorted out, with a carload from the Peninsula arriving ten minutes before match time. But the bigger Greens carried the day, shutting out the Solo side.

Date: 03/10/2018
UC Santa Cruz 25 – Sacramento State 19
Referee: James Fonda

Great rugby weather. Wet but not heavy rain. UCSC and Sacramento State were well disciplined as no cards were needed. Penalty count was even. Both teams played hard. Strained my Achilles tendon with only six minutes left in the match. Got through it but it is very tight today.

Date: 03/10/2018
Univ Nevada Reno 85 – Fresno State 26
Referee: Lee Bryant

No Report Received.

Date: 03/10/2018
EPA Razorbacks 23 – Santa Rosa 43
Referee: Paul Bretz

EPA hosted Santa Rosa at Rich May Field. Present to oversee the match was driving force behind the creation of the field Frank Merrill. Santa Rosa controlled the day with excellent set pieces and mauls. By half-time Santa Rosa were up 26-5. With 15 minutes left EPA seemed to find their second wind and proceeded to score 3 well executed tries.

Date: 03/10/2018
San Jose State 37 – San Francisco State 10
Referee: James Hinkin

A perfect crisp winter’s day in San Jose saw San Jose St host San Francisco St at Independence High School in San Jose. Why is San Jose St playing at Independence High? Because of 12 golfers, 2 alumni and a greedy, shortsighted administration. It really is a stupid, stupid tale that will need to be told in detail at a later time – preferably with many adult beverages involved.

The field was correctly if faintly marked as the collegians used the San Jose Seahawk home field markings from their last match. Both sides were ready to go and so, when the time came, we went. The first half started with San Jose St jumping out to a 5 point lead with a try in the first minutes but SF State quickly replied. This set the tone for an even first half as the Spartans reclaimed the lead only to have the Gators reply. The half ended 10-10 as nobody seemed interested in making a conversion, a theme that would continue throughout the match.

The second half was a different story as San Jose St started to take charge. They dominated possession and territory while overcoming a series of silly yellow cards (one at the end of the first half for not retreating at a penalty, another in the second half for, again, not retreating at a penalty, and one to the #8 for repeated offside). SJSU’s 8 man spent so much time off side he could have had his mail sent to

#8
Offside, Rugby Pitch
San Jose, Ca 95133

SF State could not seem to take advantage of the man advantage they spent nearly half the game with as San Jose put 5 tries on the board in a comprehensive second half display. San Jose even managed to make a conversion just to see what it felt like. Final score: SJSU 37 – SFSU 10

This Week’s Photo

As Pelicus Caseum Caput reported, it was a lovely day for rugby in Reno.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre