Category Archives: News

Sizzling Summertime

HAIL PELICUS!

Sizzling Summertime

The tail end of summer is always the warmest time of year here in Pelicanland.   It is generally the only time of year it is comfortable in San Francisco while the rest of us bake in our Indian Summer heat.   This year was not only no exception but was a bit much as records broke all over during an end of August heat wave.   Temperatures of 106 F were recorded in San Francisco and 110+ F were common across the rest of our nesting sites.

Whew!   That’s hot.

The traditional End Of Summer has always been the Tri Tip 7s in San Luis Obispo (more on that below).   This year, however, was slightly different.   You can blame Obama, or climate change, or the rise of American fascism or any number of other things, but the hard truth is that the Tri Tip 7s did not signal the end of summer this year.   That came on July 23, 2017, a day that will live in infamy, for on this date the San Francisco Giants fell more than 30 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Yup, that’s it.   End of summer.   Pull out the sweaters, unpack the Halloween decorations and pack the kids off to school.

Yes, it is sad and unexpected, but the facts are the facts.   How could summer possibly continue in the face of such a tragic event?   Short answer: it can’t.

International 7s Rugby in San Jose

Do you know the way to San Jose?  The international 7s community does so you had better get your Waze app set up to find the best route to Avaya Stadium on November 4th and 5th where 12 top international sides will compete in the First Annual Silicon Valley 7s.    The USA will be joined on the field by Canada, Japan, Fili, Tonga, New Zealand, Ireland, Samoa, England, China, Australia and Chile.    The Editorial Board for Hail Pelicus lobbied long and hard to bring this event here and the deal was finally struck when we were sitting across the negotiating table from the stuffed suits at United World Sports and, in unison, raised our right eyebrows.   There was no response to that devastating maneuver and the deal was ours.

Tickets are on sale now and you can purchase them through the Northern California Rugby Referee Society link.  Each purchase will send a little money back to the Society, up to $7/ticket.    The money collected will go to a full sized portrait of a shirtless Society President Paul Bretz that will hang in his office.

The link to purchase tickets is http://www.sevensrugby.com/rugbyclubs/northern-california-rugby-referee-society/.

Thank You Sir May I Have Another

It is time for the flock to once again declare their affiliation to USA Rugby. The first and most important thing aspiring and returning members of the flock need to do is pay your NCRRS society dues.    Then you should register with USA Rugby as detailed below, and then finally copy your CIPP number and add it to your profile in Whos the ref.

From our esteemed leader, the beshirt’d Pelicus Iudex Pennipes:

A lot of folks are being caught by surprise as they try and renew USA Rugby CIPP, as there was no announcement from USA Rugby regarding the requirement that all referees are now required to take two additional certification courses prior to registering for the 2017/18 season.  

I don’t want to get into the philosophical debate as to whether the changes are appropriate, or well done. Plenty of discussion at the national office as to where the ball was dropped, and who’s fault it was. More than enough yelling going on that every one involved understand that this was poorly done.

To make progress through the current CIPP registration process, and ensure that we have registered referees for September games, below are the two links necessary to take the courses.

Safesport- http://training.teamusa.org/store/details/1

  • Safesport’s focus is on sexual harassment, hazing, and bullying and is a requirement set up by the Olympic committee. You may need to create an account.  I would suggest you use the same email that you use for your CIPP.   There is a step that asks you to link your Safesport account with your USA Rugby account (CIPP).  Completing this step will ensure that USA Rugby gets your certificate. 

Concussion Management of the General Public- http://playerwelfare.worldrugby.org/?documentid=module&module=21

  • Concussion management is a requirement established by World Rugby.  You may need to create an account.  I would suggest you use the same email that you use for your CIPP.   There is a step that asks you to link your World Rugby Passport  with your USA Rugby account (cipp).  Completing this step will ensure that USA Rugby gets your certificate. 

 

In previous seasons coaches have been required to have the certification.  The requirements have been extended to referees.  The courses take roughly 15 minutes to review and answer questions.  Once completed a certificate will be generated and code issued noting your completion.  Keep that certificate as you may need to reference i.

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  Seriously!  Download and save your certificates!  I had to manually send mine in to membership@usarugby.org to get someone to load them manually because there are issues with the automatic transfer.)

Ask A Pelican

Hello all and welcome back to the periodic segment “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus. This week’s question comes from Kenny Forehand of Lafayette, CO, who asks:

“I tried to renew my CIPP membership to USA Rugby and was surprised to find out I needed two extra certifications, I was told that it takes 15 minutes each to do the new certifications – is that true?”

Thank you for your question, Kenny.   It is always nice to get questions from outside our hallowed borders.

As for the time it takes to certify, well that is what we like to call a Trumpism, or an “alternative fact”.   The World Rugby concussion management guidelines do in fact take around 15 minutes but the Safesport sexual harassment training has about 5 modules with 3-5 videos of approximately 4 minutes each so you may be able to do a single module in 15 minutes, but not the whole thing.  The good news is that you can pause the training any time you like and then come back to it, so you can do a section a day on your lunch break if you like.

PRO TIP:  If you are doing the Safesport modules at work (or even at home) and someone asks what you are doing, do not reply “I’m studying how sexual predators and pedophiles control their victims and mask their behaviors and which methods are more successful than others.”    This may lead to unforeseen complications.

Tri Tip Tries in SLO

The Tri Tip 7s was successfully completed on September 9 and I have to admit the tournament gets better every year.   The organization is impeccable, the fields are all grass and in good shape, referees from both the NCRRS and the SCRRS get together to admire the Pelican’s superiority to the Griffin, and they even have been going on long enough to have an Old Boys division.    A festival atmosphere settles on Damon Garcia Park as teams play some seriously social rugby, except those who play socially serious rugby.    Or is it serious rugby socially?  In any case, there are some very good teams on the pitch and the rugby is at a high level even considering that most teams don’t bring their ‘A’ squad.    The players are good enough, trust me, but the underlying theme of having a good time is omnipresent and was probably best exemplified by the coach of the beaten men’s finalists the Sloths (basically Belmont Shore) coaching all day in an American Flag speedo.

The women’s division saw Chico St repeat last year’s success with another Cup victory while the men’s division saw neophytes USC win it all.  Huh?  USC?  This is a program that has been a mid level D2 college side for 30 years but they have either got an exceptional group of young athletes or a new coach dedicated to the program, or possibly both, because they took on all comers and beat some very good sides.   The final typified the way they played all day and it reminded me of the glory days of the Los Gatos 7s program.   They were mostly undersized with one or 2 big guys who took and delivered punishment, but boy were they fast and they tackled like demons.   The Sloths pounded away at them trying to use their size advantage but were cut down until the inevitable turnover and then quick as a flash the Young Trojans were racing the ball back upfield to score.   It was a pleasure to watch.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

 

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 09/02/2017
Berkeley All Blues 26 – Glendale 27
Referee: Bryant, Lee
AR: Hinkin, James
AR: Turner, Jessica

When the game started it was 100F – when the match ended it was 104. By far the hottest games I have officiated in my career. Glendale started off strong with an early lead and went into half with a lopsided score. Their strong pack is used as much for attack as it is a restart and was clearly dominant throughout the match.  Berkeley regrouped and was able to score with organized ball movement and support in the backs.  Great way to kick off WPL season.

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  This year we are starting a Report Of The Week feature to highlight the best and most well-written match reports.   At the end of the season we will tabulate the results and the winner will get the Pelicus Scriptoris Award at our Annual Banquet.  This week’s winner is Lee Bryant.   Congratulations, Lee!   Keep up the great work!)

This Week’s Photo

Pelicus Pedem Referre, Pelicus Iudex Pennipes, Domina Iudex Pennipes, Jordan Bruno and his SO taking the trolley downtown to the bars of San Luis Obispo for 50¢.  (Special Bonus Joke Alert!)  Fifty cents!  I had to get change from the innkeeper because all I had were dollars, and when I asked her if she had any quarters she said “No, we are sold out.”

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Fit To Be Tied

HAIL PELICUS!

Fit To Be Tied

It has been a while since the last Hail Pelicus has been issued so here we are at midsummer for a check in. As many of you know, Hail Pelicus has been going through a massive growth period and is now being read and enjoyed on all 9 continents, which is more difficult than it sounds. The editorial staff took a long needed break and concentrated on some 7s and all of the internationals going on. What a great way to spend the summer. My only problem was with ties. You see, in most referee societies, the NCRRS being no exception, if a referee adjudicates a game that ends in a tie, said referee owes the whole society a beer. There are usually enough during the 15s season that there are a couple of cases of beer at our monthly meetings and the rule does not stop with 7s. The summer can get rough when you factor in the number of games and the fact that you can’t get saved by overtime. If a game ends in regulation tied, you gotta pay up.

The summer started off auspiciously enough for me. At the Marin 7s every pool game I refereed ended in a tie, so naturally I was given the final. As expected, the teams were separated by 7 points with about a minute left when the trailing team scored under the posts for an easy conversion to tie the game. I was starting to think of what assets I could sell off to pay for the inevitable bar bill, plus idly wondering if anyone had ever gone through a whole tournament with nothing but ties, when a blissful, joyful, entirely unexpected THUNK brought me back. That happy noise was the sound of the conversion kick hitting the crossbar and ricocheting back towards the stunned kicker. Final score: 21-19. Whew!

As the summer progressed this strange scourge of drawn matches spread to other refs and other tournaments. There must have been another 8 or 10 ties that I personally witnessed and I didn’t see every tournament this summer. When we have our AGM this year I am making sure that I am either not driving or staying in a hotel nearby. I recommend the same for the rest of the society.

And then, of course, there was the Lions tour. The British and Irish Lions spent some time in the antipodes taking on the World Cup Champion All Blacks. These are always highly anticipated events and, from a rugby standpoint, was a smashing success. The tourists had a few early bumps as they got to know each other and learned how to play together, but once the test rugby started it was fantastic, hard hitting stuff. New Zealand looked the better overall side (unsurprising considering you have a well-oiled machine going against an all-star team that has been together for a few weeks) but the Lions defended and attacked with passion and were not overmatched. The first test was narrowly won by the All Blacks and the second test, with the infamous and fully deserved red card, was narrowly won by the Lions. This set up a winner take all final test and what a game it was. The All Blacks uncharacteristically not taking their chances led to a thriller that came down to the wire and a referee decision. There are many opinions on that offside at a knock on call and mine lands squarely in the middle. Romain Poite made the mistake when he blew his whistle too soon, ending any chance of New Zealand gaining an advantage, and announcing a penalty. After a TMO review and several confusing moments in the end he got the call correct – accidental off side. I am sure I will get numerous angry comments on this containing many correctly spelled words as people try to argue for the penalty or, even more bizarre, for NZ taking out the Lions jumper in the air and I will read them all, difficult as that sounds. While it is true that throughout history, rugby players, especially forwards, have had difficulty with the English language (going all the way back to the ancient Greeks), I have become skilled at deciphering these crayon scrawlings. Usually it boils down to “YOUR A IDIOT!”

The end result is that Romain Poite now has to buy a beer for all of the referees in New Zealand, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. He may be some time getting the order in.

David “Bunny” Williamson: 4 June 1946 – 29 June 2017

The Northern California Rugby Referee Society, the entire Nor Cal rugby community and all of USA Rugby lost a legend recently.

From his wife Helen Marcus:

It is with great sadness that I write you of Dave’s death early Thursday morning at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. He was taken there Wednesday by the paramedics after a fall in his bedroom caused fractures in his spine and hip. We met with a palliative care doctor and discussed his options for treatment. Although Dave’s preference was for “comfort care” rather than any extraordinary intervention, he was open to exploring having a pin put in his hip to stabilize him. It would have been a long recovery process. Instead his heart stopped, likely in response to the stress of the fall. Marcus and Shaylene came immediately. Tyler flies in Sunday. It will be good to have them all together.

Dave’s instructions upon his demise are to hold a rock & roll party at the Faculty Club. I’ll let you know as plans take shape.

Dave graduated CAL in criminology after rowing for 4 years. He then headed to Hastings Law School. However his legal education was interrupted by two years in the Navy stationed in San Diego. In 1971, he restarted at Hastings and signed up for the law school rugby team in his second year. As a tall, graceful, athletic man, he was a perfect second row, despite his moniker of “Bunny”. The team quickly became a focal point for him and his college sweet heart and ultimately wife, Helen, who also played second row for SF Women’s Rugby team. After graduation and passing the bar, he joined PG&E’s law department where he initially handled environmental cases and later construction litigation. A seemingly patient quiet lawyer at work, he came alive on the Hasting Rugby team on and off the field, as a fire-eating player and a boisterous singer at the post match parties. Rugby, he declared, was a lot more fun than rowing!

The team adopted its nickname “The Floating Rhinos” after a 1977 tour to England and Wales, thereafter becoming known as the Hastings Rhinos. The team, matured into the HOBS (Hastings Old Boys) and played together many years both locally and on tour to Canada and Catalina. Dave’s interest in refereeing coincided with the old boys era, when he began to ref more than play. His family interests broadened upon becoming the father of two boys, Marcus and Tyler, who later played rugby. As an active referee, he progressed up the grades until age and the requirement of stronger legs and better athleticism caught up with him, when he turned to referee coaching.

In the late 90’s Dave became one of Northern California’s and USA Rugby’s stronger Performance Reviewers. Most referees aspiring to the National Level had to travel to “Pelican Land” to have Dave complete a review/grade on the referee’s performance. In addition to being a performance reviewer, Dave was tasked by the Pacific Coast Rugby Football Union to chair the referee’s society (from 2000-2004). Dave continued to regularly complete Performance Reviews until referee coaching became popular with the IRB, now World Rugby.

Retiring from coaching at the national level in 2009, he devoted countless hours to the coaching of young referees, coaching Berkeley High boy’s rugby team, filling duties as Development officer at the monthly NorCal Referee Society and organizing the Rugby NorCal high school referee system. His death on June 29, 2017 is a sad day for Rhinos, Pelicans, referees, family and friends. He will be missed.

Rugby NorCal and the Northern California Rugby Referee Society (NCRRS) have partnered to create the David Williamson Referee Scholarship as a way to honor the great David Williamson who put in so much time over the past many years to continue to develop young referees among our ranks.

Six For Sevens

After the best Northern California Sevens Series I can recall the 6 representatives have been determined to go to Tacoma and fight for a spot at the USA Rugby National Championships. Congratulations to (for the women) All Blues, Life West and SFGG and (for the men) Life West, East Palo Alto and Olympic Club. This was the most even and hard fought 7s season we have had in a while; demonstrated by the lack of blowouts. On the women’s side they are crippled with a lack of depth (only 4 teams entered) but the #4 side San Jose played some good rugby and have massively improved over the last year. While they don’t have the horses to compete with the top sides yet but they have some solid young athletes coming through and I expect them to win some games next summer.

The men’s side was even more balanced as any team really could have gone through. Throwing out Sacramento Lions who either showed up late or didn’t bother showing up to the tournaments, every team was stacked. SFGG was especially stacked… and it turns out they were illegally stacked as a couple of Fijian gold medal winners made it into their side, but after realizing they were not registered properly and forfeiting their games they still played the games and kept their commitment. The #4 team was again San Jose Seahawks, a team on the cusp with a solid game plan and some excellent players. How close are they? They beat Life West in the first tournament and EPA in both of the qualifying weekends yet lost out to EPA by 2 points for the final spot. How did EPA do it? They beat Life West and Olympic Club. In fact, nobody came through without a loss, including SFGG with their golden Olympians. When all of your top teams are evenly matched like that it is fun stuff. The bounce of the ball, one missed tackle, that last little bit of fitness – it can decide a game and a series. It was great stuff.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

And now on to the games!

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Editorial Staff here at Hail Pelicus would like to thank Roberto Santiago and Lee Bryant for their summer write-ups. We can’t even complain about the brevity of the reports because nobody else, including myself, really bothered. We are, in fact, considering offering Roberto a position as the Official Hail Pelicus Meteorologist. I guess the summer really is a slow news cycle.)

Date: 06/10/2017
Marin 7’s 0 – TBD 0
Referee: Santiago, Roberto

Good time had by all

Date: 06/17/2017
NorCal 7’s Series 0 – TBD 0
Referee: Bryant, Lee

Seeding for regional qualifier

Date: 06/17/2017
NorCal 7’s Series – TBD
Referee: Santiago, Roberto

It was warm. Always great to see everyone.

Date: 06/24/2017
Carlsberg Cup 7’s – TBD
Referee: Santiago, Roberto

Good times.

Date: 07/08/2017
NorCal 7’s Series – TBD
Referee: Santiago, Roberto

Another hot day in the bay.

Date: 07/15/2017
NorCal 7’s Series 0 – TBD 0
Referee: Bryant, Lee

No report received

This Week’s Photo

Bunny doing what he loved – giving back.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

A Tale Of Two Rugbys

HAIL PELICUS!

A Tale Of Two Rugbys

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I have held off on writing this edition of Hail Pelicus because I frankly didn’t know what to say. May 6, 2017. On a day when two Nor Cal colleges won national trophies and every Nor Cal team in playoff contention won my celebrations were subdued as I thought about Robert Paylor, the Cal lock who joined a rather innocuous maul that his Cal teammates were driving towards the try line. When everyone else got up he stayed down. Play continued and moved across the field and even back to within a meter of the trainers working with him before a new Cal surge put the ball over the line for a try. Paylor was still down and now it was apparent to all that something serious was happening.

Rugby is a contact sport and no matter how much World Rugby, coaches, referees and players do to make the game safer there will always be a risk. The obvious dirty play resulting in injury is almost easier to process than the injury to Robert. One can process a punch, a stamp, a jumper taken out in the air and understand the injury. Joining a maul should not result in injury, but it did. Anyone who tells you that life is fair is lying to you.

The California Golden Bears rugby team is many things to many people, but one thing everyone agrees on is they are well coached, well drilled and technically as good as anyone who plays the game. Body position, how to take contact, how to initiate contact; all are drilled to perfection. And yet. And yet. All I can say now is to treasure your time on the field. Treasure your time with the game. Treasure your time with friends and family. Rugby and life – always be grateful. All of our hopes and wishes for a full recovery go to Mr Paylor, a model athlete, a model student and a model human.

How You Can Help

The following statement was issued by the Paylor family the day after the match:

“The Paylor family would like to extend our sincere gratitude and thanks to the Cal Rugby family, friends and community for all your prayers and support. We can’t find the words that express what that has meant to all of us in this very sad time in our lives. Robert is currently working on stabilizing his condition so he can start rehabilitation. The injury paralyzed his lower body with limited motion in his arms. This will be a long and difficult journey for Robert and his outcome is uncertain. But we know his faith and determination will get him as far as he can go in regaining mobility. We are overwhelmed with the love and support we’ve received from people all over the country and ask that you continue to keep Robert in your prayers.”

For those who wish to contribute a gofundme page has been set up: https://www.gofundme.com/RobertPaylor

Tune In Next Week, Same Pelican Time, Same Pelican Channel

We had a few more Pelican sides playing for titles. We will get to that in our next edition.

Two Champions In One Place

Cal was able to recover from the loss of Robert Paylor early in the match to stamp their authority on the Varity Cup Final. Arkansas State was able to hang with the Bears for a half and were cruelly denied a try by a Nor Cal B Panel referee (AKA National Panel) who decided that he saw a knock on and didn’t need any help from the ARs. (Question: was a TMO available?) The 19-3 halftime score was misleading as the game was more balanced than that – the different being that Cal was able to cross the line and ground the ball more often when they got close and every time they did the referee agreed. The second half saw Cal take control of the game at their steady, professional best. Arkansas St rarely saw possession for more than a few phases and were generally shut down. The goal kicking of Russell Webb was rock steady as he reportedly used a technique suggested by assistant coach Tom Billups to sing a song to himself as he kicks. This acted as a relaxer and a timing mechanism and he struck the ball like clockwork every time. Neither party elaborated on what the song was but the keen lip-reading of the Hail Pelicus staff can confirm the rumor that is was Miley Cyrus’ “Party In The USA”.

St Mary’s and Life University have been locked into the top 2 spots of D1-A ever since Cal and BYU pulled out to form the Varsity Cup (which BYU has been booted from so that just goes to show). The result of this dynamic means that the last 5 years have been head to head matchups of the Beast From The East and the Best Of The West. Last year Life West won in a tight, hotly contested match and this year looked to be more of the same and the game did not disappoint. Once again a Nor Cal B Panel referee was in charge with more than able help from Pelicans to make him look good. The game more than matched expectations as a nervy start saw a few knock ons and mistakes. It soon settled into the back and forth affair everyone expected with each side pouncing on mistakes and creating chances. Life scored an early try but the response was immediate from the Gaels as they hit back with 2 penalties and a try to take the lead. Both sides traded punches (figuratively) throughout the rest of the half which ended with a 17-16 scoreline in favor of the Running Eagles. The second half started much like the first with Life scoring an early try but St Mary’s was not to be denied. Vili Helu started asserting himself, making big hits and long runs while the St Mary’s pack took control of the scrums. The final score came when Helu had to leave with a shoulder injury but the Gael scrum didn’t miss a beat. With St Mary’s holding the slimmest of 1 point leads Captain Kevin O’Connor took the ball from the #8 position and launched himself downfield. One pass later to a man in support and the Gaels are under the posts. Final score: 30-24, St Mary’s over Life.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

The various competitions all have their own disciplinary chairs and this will make it difficult to centralize the communication and data. To help Scott Wood has developed a form that will centralize the process, regardless of the competition. The link to the discipline form is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mmUNg11uVOSkIsUtHifSqQzalhWbwohk_J6AmPyrucQ/viewform
1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.
2. When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.
4. If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

Correction

The last edition of Hail Pelicus misidentified Rob “No Pelican Name” Hendrickson as Ed “No Pelican Name” Barfels in the This Week’s Photo section. While we, the editorial staff at Hail Pelicus, take full responsibility for this error we must point out how difficult it is to distinguish between the various Pelicans without an official Pelican Name to help. The lesson here: if you want us to get your name right, then get your right name.

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 04/29/2017
Bishop O’Dowd 53 – Sacramento Eagles 7
Referee: Gordon, Preston

On a very hot day in the Oakland hills, Bishop O’Dowd’s full roster and ability to move the ball quickly back and forth across their narrow (football) field made all the difference. They started scoring within the first two minutes, with their second as a penalty try plus yellow card for the Sacramento 13, as the last defender, clobbering a flying BOD winger around the neck.

There was some parity for parts of the match, but it was largely one-way traffic. Sacramento had several players show up right at kickoff time, which couldn’t have helped much either. We decided to stop counting with 15 minutes left in the match so that Sacramento could re-use some substituted players who didn’t get much time, and the final (unofficial) result was 65-12.

Thanks to the BOD crew for the excellent catering afterwards! Those lunch selections rivaled what I’ve seen in France, sans the wine of course.

Date: 04/29/2017
Land Park HS 51 – Bishop O’Dowd 24
Referee: Richmond, Jeff

O’Dowd kept the match close for the first 20 minutes with strong play by a their captain. A skilled loose forward, she advanced the ball well for O’Dowd and made many of the tackles on defense. Land Park was more cohesive in their team play and that was the difference. They put together good phases of attack and found gaps in the O’Dowd backline.

Date: 04/29/2017
SFGG 55 – Olympic Club 5
Referee: Pescetti, David

Wow what a scorching Saturday in April. A classic San Francisco match up, Olympic club versus Golden Gate. Unfortunately told all their players to go home and their season was done a week prior. But the match was played regardless of such matters.

With a depleted side OC was of little match to GG. It was still a fast and intense as previous years, but fairly one sided. GG 55 OC 5

I want to say a big thank you to Nome and Giles for being top notch ARs and helping to polish up this turd of a ref

Date: 05/06/2017
Bellarmine 17 – Chico 29
Referee: Stockton, Andrew

The first half of the game was completely controlled by Bellarmine. They scored 3 quick tries and converted one of them to go up 17-0, and they continued to apply pressure throughout the half. Chico tried to run a pick-and-go style game, but the Bellarmine defenders beat the runners back on every play. Chico was definitely on their heels, and about 15 minutes into the first half, I yellow carded Chico 8 for a dangerous tackle. The Chico 8 came back in with 10 minutes left and helped to put Chico on the board with a minute left in the first half.

The second half, Chico came out with new energy and passion and applied serious pressure to the Bells. The Bells started making a large number of unforced errors including leaving their feet in rucks, not rolling away, and a large amount of knock ons. This gave Chico the edge, and they were able to put up 24 more points to take the cup 29-17.

Date: 05/06/2017
Chico 14 – Eugene 10
Referee: Pescetti, David

Sunny San Francisco on championship weekend. Two teams fought for the right to travel to Arizona and the elite 8.

This was an incredibly close and hard fought match that was back and forth. Eugene kicked off the scoring with a penalty goal thirteen minutes into the first half. Eugene had the upper hand and threatened for large periods of the this opening quarter, but Chico’s defense stood strong and only relented the three points. Chico broke through the Eugene the defense for a converted try, and going into into the half leading. Eugene 3 – Chico 7.

The hard contest continue and was unrelenting in the second half. Chico was able to consolidate their lead with another converted try. They extended their lead, with roughly 30 minutes remaining Eugene had plenty of time to narrow the margin. Eugene’s retort came not too long after. They converted and brought the score to Eugene 10 – Chico 14. With spare minutes on remaining in the match Eugene attacking within the Chico 22. With numbers wide Eugene spun the ball, but Chico’s defense came up quick, forcing a pass that tragically caused the game to end. Eugene fell a few meters short.

Final Chico 14 – Eugene 10

Date: 05/06/2017
SacPD PAL 24 – Land Park HS 10
Referee: Tucker, Chris

A narrow pitch played into the hands of the Amazons, whose forwards kept it tight and ran straight. Land Park’s speedier backs had insufficient room to play, and thus went the contest.

Date: 05/06/2017
SFGG 90 – ORSU 0
Referee: MacDonald, Neil
AR: Turner, Jessica
AR: Richmond, Jeff
#4: King, Mike

A sunny afternoon on Treasure Island, mercifully cooler than the temperatures we’d seen earlier in the week, saw ORSU face SFGG in the Men’s D1 ACR1 playoff, for the chance to play in the national quarter finals. SFGG’s defense was smothering, their ball carrying ferocious, the surfeit of talent, pace, and creativity in the backs was a joy to behold, and Volney Rouse’s kicking was solid despite the stiff breeze. ORSU gamely played positive rugby throughout in the face of an onslaught of attacking rugby and fought to within inches of SFGG line on several occasions, but the visitors were unable to convert the pressure to points in the end. SFGG’s commanding win came in spite of being heavily on the wrong end of the penalty count, and their discipline at the breakdown will need to be better in their quarter-final match against Austin Huns.

Thanks to both teams, and to Jessica Turner and Jeff Richmond for their assistance on the touchlines, and Mike King for his help as #4.

Date: 05/06/2017
SFGG Women 24 – Seattle Mudhens 10
Referee: Wood, Scott
AR: Turner, Jessica
AR: Richmond, Jeff
#4: Baker, Eugene

A beautiful day in the middle of the Bay for the Division II Women Pacific North Geographic Region Championship match. While traffic to the pitch was light, the wind was beginning to build around the Bay Area. The pitch was in great condition for rugby (and possibly practicing some putting) with a level table of short grass. Both teams played well with good discipline and good continuity. Not many penalties but SFGG made Emerald City pay for early transgressions. The Mudhens were able to score a penalty goal before SFGG scored an unconverted try. HT: SFGG 14, Emerald City 3

Emerald City scored an early second half try to bring the score to 14-10. However, SFGG was able to maintain more possession scoring an additional penalty goal and converted try. Oddly, Emerald City’s pack was clearly dominant in the final 15 minutes resulting in several turnovers within SFGG’s 22. Unfortunately for the visitors, this pressure was not enough.

Kudos to both teams for an enjoyable match, and to Jeff Richmond, JT Turner, and Eugene Baker for their assistance.

Date: 05/09/2017
NorCal Pelicans Women Selects 71 – British Army Touring Side 5
Referee: Pescetti, David

The Brits were coming into the game having won all their matches so far on tour. However they had not faced off again Life West yet. The confidence waned quickly. The British were outmatches by the organization and physicality of Life West’s side.
The British Army touring side was a treat to referee.
Good luck on the rest of tour.

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