Author Archives: James Hinkin

Keep Clam and Carry On

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Keep Clam and Carry On

With many Pelicans celebrating the Easter holiday and many others just celebrating life there was a break for most clubs last weekend. Many clubs had an enforced break as the wheat has been separated from the chaff and their seasons are done – or as some call it, “early 7s preparation”. Some were still working hard fine tuning for upcoming playoff games and the high pressure win-or-go-home atmosphere that generates. Others even managed to get some rugby in as not everybody had the weekend off to either celebrate the holiest day of their religion or just bask in the California sunshine as they checked “N/A” in the Religious Holiday form. That being said, with rugby players being who they are, all three groups probably were singing a song that related one particular person’s tragic inability to play this fine game. Personally, I was between work stints across the pond and managed to cook up one of my favorite meals. Start by sautéing freshly chopped garlic in butter, then add a little extra virgin olive oil as it browns so the mixture doesn’t burn. Dump in some chopped clams and chopped, browned Andouille sausages. Add chopped basil, chopped green onions and ready cut tomatoes and spice to taste… I tend to put in more than my share of cayenne pepper at that stage. Cook to a nice simmer. Put some fresh linguini pasta in a pot of boiling water then drain when ready. The sauce goes over the pasta and serve with any salad/rolls/extras you like.

 

I added a bottle of chardonnay so I could keep clam and carry on to the playoffs.

 

 

And now on to the games…

 

Because yes, there were some…

Date: 04/19/2014

SFGG 64 – Olympic Club 28

Referee: Ranaweera, Aruna

 

In this PRP contest between home-town rivals, OC held the upper hand in the 1st half, but squandered several scoring opportunities, which allowed SFGG to manage a 17-14 half-time lead. Soon after, SFGG turned their backs loose and ran away with the game, 10 tries to 4. Much thanks to Preston Gordon and Pete Smith for solid support as AR’s.

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

SFGG B 39 – Olympic Club B 36

Referee: Smith, Pete

 

These two teams have no love lost for each other. Lots of stuff off the ball and behind play-the kind of game that keeps good AR’s busy!! OC missed the final conversion at full time that would have cut it to 1point.

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

SFGG Women 71 – San Jose Seahawks Women 15

Referee: Bruno, Jordan

 

Well contested with SFGG having the upper hand. Better intensity and movement in the backs but great individual efforts on the Seahawks side.

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

UCLA 0 – 41 Cal

Referee: Akroyd, Philharmonica

ARs: Bill Caulfield, Cullen Lowe

P.R.: Jay Trello

 

Pretty much one-way traffic in a game that should have been much closer. Cal really didn’t give the home team much of a chance at any point in the first-half, and with Seamus Kelly in prime try-scoring form, it was tough for them to get a hold on the game.

 

UCLA came out with much more focus and aggression in the second half, but even with a two-man advantage the closest they got was a knock-on over the line. Maybe the Cal we know from last season has awoken in time for the Varsity Cup.

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

UC Davis 39 – Solano Community College 22

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

Both sides played this friendly match missing a few starters, though it affected Solano more as they traveled with only 16 players. Davis got off to a slow start, then began to dominate Solano with their bigger and more organzied pack. Davis had a comfortable 24-5 lead at halftime. Davis made wholesale substitutions in the second half to give their younger players a go. Solano took advantage of the skill gap and outscored Davis though not enough get a win.

 

Date: 04/19/2014

Berkeley 25 – Sacramento Capitals 26

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

Perfect sunny day for rugby. My first game at Witter field (Piedmont HS) was great. In a scrappy game, Berkeley took a 10-5 lead at half. In the 2nd half, Sac was able to score and convert three tries. The teams traded leads 4 times in the final quarter with Sac holding on in the end.

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

Chico 34 – Baracus 36

Referee: Crenshaw, Jim

 

Good match in Chico.

Baracus Scored first with a converted try. Chico came back with a try, but missed the conversion and then Baracus scored a converted try to make it 14 – 5 20 minutes in. Chico kicked a penalty kick to get within 6, but Baracus ran in another try to make it 21-8. Chico ran in a try at the end of the half to make it 21-15. Chico started out the second half fast with 2 converted trys to take and then extend their first lead of the match 29-21

Baracus came back with to unconverted trys to regain the lead 31-29. Chico scored an unconverted try with a couple of minutes to go, but Baracus scored an unconverted try near the end of the game and held on for the win 36-34.

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

Life West 104 – Humboldt 0

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

ARs: Bruce Bernstein, Preston Gordon

 

A dominant performance from a robust Life West, who clearly will be advancing rapidly to higher division rugby. Humboldt, arriving after a long drive south to SFGG, found themselves on the wrong end of an avalanche of tries and great conversions in the first half, which ended 71-0. It’s a tribute to the character of the Humboldt squad that they kept their chins up, kept competing and making Life West work, and kept the rugby positive. While Life West kept up the intensity in the

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second half, Humboldt cut their scoring rate dramatically, and held them to a single try in the first 22 minutes of the second half. Nevertheless, Life ran in another 4 tries, and kicked excellent conversions in the conditions, to finish 104-0 winners.

 

Thanks to both teams for a match played in excellent spirits. Many thanks to Bruce Bernstein and Preston Gordon for their invaluable assistance and counsel.

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

Marin 23 – Sacramento Blackhawks 73

Referee: Tiatia, Nome

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

Mendocino Steam Donkeys 7 – Reno Zephyrs 31

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

 

I was the AR for Joe Leisek, who managed and reffed perfectly!!

 

 

Date: 04/19/2014

Sacramento Amazons 68 – Berkeley All Blues 22

Referee: van Staden, JC

 

Great rugby!!!!

 

Amazons was just to fast, and to furious for the Blues, but the blues can keep their heads high, and the 4 tries was well deserved, and good rugby!

 

Good luck for the rest of the year girls.

 

(Editor’s note: I really miss those Afrikaans reports. What happened, JC?)

 

Date: 04/19/2014

Santa Clara University 49 – Wyoming 7

Referee: O’Neil, George

 

No report received

 

 

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

 

 

The Taxman Cometh

HAIL PELICUS!

 

The Taxman Cometh

The seasons roll on from winter to spring; from league to playoffs; from the

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Barren American Sports Landscape to baseball. All of this, of course, means that it is time to pay the piper and let the federal and state governments take their pound of flesh. (That’s the last Shakespeare reference until at least next year – I promise.) For those in the accountancy and personal taxation trade April 16 comes as a holiday, marking the end of another grueling year and at least a month of 60 hour work weeks. This year this Post Tax Day holiday dovetailed nicely with the NCRRS April meeting and as a reward for everyone’s timely and rigorous tax filing the Elected Committee of Elders had a couple of major announcements:

 

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

 

Praeconium Primus: On June 21 The United States Eagles will take on the Canadian Moose Excrements at the Cal Expo Multi-Use Sports Field in Sacramento, CA. The NCRRS has purchased a block of 100 tickets at midfield so that the Pelican Army (apparently everyone has to have a sports army these days) can cheer for the home side with a perfect view of the proceedings. Jim Crenshaw has volunteered to relay any missed law infringements or mistakes that the Pelican Block sees directly to the grateful referee via a special radio hookup we have arranged. Please be sure to pass on to Jim anything you see during the match and remember, nothing is too technical, insignificant or pedantic to be passed on. The accepted method of getting Jim’s attention is to throw a gently chewed hot dog piece at him. Look in your email inbox for details on reserving tickets in our block.

 

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! *BURP!* ‘scuse me…

 

Praeconium Secundus: As the flock will all be in Sacramento already to cheer on the inevitable Eagle victory the Annual Banquet will be held nearby that evening following the match. Location details will be forthcoming as soon as we can convince a worthy establishment to host us. This is a formal event so #1 will be expected and mascot checks will be mandatory. Admission is free to qualified members of the flock but if any of you can manage to scrounge up a date then a terrible price will need to be paid. This year we are confident to once more secure the services of “Smiling” Pete Smith to emcee the event and hand out the awards and accolades from the previous year. Mark your calendars!

 

The Good Doctor Speaks

 

As reported by Dr Bruce Carter:

 

A question came up tonight at the meeting about when to call a player in touch when he/she has been tackled or otherwise brought to ground and is in the process of putting the ball back but still has one or two hands on it. I had always thought that so long as the player has his/her hands on the ball to control it, if his leg (or body) goes into touch, the ball is in touch. Others seemed to be saying that once the player begins to put the ball back, the ball is in play and therefore not in touch. My question was if the ball is in play, why does he have his hands on it?”

 

Minor premise:

A player who has been tackled and laid the ball back is not considered to be holding it, even though he keeps his hand on it.

 

Major premise is under Definitions in Law 19:

“A player in touch may kick or knock the ball, but not hold it, provided it has not crossed the plane of the touchline.”

 

Conclusion:

The ball is not in touch even though a player in touch who has been tackled and laid it back still has a hand on it.

 

Arguments for the minor premise:

 

Some of you will remember the game before tackled players were allowed to keep a stabilizing hand on the ball after is was laid back: arriving teammates would often inadvertently kick it, leading to a shambles. The first time I saw this practice allowed was at a Test match at Pebble Beach in the late eighties. There was not a Law change that led to it, but an evolution of the game that was recognized as positive by all involved – players, coaches, referees, spectators – and has been allowed ever since.

 

If the tackled player with a hand on the ball does not allow an opponent who is otherwise entitled to pick it up, then we penalize for holding on. Which suggests that keeping the hand on the ball but allowing it to be picked up is not holding it.

 

‘Not holding it’ means the definition in the major premise above applies.

 

In my experience, this happens at least two or

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three times in the average game. The vast majority of TJs raise their flags, as do the majority of ARs.

 

Two other general referee aims are that we try to minimize the number of times we blow our whistles, and that we try to maxmize the amount of time that the ball is in play.

 

Here is an excellent opportunity to conform to the Law, allow a ball that is not in touch to be played, and keep the game moving.

 

 

And Now, On To The Games…

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Berkeley 24 – Vacaville 27

Referee: Ricard, Bruce

 

Very good game between two close teams. Vacaville had slow support at the tackle, which created many turnovers. Both teams had good attacks and good defenses.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Berkeley B – Vacaville B

Referee: Hendrickson, Robert

 

Disciplinary report submitted. Game terminated in second half due to fighting.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Chico State – UN Reno

Referee: Asonye, Elvy

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Fresno 39 – SFGG 25

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

ARs: Jeff Jury, Zane Jury

 

320 miles, eight tries, six conversions, four penalties kicked, a yellow card, and an ambulance was the tally on this warm day, at a rock hard and thinly covered field at Holman Park in Fresno.

First half began all SFGG, with two tries and a penalty kicked, before Fresno scored on a breakaway. In the final play of the half, with the score at 13-18, there was bad unintentional clash of heads between two players coming in to form a ruck, leaving an SFGG player out cold. We were fortunate to have several physicians present and out of an abundance of caution an ambulance was summoned to transport the player for assessment and treatment.

After the restart, Fresno scored three times, pulling clear of Golden Gate. Fresno’s #7 headed off the to the sin bin on 60 minutes, having repeated his earlier infringements at the breakdown. SFGG was unable to capitalize, but got their first points of the half with less than ten minutes remaining, and with a quickly taken drop kick conversion, headed off to chase the additional scores they needed for the win. Fresno scored again in the final moments to stay clear 39-25, and secure a semi-final match against Sacramento Lions on the 26th.

Thanks to Jeff and Zane Jury for their assistance.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Humboldt 35 – SF Fog 14

Referee: Rauscher, Eric

 

This is I think the first rhyming game I have done. It was the HOG / FOG game. Ok, it’s a lame line. It was however definitely a game that had the most flowers I have ever seen on a pitch. After a lovely drive up from Berkeley, the morning was dreary and overcast, but by game time the sun had come out and it was nice and warm. Fog showed up with only 15 players and no jerseys. No matter, game on. The first half was pretty close with three converted tries from Hog to Fog’s two converted. The second half was when the 15 men vs a whole team came into play. Humboldt scored twice more with Fog getting very tired legs. All in all another fun trip to the northern boundaries.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Mendocino 90 – State of Jefferson 5

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

 

Another beautiful spring day, we kicked off at 1:30 in front of a large crowd, a man on a microphone keeping the crowd laughing. Mendo scored a try about every 5 minutes and lead 58-0 at the half. The second half was closer, with no one scoring for 15 minutes and State of Jefferson finally scoring a well earned try. It

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felt pretty hot by the end, probably close to 80 degrees which made the cold beer taste exceptional at the Mendocino Brewing Company. Mendo was extra generous in giving me a custom, giant beer “to go” for my services. A great day of rugby and everyone had a good time!!!

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Reno Zephyrs 73 – Modesto 10

Referee: Crenshaw, Jim

 

Very nice day in Reno for rugby.

After leading 30 to 10 at halftime, Reno scored 43 unanswered points for the win.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Sacramento Blackhawks 40 – Sacramento Capitals 30

Referee: Bretz, Paul

 

Sac Blackhawks took care of business as they defeated crosstown rivals Sac Capitals 40-30.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Santa Clara 5 – St. Mary’s College 70

Referee: O’Neil, George

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Santa Rosa 71 – San Jose Seahawks 5

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

Sunny Saturday in Santa Rosa saw Santa Rosa take on San Jose in the first playoff round of NCRFU D1 playoffs. The game started off strong for both sides but SR quickly piled on the points with 5 tries in the first half. They continued the dominant play scoring another 6 in 2nd half and allowing SJ one try at the start of the 2nd half. Thanks to Stephen & Ren for the touch line coverage!

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Santa Rosa B 48 – San Jose Seahawks B 0

Referee: Valerio, Stephen

 

The Seahawks B-side was a composite of Santa Rosa JC players and Seahawks players. When you have one side that is a tight knit group like Santa Rosa’s B’s playing a side where they don’t know each others names, you get 4 tries scored in each 20 minute half.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

SFGG 52 – OMBAC 15

Referee: Akroyd, Phil

A/Rs: Rob Hammack, Ron DeCausemaker

Coach: Dave Williamson

 

Generally a bit of a disappointment. It was supposed to be a close game to help influence PRP play-off positioning, but OMBAC lost their top point scoring fly-half to Tiger Rugby at the Melrose 7 and that seemed to take the wind out of their balloon.

 

OMBAC, while having many other top quality players, did not really compete in any facet of the game until the last five or ten minutes when their subs injected a little life. SFGG used their strength and technical ability to great use in the scrums and mauls, then released their athletic running forwards to set up tries for their clinical backs.

 

SFGG look like a very handy team and they seem to be getting better as the season progresses. Their true test will be if they can perform on the road as well as they perform at home.

 

Many thanks to RDC and also to Rob Hammack for sticking around to A/R after reffing the U19 curtain raiser.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

South Valley 10 – Life West 41

Referee: Pohlman, John

TJ/AR’s Bart Nelson and a Life associate-both TJ’s have been through the refereeing class

 

South Valley hosted Life at their San Juan Batista field this past Saturday.

Although a challenging game to referee due to the high psychical nature of play. Still a really fun game to participate in.

 

Some great rugby at times. Followed by very physical, well tackled play with lots of macho stuff happening off the ball as the game proceeded.

A competitive contest which South Valley never had a chance of winning due to Life’s dominating front row.

Life’s front row won almost very scrum. And as our readers know the game starts in the front row. This type of domination

leads to your team always going forward, which Life did.

Life’s first year scrum and captain Travis took advantage of this dominating possession. Life’s #4 Anthony had a work rate off the charts.

South Valley made tackle after tackle but could not make enough tackles to make up for the loss of scrums.

Thanks to both my AR’s who helped keep the game clean.

Good luck to both teams in the playoffs.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

Stanford – San Jose State

Referee: Asonye, Elvy

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/12/2014

UOP – TBD

Referee: Hettermann, Matt

 

NSCRO 7’s Qualifier Tourney @ UOP

 

From Matt Hettermann:

Came out for a few hours to lend a hand – got a few matches in – good to see Scott and Bryant. Scott was the RIC – I’m sure he will have a full report.

 

From Scott Wood:

A brilliant Spring day in Stockton. Eight teams, two pools: University of the Pacific, Occidental College, Sierra College, University of San Francisco, Sonoma State, Sonoma State B, Humboldt State, CSU Monterey Bay. Sonoma State defeated Occidental College in a fantastic final.

 

Four referees:

Scott “The Gimp” Wood — 6 games

JC “The Bookender” van Staden — first 2 games, 1 semi, 1 final

Bryant “Penalty Try” Byrnes — 5 games

Matt “Saving Grace” Hettermann — 2 games

 

Thanks to the aforementioned referees for making this a successful tournament.

 

 

Date: 04/13/2014

San Jose St 46 – UN Reno 41

Referee: Hettermann, Matt

 

Warm day down on The Farm for an excellent rugby match – San Jose St playing UN-Reno for the consolation match of the playoffs.

 

Both clubs were probably a bit banged up from their Saturday matches – took a little time to get started. Halftime score had Reno up 17-15. The try scoring increased in the second half, starting with Reno pouring a bunch on before the 60 minute mark, and then San Jose St fighting back over the last 15 minutes or so, culminating in a breakaway try at the death to win the match.

 

Stuck around to AR for Paul Bretz for the final.

 

 

Date: 04/13/2014

Stanford 24 – Chico St 18

Referee: Bretz, Paul

 

Stanford defeated Chico 24-18 to advance to the national playoffs. Thanks to John and Matt for ably assisting. At half time the score was 5-3 with the only try coming off of a 5 meter scrum in which Stanford drive the oaks back into their own goal and then grounded the ball after it leaked out.

In the second half Chico took the lead with 15 minutes remaining. Stanford was able to settle down and score two trys to move ahead.

 

 

This Week’s Photo

Is actually a video clip.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqK97av7I3s

 

 

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

 

 

 

The Most Significant Game Of The Year

HAIL PELICUS!

 

The Most Significant Game Of The Year

 

Ave Maria!

The Most Significant Game Of The Year in American rugby took place in Moraga last Saturday when St Mary’s took on and conquered Cal. The previous statement is not hyperbole and in fact may be a bit understated – this may have been the most significant game of the Decade. This game did not decide any championship. This game did not count towards any league standings and was, in fact, a “friendly” as if there was anything friendly about the contest. Respect, yes – tons of it. I would not be surprised if many of the participants were friends before the match or will become friends later on, but on the day and on the field this was a hard hitting game of rugby whose quality the USA has not produced very often at any level. But why is this match so significant? Cal, for all its years of dominance, has lost domestic games before and recently as well. BYU has been a thorn in their side pushing the Golden Bears and taking last year’s Varsity Cup with a thrilling finish. Stanford had a memorable win in the 90s in league play and Cal Poly beat Cal in SLO last year. This is, in fact, not the first time St Mary’s has beaten Cal. Why, again, is this single match The Most Significant Game Of The Year?

 

Because BYU is a regional power that draws on a completely separate pool of players. Because Stanford lost to Cal in the National Championship that year and Cal Poly was swept aside this year when the two programs met. As impressive as those wins were they were one-off wins and the respective teams have not threatened since. St Mary’s operates in Cal’s back yard and competes for the same players. St Mary’s has been playing Cal very close for some time now (this is in fact their second win in three years) with multiple undergrad classes cycling through and no, indeed, they did not nip them at the finish with a last minute play, but handled them from the start, getting out to a 21-3 lead and winning 55-31. This is not a fluke nor is this a case where Cal has dropped their level, but where the Gaels have risen and THAT is what is so significant.

 

For too many years Cal was the unbeatable, untouchable champion that nobody could compete with because they had the most money, the best players, the refs favored them, *insert excuse here*… but now a challenger has risen up and vanquished the eternal champion, not like Bard with his lucky arrow killing Smaug with a million to one shot (because as we all know and Terry Pratchett verified, the million to one shot comes up 9 times out of 10), but with a solid foundation built up over years. A program designed to play good, solid, fundamental and exciting rugby. This is a team that can face down Cal on their own terms and not be intimidated.

 

Cal built their legacy with years of tradition, university and alumni support, excellent coaching and a steady stream of dedicated players who bought into the program. They will not go away and I fully expect them to be better next year than they are this year.

 

St Mary’s have built their team with years of tradition, university and alumni support, excellent coaching and a steady stream of dedicated players who bought into the program. They will not go away and I fully expect them to be better next year than they are this year.

 

This is gonna be fun.

 

A league that is dominated by one team is unhealthy and I bet that if you ask Cal’s alumni, players and coaches they will agree. Competition is a good thing and not only will St Mary’s benefit from this win but Cal will too, knowing that they now need to raise their game. Coaches Jack Clark and Tim O’Brien are too smart to not use this as a learning and motivational tool and now other programs around Pelicanland as well as the rest of the country can take note, realizing that there is a path to the promised land and St Mary’s showed them the way. These programs will get better and produce better players and that will in turn raise the level of club rugby and, by extension, all rugby in the US, including the Eagles.

 

And it all came together on one perfect, sunny afternoon for the Most Significant Game Of The Year.

 

And now on to the games…

 

Please remember when filling out your match reports on assignr, IF YOU ARE NOT THE REFEREE DO NOT CREATE A REPORT. The report section of assignr is for the match summaries that are below and if multiple people report a single game this gets confusing.

 

Date: 04/05/2014

St. Mary’s College 55 –

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Cal 31

Referee: Bretz, Paul

 

Thanks to Robert and Peter for being excellent ARs in the fast, entertaining example of college rugby. Saint Mary’s defense was too strong for Cal and forced the bears to kick. Several kicks were countered and led to exciting scores.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

St. Mary’s College B 17 – Cal B 36

Referee: Kenny, Stephen

 

The atmosphere for this match up was electric. Driving into Saint Mary’s College I quickly noticed this was going to be a showcase event. Cars were lined along the side of the road a mile in either direction of the campus. The A side match was a beauty, which saw the freelance play of SMC out gun the disciplined play of Cal. The speed with which these two college clubs play is unrivaled anywhere in California, and was on display in their second sides as well. Cal opened up the scoring with a 5-meter line out and drive, this would prove to set the tone for the remainder of the match. Cal took the lead and would not relinquish it for the rest of the match, closing out the first half with a four try advantage. The Cal pack were dominate in all set pieces and did well to contest or steal possession in the rucks. Saint Mary’s opportunistic play that was in pure form in the first match would show up late in the second half. A rare mishandling by a Cal back close to the half way line took a fortuitous bounce into the hands of a Saint Mary’s defender and like being shot from a gun he was away for the try. Saint Mary’s would run in two more scores much in the same fashion as the first, but Cal was up to the task running in two more of their own to disperse any chance of a comeback. Final score SMC 17 – Cal 36.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

SFGG PRP 41 – Belmont Shore 24

Referee: Ranaweera, Aruna

 

Sunny 65F degrees at Treasure Island for an important matchup between the 2nd and 3rd placed teams in the Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP). The 2013 Elite Cup champs beat the 2012 D1 national champs (from Long Beach) relatively easily, 6 tries to 3. The East Bay English All-Stars, Phil Ackroyd and Giles Wilson, did a nice job as AR’s.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Aptos 10 – Reno Zephyrs 37

Referee: Jury, Jeff

 

A beautiful day in Watsonville greeted players and ref. I would especially like to thank the farmer for clearing the pasture we ran on that day. The first half was a special test of wills with good running, hitting and a couple clever kicks leaving the score even at half, 10 all. The second half maintained the same intensity, but the will was all Reno with the game ending 10-37 to the visitors.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Cal Poly 36 – Sacramento State 10

Referee: Crenshaw, Jim

 

Cal Poly led 12 to 10 at half, but 4 unanswered tries in the second sealed the win for them.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Cal Poly SLO B 20 – Sacramento State B 12

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

A very spirited match with Sac State not giving an inch to Cal Poly. It was a pretty day in SLO with a stiff cross wind coming up the valley. Cal Poly showed better rugby form with quick ball out of the tackles and rucks. Sac State had a couple of speedsters in their back line but weren’t able to utilize them much. Good ball control by Cal Poly and disciplined play ultimately gave them the advantage.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

California Women 69 – Oregon State Women 5

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

Cal 69 – Oregon State 5 (Half time: 31-0)

 

Oregon State were outmatched in this contest, with Cal running in five unanswered tries in the first half, and another six in the second, before Oregon State finally earned a reward for their determination and profited from Cal indiscipline, driving in a try a few minutes from the end of the match.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Chico 18 – Sacramento Blackhawks 33

Referee: van Staden, JC

 

Yet another stunning day for rugby!!!

 

Arriving at the field I found one of the “loudest” coaches during a Chico State game, in the middle of the pitch, refereeing a high school game…

Karma is a bitch they say…. lol, just a joke, Mitch, welcome to the boiler room! The only advice I have for you; ref the game not the “law-book”, and enjoy it. Remember 2 things though…., none of us will ever be bigger than the game…. and the best place to watch a game from, is the referee’s seat 😉

 

Black-hawks was first to pull blood, after a few very good and calculated runs from Chico, they turned it around and score under the sticks. Chico how ever, came right back and earned a penalty in front of the sticks.

Watching one of my Stockton kids who barely weigh 150lb,(don’t tell him, but I’m sure he thinks he weigh 280lb, 6’6”) and only start playing in his Junior year, still eating rugby, was a pleasant, and proud sight. Even the perfect, pulling defender, and pass to the outside to sent the oldest guy on the field in for an try, was any coaches proudest moment.

 

Half time score, 26-13, with the Black Hawks only leading by initiative and turn over balls. Chico was the strongest team, but could not convert their attacking moment in to real points. Despite the few yellow, 2 dangerous tackles, and 1 loose mouth, it was a decent, but hard game.

 

Saying of the day how ever, came from Chico’s captain. After a youngster tried to make his voice hurt and explain how it should be, he replied, “son, you are not playing this game long enough to have a say on this field, look where it got our no 12?!”

 

Eish 😉

 

Thanks boys, and good luck for the last bit of the season.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Chico State 57 – SF State 8

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

 

It was a beautiful sunny day at Chico St. Field conditions were good, the previous rains hadn’t destroyed the field. Chico ran away with this one. Bigger, faster players with more ball control is hard to beat. Credit to SF State, they were winning the second half 8-0 for quite a bit. They had some nice line breaks throughout the match but ultimately couldn’t put the finishing touch down.

B-side saw SF borrow a couple CS players for 20 minute halves were Chico St won 17-12.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Chico State Women 38 – University of Oregon Women 12

Referee: Levitan, Tony

 

As the final match on a beautiful day at Stanford’s magnificent rugby complex, we all looked forward to a competitive, hard-charging outing. Unfortunately, that description fit only the Chico State Women’s side as the completely outplayed Oregon, dominating in every aspect of play. The drubbing saw Chico State dot down 6 tries, 4 converted to Oregon’s 2, 1 converted.

 

Wholesale substitution in the last 20 minutes made for a sloppy end to what had been a reasonable run. Nonetheless, the Oregon women hung in and played with determination and grit and should be complemented for that.

 

Great thanks to my ARs, Neil MacDonald (our reliable RIC for the weekend) and Jordan Bruno.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

EPA Razorbacks 54 – San Jose Seahawks 19

Referee: Tiatia, Nome

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Fresno State 17 – San Jose State 19

Referee: Wilson, Dan

 

It was a beautiful day for rugby and both teams were at the pitch early. The game started off a few minutes late due to this pelican forgetting he did not put his boots in his bag. Yeah, it happens.

 

At kick off Fresno State received the ball and kept it through numerous phases until knocking it on in the fifth minute. It was obvious that the teams were evenly matched and great tackling and hard hitting were in order. Fresno controlled the ball early, resulting in a converted try in the 7th minute, but San Jose State responded very quickly with a converted try of their own less than two minutes later. Each team added on more unconverted try each in the first half, San Jose in the 16th minute and Fresno in the 24th. Halftime Score: Fresno State 12 – San Jose State 12.

 

The second

half was just as close. In the scrums, the ball would literally be won, lost and then won again on each other’s put ins. In the line outs, each team stole the others throw as much as they won their own. It was a really even game.

 

Both teams each put one try onto the board in the second half, however, San Jose was able to convert theirs. With a two point game, the little things proved important.

 

Fresno State went down to 14 men due to a red card to one of the wingers for 10.4(j) in the 66th minute, but San Jose decided to equal the playing field when their #6 decided to intentionally introduce his elbow to Fresno’s #9 face, 10.4(a), one the bottom of a ruck in full view of the referee. This gave Fresno a penalty at the 15 meter line with one minute to play and down by two points. After tapping the ball and then receiving another penalty, they ended up giving the ball away on a double movement in an attempt to cross the line (it was actually more of a triple movement). San Jose kicked the ball out of bounds and preserved the win.

Final Score: Fresno State 17 – San Jose State 19.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Life West 82 – Colusa 12

Referee: Leisek, Joe

 

Life West continued its dominance of the league with an impressive display of forward power and a backline that ran rampant at times. The host Gladiators scored several breakaway tries from

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broken play and also from opportunities they created for themselves, with artful offloads and constant support. They are a cohesive blend of size and speed. To their credit, Colusa is a good team that stuck to their game plan. They scored two tries on the day, the second of which came after several impressive, well organized pick-and-drives from the forwards. Thanks to Life West’s Brett Frazer for his helpful work as touch judge.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Marin 17 – Berkeley 26

Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

 

 

This was the best played match I have refereed this season. It was an ”all in” game. These two light heavyweight sides in a fine exhibition of skill and sportsmanship slugged it out for 80 minutes.

 

Marin leads at half 17-12. With about 5 minutes left, Berkeley is in front 19-17. A nice clearing kick takes a favorable bounce, Berkeley gathers it in, scores-and Bob is your uncle.

 

B Match. Berkeley wins 17-10.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Marin B – Berkeley B

Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

 

 

I included a brief B side game report with my A side report.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Olympic Club Alumni 48 – Olympic Club B 12

Referee: Wilson, Giles

 

With both the OC Alumni and OC 2nd side looking for games with their presumed opponents crying off they decided to play each other.

 

The alumni were sharper in thought and deed, after giving up an early try to wake themselves up.

 

At half time it was 24 – 5 and the second half was almost identical 24 – 7 for a final of 48 – 12.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Olympic Club B 0 – Santa Rosa JC 0

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

SR JC & SFGG old boys cancelled. OC alumni played OC Bs

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Sacramento Amazons 62 – SFGG Women 17

Referee: Baker, Eugene

 

Beautiful, sunny day with gentle breezes on a pitch that was still damp from rains earlier this week but still firm enough for several breakaway tries – Most of them coming from former Women’s Eagle Nana Faavesi, as the hosts dominated the match from beginning to end.

 

The Amazons kept cycling the ball through their front eight, especially several Green siblings and cousins and #8 Angela Veevalu, pounding away and keeping the ball on the SFGG side of the field almost the entire first half.

 

The home team scored off their first possession of the match and never let up, racing out to a 45-12 halftime lead.

 

Despite the sizeable deficit at the break, SFGG never quit and regrouped to play a more sound second half.

 

The final score was nearly the reversal of the meeting two months ago, leaving me eagerly awaiting a potential knockout match between these two for playoffs.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Sacramento Lions 19 – EPA Bulldogs 16

Referee: Tucker, Chris

 

Hard fought game between two strong teams. Lots of pressure at the breakdown led to turnovers in both directions, as well as a lively time for the ref!

 

In the end, a close game that could have gone either way.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Sacramento Lions B 0 – EPA Bulldogs B 0

Referee: Franzoia, Tom

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

San Jose Seahawks Women 14 – Berkeley All Blues 5

Referee: Valerio, Stephen

 

Saturday brought good weather in San Jose for the match. The pitch was a bit narrow, and the turf was little patchy and weedy, but it was in good shape. Berkeley’s scrum was dominant from the start, putting San Jose under pressure. However, some imprecision in the back line never allowed them to take advantage. San Jose was able to orchestrate two long tries from their backs and took a 14-0 lead into the half. Things got worse for Berkeley in the second half as their light numbers resulted in them being down to 13 players at one point as they couldn’t replace 2 injured backs. However, they were able to keep the pressure on San Jose. One of their players was able to return

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and then San Jose received a yellow card after repeated infractions. Down to 14 for both sides for most of the remainder of the match, Berkeley finally earned some reward for their grit. Appropriately, they scored through their forwards, as their #2 picked up the ball off of a ruck and went to the uncovered wide side to collect the try.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

SF Fog 20 – Mendocino 19

Referee: Gordon, Preston

 

This was a pretty evenly-matched game, with the Fog scoring 10 points in each half (1 try + conversion and 1 penalty; 2 unconverted tries) and looking the better team in the first half. Mendocino managed to score 3 tries in the second half, but only converting 2 of them, leaving them one point adrift.

 

The Mendo guys had a GoPro camera mounted to a head strap that they talked me into wearing. It was an interesting experience to have it bouncing around on top of my head, but I’m looking forward to seeing the video when it appears on YouTube soon.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

SFGG 35 – Santa Rosa 48

Referee: Akroyd, Phil

 

It was great to be back home after a trip back to England. While the reffing at RFU Level 5 was challenging and rewarding, I am a fan of warm sunny weather and dry grassy pitches. That’s exactly what I got on Saturday at the GAA field at Treasure Island. The sun was out, a light breeze blowing off the bay and temps in the 60s.

 

Golden Gate scored in the first minute or two and I thought that the rout was on. Neither team had any league standings up for grabs, so I was worried that two uninterested teams would play out a formality. Not true.

 

We had 83 points, about six lead changes, a competition at the tackle and some great attacking play. I’ll leave out the fact that neither team wanted to play defense, and the tackling resembled flag rugby at times.

 

However, it was a lot of fun and the players seemed to enjoy the flowing game. A little bit of foul play here and there added to the spice, but Rosa walked away with a narrow victory, partly as a result of their technically brilliant scrummaging.

 

After that game, it was off to Ray Sheeran field to A/R for the PRP game, which wasn’t quite as fun in comparison, due to the fact that it was pretty one-sided.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

SFGG B 55 – Santa Rosa B 62

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Rugby ref trifecta: AR’d & reffed exciting back & forth matches will some great back moves & tons of tries; plus great food hosted by SFGG on top of their 25th celebration seeing some old faces including on the video Dr. Carter reffing the GG Tourny Final b/w SF & GG. And the weather & free beer didn’t suck

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

UC Davis Women 5 – Washington St Women 22

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

The D1 Women’s Collegiate Playoff tournament kicked off with West #4 UC Davis vs. North #1 Washington State. This game was one of the closest matches of the day, with some excellent rugby from both teams. Wazzu just had a bit more aggression in the open field. Though Davis’s scrum was stronger, they kept losing their hook. WSU scored mostly off of breakaways once they got through the line. Davis had some opportunities at the goal line, but was only able to convert once.

Huge thanks to Tony Levitan and Jordan Bruno for ARing that early game.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

UC Santa Barbara 31 – Santa Clara University 32

Referee: Smith, Pete

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

UC Santa Cruz 32 – UN Reno 39

Referee: Ricard, Bruce

 

Both teams were very close during the whole game. Two tries on each side, and one penalty kick for Reno at the end of the first half, to take the lead 15-14 at the break.

Santa Cruz took the lead back at the beginning of the second half, with a penalty kick at the 6th minute, but Reno scored a converted try 5 minutes later. An other penalty kick from UCSC to make it 20-22 after 18 minutes in the second half. Reno then scored two other tries against one for UCSC, and an 11 point lead. 9 minutes from the end, they score a penalty kick to take an important 14 point lead. UCSC scored a converted try at the 34th minute, coming back to 7 points, and leaving them hope. They pushed to score a try, but they lost the ball two minutes before the end. Reno kept the ball for those two minutes, before kicking it out as soon as time was off, to advance to the next bracket.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Vacaville 49 – Baracus 15

Referee: Hettermann, Matt

 

Great weather, hard fought match that was closer than the scoreline reflected.

 

Vacaville had excellent ball control and support at the breakdown which set an excellent attacking platform, especially in the first half.

 

Second half was a bit more balanced, Baracus never gave up.

 

Players listened well, low penalty count, great day of rugby.

 

 

Date: 04/05/2014

Vacaville B 32 – Baracus B 28

Referee: Johnson, Lee

 

Following a 90 minute drive somewhat disappointed to be advised that due to low numbers the B game will 10’s with two 15 minute half’s with uncontested scrums. This was more like a training game and didn’t really need to have a referee assigned to it.

Due to other commitments, I’m now not available again this season. This game aside I have really enjoyed my first season in Pelican Land, and I’m looking forward to the annual social, when I get to meet more of you and then into next season with renewed vigor.

 

 

Date: 04/06/2014

UC Davis 78 – Oregon State 0

Referee: Levitan, Tony

 

Kicking off Day 2 at Stanford with a consolation game (“loser” seems too harsh for the aura of the West Coast…) matching UC Davis and Oregon State. At the end of this contest, it was hard to imagine anyone associated with UC Davis’ Women’s Rugby Club not wanting a re-do on their Saturday opening match loss to Washington State. The Aggies played with such precision and flair – especially in the backs where they executed moves that would invoke envy from a Super 12 series backline – that we all could only watch in admiration. Unfortunately, the incredibly game Oregon State team seemingly adopted a similar view towards the game as they played as if they too were in awe of their opposition.

 

UC Davis tallied 8 tries, 2 converted in the opening half and then tacked on an additional 6 tries, 2 converted in the second half. Though whitewashed on the scoreboard, I have to express my admiration for the Beavers squad who fought til the last whistle; AR Neil MacDonald noting their determination to cover across the pitch to bundle a UC Davis runner into touch just a couple meters from another try. One can only hope that this squad will be handsomely rewarded for their positive attitude and never-say-die drive in the near future, if not on the rugby pitch then for the individual players in their post-graduation professional endeavors.

 

Once again, thanks and appreciation to Neil and Jordan Bruno for their strong AR support. What a delight to know that someone out there has your back…

 

 

Date: 04/06/2014

Washington State Women 13 – Cal Women 22

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

ARs: Jen Tetler, and Jordan Bruno.

 

A cracking match in glorious sunshine, with a converted try or less separating the teams until the 75th minute. Cal opened the scoring in the 4th minute, and then spent most of the first half pinned in their own half by Washington State, who tied it up in the 23rd. Cal hit back on the break with a converted score three minutes later, and soaked up the pressure to carry their 5-12 lead into half time. Washington State scored early in the second half to make it 10-12, before Cal extended their lead to 10-17. Cal lost a player to a sin bin for a dangerous tackle in the 14th minute of the second half, and a few minutes later, Washington State pulled it back to a four point game with a successful penalty. There the score remained with committed skillful rugby played by both sides until 5 minutes from time when Cal closed the game out with another score. Thanks to Noelle and Ireland and their teams for a cracking match, and to Jen and Jordan for ARing for the fourth time in two days.

 

 

Date: 04/06/2014

Stanford 55 – Chico 0

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

The winners of the last two games on Saturday faced each other on Sunday, and it ended up being the rivalry of Chico (who had beaten the Oregon Ducks) versus Stanford (who had beaten University of Washington). Chico had a ton of aggression and gave Stanford a great run for their money, however, they were no match for Stanford’s speed on the wing. Their winger scored the first three trys off of breakaway’s. The intensity of the game was manifested with some bickering leading to a yellow card for Stanford, followed by a red card for Chico when their player put her cleats to a Stanford player outside of play. Neither team let down their intensity, but Stanford still outscored Chico 55-0. Overall, a great weekend of rugby!

Huge thanks to AR’s Jordan Bruno and Neil MacDonald who stuck it out for a long day and a long game.

 

This Week’s Photo

Since nobody thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of the match with the referee in it…

St Mary’s on attack vs Cal (Photo courtesy of Michael Geib/rugbymag.com)

St Marys Cal

 

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

 

 

A Worthy Fool

HAIL PELICUS!

 

A Worthy Fool

When the winds of change move a pelican from one shore to the next it can be taken as either a stoic acceptance or a violent cacophony. I chose the former as I touched upon the stones of England. I have been assigned to the Sceptered Isle for a few weeks of labor so I decided to take it as I liked it. Touring the local village, I have has few chances to leer at the king’s ruins but mostly have toiled away, much ado about nothing. A few visits to the local pubs allowed me to meet a couple of gentlemen from Verona. They were in town to meet a merchant from Venice and, aside from the Italians, everyone seemed to have the same name. There must have been three Richards and at least eight Henrys – pretty strange for a local hamlet but who am I to judge? We were at the Windsor where we were served by the landlord’s wife, Mary. I kept trying to play Romeo to several Juliets but I mostly lost in that labor of love, so I took on John, the local king of drinking, measure for measure. It truly was a comedy of errors but, after all, all’s well that end’s well.

 

The tempest that I felt in the morning seemed like it would take twelve nights to abate. I got a hangover recipe from a couple of cousins who tell me we are distantly related to the Julius Caesar, but it was no use. All I can think of now is that am I not a rare fellow, good my lord? I is as good at anything, and yet a fool.

 

April Fools

 

A couple of rugby related April Fools videos…

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dT3iTLl0Fs&feature=player_embedded

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTKRAMsiwgM&feature=player_embedded&list=UUtUmfYBCsWPLznczvbUx9GQ

Hawai’i Rugby

 

Pelicus Byrnest reports:

My wife and I recently returned from a ten day trip to the Big Island of Hawaii. We had visited there about this time last year and had been delighted to find a thriving community of high school rugby. (At least I had been delighted.) Indeed, it was so enjoyable that it was a factor in coming back again.

 

How much fun? There are five different regional youth teams. The primary venues are Kona, Hilo and Waimea. Every weekend- commencing in January and going through the end of April-a team hosts the weekend’s games.

 

I attended one weekend of matches in Hilo, and then a weekend in Waimea. The day starts early with U10s and ends with U19s. (The latter is very good stuff.) Because this is the time of year they are switching from the the U10s and U13s to the older kids, I worked with the youth refs doing these younger groups and then was privileged to ref U16s and U19s. These games were fast and skilled.

 

The rugby community-players and their families, coaches, and refs-were and are remarkably cordial and friendly. And they are most appreciative of anyone who is interested in spending time them. I have been over to Hawaii a number of times and am familiar with rugby on all of the main islands. I find this the most enjoyable.

 

If anyone in our Society is planning a trip to the Hawaiian Islands, I make a pitch for the Big Island. If you are interested, let me know and I will make introductions.

 

And those of you involved with high school teams; I think this would be an excellent place to set up a tour/exchange.

 

Cheers Bryant Byrnes

 

Shakespearean plays referenced in the opening paragraphs

 

  • The Tempest
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • Measure for Measure
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • As You Like It
  • All’s Well That Ends Well
  • Richard III
  • Henry VIII
  • Hamlet
  • Twelfth Night
  • King Lear
  • The Two Noble Kinsman
  • Julius Caesar

 

 

 

And now on to the games…

 

Please remember when filling out your match reports on assignr, ASSIGNR IS NOT WHERE YOU REPORT MISCONDUCT. The report section of assignr is for the match summaries that are below. If there are red cards or reportable yellow cards in your match then report them via the channels described on pelicanrefs.com.

High School Matches

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Lamorinda 20 – Alameda 17

Referee: Hetterman, Matt

Well fought match – decided by a penalty kick at 79 minutes!

 

Berkeley Rhinos 37 – Ygnacio Valley 15

Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

 

This is the first season and second game for YV. And a good effort. With only 22 players, they did a nice job of the pack engaging in pick and go. To good effect-hey scored the first try.

 

The Rhinos had a slew of players, and also put in a good showing. It did not take long for the first team backs to get untracked; they led 20-10 at half.

Club and College Matches

Date: 03/29/2014

Baracus 7 – Berkeley 31

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Berkeley slowly dominated each half with 2 tries/half; while Baracus had a few penalty chances which Berkeley defended well. Thanks to Bryant for his help/coaching.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Baracus B 17 – Berkeley B 3

Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

 

This is a first half score. I did the first half and Nome did the second. His game was canceled and I had a function to attend.

 

It was an interesting match, for probably 10 of the Baracus players were ”guest” players-Islander guys from the Saints (?) whose game had been canceled. This side was probably as good if not better that the A side.

My compliments to the Berkeley team, who just grinned and tackled.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Colusa 102 – Modesto 5

Referee: Crenshaw, Jim

 

Colusa dominated and Modesto played with 12 the whole match.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

EPA Razorbacks 41 – Fresno 7

Referee: Williamson, David

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

EPA Razorbacks B 22 – Fresno B 0

Referee: Valerio, Stephen

 

It is always great when you get in the car and the heavens open up. The heavy rain continued until just before the A-side match kicked-off. Luckily EPA had secured the pitch at Cesar Chavez which held up well throughout the day, though the intersecting white lines from 2 soccer pitches that ran perpendicular to the rugby lines made for one or two interesting moments. The sides played 20 minute halves as both relied heavily on A-side players continuing on.

Occasional showers kept both the pitch and ball slick, leading to runners and tacklers slipping and a few knock-ons. The game was still surprisingly open with EPA being particularly adventurous considering the conditions. A couple of big runs gave them a 10-0 halftime lead and the pattern held through with 2 more tries in the second half. A late hit by EPA (a note all the players out there, late hitting your opponent into the ref is a good way for us to pick up on it) led to a Fresno lineout at the EPA 5-meter line, but the ball was knocked on in the ensuing lineout and the opportunity went begging. Thanks to EPA for their hospitality and to Chad Douglas for running AR.

 

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Humboldt 31 – Napa Valley 41

Referee: Wilson, Giles

 

Taking advantage of a Humboldt trip for a weekend away with the wife and visit our son – a rugby excuse for a weekend away, can’t get better than that.

 

Rain on the way up and forecast but at the field it was fine – although the field looked like a pasture – the sun came through for the game.

 

Napa are well organized and although new, they play to

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a pattern. Humboldt have some good players and if they could just get together once a week for practice, they’d be in better shape and their organization would be better.

 

As it was, organization and a little bit of conditioning was worth 10 points to Napa who came out 41 – 31 winners.

 

It will be interesting to see how their games work out next year when they are “real” and some opposing players don’t take the weekend off.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Sacramento Amazons 43 – San Jose Seahawks Women 6

Referee: Baker, Eugene

 

Saturday was a perfect day for rugby in South Sacramento!! Overcast with with swirling winds and heavy rain…The high grass, winds and sopping wet conditions played into the strengths of the much larger Amazons, whose physicality was jarring…

 

The Amazons thoroughly outhit and outackled the Seahawks, and the weather limited ball handling and back line play for both sides, keeping the ball in the middle of the field and in the hands of players with single digit numbers.

 

Far from surrendering – The Seahawks hit back as much as possible, and were in the match for much of this game with the halftime score being only 15-3. It was only at the end when a pair of long tries by former Eagle Nana Faavesi (capped against South Africa) put the score out of reach.

 

Despite the weather and the score – A spirited match by both sides.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Sacramento Capitals 41 – Chico 10

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

My match card is still wet two days after being rained on Saturday afternoon. The pitch held up well for the match between the Capitals and Chico. Sac jumped out to an early lead in the first two minutes with a poached pass they took in for the score from mid-field. Chico answered with two tries in the first half but it was all Capitals after that. Sac overpowered Chico in the scrums taking away almost every Chico

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put in.

 

Both teams played very hard and tested me with their tactics. After explaining to the scrumhalves before the match my expectations about scrum put-ins being straight, the first Sac put in went straight to the second row. When I whistled a free kick, the Sac scrum half looked at me and asked, “What, no warning?” I gave him the look, he smiled and said, “Good call.”

 

I enjoyed this match and appreciated the conduct of both teams.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Santa Rosa 36 – Sacramento Lions 40

Referee: Malone, Michael

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Santa Rosa B 31 – Sacramento Lions B 26

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

 

Weekends like this are what make refereeing in Nor Cal such a pleasure. The weekend of rugby started Friday as I hosted Chris Davis from Richmond, Virginia. Chris was promoted to C1 this winter and is keen to get some higher level matches. After picking him up at bus stop in Mill Valley, we did a quick drive out Route 1 for some easy sightseeing and a pint at The Pelican Inn at Muir Beach. It was a lovely cool day that a pint of Fuller’s on the lawn only made better. After that we drove back via Muir Woods and into Mill Valley. Chris is a big UVA fan, so the night’s dinner plans were revised to a night out to watch the UVA v MSU. We selected The Barrel House in Sausalito as a place to get a good meal, have a great view of the Bay/SF and watch the game. UVA lost, but we won as dinner was fabulous. Jet lag struck early, so off to bed for an early rise on Saturday.

Rain insued all morning so we again edited our plans to stay put and watch the Australia v Lions match 1 while having breakfast. The drive to Santa Rosa saw the rain taper to the point of dry skies at the time of arrival. Chris took control of the A side with vigor, Mike Malone was there to assess his work and I ran AR along with Ren Renyolds of Santa Rosa. This was a great match that Chris handeled well. A report is available on rugbymag.com. The B-side kicked off soon after with 30 minute halves agreed to. Sac Lions had to recycle a lot of A-siders to fill the voids, but they were game (for a while). Overall it was fun and allowed me to work on position and communication. Sac decided to call it a match with 4 minutes left. Thanks to Carey Bertolone for showin up on his ‘day off.’ But when you show up wearing your Pelican track suit and jersey, you are gonna get some work. His AR presence came in handy more than twice.

Chris and I headed back to Mill Valley after finishing some delicious turkey sandwiches that my wife paked for us.

Chris’ flight was scheduled for 10pm Sunday night, so we had all day Sunday to play tour guide. And what a better way to loosen tight legs than a quick 9-holes? Off to Mill Valley Golf Course

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before breakfast for a walk spoiled. Chris mentioned over the weekend that he had never been to horse races. Guess what? Golden Gate Fields has $1 Sundays so off we went. We lost some money, drank $1 Miller Lites and basically enjoyed the sun and ponies. From there we toured around AT&T park (Richomnd, VA is the location of the Giants AA team, so there was a nice connection with that). Then what a better place for dinner than North Beach? None, really. Cafe Divine on Washington Square was its typical delicious self. That about filled the day, so off to the airport to send Chris back with a full weekend of great rugby and activities. Thanks to all involved for helping get Chris out here including Pete for getting him a prime match, Bjorn for arrainging the trip and Mike Malone for his evaluation.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Shasta 32 – State of Jefferson 24

Referee: Franzoia, Tom

 

Game delayed by 10 minutes awaiting the arrival of some Jefferson players. Teams decided to begin play, while waiting, with 12’s and a tight 5 adding players as they arrived.

Jefferson was the first to strike, taking an interception i for their second try, and took command of the first half leading 24 – 10. Second half belonged to Shasta taking advantage of field position as a result of high tackles from Jefferson and an injury and a yellow card to the Jefferson side providing several scoring opportunities.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

Solano Community College 30 – McGeorge 40

Referee: Bretz, Paul

 

McGeorge earned a win despite having several players in the bin at the same time for various offenses. Aspiring lawyers should learn to listen before they learn to argue. Best comment of the game came from a forward asking his #10 to stop kicking because they have to run to far.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

South Valley 36 – Aptos 33

Referee: Johnson, Lee

 

A close encounter, with some good rugby played by both sides. Aptos took the lead, which seemed to wake up South Valley, who then ran in two quick tries, only for Aptos to come back and score again. A line break by the South Valley Full Back, was passed out to the outside center, who then outpaced the defense to score their third try of the half. The half time score 20-14.

The second half was end to end with both sides looking for the killer score to tie up the game. Two loose over throws on their own five meter line by Aptos, allowed the South Valley captain to score both times to head into the final quarter with a healthily 33-14 lead, however two tries in the space of three minutes allowed Aptos to get a foothold back in the

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game. Five minutes remaining Aptos went over for their fifth try of the day which was duly converted by their captain to tie the game at 33 each. Both sides now push for the score that would win the game. With the final play following a break by the impressive South Valley number 7, the Aptos Scrum Half, conceded a penalty for not releasing at the tackle, South Valley took a quick penalty, but were held up short of the vital score, however the Aptos defense had not retired so a further penalty was awarded which this time the South Valley captain opted for a shot at the posts which taking the kick himself duly spilt the uprights with the final kick.

An entertaining and enjoyable game.

 

 

Date: 03/29/2014

UOP 10 – St. Mary’s College 55

Referee: Wilson, Dan

 

The rugby Gods decided that the game between UoP and St. Mary’s C would be a scrum practice in the first half with a lot of wide open running in the second. About ten minutes before kickoff, the skies opened up and seemed as if it was trying to cure our drought in one storm. Wet, slippery and a lot of resets was the order. Even my score card was drenched through by halftime. It was a great rugby day!

 

The first half, in between the numerous knock on’s and resets, was actually a sort of equal game. Hard hitting with most of the forward momentum seemingly going St. Mary’s way, but both teams had some opportunities lost. The half half score was not indicative of the efforts put forth by both teams. Halftime:

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UoP 0 – St. Mary’s C 19

 

The second half was a completely different game. St. Mary’s kicked off put was able to control the kick, and with only one ruck, score a converted try in just over one minute. The scoring gates opened for St. Mary’s, seemingly scoring at will with their backs exploiting huge holes in the defense.

 

UoP was able to take advantage of two mental mistakes resulting in two unconverted tries. The first was stealing the ball at a 5-meter scrum by the scrum half, and the second was a quick tap at about the 15 minute mark. Final Score: UoP 10 – St. Mary’s C 55

 

I have to commend both teams and their coaches. The sportsmanship was excellent and the spirit was enjoyable the full 80 minutes. It was a joy to referee.

 

 

Date: 03/30/2014

USF 29 – Alumni 19

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Fun alumni scrimmage broken into 3 “halves.” The Alumni winning the 1st; USF winning the 2nd & the 3rd was played by mixing both sides.

 

 

 

 

 

This Week’s Photo

Another shot of our East Midlands visitors at Yosemite, this time with their Pelican Guides. (Standing: Eric Rauscher, Chris Elliot, Pelicus Antiquum Barbarus, Andrew Beckett, Pelicus Scriptoris; Kneeling Paul Senior)

Yosemite 2

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Spring Has Sprung

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Spring Has Sprung

 

“Spring is here, spring is here. Life is skittles and life is beer. I think the loveliest time of the year is the spring.”

-Tom Lehrer

 

(To see where the above quote came from go here. Highly recommended.)

 

Yes it is officially springtime in California. The weather patterns are settling into the norm (sunny and warm – although the more intelligent residents are still hoping for some massive rainstorms or we will all be rather thirsty come September). Birds are singing and flowers are blooming as the northern hemisphere starts renewing itself and the sound of booted rugby balls and hard tackles is no longer confined to the west coast but is now echoed across the country. Granted, some of these sounds are still muffled by snow – we’re looking at you New England – but all in all the hope and promise of springtime has wound its way into our souls, reminding some of us that we have one.

 

East Mids Yosemite Tour

 

As reported by Dr Bruce Carter:

The biennial East Midlands exchange hinges on more than trans-Atlantic camaraderie and rugby games: the midpoint of the exchange consists of a visit to Yosemite Valley with our guests.

 

Tuesday morning, March 18, found Eric Rauscher on the road with his two billets, Paul Senior and Chris Elliott, while I made a detour north from Salinas to pick up Andrew Beckett at Frank Merrill’s house in Atherton.

 

Sometimes you wonder – I’ll be in the car half a day with someone I’ve never met. How will the time pass? And then you find a world of common interests, rugby aside, and the miles fly by. Such are many rugby friendships. Rugby is often a shibboleth, an indicator of an interesting person who would make a good friend. Among other overlaps in our Venn diagrams, Andrew was in the Army.

 

I took a couple of bicycles along for an invigorating tour of the valley floor, but but the time Andrew and I finished it was too late, nearing dinner time, to pass them on for the next pair to ride around. We rode right up to the base of Bridalveil Falls, which you certainly couldn’t do in the summertime for the press of the crowd.

 

Jim Crenshaw joined us, making five by Eric’s reckoning… (he asked someone to take a picture of “the five of us”).

 

We stayed at the Yosemite Lodge and, as often happens, all found each other in the bar. Introductions were made and someone got off cheap: half the group weren’t drinking.

 

Dinner in the lodge did not lead to singing, as it did two years ago when we were eighty-sixed for climbing up Sunshine Mountain. Nope. Eat, pay the bill, walk out. Harrumph. At least the food was good. I had what sounds like the result of an accident in the kitchen but it was very good: gnocchi with braised lamb, spinach and pistachios.

 

Pre-dawn found us at breakfast and dawn found us behind schedule. We were supposed to be at the trailhead. Rugby tour is often herding cats, but in an enjoyable way of course. But no matter, soon enough we shuffled backpack contents for balance and hit the delightful trail. This year’s route was to the top of Nevada Falls.

 

Pelicanland’s weather has not been much good for ducks this past winter, but it was perfect for hiking. Snow is pretty to look at, and we were able to look at plenty of it – but we didn’t have to walk through any of it, making for a good cadence. Before the sun hit, jackets were needed, but afterwards it was a shorts and sleeves day. This contrasts with the previous time we took a group up this route and we needed to put Ray Schwartz in the lead as our snowplow.

 

Our visitors were duly impressed with the neck-wrenching scenery, as were, truth be told, those of us who live here. The normal shuffling of hiking companions that occurs along a trail allowed us all to get to know each other better.

 

One advantage to leaving early is that we caught some folks doing what they shouldn’t oughta: rappelling down, then ascending, Vernal Falls. Wet, happy, but home dry before the later crowds arrived.

 

It’s just plain exhilarating in the high country, even if you aren’t abseiling. Watching the glorious vistas slowly evolve as you make your way through makes you want to take that next step up the trail.

 

Our quartermaster, Jim, brought along tuna, potatoes and salad for everyone, with fruits and nuts to follow.

 

This is the smallest group we’ve had along for these hikes, now ten years on. But I always look at the bright side: it saved me a lot on hotel rooms.

 

It was a beautiful day, spent with friends old and new, a tradition that I hope I can continue to undertake for many years to come.

 

 

East Midlands Exchange Dinner

 

A flock of Pelicans swooped down on the Up and Under Pub in Pt Richmond to honor our guests from the EMRURS. “Young” Chris Elliot, Paul Senior and Andrew Beckett had been whisked around Northern California from the coastline to the mountains to the valleys and plains. San Francisco, Alcatraz, Lake Tahoe/Reno, Yosemite, Oakland; we tried to give them as much in a week as we could. Young Chris repaid his hosts by saving the society the $40 cost of his meal by accepting AND COMPLETING the Scrum Burger Challenge – for which he also won a nice T shirt. I have no idea how he managed to eat that much food in one sitting, much less 45 minutes. The night ended with the Pelicans and guests taking over karaoke night and proving our choral and terpsichorean talents.

Young Chris 1 Young Chris 2 Young Chris 3

/editor’s rant

As a side note, the biggest night of the NCRRS year is the annual Awards Banquet, closely followed by the East Mids Exchange Dinner. This dinner happens only once every other year and I was disappointed that there were not more Pelicans in attendance – I made a rough guess at 10. I must confess to overlooking this in the past as well as last weekend was my first time in attendance so I am not guilt free at all. After going on exchange in 2012 and seeing how much is done for us travelers in England I feel we need to put more emphasis on this event. This is the most important exchange we have and also is, coincidentally, the most fun. Those that did attend (thank you!) wore a mishmash of colors and outfits that suggested that we as a society do not take this very seriously. Perhaps I am wrong here but I see this as a time to show the Nor Cal colors and strut our stuff a little and that means we literally show the colors. Three times in every two years should not be too much to ask to wear one’s formal Nor Cal #1s. There were many who legitimately could not make this dinner but to those who decided it just wasn’t worth the effort I would suggest you rethink that line of thought. The Northern California Rugby Referee Society is justly envied around the country for our leadership, membership, quality and organization. This is one area I believe we need to improve on.

 

/end rant

 

And Now, On To The Games…

 

Date: 03/17/2014

California 99 – Dartmouth 7

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

Great day for rugby. St Patricks day clash at Witter field of Cal vs Dartmouth. They started off quickly with strong running by Cal. Dartmouth had little answer to Cal’s quick rucks and strong set piece. Dartmouth was able to sneak a try in before half but the game was all Cal.

 

Thanks for great AR work by Robert Hendrickson & Jen Tetler.

 

 

Date: 03/18/2014

SFGG Women 0 – Princeton Women 0

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

Princeton traveled out to Cali for their spring tour (poor east coast with all their snow and mud). This ended up being more of a friendly friendly with lots of great practice for both teams…exactly what they both wanted.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

Aptos 15 – Colusa 36

Referee: Smith, Pete

 

When I pulled up to the field in Watsonville, I noticed the posts and though that the game would end in some increment of 5 as they didn’t seem wide enough for anyone to make kicks…Colusa managed three conversions with one worthy of beer! The field wasn’t much better. When I asked about it, they said that they had just fired their groundskeeper…I think they mean someone ate the goat. After I lined up a ride to the hospital in case of a broken ankle, we were underway. (I hope this is read in the spirit it is intended and with a chuckle). Both teams came out like a house on fire and the tackling was fierce on both sides. It didn’t look like either team was going to score with the D being played, but both sides softened up a bit to break the eggs on the scoreboard. I was happy to see Steve ‘knock-on’ Kenny playing outside center for Aptos. Safe to say he had the hands of a referee knocking on 3 times, but managing one try. Beautiful day and worth the drive. The game was played in good spirit and all had fun.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

Baracus 15 – Sacramento Blackhawks 43

Referee: Paul Senior (East Midlands)

 

It was a hard-fought game with both teams 100% committed both in the tackles and in running the ball. Had to issue a red card for violent conduct to a Sacramento player early on and later on, 2 yellow cards, 1 to each side.

 

However the game was played largely in good spirit and Sacramento ran out victors due to their strong running and quick hands

 

Paul Senior

EMRURS

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

Baracus B 33 – Sacramento Blackhawks B 26

Referee: Chris Elliott (East Midlands)

 

The game was played in good spirit. Considering that the majority of Sacramento players were involved in the first game.

 

The game could gone either way, but the Baracus held there nerve.

Thoroughly enjoyable

 

Regards

 

Chris Elliott

EMRURS

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

Modesto 19 – South Valley 29

Referee: Jury, Jeff

 

A beautiful clear day greeted the teams in Turlock. The first half was fought pretty much between the 22’s with score Modesto 5 South Valley 3 @ 40′. The second half started great with good

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collective action by the Harlots and a scoring run in the first three minutes. South valley answered 8minutes later. Then a midfield break and a total breakdown by a Harlots player earned the visitors two more scores. Harlots found new life and dotted a converted try with seven minutes left.

The play became frantic with a points difference of 3 . But South Valley sealed the deal with a converted try. Final score Modesto 19 South Valley 29.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

Napa Valley 51 – Mendocino 12

Referee: Wilson, Giles

 

Napa are a new team, playing friendlies while they develop their player base. They have recruited well and should be a good addition to the league next year.

 

Mendo didn’t bring a full squad, but still had 20+ and good support. Those that came

seemed to be in “week off” mode as well.

 

Napa started with an early return from a good full back, who seemed to surprise Mendo. From then Napa scored pretty regularly while Mendo could only manage short periods of control.

 

An enjoyable game, with plenty of new players – all of whom had been well drilled. It was nice to see supporters on both sidelines.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

NorCal NSCRO 31 – SoCal NSCRO 33

Referee: O’Neil, George

 

SoCal backed out of this game and St. Mary’s filled in. SMC started with 16 guy’s against at least 25. Well fought match all the way around. Also Steve at Cal Maritime ran a fine tournament on the weekend. Thank you to all that participated.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

Pepperdine 35 – Gonzaga 22

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

Warm sunny day in Vallejo at Cal Maritime Bodnar Field. Pepperdine was better on the day than Gonzaga. Both teams had chances but handling in the ruck was sloppy.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

Reno Zephyrs 27 – Life West 57

Referee: Ricard, Bruce

 

Windy day in Reno. A pretty strong wind was blowing north/south on the pitch, and the temperature was quite cold at kickoff time compared to what we have been used to in the bay area for the last week.

The first half of the game was quite balanced. The score was 10-14 after 35 minutes. But Life West finished the half very strong with 2 tries at the 37th and 40th minutes, to lead 28-10 at the break.

 

Life West started the second half how they finished the first one. They scored a try at the 8th minute. A couple minutes later, their 9 passes to their 10, the Reno 10 arrives to tackle him, but he magically

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gathers the ball and scores after an easy uncontested 22m run. Both teams will score another try in the next 5 minutes, but Life West dominates the rest of the second half, scoring 3 tries. Reno finished the game on a good note, with a try at the 80th minute.

Final score Reno 27 (5 tries) – 57 (9 tries) Life West.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

SF Fog 70 – Shasta 5

Referee: Baker, Eugene

 

Beautiful day at Treasure Island! Sunny and clear with moderate breezes. The Fog’s pitch was in much better condition than the last time I saw it, although the grass was still just a tad high.

 

Shasta showed up with only 13 players, and we agreed to start the match while waiting for players 14 and 15. This didn’t work well for Shasta’s defensive efforts, as they were constantly outflanked and outrucked by superior numbers and some occasional flashes of speed by Fog centers and wings. Outnumbered and outran by the Fog, the Highlanders found themselves on the short end of a 56-5 halftime score.

 

While still awaiting players 14 and 15, a game Shasta team made no excuses and made the Fog work for every try (albeit some harder than others)…

 

After injuries dropped Shasta to 11 men, they still insisted on finishing the match. But near the 70th minute, Shasta, then down 70-5, suffered two more injuries on the same play, reducing their number to nine men. It was at that point that I blew full time, and the Fog loaned and swapped players and jerseys, and we played a 20-minute intermixed third half without incident (Fog Jerseys winning 12-7).

 

Hats off to a plucky and congenial Shasta squad who fought hard all day, and to a Fog team whose centers and wings looked as explosive as I’ve seen them in ages.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

SFGG Women 79 – Berkeley All Blues 5

Referee: Pohlman, John

 

Golden Gate 79 All Blues 5

The GG woman hosted the All Blues on a beautiful day on Treasure Island.

We had a good crowd for the only game played at Ray Sheeren field this past Saturday.

Golden Gate overwhelmed the All Blues.

The 9 -10 combination of Tiana Stroughter and Lindsay Tinsler ran to team. Tiana’s aggressive running

created opportunities that Lindsay finished, feeding backs and forwards to 7 first half try’s. Lindsay

converted 6 of her eight kicks.

All Blues continued to play hard and were reward with their lone try ten minutes into the second half.

Final score Golden Gate 79 All Blues 5.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

UC Davis 0 – St. Mary’s College 135

Referee: Ranaweera, Aruna

 

Sunny 75F at Russell Blvd on the UC Davis campus. Although this was an official D1A California league game, soon after kickoff it became clear that Davis was not at all prepared for the visitors’ firepower. SMC galloped to a 99-0 half-time lead despite taking their foot off the throttle as early as the 2nd quarter. If not for wholesale SMC substitutions and ad-hoc deviations from game-plan, the score would have been even more lopsided. Davis’ only scoring opportunities were 2 kickable penalties, which they missed.

 

Thanks to Mark Godfrey and Jeff Richmond for their help as AR’s.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

UC Davis B 0 – St. Mary’s College B 74

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

A runaway in the literal and figurative sense of the word. I think UC Davis had spring break on their mind as they really couldn’t organize any kind of response to St. Mary’s relentless quick ball and full speed attack by their back line. Thanks to Mark Godfrey for helping me at AR.

 

 

Date: 03/22/2014

UC Santa Cruz Women 65 – Sacramento State Women 7

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

UCSC were too strong for

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an inexperienced Sacramento State team that struggled with persistent infringement and spent 20 minutes of the first half a player down as a result. With two penalties against UCSC for zone entry in the first two minutes UCSC’s captain and #8 quickly understood that this was not going to be allowed to continue, and sorted it out. Alas, the less experienced Sac State team did not respond when given the opportunity to fix their persistent offside infringements, so one of their number was temporarily relieved of the distractions of playing in order to focus the team’s reflections. Just as she was due to come back onto the field, one of her team mates went off for another 10 minutes following a trio of infringements in rapid succession disrupting UCSC’s latest thrust into the Sac State 22.

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UCSC ran the score up to 38-7 by half time with relentless pick and go, and inside passes off of their fly half, who kicked four of six conversions. By the time the second half began, Sac State’s plucky captain and #10 had imposed her leadership on the team, and there were no further issues. This led to a much more contested second half, in which the Hornets held their hosts for long periods after a couple of initial UCSC scores, despite often suffering from a lack of committed support for their ball carriers. One notable UCSC break that went out to the wing and down the length of the field was prevented from scoring by an outstanding Sac State cover tackle on the line. Late in the game, the grinding physicality of the UCSC pack and the pace of the UCSC backs started to take its toll with several more tries against a tiring Sac State side who only had three substitutes available, and the match finished 65-7.

 

 

 

Date: 03/23/2014

TBD 0 – TBD 0

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

Occidental College forfeit to Gonzaga Universtiy.

 

This Week’s Photo

Our tourists (L-R: Chris Elliot, Paul Senior, Andrew Beckett) enjoying the scenery in Yosemite, although there seems to be a strong yet oddly out of place sense of inclusion. I have never seen a Stanford shirt worn with a Cal cap before.

Tourists

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre