Category Archives: News

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.

This Week’s Photo

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

A Deep Breath

HAIL PELICUS!

A Deep Breath

Not a whole lot went on last weekend but a whole lot is going on this weekend so we here at the editorial board are going to take a deep breath, relax, and celebrate Cinco De Mayo (or The Return Of The Fifth if you practice the dark side of the Jedi religion). Next week there will be your normal fun, witty and touching content that you have all grown to know and love. Now I’m off to the score to get more tequila. Oh yea, and here are the events to check out…

High School Championships

Will be held at the Stockton Soccer complex. As an aside, we really need to start playing at a rugby complex rather than a soccer complex. It is giving rugby a complex. The solution isn’t that complex.

9:00 De La Salle v Parkway on field 1
10:30 Danville v Jesuit on field 1
10:30 Lamorinda v Granite Bay on field 2
10:30 Sac PD Pal v Pleasanton Cavaliers on field 3
12:00 Sac PD Pal v Land Park HS on field 1
3:00 Bellarmine v Chico

USA Rugby CR 1 Playoffs

The Best of the West will meet at SFGG on Treasure Island this weekend as well, so you can see…

10:00 SFGG Women v Seattle Mudhens
12:00 Chico v Eugene
2:00 SGFF Men v ORSU
4:00 Sacramento Blackhawks v Tacoma

USA Rugby D1-A National Championship

For the 5th straight year St Mary’s will take on Life University. The game will be in St Mary’s Stadium in Moraga at 4:00. Life took the first meeting in 2013 but St Mary’s bounced back with consecutive championships in 2014 and 2015. Last year was a nail biter as Life pulled off a 24-20 victory, so with the series tied 2-2 expect a great match with no clear favorite. Except St Mary’s. They are definitely favored to win.

Varsity Cup Final

The Varsity Cup final will be played May 6th in our own backyard at Steven’s Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University. The high noon showdown will be the winner of Penn St. vs Cal and Navy vs Arkansas State. For tickets and more information please go to www.varsitycup.us.

Banquet

Have you signed up yet for strapping on a free, high quality nosebag? Here are the details:

Good morning NCRRS Referees,

Thanks for providing your feedback related to the banquet date. The date to come and celebrate our accomplishments and season is set for Saturday May 13, We will be celebrating at Scott’s Seafood in Walnut Creek.

We need to get a headcount of participants and guests and we ask that you complete the following form by May 1: https://goo.gl/forms/y6axwPj9KNT9heJH3.

The form has a list of entree choices. We will have a no host bar set up and appetizers will be served from 6:15-7:00. Awards will be presented after the dinner. The society will be picking up the tab for referees. We ask that you pay for your guests prior to the event by using the PayPal link provided in the form. The link will also be available for access when you hit the “submit” button.

We look forward to seeing you all, dressed to impress, on Saturday May 13.

Regards,

Pelicus Iudex Pennipes

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.

When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident. He/she may contact you latter for more details.

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!

Nope. Just you wait until next week.

This Week’s Photo

Representing about 37,042 years of rugby knowledge and experience, some of the flock decided to gather for lunch. Standing, L-R Pelicus Bellatoris Cognitoris , Pelicus Iudicialis Eunuchorum , Pelicus Saltus (Mike Malone, John Coppinger, Bryant Byrnes). Sitting L-R Pelicus Dixsonian, Pelicus Bunnicus, Rob “No Pelican Name” Hendrickson (Dixon Smith, Dave Williamson, Rob Hendrickson)

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

The Passing Of A Legend

HAIL PELICUS!

The Passing Of A Legend

Donal Walsh was one of the Patriarchs of the Northern California Referee Society and he recently passed away. He was Atlas, a Titan upon whose shoulders our whole world rested. I do not have the skill to write a sufficiently powerful obituary so I have called on my predecessor, Dr Bruce Carter, Pelicus Scriptoris, Dux Deux to rise to the occasion and he has with flying feathers. Here are his words:

From Dr Bruce Carter,

Donal Walsh died earlier this month.

Donal was a stalwart of our Society for many years, and those in Davis will have seen him on the touchline with flag in hand almost right up to the present.

He will be remembered for doing something that has proven exceedingly useful to many hundreds of thousands of people, including presumably everyone who reads this, and that can never be done again. How many of us will have that said about them?

Donal was the first person in the world to put the Laws of the Game into readable form. He was given the Denis Shanagher Award for these things, which is the USA Rugby Referee Hall of Fame by another name.

When I bought my first law book (1977), it was by mail order from the NCRRS. The society published essentially the only useable law book in the world, and the society was funded entirely from the profits.

Before Donal, the Laws were published by the RFU. Rulings and amendments were issued from time to time. The text of laws that were amended was not changed: the amendments and rulings were merely appended at the end. So, when you read a law, you then had to go through all of the rulings and amendments to see whether anything had been changed. And you had to go through all of them, covering many decades, because they were arranged chronologically, not by law.

These were hundreds of full-size pages, due to the fact that nothing was ever taken out. Learning the Laws of the Game was like learning the US Legal Code.

Donal got permission from the RFU to compile and edit it all into coherent form and for the Society to publish it in a paperback, pocket-size edition. I don’t believe we even paid royalties, because the RFU hadn’t been making anything from it.

A memorial service will be held in his honor this Sunday, April 30, at 1 PM at the Veteran’s Memorial Center at 203 East 14th Street, Davis.

I would suggest that any time someone reads the Laws, a thought should be spared for Donal Walsh.

Assigned Games

Teamwork and trust are essential in rugby. When you are put under pressure you expect your teammates to have your back.

This is not always the case.

Playoff Match Reports

It is playoff time again and many of us will be called on to adjudicate these matches. Please note that quite often matches will be listed by seeds, so the game will be something like Pacific #3 vs South #1 or Winner Match 3 vs Winner Match 1. When writing your report narrative please make sure you explicitly identify which team is which so that I can update the team names in our reporting section below. Many thanks to those who did playoff matches already who have made my life easier.

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

Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.

When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident. He/she may contact you latter for more details.

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: 04/22/2017
Boston Irish Wolfhounds 98 – White Plains 5
Referee: Zanarini, Tom
Location: Irish Cultural Center, Canton, MA

Saturday was a day designed for rugby. Weather wise, anyway. Cool air, soft ground, and cloud cover. You could play all day in weather like that. Good thing, because at the second half the #1 question was “Sir, how much time?” The match started well enough. Both teams came out firing. White Plains wasn’t at the level of BIW, but they seemed to be playing up a level. Halftime was 27-5. Unfortunately WP lost their two best assets who were #10 & #12. BIW didn’t take long to see the new holes open up and the scorecard started filling up. The long sprints and constant whistle for try made the match seem endless, but end it did. WP kept their spirits high throughout. Toward the end the WP hooker proclaimed, ‘hey we’re playing rugby. How bad can it be?’ Well said.

Date: 04/22/2017
Danville Varsity 17 – Granite Bay Varsity 3
Referee: Gordon, Preston

Granite Bay gave Danville a run for their money on a really nice Saturday morning in Danville. Things were pretty even in the first half, with Danville opting to take a (successful) shot at goal in the 11th minute and opening their account at 3-0. Lots of good defense followed, along with several silly knock-ons that seemed surprising at this stage of the season. In the 27th minute Danville scored a converted try to go up 10-0, which is how things stood at halftime.

The second half began in a similar way to the first, except that Granite Bay took the first points with a penalty goal at 14′ to come within 7 points at 10-3. Shortly after that, Danville’s #12 went out of his way to knock over a Granite Bay player who had just kicked ahead, thereby earning himself a 10 minute rest. Granite Bay was unable to capitalize on the advantage, however, and Danville made a break on the outside and scored another converted try just before they returned to a full complement of players. Their 17-3 lead withstood a number of Granite Bay attacks in the last 10 minutes of the match, and while the score flatters them somewhat, Danville deserved to win this game.

Thanks to Mike and Steve for being ARs, and good luck to both sides in the rest of the playoffs. I was happy to get 5.5 miles of rugby in on a great day (ARing in the JV match too), and even happier to meet someone from Danville who shot drone video of my match. If you get an opportunity to watch footage from that perspective, I highly recommend doing it. Here are the two halves of my game:
https://www.facebook.com/DanvilleOaks/videos/1413307718692450/
https://www.facebook.com/DanvilleOaks/videos/1413338888689333/

Date: 04/22/2017
Sacramento Capitals 27 – Sacramento Blackhawks 41
Referee: Boyer, Rich
AR: Barfels, Ed
AR: Anderson, Rich

Made the two hour plus drive through traffic to SFGG pitch to referee to sides local to Sacramento……This match was a tale of two halves….Blackhawks won the toss and elected to receive going into the wind. Caps kick off deep, Blackhawk receiver catches the kick ten meters from the try line, passes and an intercept try was scored by the Caps winger within the first 20 seconds. Caps continued to put pressure on and scored off a lineout maul. The Blackhawks utilized a nice pick and drive phase and scored to make it 12-5. Caps added a penalty kick to enter the half leading 15-5. The Blackhawks revised their gameplan and came out a new team in the second half. They began relying on their forwards on second and third phase ruck ball, yet the Caps would not break. The Caps looked to score from 5 yards out off ruck ball but the Blackhawk wing reversed fortunes with 95 meter intercept try. Caps were hard done by some handling errors but never waivered in their tackling. Blackhawks scored off good pick and go phases to pad their lead 24-15, but the Caps responded by punching the ball downfield, with continual pressure on the Blackhawks, then took a quick tap penalty five meters out to spin the ball to the wing for an unconverted try. 24-20 and a tight game. The fourth quarter saw Blackhawk ascendancy through an increased sense of urgency at the rucks, good ballhandling and straightforward running to increase the score to 29-20. The Caps responded as they had all game long with prolonged phases, swung the ball wide within the Blackhawks 22 only to be undone by another long range intercept try. One more Blackhawk forwards score seemed to ice the game, but the Caps were awarded a try near the death to narrow the score. The difference in the final score would be the two intercept tries. Huge thanks to ARs Ed Barfels and the newly emerged Rich Anderson as well as to John Coppinger.

Date: 04/22/2017
SFGG Women 28 – Sacramento Amazons 0
Referee: Hettermann, Matt

NCRFU Women’s D2 Final: Amazons notified SFGG that they were forfeiting at 10PM on Friday night.

Date: 04/22/2017
Lindenwood 95 Our Lady of Perpetual Nothingness School Of Ennui 7
Referee: Bryant, Lee

No report received

Date: 04/22/2017
Stanford 68 – University of Arizona 15
Referee: Pescetti, David

Stanford Cardinal faced off against the University of Arizona Wildcats.

This match was all Stanford seeing Cardinal, eyyy, all match long, but being very even keeled about it. Scoring 6 Tries in each half. Only 3 of their 12 tries were scored by their forwards meaning they played with speed in the backline used utilized their skills to fly by the Wildcat defense. Arizona was able to punch in for three scores of their own, but inevitably fell to the superior Stanford firepower.

Date: 04/23/2017
Pope Francis Rugby Tournament 0 – Jesuit 7’s 0
Referee: Hinkin, James
Referee: Lane, John
Referee: Stockton, Andrew
Referee: Bretz, Liam
Referee: Mulholland, Pat/Matt

8 Jesuit schools descended on Santa Clara’s Seven’s Stadium (formerly Buck Shaw) for a fine weekend of 7s. Host Santa Clara welcomed Gonzaga, St. Joseph’s, Loyola of New Orleans, Notre Dame, Boston College, University of San Francisco and Wheeling Jesuit to a top class, well run 7s event on a pitch to die for. John Lane, Andrew Stockton, Liam Bretz, and Pat/Matt Mulholland were there to make sure everyone behaved and Sunday morning all of the players attended mass to reinforce the message.

The matches were contested hard and the play was fast. The teams sorted themselves out with the occasional lob sided match on Saturday and set up a series of Sunday matches that were all barn burners. Teams exchanged tries and only pulled away with full time efforts in a series of exciting rugby games. The organizer, Andy Schatzman, got his dream final as Boston College, featuring his son Danny as a try scoring machine, faced off against his alma mater Santa Clara. The local lads were too much for the East Coasters as they pulled away with a 28-12 victory and the Cup while coach Paul Keeler stood stoically on the sidelines watching. A fantastic event and one that I hope continues on.

Date: 04/23/2017
University of Arizona 24 – Washington State 34
Referee: Gordon, Preston

The women’s D1 consolation final at Stanford saw University of Arizona (home) playing Washington State (away) in front of a decent crowd at Steuber Rugby Stadium. Both teams played their hearts out in this game, which featured lots of breakaways, great defense, several turnovers, and a fairly low penalty count. WSU made an early attack that went most of the length of the field, with their ball carrier tackled ~8m short of the goal line. Unfortunately one of the arriving Arizona players didn’t take heed of my “ruck” call, from very close by, and went in from the side to kill the ball. Given the field position and the deliberate infringement, she went to the sin bin despite how early in the match it was. For the remainder of the half things were pretty even. In the 36th minute, with the score tied at 10-10, WSU’s #17 tackled an Arizona player above the shoulder line, leading to a yellow card for her team.

By the middle of the second half, Arizona scored two more tries had 24 points on the board. Washington State stayed with them, however, and managed to take a 10-point lead at 34-24 by the 73rd minute. At that point, I saw their #17 lash out by kicking an Arizona player who had run into her a little bit late. This warranted a second yellow card for her foul play, and thus a red. Arizona increased the tempo for the remaining time in the match but ultimately couldn’t get another score.

It was a pleasure to referee this very close, entertaining game, helped by David Pescetti ARing on one side and Amber, a very capable Arizona substitute player, on the other (unfortunately, he was the only AR available for this game – thanks for sticking around!). I also got to catch up with 2 of the Arizona coaches with whom I used to play in Tucson. And 6.25 miles of rugby, including ARing for Lee’s track meet, was a great time on a sunny afternoon.

Date: 04/23/2017
Tulane 15 – Kennesaw State 21
Referee: Pescetti, David

The D2 Spring Championship pitted Tulane vs Kennesaw State University in a southern battle to be the spring belle.

This match was incredibly even and nail-bitingly close, the way a finals should be. Tulane jumped out to a 12 – 0 in the first half employing the Italian defense and intercepting an ill fated pass and sprinting in for the try. But before the first half closed KSU managed to close the gap by scoring their own converted try and narrowing the gap to a mere 5 points.

In the second half Kennesaw managed to narrowly take the lead during an extended push midway through the second half. The slim 2 point KSU lasted 8 minutes before Tulane regained the lead after a Kennesaw penalty and successfully making a penalty kick. With 15 minutes remaining in the match Tulane lead by singular point, 15 – 14.

Under 5 to go. Kennesaw is pinned within their own 22 and had control of a scrum. They won the ball, spun it wide, and their speed, grit, and want to break two tackles allowed them to run the go ahead try. This sealed their victory and move onto the National Finals. Congratulations to both teams for an incredibly hard fought game.

Date: 04/23/2017
Trump University 0 – Unseen University 103
Referee: Bryant, Lee

Stanford vs. Lindenwood

(EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s nice, but who is who? Who won?)

This Week’s Photo

Donal Walsh receiving the Denis Shanagher Award. Legends came out to congratulate him, L-R Bryan Porter, Keith Seaber, Donal Walsh, Peter Watson, Don Reordan, Don Morrison

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Oh, Canada?

HAIL PELICUS!

Oh Canada?

The USA 7s team continues to improve as they made the Cup Final in Singapore and they accomplished this by doing the impossible: they beat Fiji in a game where they made 0 tackles. Yes, zero. None. Saiva. Who does that? Well, apparently we do. We were awesome on the restarts and retained all of them – both ours and theirs. We had possession for what seemed liked 90% of the match. We retained possession until we scored or the few times we turned it over. How do I know we only turned the ball over a couple of times? Because every time we did, Fiji picked up the ball and scored.

That was the pattern of the game. The USA had possession and worked the ball back and forth probing for openings. This either ended in a try for us or a turnover where Fiji would score untouched with occasionally a pass or two. It was amazing to watch. This seriously underscores the importance of the US being the best restart team in the world because had Fiji gained possession on any of the kickoffs then I don’t know if we could have stopped them. They were that good with the ball in hand. Granted, this also underscores the truism that the best time to attack is after a turnover because the defense is out of shape but still, we are a very good defensive team and nobody else has done anything similar to that to us since we reached this elite status that we now enjoy.

Elite status. Our current play has earned us that title and 5th place in the standings, only 9 points behind New Zealand, offers further proof. How elite are we? After losing to Australia in the 3rd place consolation match in Hong Kong we rebounded by spanking the Aussies in the semifinal match. That set up the easiest of finals imaginable. Canada was upsetting teams left and right to get to the finals with wins over New Zealand and South Africa and we OWN Canada. Seriously, they had no chance. Just give us the Cup and thank everyone for coming.

Last week, after yet another win over Argentina, I boldly proclaimed that “there is no doubt who is the top dog in the Americas these days”. The Gods of Hubris apparently noticed and invoked the dreaded Commentator’s Jinx. Canada continued their upsetting ways and scored their first Cup win in a tight, back and forth game. Congratulations to our neighbors to the north. Oh, Canada!

What Is In The Water In Singapore?

Singapore was added to the World Sevens Series last year as a companion stop to Hong Kong. Last year Kenya came through against all odds with their first Cup win. This year Canada came through against all odds with their first Cup win. I fully expect newly promoted Spain to get their first Cup win in Singapore next year.

The Greatest Rugby Weekend Of The Year

It is almost impossible to overstate how much good rugby we have here in Pelicanland. On Saturday, May 6th, we will host the Varsity Cup at Santa Clara, the D1-A final at St Mary’s, the CR1 club championships at Treasure Island and the High School Championships, featuring the reigning champions and the current #1. Who’s got it better than us?

Promotional Considerations For Hail Pelicus are Brought To You By The Varsity Cup

The Varsity Cup final will be played May 6th in our own backyard at Steven’s Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University. The high noon showdown will be the winner of Penn St. vs Cal and Navy vs Arkansas State. For tickets and more information please go to www.varsitycup.us.

Eat, Drink And Be Merry

A missive from our Glorious Leader, may he never be short of blow. For his whistle. For blowing his whistle.

Good morning NCRRS Referees,

Thanks for providing your feedback related to the banquet date. The date to come and celebrate our accomplishments and season is set for Saturday May 13, We will be celebrating at Scott’s Seafood in Walnut Creek.

We need to get a headcount of participants and guests and we ask that you complete the following form by May 1: https://goo.gl/forms/y6axwPj9KNT9heJH3.

The form has a list of entree choices. We will have a no host bar set up and appetizers will be served from 6:15-7:00. Awards will be presented after the dinner. The society will be picking up the tab for referees. We ask that you pay for your guests prior to the event by using the PayPal link provided in the form. The link will also be available for access when you hit the “submit” button.

We look forward to seeing you all, dressed to impress, on Saturday May 13.

Regards,

Pelicus Iudex Pennipes

Playoff Match Reports

It is playoff time again and many of us will be called on to adjudicate these matches. Please note that quite often matches will be listed by seeds, so the game will be something like Pacific #3 vs South #1 or Winner Match 3 vs Winner Match 1. When writing your report narrative please make sure you explicitly identify which team is which so that I can update the team names in our reporting section below. Many thanks to those who did playoff matches already who have made my life easier.

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

Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.

When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident. He/she may contact you latter for more details.

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: 04/01/2017
Washington D2 38 – Washington Irish D3 10
Referee: Valerio, Stephen
Location: Washington, DC

Overcast day, on a soft, tilted pitch. Washington’s D2 side was playing Washington Irish’s D3 side in a post-season friendly. With Washington just finishing a campaign where they finished last with only 1 win, and their players showing up late, it didn’t look promising as the Irish had numbers and were in the middle of a structured warm-up. First appearances can be wrong.

The Irish seemed better organized and their 10-5 lead at the half didn’t represent their overall advantage at that point. The first half ran about 48 minutes with Washington giving away penalties on their half of the field late in the half. The Irish kicker turned down a chance for posts with the mark centered and at the 22. He looked winded so the Irish ran some crash balls. They got close, but were held up in goal and the half ended. The 2nd half started close but in the last 20 minutes Irish had more and more gaps in their defense and Washington’s superior athleticism took hold. With Irish players falling off the tackles, Washington scored a series of long range tries and by the end were capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch.

Date: 04/01/2017
Mount St. Joseph’s 5 – Archbishop Spalding 19
Referee: Valerio, Stephen
Location: Severn MD

A perfect evening for a mid-week match. Archbishop Spalding’s one home match of the year (I anticipate an awkward post-season review for the Match Secretary) also served as Senior Night for the team.

Perfect temperature with no noticeable wind for a match played on a new artificial pitch.

A tight, back and forth affair between 2 rivals. The two sides were well-drilled, but only in a limited range of tactics, meant for predictable play punctuated by burst of either athletic talent or miscues. MSJ picked up the sole try in the first half, but the game was still very much in the balance.

Unfortunately, high tackles became a problem, with both squads having players carded for repeated dangerous tackles. MSJ wasn’t able to take advantage of the man, but Archbishop Spalding, which had tied the match when a MSJ player was sent off for high tackle Archbishop Spalding collected 2 converted tries to seal the match.

Date: 04/15/2017
Life West 28 – SFGG 38
Referee: Akroyd, Phil

A lovely day at Maritime Academy’s wonderful rugby field. Almost a point a minute scored in the first half but most of that was due to indiscipline from the players and subsequently, yellow cards meaning more gaps on the field. Each team scored tries when the other team had players in the bin, but they still continued to offend throughout the game.

The indiscipline was disappointing given the display of talent and athleticism on show. Both team’s abilities are a credit to the hard work and dedication they invest, and the quality of rugby was a product of that.

Date: 04/15/2017
Olympic Club 27 – East Palo Alto 24
Referee: Hinkin, James

No report received.

Date: 04/15/2017
Chico 26 – Google 24
Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

Great D3 semifinal game. Both teams came to play and were interested in rugby without the extracurriculars. Jim Crenshaw and I carpooled from Sacramento which made for a nicer drive to Chico. The game went well with Chico down 12-24 in the second half. A penalty try made it 19-24. On the next kickoff, Chico returned the kick for a breakaway try down the right sideline pulling ahead 26-24. Google tried to come back and make something but a late knock on killed any momentum. Chico held on to win.

Date: 04/15/2017
Sacramento Capitals 39 – Fresno 27
Referee: Bretz, Paul

Sacramento recovered from a 17 point deficit in the first half to beat the Fresno visiting side 39-27. Fresno came out in the first half and was on fire. The former San Fransico Rush flyhalf did a great job of putting his backs on the front foot. Unfortunately Fresno struggled to control the scrums. With 3 minutes left in the head the capitals finally got on the board with a penalty kick.
3 minutes into the second half the Fresno hooker was sin-binned for punching an opposing player and Sacramento took the opportunity and scored 22 tries. The second half, like the first half was controlled by one team. Sacramento tied the game with 20 minutes to go and then scored 3 more tries to seal the match. Fresno did score the final play of the match to bring the score closer.

Sacramento will play the the Blackhawks for the division 2 title match next week.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: With Sacramento scoring 22 tries in the first half I would expect the score to be higher.)

Date: 04/15/2017
Pacific Western 7’s
Referee: Stockton, Andrew

A fantastic day for 7’s out at Stanford. Two teams, Chico and Davis, canceled at the 11th hour, and it left the bracket system in shambles. However, with some great juggling by the tournament coordinators, the tournament ran smoothly, and there was some very exciting competition.

My first match was UNR against Fresno State. Fresno State clearly had better athletes, but UNR had better knowledge of the game, and were able to hold Fresno State scoreless.

The second match was UNR against SJSU. This was a slightly closer contested match, but with the help of #4 on UNR (a very big and powerful runner who was able to break through multiple tackles in a single run), they were able to win without much consequence.

My final match of the day was the bowl final between SFSU and UCSC. Both teams had struggled to have any offense throughout the day, and this game was low scoring as a result. However, SFSU was able to prevail with better discipline and a couple of line breaks that led to long runs and scores.

It was clear than Stanford and UNR were the best teams at the tournament. They had superior tactics and athletes that led to easy wins for them over their opponents. The Cup final between the two teams was incredibly exciting and was won in the last seconds by Stanford after a closely contested first half.

This Week’s Photo

The HSBC World Series Standings are looking mighty fine this week as the US is poised to pass New Zealand in the next round.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre