Author Archives: James Hinkin

Pelicus Laureate

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Pelicus Laureate

 

(with apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer)

 

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Eagle seven that day:
History had shown for the Cup they wouldn’t play.
But when France died first and Portugal did the same,
A hushed silence fell for the South Africa game.
 
A straggling few got up to pace nervously about. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Perry could get on the outside of the Boks,
We’d put up even money, now, with Unufe stepping out of his socks.
 
So the US took the lead, to the wonderment of all,
And the Eagles, much despise-ed, held on to the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
South Africa scored twice, but the States had added a third.
 
From 50,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and surged further up,
For the Sleeping Giant awoke and was battling for the Cup.
 
There was ease in Hughes’s manner as he led them to their place;
There was pride in Bender’s bearing and a smile on Carlin’s face.
Tries for the captain and Baker, lightly stepping and then gone,
With a score of 29 to 10, the Eagles were moving on.
 
Thousands of eyes were on them as the home team hit the dirt,
Thousands of tongues applauded the rose upon their shirt,
And then while writhing players ground the ball into their hip,
Defiance gleamed in Leuta’s eyes, a sneer curled Niua’s lip.
 
And now the leather-covered ovoid came hurtling through the air,
And the English stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy AR, Perry Baker unheeded sped-
“He moves too fast,” said England. “Try awarded,” the referee said.
 
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Beat them! Beat the Yanks!” shouted someone on the stand;
It seemed likely when Mitchell scored and the ref raised his hand.
 
With a smile of Christian charity great Isles’ visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; racing in the English home;
He sprinted down the left, and once more the ovoid flew;
To the speedster on the right, ref said, “You’ve scored two.”
 
“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one mournful look from England and the audience was awed.
They saw their face grow stern and cold, they saw their muscles strain,
And they knew that they could not catch the mighty Eagles again.
 
The sneer is gone from the Aussie’s lip as they looked upon their fate;
Who are these Finals upstarts? They should be in the Plate.
And now Barret runs the ball, and now he lets it go,
The last defender is shattered by the force of Danny’s blow.
 
Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere the shout goes up;
It is all joy in America – the Mighty Yanks have won the Cup!
 

EDITOR’S NOTE: When Pelicus Scriptoris demands the plume from one’s hand it is best just to smile, nod and try to learn.

 

GIANT AWAKENS; STOMPS ON PEOPLE

or

FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS LEADS TO PROMISED LAND

 

Those in the rugby world who do not know me as Scriptoris know me as Dr. Sevens. My first love had a more attractive younger sister: three years after I first had a crush on rugby I met my real love, Rugby Sevens.

 

It was the Pleistocene Era of American rugby. Neither Rugby Magazine nor USA Rugby had yet been founded when I started playing; there were no rugby media whatsoever. You could go to a library and pull out weeks-old issues of the Sunday Times to see which international teams were any good if you were keen like me.

 

Now you can watch many if not most games yourself. In particular, the Sevens World Series is not only web-casted to anyone with a phone, the games are archived for your pleasure. Well, it’s a pleasure if you are not yet ready to admit that it’s an addiction.

 

What else has happened these forty years, since Rugby Magazine and USA Rugby were founded, and since the velocity of rugby information availability has continuously accelerated?

 

Some of us have followed the (fifteens) Eagles from venue to venue, trailing along after the colors, the decades proving our dedication. Some of us have been privileged to have been involved with the games, especially when our boys used to play regularly in San Francisco at Boxer Stadium.

Some of us have read about their wins and loses over the years, envying the generations of players coming and going, commenting on the coaching changes and always hopeful when a new direction was announced. Some of us have been optimistic when a few victories came together, but watched with the consternation that leads to resignation as the rest of the world ratcheted up their games after professionalism was admitted (to), and yet we continued to trail the field.

 

And all of us have been reading about the sleeping giant of world rugby these forty years as well. It was probably the subject of the first editorial in Rugby Magazine. The metaphor might well have been our mascot. There he lay. There he snoozed.

 

No offense is intended to all of those, many of whom read and write for this fine publication, who have striven mightily and given endlessly of themselves to stir this giant, but he’d been asleep at least twice as long as Rip Van Winkle. It proved very difficult indeed to arouse this fellow.

 

It was announced in October of 2009 that rugby would be again contested by the family of nations at the Olympic Games in 2016. Americans might not know English prep-school sports played for fun and honor, but they know and can be persuaded to care about anything contested within the confines of those five interlocking rings.

 

An increased focus on Sevens was the result, not the least by the players who think sure, it’d be great to represent the USA at a Test match somewhere, but it would be better to play on NBC TV in front of everyone you’ve ever known, some of whom didn’t think much of your rugby jones.

 

Some of the seed of the sower falls on fertile ground. Sevens has proven to be that ground for USA Rugby.

 

This past weekend your USA Eagles went undefeated in the London iteration of the Sevens World Series, winning their first-ever event and in the process beating two of the teams who have already qualified by merit for the 2016 Olympics.

 

There were no fluke-victory, lucky-hop, or rub-o’-the-green wins among them. They kicked people’s asses and they got better as they went along.

 

To wit:

Pool play

24 – 19 over France

28 – 12 over Portugal

21-12 over South Africa (Olympic qualifier)

Quarter:

29 – 10 over Canada (whom we need to beat next month to qualify our own selves)

Semi:

43 – 12 over England (Olympic qualifier playing at home in front of a world-record Sevens crowd)

Final:

45-22 over Australia

 

There is, of course, a Pelican angle on all that proves to be great in American rugby. You, dear reader, may well have refereed several of these immortal Eagles.

 

Let us count the ways:

 

Zack Test, the team’s best player over the past five years, did not play in this tournament due to injury, but he played his high school rugby on the peninsula and made an appearance at the Palo Alto Sevens three years ago.

 

Danny Barrett, who made the all-tournament Dream Team, played for Cal and Golden Gate.

 

Folau Niua played for East Palo Alto and Golden Gate.

 

Thretton Palomo, brought in as an injury replacement for Test, played his high school rugby in Davis. His try in the final is not to be missed. Ask yourself: would you really like to try to tackle anything that weighs 275 pounds and can outrun you?

 

Matai Leuta. This guy gets more than a thumbnail.

 

If you have refereed Cal State – Monterey Bay in the last few years, or the Seahawks last summer in the NorCal Sevens series, you might have noticed the tall #10 with the I-fro who had more skills than the rest of the people on the pitch. CSUMB Coach Marc Ferguson supported (support in the off-the-field rugby sense of dollars) Matai in his dream to play at a higher level than even the might Otters or ‘Hawks.

 

Sevens Coach Mike Friday, an Englishman who bought into the Sleeping Giant rubric, thought one way to awaken this beast was to have an open call for players. I can only speculate as to the reaction to the applicant from CSUMB. What? Where? They should have realized that NorCal is known for producing champions at every level, in every division, and that many teams in Pelicanland can boast of a USA championship in one or another division and of having produced multiple Eagle players, with Monterey proud among their ranks.

 

Matai made the team. He played for the Eagles shadow side in the Las Vegas Invitational. He’s had some minutes here and there in the tournaments since, with some famous tries already to his credit, but he STARTED the biggest game our boys have ever known. (He’s also lost the -fro, which probably slows you down.)

 

And, as a matter of fact, your faithful scribe, who is 61 years old and has definitely refereed his last competitive match, refereed this World Series Champion in this very season.

 

How lucky we are.

 

Now, you can wallow in the luck:

 

Set aside an hour. This was forty years in the making www.Universalsports.com Click Sports and pick Rugby Find and click on 2015 World Rugby HSBC Seven World Series, London, England, Day #2 Lay in a supply your favorite cold malted beverage, Scroll to:

2:22 for the Canada quarter

5:52 for the England semi

8:37 for the culmination of all of many thousands of peoples’ hard work over two-score anni, the players of course first and foremost.

 

Play on!

 

– For the Senate

Pelicus Scriptoris

 

Strapping On The Ol’ Nosebag – Save The Date

 

Once again the flock will be coordinating our banquet around the USA National team schedule as the United States Eagles take on Samoa and Canada takes on Japan in San Jose.   The Pelican Elders will be holding our Annual Awards Banquet in San Jose on Friday, July 17 at the Sonoma Chicken Coop on Skyport Drive – right by Avaya Stadium where the internationals will be held. Please RSVP via email to Jim Crenshaw at crenshaw@cal.net with how many guests you are bringing.  

 

Banquet details:

Date:                    Friday, July 17

Time:                     Drinks start at 7:00, Dinner served at 8:00

Location:              Sonoma Chicken Coop, Skyport

90 Skyport Drive Suite 100

San Jose, CA 95110

Cost:                      All NCRRS members receive a free meal – guests cost $50.00.

 

Pacific Nations Cup – International Rugby in Pelicanland

 

Several people have inquired about bulk purchasing tickets for the Pacific Nations Cup on July 18 in San Jose.  If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, sit with your fellow referees and watch the matches  please provide us with your desire to do so by clicking on the following link:  Register for ticket purchase.

You have until May 23rd to order your tickets.  After May 23rd you’ll have to purchase the tickets on your own.

 

May Society Meeting

 

There still hasn’t been one.   If you faithfully read the Ask A Pelican segment like you’re supposed to then you would know why.   And apropos of nothing…

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from Patricia Bishop, host of Wednesday Trivia Night at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in San Jose, CA, who asks:

 

“What is the greatest sports related trivia question of all time?”

 

Wow, Patricia, that is a difficult one and no mistake.   No wonder you run the most fun, yet difficult Trivia Night in Pelicanland.   Well it is tough to say but tthere really are only 2 contenders, the first being “Who was the last switch hitter to win MVP in the American League?” and the second being “What country currently holds the Olympic Gold Medal for rugby?”.   You have to keep an eye on these questions, though, because the American League gives out an MVP award every year and rugby will be reintroduced to the Olympics in 2016 for the Rio games.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you want to know the answers send me an email.

 

Summer Referee Exchanges

 

We have two opportunities for referee visits to Canada.  The first opportunity is June 5th and 6th for the high school championships held in Edmonton.  The coordinator for this is our good friend Paul Cassidy.  Let me know your availability ASAP(by May 18) by emailing me.

The second opportunity is Late June/Early July in conjunction with the Calgary Stampede.  Let Bjorn Stumer know your availability for that week’s exchange.

As always, the society will pay for your transportation there and back.  Hosting will be provided by our gracious hosts.
Regards,
Paul Bretz, Pelicus Iudex Pennipes

 

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.

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparently there were no local games, but our East Coast Pelican is still hard at work.

 

Date: 05/16/2015

Boston Barbarians 7 – British Police Rugby Club   55

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

Location: Irish Cultural Center, Canton, MA

Matches like this are what makes rugby a special sport.  Two senior level select side clubs from different continents getting together for the love of the game.  The Boston Barbarians are made up of the best players in New England available on the day.  This team comprised players from Boston Irish Wolfhounds, Boston RC, Brown U., Providence RC and South Shore RC.  The Empire GU playoffs were also scheduled for the weekend, so a great many other D1 and D2 players were unavailable.  The British Police Rugby Club comprises, obviously, the best ruggers on police forces from Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  Boston wore all white while the British Police styled their kit after the B&I Lions: red shirts, white shorts and blue/green striped socks.  They did not come here just to sightsee.  They are a well drilled club with very good rugby players.  They consistently play 5 times a year and tour out of country every other year.  This was their second tour to the USA.  They will be playing the Empire GU Select Side on Randall’s Island in NYC on May 23.

 

The match was held at the Irish Cultural Center, home of the Boston Irish Wolfhounds.  I’ve previously written about the facilities, it is top stuff.

 

Boston came out first with a great try spun wide to the wing.  Great platform from the ruck and excellent speed on the wing.  Unfortunately their brightest play started and ended 5 minutes into the match.  The rest was a resistance against a far superior side.  To their credit, the Babas had 3 tries held up in-goal.  I couldn’t, after long deliberation and searching for the ball against any blade of grass, justify awarding any of them.  The Police got legs and bodies under each one.  Despite the score, the match flowed well.  Both teams listened to my pre-match instructions that I was here to call the clear and obvious and let them get on with playing the game.

 

The Babas hosted a formal dinner after, where I received the standard tie from the tourists.

 

This Week’s Photo

Is there any doubt that this should be the Photo of the Week?

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 17:  The USA team lift the Cup as they celebrate winning the Cup Final match between Australia and USA in the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium on May 17, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 17: The USA team lift the Cup as they celebrate winning the Cup Final match between Australia and USA in the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham Stadium on May 17, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Pastiche

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Pastiche

 

We here on the editorial staff are always looking for ways to improve ourselves and our readers, especially in the areas or arts, literature and vocabulary. Little known fact: Hail Pelicus’ motto is “An ‘SAT word’ is a word you were expected to know when you were 18.”   With only a few matches this week we had more time to devote to the lexicanonical health of our devoted readers.   (After, of course, petitioning Merriam-Webster to add “lexicanonical” to their dictionary because it is such a cool sounding word.   It is on the opposite side of the aurally pleasing scale from words like “moist”.)   With this in mind we have picked a Vocabulary Word Of The Week:

 

Pastiche [pa-steesh, pah-] noun

  1. a literary, musical, or artistic piece consisting wholly or chiefly of motifs or techniques borrowed from one or more sources.
  2. an incongruous combination of materials, forms, motifs, etc., taken from different sources; hodgepodge.

 

You’re welcome.

 

Let’s start this discussion with the first definition.   A perfect example of a literary pastiche is Hail Pelicus itself.   We here pull from many different sources – literally with the inclusion of the referee match reports – and artistically as I combine the works of some of the greatest word-slingers of the English language for these opening remarks and subsequent sections.   Last year the introduction of one edition consisted of a string of allusions and references to 17 different Shakespeare plays… which were then listed at the end.   This year I played on the legend of Archimedes discovering the principle of water displacement linking it to the eponymous city name up near the Humboldt St campus.    Implicit and explicit references to Monty Python and Terry Pratchett are almost too numerous to mention. I really only write about 10% of this with the rest being borrowed and shaped to fit the chosen theme of the week.   With 700 years of inspiration to choose from I don’t see the HP Literary Allusion Express slowing down.   700, is of course, the hard limit as I don’t consider anything before Chaucer to be literature – or even English.

 

On to the second definition.   This concept has been enthusiastically grasped by USA Rugby and the member clubs as trying to determine a national champion has become something of a joke.   Cal lost to BYU in the Varsity Cup final so that makes BYU the national champion.   St Mary’s beat Life in the USA Rugby D1-A final so that makes them the national champion.   Arguments for the Varsity Cup (these are the 2 best teams in the country so it should count) and against (it is an invitational tournament that is restricted to only 14 clubs) are countered by arguments for USA Rugby (this is a true national tournament that all clubs can play their way into) and against (the champion lost to both Varsity Cup finalists and should be considered, at best, the 3rd best team).   Of course, these arguments work for 2015 but what about 2014 when the same teams finished in the same order yet St Mary’s also beat both Cal and BYU?   All we know so far is that these 4 teams are the 4 best teams in the American collegiate universe but they don’t play each other for any kind of championship.

 

This then gets exasperated when the CRC rolls around and competes with the USA Rugby 7s championship.   The CRC is a fantastic event, a made for TV rugby showcase, but calling it a national championship is disingenuous at best.   There is only one slot for a team to play its way in and the other 15 places are mostly determined by the size of the football program/alumni base (to bring in advertising money) and relative distance to Philadelphia (to encourage fans to fill the stadium).   There are only three pure rugby choices: Life, Kutztown and Dartmouth.   So, a great tournament that I will surely watch, but not a national championship.   So what does USA Rugby offer? Not much, really.   Many of the top teams don’t even bother to enter the tournament and some that win a spot decline to go because they would rather go to the CRC. Hardly a ringing endorsement, that.

 

This doesn’t just exist at the collegiate level.   With the inevitable dissolution of the Super League (which originally existed outside of USA Rugby and then, like the prodigal son, was welcomed in as the Most Favored League, even though entry was mostly based on ability to travel rather than ability to play rugby) most of the member clubs split into their own competitions, the PRP and the ARP.

 

This, my friends is a pastiche, an incongruous combination of materials, forms, motifs, etc., taken from different sources; hodgepodge.

 

I still hold out hope that one day everyone will get together and sort it all out, but probably not anytime soon.

 

Strapping On The Ol’ Nosebag – Save The Date

 

Once again the flock will be coordinating our banquet around the USA National team schedule as the United States Eagles take on Samoa and the Canadian Mooselovers take on Japan in San Jose.   The Pelican Elders will be holding our Annual Awards Banquet in San Jose on Friday, July 17 at the Sonoma Chicken Coop on Skyport Drive – right by Avaya Stadium where the internationals will be held. Please RSVP via email to Jim Crenshaw at crenshaw@cal.net with how many guests you are bringing.  

 

Banquet details:

Date:                    Friday, July 17

Time:                     Drinks start at 7:00, Dinner served at 8:00

Location:              Sonoma Chicken Coop, Skyport

90 Skyport Drive Suite 100

San Jose, CA 95110

Cost:                      All NCRRS members receive a free meal – guests cost $50.00.

 

May Society Meeting

 

There isn’t one.   I’ll bet anyone who showed up on Wednesday at Treasure Island expecting one feels a bit silly right about now.

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from Sillius Maximus of Camelot, England, who asks:

 

“I went to Treasure Island on Wednesday and boy howdy, did I feel silly.   Why wasn’t there a society meeting this month?”

 

That’s a good question, Sillius, and it boils down to a couple of weeks ago when the Referee Development Officer Vicky Hudson and I, along with the Pelican Elders, were paging through the law book searching for appropriate topics.   Imagine our surprise when we found this gem:

 

Law 6.A.4 (a) The referee is the sole judge of fact and of Law during a match.

 

Apparently we really don’t need to study the laws all the time like we have done in the past.   According to this law, whatever we decide is true no matter what so having these meetings to go over the legalities and dynamics of rucks, tackles, lineouts, ect seemed rather pointless.   It was quite liberating, really. Kind of like going commando at work; refreshing and revealing.   I don’t see us having any more meetings this year.

 

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.

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 05/09/2015

Providence 5 – Newport 31

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

Location: Pawtucket, RI

A fine local derby on schedule.  North v South in the battle of the Ocean State.  Only 33 miles separates the only 2 men’s clubs in the state and the rivalry shows.  This was a friendly, scheduled one week after the NERFU Cup Tournament.  No trophies or league points to win, just pride.  This was a battle of a match.  Both teams took the ball up the middle, rucked hard and tackled well.  The penalty count was pretty low considering the situation.  Scrummaging was nearly equal and both seemed to be about the same skill level.  Newport had stronger backs that broke more tackles and set up tries.  Probably had a touch more fitness as well.

Date: 05/09/2015

Budd Bay Bandits 17 – Sacramento Amazons 45

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

The Budd Bay Bandits came down from Olympia, WA for this battle against the Sacramento Amazons for the Women’s Div 2 Playoffs.   The Bandits opened up the scoring with their speedy winger kicking the ball down the field to touch it down. The Amazons responded with a try off of a lineout with their strong center bursting through the back line. Each team got another try before the half, but the Amazons were up 14-10 after making both their conversions. The second half was dominated by the Amazons. They had good support at all their breakdowns and established a strong passing and kicking game. They scored 3 tries before Budd Bay could retaliate. The final score was 45-17 in favor of Sacramento. Great playing by both teams!

 

Date: 05/09/2015

Salem 19 – Colusa County 29

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

AR: Cary Bertalone, Cary

AR: Byrnes, Bryant

 

Colusa met Salem from Oregon in the ACR1 D3 Final, in the opening match of the day’s quadruple header at Cal Maritime. Colusa crossed in the tenth minute from a penalty close in, and the remaining thirty minutes were eventful, highly contested, but ultimately scoreless. 5-0 Colusa at the half.

 

Colusa’s wing scored in the first minute after the break, with scorching pace up the touchline after fast ball through the hands. 12-0 Colusa. Salem pulled the gap back to 5 points with a converted try in the 53rd minute, despite being down a player for repeated team infringements. Colusa came roaring back, and after a late hit on their kicker as he chipped the Salem defense, quickly took the resulting penalty, and hammered forward with a series of pick and go phases close to the Salem line, finally crossing for the score in the 57th minute to restore a 12 point lead 19-7.

 

The large and vocal Colusa support in the stands made radio comms with the ARs challenging at times, but the visitors from Oregon were not intimidated. Salem crossed in the 59th minute and again in the 63rd to tie the game up at 19-19. Game on. At this point I was glad I had checked on the extra time protocols during the week.   Colusa got back in front with ten minutes remaining, but it was still only a five point game with minutes left, with both sides chasing the win. An exciting match was settled by a final score from Colusa to make it 29-19.

 

Thanks to both teams for a great game of rugby, congratulations to both teams on great seasons, and all the best to Colusa in the next stage of the competition.

 

Many thanks to Cary and Bryant for all of their help from the touchline.

 

Date: 05/09/2015

Stanford 0 – California 0

Referee: Bryant, Lee

 

Fun little scrimmage between the two sides. Three full sevens scrimmages were played between the teams to get some extra practice in for the season.

 

This Week’s Photo

The referee team from the recent national semifinal match at St Marys.   L-R: s?l???sn? sn??l??, Nick Riccono (Nor Cal B Panel), Pelicus Byrnest

St Marys Semi

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Legacy

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Legacy

 

Legacies can be defined in many ways. One of the ways Webster defines it is “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.”   Sporting institutions most certainly have legacies – see California, University of, Rugby – though they are not always quite so flattering or even relate to the field of play.   I know of some clubs and institutions that have a proud social legacy and that is not necessarily a bad thing.   Sometimes all that needs to happen is for a commitment to an ideal be made and honored for a period of time, until that commitment is so ingrained is it indistinguishable from the ideal.

 

Legacies are tricky things.   You can try to institute a legacy but this rarely seems to work.   They may stick around as an idea for a while but fail when the generational shift inevitably happens.   These can often be the result of marketing and tend to last just as long as the marketing campaign.   What really makes a legacy is when people buy into an ideal and then live that ideal. No catch phrases or slick campaigns, but a tradition that grows organically and is handed down through the generations naturally: THIS is what we stand for… THIS is what we strive for… THIS is what we try to be.   Results are not necessary, but they often follow because players are not playing just for themselves or their teammates, but for the generations that came before.   When another kind of legacy comes around, when the son or daughter plays for their parent’s club, then that feeling becomes even more intense and the effort that much stronger and the legacy is strengthened.

 

Why, I hear you ask, am I so fascinated with the topic of legacies at this time?   Well, I’ll tell you.   Last week my family gathered together to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents.   This union, cemented in Michigan, soon moved out to California and started raising a family – a family of doctors, engineers, musicians, salesmen, executives… and athletes.   We were initially swept up in that first true American soccer generation of the 1970s but when a soccer scholarship at St Mary’s ran out of eligibility rugby stepped up.   This in itself is unremarkable as in the early 90s that was how people got to know rugby – they picked it up in college.   What is remarkable is what happened next.   This young soccer player, Jon Hinkin, just happened to be the fastest guy anyone had ever seen and with the ability to kick of either foot was a natural at left wing.   After helping St Mary’s to a famous victory over Cal he started to get noticed and was selected to represent Northern California against Southern California in the collegiate Pelican – Griffin game to held at UC Santa Barbara during the Santa Barbara Rugby Tournament.

 

Now I was an undergrad at UCSB at the time and a member of the track team (pole vaulter, actually) and came out to watch this “rugby” thing.   I was getting a little bored with track and, to be honest, had probably topped out at vaulting, so I was the perfect receptacle for what I saw. I was hooked. This game looked like SO MUCH FUN!

 

And thus a legacy started to germinate.

Jon went on to play for OMBAC and to make the USA Eagles, where he was the 7s captain for several years.   After retiring he stayed involved and, as a way to bring fans to the USA 7s in San Diego he started a tournament called the San Diego Invitational.   When the USA 7s moved to Las Vegas he went with it and now runs the Las Vegas Invitational, the largest rugby tournament in North America.   He also helped start the CRC and is involved in bringing other rugby events to the US.   He has become one of the more influential people in the spread of rugby in the USA.

 

I never quite reached those heights, although I am immensely proud to have participated in an Eagle 7s camp and captained the Pacific Coast Grizzlies once.   After retiring from active playing I took up the whistle and have done a little coaching but I see this publication as my greatest sphere of influence as I (try to) entertain and enlighten people as to the goings on in Northern California rugby and to evoke the joy that this game can bring and thus helping cement the legacy of Dr Bruce Carter, from whom I took over the Hail Pelicus.

 

Both of us were hooked early by the addictive rugby bug and have striven to give back to the game we love.   Our legacies will be determined when someone else takes over these jobs.

 

This brings us back to the 50th wedding anniversary of Michael and Joan Hinkin.   For 50 years they have loved and struggled and raised 6 children along with assorted others who spent a large percentage of their time at the Hinkin place – when you are making dinner for 8 what is 1 or 2 more?   They taught us to love what we do and to give back what we can for there is no better way to repay that which you love.   They taught us the value of loyalty and honor. For 50 years they have been an example to everyone without any attempt to swagger or bring attention to themselves, they just did what they did and did it well.   The made a commitment to an ideal and honored it.

 

This is the heart and soul of a legacy.   That is the heart and soul of this rugby legacy.   May it live on for generations uncounted.

 

Strapping On The Ol’ Nosebag – Save The Date

 

Once again the flock will be coordinating our banquet around the USA National team schedule as the United States Eagles take on Samoa and the Canadian Mooselovers take on Japan in San Jose.   The Pelican Elders will be holding our Annual Awards Banquet in San Jose on Friday, July 17 at the Sonoma Chicken Coop on Skyport Drive – right by Avaya Stadium where the internationals will be held. Please RSVP via email to Jim Crenshaw at crenshaw@cal.net with how many guests you are bringing.  

 

Banquet details:

Date:                    Friday, July 17

Time:                     Drinks start at 7:00, Dinner served at 8:00

Location:              Sonoma Chicken Coop, Skyport

90 Skyport Drive Suite 100

San Jose, CA 95110

Cost:                      All NCRRS members receive a free meal – guests cost $50.00.

 

Tonga? Samoa? What’s The Difference?

 

There is a big difference and in last week’s Hail Pelicus I misidentified the USA’s opponent on July 18 as Tonga.   The correct opponent is reported above: the USA will play Samoa.   Many apologies to my Tongan and Samoan friends… and even to the ones who don’t like me all that much, if there are any.

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from Reginald Kenneth Dwight of Pinner, Middlesex, England, who asks:

 

“Is the Pelican Awards Banquet really on a Friday this year?”

 

Yes, Mr Dwight, it is.   As we all know Saturday’s all right for fighting so the USA and Canada internationals are being held on Saturday night. Since we all want to watch the matches we would have to wait for them to finish before congregating, and if the society was to wait until they were over to hold the banquet we would have started at 10:00PM at the earliest.   We wouldn’t have time for your song when you do the crocodile rock with a tiny dancer.

 

The option of having an Annual Awards Tailgate Party was never considered.

 

Summer Planning – Looking Ahead

 

From our Noble Leader, Pelicus Iudex Pennipes:

 

It’s hard to believe that the 2014-2015 season is fast approaching its conclusion but the fact is that there are only a few more games. Please update your availability on Assignr as assignments will be forthcoming. All of the matches this weekend will require teams of three.

Additionally, 7’s scheduling will be taking the forefront and some tournaments are all ready on Assignr, including a June 20th event in Bakersfield. This is a major event with a 7’s tournament, 15’s challenge matches and Youth Regional All Star Challenge held on 10 fields- Similar to the LVI. NCRRS will be looking to send a minimum of 10 referees.

 

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.

 

Referees On Tour

 

From Cary Bertolone:

I was asked to ref the Catalina over 40’s on May 2nd, for the third year in a row. It fits in nicely with getting to play the over 50’s match for my University Alumni team, Ancient Aztecs now, SDSU back in the day. I had the first game at 8:00 am. LA Rugby vs Las Vegas. It went well for L.A., not as well for Las Vegas, 40-5.

I had the third game of the day, Huntington Beach vs. Pasadena. Same kind of game. Huntington Beach had too much for Pasadena and they won 50-0.

My game that I played in was Aztecs of San Diego vs “all of L.A.”. We won that game 15-5, but “who cares?” Only we cared and so be it!!!

Too much fun!!

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

EDITOR’s NOTE: We are starting with a pair of reports from our East Coast Pelican, Tom Zanarini, the first being his report from last week that I forgot to put in.

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

 

Slippery Rock Rugby Tournament

Location: Lawrence County Fairgrounds, New Castle, PA

Teams: Slippery Rock U., Clarion U., South Pitt Men’s Club, SLOBS (Slippery Rock Old Boys)

 

I haven’t been to my alma mater since 2008 where I refereed the tournament as a relative rookie. Moving back home made this opportunity too good to pass up. I left Westerly, RI on Thursday night to stay with my best friend, college mate, prop to my hooker, Vice President to my President while at the Rock, Andy Wehr. I was able to finally convince Andy to take up the whistle, which he did last year for the New York Rugby Referee Society. So this weekend he was in the same position I was in 2008. After a night in Red Bank (see Jay and Silent Bob), NJ we drove on I-80 for 6 or so hours to our old stomping ground. Arriving on campus is surreal as the campus has changed quite a bit. All of the old 1960 style class buildings and dorms are nearly gone, replaced and updated to modern standards. Good to see our tuition money going to work. But first, Bob’s Subs. I’m sure every college town has what they consider the best sub on the planet. In Slippery Rock it is Bob’s and a mandatory stop for any returning alum.

 

Friday night we hooked up with the current club members at the rugby house. This place is in desperate need of a demolition permit. Living in squalor is a complement. Keg firmly planted in the middle of the living room, no ice required as it is Natural Light and not worth the price of frozen water. After hearing the sweet young voice of a coed say, “I’d like to do a shotgun, please,” we decided it was time to leave the young ones to their own devices. Not before we were given the tour and noticed 2 trophies from 1995 and 1996, when we were in charge. No need to wonder though. We did return after dinner (and after dark) with two female rugby alum to show them the ‘house.’ And wouldn’t you know that the 1995 plaque for 1st place in the Rock Rugby Tournament somehow ended up under my shirt? Funny thing.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: You do know this is being published on the interwebs, yes?

 

Saturday was the cluster that we predicted. The 10am kickoff was pushed to ‘whenever our jerseys get here.’ That was about 10:50am. First match, SRU took it to Clarion 17-5. Second match the SLOBS outlasted South Pitt 17-12. Third match South Pitt whitewashed Clarion 35-0. Fourth match the SLOBS showed that age and treachery beats youth and speed by 31-12. So, what of the 3rd v 4th and 1st v 2nd matches? Well, times ticking on the kegs, so let’s just play one more. Green (SRU/SLOBS) were twice as good as Red (South Pitt/Clarion) 24-12. So, off to Rock Falls for the after party!

 

SRU was fortunate (for entertainment’s sake) to have about 8 zulus on the day. The zulu trail was composed of a slip and slide lined with ketchup, mayo, mustard, jalapenos, and I’m sure lots and lots of other slippery additives that lead directly to the Slippery Rock Creek. Yeah, they put a lot of effort into that. After the dying fire was helped to a second life by way of used motor oil, we decided to leave early once again. A quick trip back to town for some refreshments at Ginger Hill Tavern was in order.

 

All in all a great trip to see old friends where rugby is only a part of the reason to go.

 

Date: 05/02/2015 – 05/03/2015

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

New England Rugby Union Championships

Fort Adams State Park, Newport RI

 

The end of the spring season in New England culminates with the NERFU Cup, a 15’s tournament for the men’s and women’s clubs. No colleges are present and this year no men’s D1 teams were present. The tournament is traditionally held later in May, but a previously scheduled boat race (a real boat race, not what you’re thinking) is passing through Newport later. D1 teams had league matches already scheduled so had to pass on the festivities. Newport is less than an hour from my new home in Westerly, RI so our Friday commute was no problem. Newport is of course a gem of a town. Old colonial architecture downtown mixed with massive Gilded Age mansions along the coast. If you’ve never been on the Cliff Walk before, it’s worth the trip.

 

Fort Adams State Park is the home of Newport Rugby, with their own dedicated pitch overlooking Newport Harbor. It is one of the most picturesque rugby scenes in the country. While Santa Cruz’s field is superb overlooking Monterrey Bay, Newport Harbor has it’s own charm with some mansions across the water, downtown visible and the Sail Newport docks across the street. On the other side is former Navy officer housing that has that special New England charm. 3 fields are used for the tournament, one right next to another. Plenty of food and beer for all and Ruggers sets up an excellent kit tent for all your gear needs. I managed to find a pair of Puma studded boots for $25 in anticipation of the autumn’s sloppy mud matches.

 

NERRS has an exchange with the Gloucester and District Referee Society in England and coordinate the import leg of the exchange with the NERFU Cup. Three referees made the trip ranging in age from 28 to 48 to 68. A great bunch of fellas (as you would expect) who were shown around New England from Boston to Vermont to Newport over the week plus visit. The Society also hosts a dinner on Saturday night at La Forge, adjacent to the Tennis Hall of Fame. It was great to hook up with the NERRS referees to establish myself back into the mix. Of course being the small rugby world that it is, I wasn’t flying alone. Fellow Pelican Jeff Ferguson has also migrated back to New England to spread his wings among our eastern brothers. He did me the pleasure of running AR on Sunday morning in his collar.

 

Matches:

I was assigned to referee one match on Saturday and run AR three times and do one match in the middle on Sunday. As happens, another ref called in sick so one of my Saturday AR assignment turned into a middle run.

 

D3 pool: New London 6 v Boston Irish Wolfhounds 12

 

First match of the day and I get my old club, New London. I never played for them, but was their team referee and practiced with them so I never got to referee the lads. A fine match with very few penalties Both teams attacked well, rucked hard and had great defense. BIW’s was able to find in-goal territory while NL had to settle for 3’s.

 

D2 consolation semi final: Old Gold 5 v New Haven 48

 

A consolation bracket match. The winner gets into the D2 consolation final. New Haven outmatched Old Gold on the ends with some very fast wings. One is on the Olympic Development watch for 7s. If he lived in Boston or New York he would surely be on a premier team.

 

Sunday D2 Consolation Final: New Haven 24 v Newport 31

 

Newport was out to prove themselves at their host tournament. New Haven ended up leaving Saturday with 13 active players and were unsure of their ability. I thought this match was going to be very one-sided when I arrived to see Newport in full warm-up mode with 23+ players and New Haven sitting on the side of the hill wondering who will show up. Newport scored two tries right away which seemed to wake up New Haven. Halftime came with the sides tied at 17. We actually had quite an exciting match. Scored were back and forth and I was sweating a tie. Newport found ground with a few minutes left and managed to control the match til the end.

 

It was a great weekend of tournament rugby. I reconnected with some old friends and made tons more. Can’t wait for the next one!

 

Date: 05/02/2015

EPA Razorbacks 48 – Sacramento Lions 7

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

AR: Bernstein, Bruce

AR: Valerio, Stephen

 

The Sacramento Lions held Razorbacks to a 12 point lead in the first half, but strong running and fast ball enabled the Razorbacks to pull away in the second, before the plucky Lion’s positive rugby earned them a consolation try. Many thanks to Stephen Valerio and Bruce Bernstein for their help on the touch line.

 

Date: 05/02/2015

Olympic Club B 17 – Life West 52

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

A great day for rugby. But the first half was decidedly one sided. Life chose to play their A side for the first half and racked up an impressive lead. In the second half with the Life B side on the pitch it was an even contest. The lead Life created in the first half was insurmountable. A fun feisty friendly.

 

Date: 05/02/2015

SFGG Women 12 – Sacramento Amazons 24

Referee: Tucker, Chris

AR: Van Staden, JC

 

Got up early, drove down 80 to jam a quick trail run up in the Oakland hills as a warm up.   The demands of long course training mean that the 3.75 miles I would do while refereeing is nice, but no substitute for a double digit day. So 7 miles uphill and down dale in the pleasant cool sea air, and then on over to TI for the rest.

 

As a curtain raiser, the women’s Norcal championship would be hard to beat. Played with good spirit, and at a pace which surprised me at the outset, but is a strong indicator of how far the women’s game has come along. The Amazons’ strategy was clear — shove the ball down the throats of the opposition until they choked, then pass it out and gain ground. This worked well in the early going, but as legs tired, so the breakdowns became messier. The Amazons ultimately had a player temporarily suspended for repeatedly leaving their feet, but given their previous advantage in the forwards, this simply evened it up a bit. The game was also competitive in the loose, with SFGG repeatedly pressuring the Amazons back line into errors, and making ground themselves when they could spin the ball out wide. At the end of the day, however, forwards decide who wins, and backs by how much. And the visitors’ forwards are so very good at what they do. If they can minimize their tendency to overcompete at the ruck, they will do very well in the coming weeks.

 

The game did highlight the value of a competent AR. I had JC on one line, and a player with a flag on the other. On one side, therefore, observations on who’s doing what behind my back, rock solid procedural calls, and overall how can we manage the game better. On the other, well, you just have to work harder, and ask good questions when the moment arrives. So if anybody ever asks, take the best seat in the house, and run the line. Everyone will be happier, you included.

 

And then I got to watch the first of the two PRP games on the ground that day, with a beer and some fine company. Not a bad Saturday.

 

Date: 05/02/2015

St. Mary’s College 48 – Lindenwood 32

Referee: Ricono, Nick (Southern Califnornia)

AR: Byrnes, Bryant

AR: Sandhill, Peter

Attendant Miser: Crenshaw, Jim

 

Report from Bryant Byrnes:

 

Question to James-was it not Davenport rather than Lindenwood?

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: How should I know? I wasn’t there.

 

This semi final had Nick Ricono in the middle-assigned from the National panel (aka, the Nor Cal B Panel) and from SoCal. Peter Sandhill and I were the ARs. Sunny Jim Crenshaw was in attendance just to watch the ponies run and also give the kids their allowances. (I like the Society’s proactive approach to paying its members.)

 

It was all St Mary’s the first half; 24-3. But they neglected their Wheaties at the break and Davenport came roaring back. Its missed conversions (at least four) kept this from being a nail biter. Nick had a super game.

 

Date: 05/02/2015

UC Davis Women 10 – Alumni 30

Referee: Hosley, David

 

A nice tradition is starting at UC Davis, with this second annual alumni women’s match on a beautiful day. The undergrads got to the round of 16 this season, and are looking forward to sevens competition later this month. The university side started out fast, but experience won out. For one of the alumni players, it was the first time she’d laced up her boots in ten years.

 

 

This Week’s Photo

The start of a rugby legacy, all unbeknownst to them, April 30, 1965. L-R: Michael D Hinkin, Joan M Hinkin

Hinkin Parents Wedding

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Alphabet Soup

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Alphabet Soup

 

As beachlike conditions develop everywhere for games having incurred justice, knowledgeable locals might necessitate our Pelican quester’s resolve, steadily testing universally validated wantonly xerosic yearly zephyrs.   Yes, the weather in Pelicanland has long been a sore topic of conversation and our rainy season is long past so we, as stated above, will be dealing with dry and occasionally windy conditions for the next 6 months.   Some say that is perfect rugby weather (and they are right) but the occasional greening and softening of the local pitches would be appreciated.   We of the flock do not despair, however, but strive ever manfully and womanfully onward to the next challenge as the Alphabet Soup of rugby competitions finish their seasons and crown their champions.   Cal lost the WC but hope to win the VC. SFGG is alive in the PRP.   Cal Maritime are challenging for the NSCRO title as EPA finishes top of D1.   D2 and D3 crowned local champions and identified national representatives at the club and college level – with universities further delving into the Scrabble bag for D1A and D1AA.

 

All this without the NCYRA… these kiddos are the future of our acronyms!

 

And who here knows what “acrostic” means?

 

Playoffs Are Here!

 

We are reaching the business end of the 2014/15 season so to that end we need to know availability so we can assign Referees, Assistant Referees, and Referee Coaches/Performance Reviewers/Other Names I Have Thought Up for the conclusion of the season and playoff matches. Please ensure we get your details by going to assignr, logging in, and posting availability.

 

Strapping On The Ol’ Nosebag

 

Once again the flock will be coordinating our banquet around the USA National team schedule as the Eagles take on Tonga and the Mooselovers take on Japan in San Jose.   The Pelican Elders will be holding our Annual Awards Banquet in San Jose on July 18. We are also working on getting a block of tickets for the test match so stay tuned to this publication. More details to follow.

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from Noob Newref of New Pelican, CA, who asks:

 

“I am really looking forward to the Annual Banquet that I have heard so much about.   I have never been to one so is there anything I should know about before hand?”

 

Hey Noob, welcome to the flock.   The Annual Banquet is the time of year where we all polish our beaks and throat pouches and put on our finest plumage in order to sit around and congratulate each other on a job well done.   Surprisingly enough, some of us clean up rather well.   This is an awards banquet so outstanding individuals will be recognized in various categories and there are several running bets on emcee Pelicus Fistulator’s speeches, the two most popular being if he gets more groans v laughs for his jokes and an over/under on the phrase “soup to nuts”.

 

It is also required that you carry on your person at all times a pelican mascot.   This can be, for example, a toy or a small statuette, but you must be able to produce a mascot at any official Mascot Check or you are required to buy a round for the Society.

 

Summer Planning – Looking Ahead

 

From our Noble Leader, Pelicus Iudex Pennipes:

 

It’s hard to believe that the 2014-2015 season is fast approaching its conclusion but the fact is that there are only a few more games. Please update your availability on Assignr as assignments will be forthcoming. All of the matches this weekend will require teams of three.

Additionally, 7’s scheduling will be taking the forefront and some tournaments are all ready on Assignr, including a June 20th event in Bakersfield. This is a major event with a 7’s tournament, 15’s challenge matches and Youth Regional All Star Challenge held on 10 fields- Similar to the LVI. NCRRS will be looking to send a minimum of 10 referees.

 

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.

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Baracus 47 – Vacaville 57

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

AR: Wilson, Giles

AR: Smith, Pete

 

Who knew I would ref the most exciting/competitive/close (playoff) match out of the 4 of the day @ Sacto Balackhawks Danny Nunn Field scoring the most points & tries. It helped having 2 great ARs Giles & Pete Smith providing 6 eyes for the few plays I needed their help with–pretty sure 1st time I had ARs for a 15s match. Vacaville barely ahead at half 21-19 & went up by 20 which Baracus almost staged a “Warrior” comeback from, running out of time the only thing stoppping them with their dominate scrum against Vacaville twin 90 lbs (soaking wet) high school 2nd rows. The got blown back or sideways every scrumdown but managed to feed their speedstar wing who scored about 4-5 tries. Party facilities right across the parking lot set up by the Blackhawks & Ben Parker were off the hook with plenty of room to mingle, sit in both sun & shade & eat fantastic bbq including teriyaki chix cooked just right- had 2 plus cheeseburger, hotdog (not to mention real good salad & potato salad a Jewish mom would be proud of) & Pete’s weatbeer to wash it down.

 

Date: 04/25/2015

EPA Razorbacks 17 – Fresno 17

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

The EPA Razorbacks came into this match with an 11-0 record and having wrapped up D1. Fresno, 2-9 on the season so far, didn’t read the script, and came out firing on all cylinders.   Fresno took the lead with a converted try in the 22nd minute as the Razorbacks conceded penalties and territory. Fresno added a penalty kick in the 29th minute for a ten point lead at half time.

Fresno scored another converted try early in the second half, stealing a Razorbacks lineout deep in the Razorbacks’ 22, and taking their lead to 17 points. Much improved discipline at the breakdown and powerful direct running saw the Razorbacks finally pierce the Fresno defense and cross in the 65th and the 67th minutes, pulling their guests’ lead back to a single converted try. Having withstood extended pressure from Fresno during a scrummaging battle deep in their own 22, the Razorbacks scored again in the 79th minute, and kicked the conversion to tie the game with seconds remaining. As the hosts gathered the restart kick, Fresno bundled the ball carrier into touch, and the match ended in a tie.

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Life West 73 – Sacramento Capitals 10

Referee: Tucker, Chris

AR: Wilkening, Russ

AR: Pendergrass, Joshua

 

The weather gods had done us a solid and watered the pitch the night before, so it was perfect for rugby. At 5pm we kicked off the night-cap on a whole day of rugby at Danny Nunn. Pelicus Pedem Referre was having fun with Reno and Colusa as I arrived, ably assisted by Josh Pendergrass and Russ Wilkening. These two stayed on to run AR for me in my game, and I’m glad they did. Nothing quite like knowing the line calls will be right, that the loose-head is chicken-winging every time I’m on the other side, and that the occasional misdemeanor will get caught when you’re unsighted.

 

Not close, yet hard fought all the way. Scrums were competitive, tackling solid all round, but Life in open play were fast, consistent and the Caps had no answer for them. Life West will do well at nat champs, I’m sure. One item I did check off my rugby refereeing bucket list was a flying wedge. The appallingly written section of Law 10.4 lists by general example what might be called a wedge. However the vague nature of the definition was not to be a problem on the day. You could use the match video as a literal example. Tap, pass, players bind on either side, head for goal line. Whistle, penalty, blank stares.

 

Finally, after 11 tries to 1 try and a penalty, we unlaced our boots and went over to the beer garden.

 

Sideline and sartorial comment much appreciated from Augustus, Fistulator, and Avoidus Whistle Dude.

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Mother Load 26 – Granite Bay 21

Referee: Carney, Mark

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

North Sac Warriors 31 – Bishop O’Dowd 45

Referee: Taueva, Favor

 

Beautiful pitch. First time here. This is a very high energy game but nothing I can’t handle it. From the get and go, spoke respectfully to both coaches to remind their team how important it is to be very disciplined thought out the game. Unfortunately sometimes when reach this level of [rugby final] excitement,   According to Goff rugby report   “Today we kind of went off our game plan – I don’t know if it was the excitement of making a final,” said Wainqolo.  “We have a lot of players new to rugby still in football habits, and sometimes that has hurt us with penalties. But we did pretty well for our first year as a team.” That’s says all for my report today. Thanks to Paul and all our people that have made it out to represent us. Ref one game, watch one and AR last one. It’s a joy to be part of NCRRS. Good rugby to both club. Manuia

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Reno Zephyrs 17 – Colusa 48

Referee: Hinkin, James

AR: Wilkening, Russ

AR: Pendergrass, Joshua

 

The Men’s D3 Championship game was held in Sacramento last weekend and pitted the Reno Zephyrs against Colusa.   Both teams had confidently steamrolled their way into this match and it looked to be a tight affair.   It is always an honor to adjudicate a championship match to I felt I needed to be on top of my game as well.

 

The match started with Reno kicking off and soon settled into a defensive stalemate.   Once both sides started to believe that I would insist on a gap at the lineout the game opened up a bit as each team were feeling each other out but could not find that crucial gap.   I was starting to think this would be a 0-0 affair as strong running and hard tackling went head to head for nearly 30 minutes before the first crack was found.   Reno was able to string several phases together before crashing over on the right side for the opening try, but failed to convert.   This seemed to wake Colusa up a bit as they started piling on the pressure.   A few minutes later at 32:00 Colusa were pressing the Reno line but knocked on.   On the ensuing defensive scrum Colusa tried to turn the scrum and were called for a whip-wheel. The alert Reno scrumhalf tapped quickly to attack the weak side. But, unfortunately for him, when faced with a 2 on 1 with the opposing wingers he threw the pass behind his teammate where it hit the ground to be gratefully scooped up by the Colusa wing who waltzed in unopposed for their first try. This seemed to demoralize Reno as Colusa ramped up the pressure and were rewarded with a second try before the half.   Both Colusa tries were converted for a 14-5 halftime lead.

 

The second half started in much the same manner as the first half as a regrouped Reno side pressed hard against Colusa only to have Colusa press right back.   This second stalemate only lasted 10 minutes as Colusa’s back line started to show its class. Tries at 11:00, 18:00, 21:00, 22:00, 27:00 and 36:00 effectively put the game out of reach. Colusa’s left wing was shedding tacklers at will and their right wing was a danger all day that was fully realized with an 80 meter intercept try.   Reno did no go quietly, however, as they showed their courage and class with a consolation try at 38:00 and a further one at full time.   Congratulations to Colusa on a well fought victory. It was a pleasure to work with both teams and captains and I congratulate Reno on an excellent season.

 

Many thanks must go to Josh Pendegrass and Russ Wilkening for their invaluable assistance as ARs.   This is a rare luxury.

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Sacramento Amazons 47 – Berkeley All Blues 2 19

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

AR: Wilson, Giles

AR: Smith, Pete

 

We had a few clouds in the air; better than the last several 80 degree days we’ve had the last few weekends. We were at the Danny Nunn field in Sacramento, with a few puddles from the night before, softening the pitch a bit. This was a Nor-Cal Womens’ semifinal and these two teams split their earlier two contests. Giles Wilson and Pete Smith as A.R.’s; what a luxury for me and the two competing sides as they were able to help me in many ways, between knock-ons I would have missed, a forward pass clarified and advice on some offside issues.

 

The Amazons kicked off at 11:00 am and the Berkeley All Blues proceeded to lose the ball in a ruck. Sacramento moved it downfield with good rucking and then made some great passes with their backs to run one in at the three minute mark. The Amazons continued to dominate in the early going, scoring a second try with great forward work, crashing it in for a converted try at 10 minutes. Down one player at one point, they scored again while playing short. They were up 26-0 before Berkeley made a great break for a nice center try to give them hope, but it was 33-7 at the half.

 

The second half began with the Berkeley All Blues taking over and scoring another converted try, making it 33-14. The two teams played even for 20 more minutes, but then the Amazons scored a nice try to widen the gap. They scored again at the 76 minute mark, but Berkeley ended the game with a try of there own, taking a little of the sting out of their last game of the year. Amazons 47 – Berkeley 19. Great to have four games in a row, three of them playoff games, with AR’s, meaning we had 8 Pelican refs working together to make it happen. Good rugby, great fun!

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Santa Rosa 32 – Sacramento Lions 17

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

A great day for rugby at For Pete’s Sake field in Santa Rosa. These two teams were hoping to win this league game for a better seed in playoffs. The first half started off with a penalty kick for points just a couple of minutes in which put Santa Rosa ahead. They kept the lead from there on, even though Sacramento gave them a good run for their money. Santa Rosa had the majority of possession during the first half. They made a few breakaway runs and strong outside plays to finish off the half with 3 tries and 2 conversions. Sacramento had 2 tries of their own and almost a 3rd at the very end of the half, but couldn’t convert. The half ended with Santa Rosa up 22-12. The second half had more running but fewer tries. Possession went back and forth a bit more, though Rosa still had the majority. Each team scored a try in the second half, but Santa Rosa also got a conversion and a penalty kick to make the final score 32-17.

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

SFGG Women 86 – San Jose Seahawks Women 5

Referee: Gordon, Preston

 

This was a well-tempered but unevenly matched playoff game. San Jose, due to injuries, were only able to field 13 players and the result was about what one might expect. The halftime score was 31-5, with the sole San Jose try coming from some alert play after SFGG bobbled the ball near their own goal line. In the second half, SFGG added 55 more points (9 tries/5 conversions) to end up at 86-5. While this wasn’t much of a contest, it was a great reason to run 3 miles, and a day of rugby is always better than a day without.

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

UC Davis 50 – Western Washington University 14

Referee: Hosley, David

 

Overnight rain cleared and we had perfect weather for a match that was close early, and then dominated by UC Davis. My first time using the AR headsets, and it really made it easy to communicate the few times it was required.

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

University of Arkansas 24 – CSU Long Beach 14

Referee: Hosley, David

 

Extremely close match with lots of sideline to sideline play within the 22’s. Both team pressed to score at the end, with Long Beach having the momentum in the last minute, Arkansas intercepted a pass and went the 90 yards untouched to preserve the win.

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

West Coast Collegiate Women’s D2

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

The ominous clouds hovering over Santa Clara gave way to a beautiful sunny day for West Coast 7s. A day with Humboldt, Fresno State, Cal, Stanford, and Santa Clara.

 

Pool Play:

First match of my day was between the hosts and visiting Fresno. This was a match of two halves. The first half belonged to Fresno scoring twice in the first half leading Santa Clara 12 – 0. Tides turned in the second half and Santa Clara answered back with a flurry of their own. Santa Clara was down 10 – 12, and with the final horn sounding they had possession. With that possession they were able to score to take the lead and win. An exciting way to begin the day.

 

Next up was duel between neighbors, Santa Clara facing Stanford. The Cardinal took the Broncos by the reigns and did not let go for the opening 7 minutes. Stanford stampeded their way to a 24 – 0 lead at the half. Second half Santa Clara managed to regain themselves and match Stanford toe to toe. Although the final stood Stanford 29 – Santa Clara 5, SCU showed that they could match Stanford.

 

Knockout Stages:

First up in the knockout rounds was Fresno State vs Cal. A hard fought match between these two sides with stingy defenses . At the half it was anyone’s game. Cal had squeaked out a 5 – 0 lead over Fresno. The second half was much of the same. Unrelenting teams trying to claw their way to a victory, but the Bears beat the Bulldogs 12 – 0.

 

The 2nd Semi-final was a rematch of a round robin match between two classic rivals Cal vs Stanford. Today, unlike earlier in the 7s season, went Stanford’s way. Stanford, again, was able to jump out in front of their opponents. This time only managing a 15 – 0 lead over their arch rivals. The second half was much more even. Stanford was only able to score once more and lead 20 – 0 until the final seconds of the match. In those waning moments Cal punched through the Stanford defense and ended the match with a final Try. Stanford 20 – Cal 7.

 

The Finals were a match-up between two strong teams that had not dropped a game all day, Stanford and Humboldt. Stanford yet again was able to have a fast start over their opponents. Forcing their way out to a 14 – 0 lead by halftime. Humboldt showed a lot of promise for a team in its infancy. I anticipate them becoming a strong team in the near future. But today Stanford was the superior team, keeping Humboldt scoreless unit their score to close our the match. Finals: Stanford 28 – Humbolt 5.

 

Date: 04/26/2015

USA Rugby National Playoffs

Referee: Hosley, David

 

The consolation match featured lots of scoring, but Long Beach dominated up front and pulled away.

 

 

This Week’s Photo

Team of three all set to go for the Men’s D3 Championship match.   Ordered by height, L-R: Joshua Pendergrass, Pelicus Pedem Referre, Russ Wilkening

 

D3 Team of 3

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre