Category Archives: News

Legacy

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Legacy

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

And thus a legacy started to germinate.

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Strapping On The Ol’ Nosebag – Save The Date

 

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

 

Banquet details:

Date:                    Friday, July 17

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

Location:              Sonoma Chicken Coop, Skyport

90 Skyport Drive Suite 100

San Jose, CA 95110

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

 

Tonga? Samoa? What’s The Difference?

 

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

 

Ask A Pelican

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Summer Planning – Looking Ahead

 

From our Noble Leader, Pelicus Iudex Pennipes:

 

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

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

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process for reporting incidents

 

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

  1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone.  If you have an Iphone add the link to your home screen.
  2. When needed fill it out and click submit.  The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
  3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.

 

Referees On Tour

 

From Cary Bertolone:

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

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

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

Too much fun!!

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

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

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

 

Slippery Rock Rugby Tournament

Location: Lawrence County Fairgrounds, New Castle, PA

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Date: 05/02/2015 – 05/03/2015

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

New England Rugby Union Championships

Fort Adams State Park, Newport RI

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Matches:

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

 

D3 pool: New London 6 v Boston Irish Wolfhounds 12

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sunday D2 Consolation Final: New Haven 24 v Newport 31

 

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

 

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

 

Date: 05/02/2015

EPA Razorbacks 48 – Sacramento Lions 7

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

AR: Bernstein, Bruce

AR: Valerio, Stephen

 

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

 

Date: 05/02/2015

Olympic Club B 17 – Life West 52

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

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

 

Date: 05/02/2015

SFGG Women 12 – Sacramento Amazons 24

Referee: Tucker, Chris

AR: Van Staden, JC

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Date: 05/02/2015

St. Mary’s College 48 – Lindenwood 32

Referee: Ricono, Nick (Southern Califnornia)

AR: Byrnes, Bryant

AR: Sandhill, Peter

Attendant Miser: Crenshaw, Jim

 

Report from Bryant Byrnes:

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Date: 05/02/2015

UC Davis Women 10 – Alumni 30

Referee: Hosley, David

 

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

 

 

This Week’s Photo

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

Hinkin Parents Wedding

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Alphabet Soup

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Alphabet Soup

 

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

 

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

 

And who here knows what “acrostic” means?

 

Playoffs Are Here!

 

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

 

Strapping On The Ol’ Nosebag

 

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

 

Ask A Pelican

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Summer Planning – Looking Ahead

 

From our Noble Leader, Pelicus Iudex Pennipes:

 

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

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

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process for reporting incidents

 

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

  1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone.  If you have an Iphone add the link to your home screen.
  2. When needed fill it out and click submit.  The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
  3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Baracus 47 – Vacaville 57

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

AR: Wilson, Giles

AR: Smith, Pete

 

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

 

Date: 04/25/2015

EPA Razorbacks 17 – Fresno 17

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

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

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

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Life West 73 – Sacramento Capitals 10

Referee: Tucker, Chris

AR: Wilkening, Russ

AR: Pendergrass, Joshua

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Mother Load 26 – Granite Bay 21

Referee: Carney, Mark

 

No report received

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

North Sac Warriors 31 – Bishop O’Dowd 45

Referee: Taueva, Favor

 

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

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Reno Zephyrs 17 – Colusa 48

Referee: Hinkin, James

AR: Wilkening, Russ

AR: Pendergrass, Joshua

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Sacramento Amazons 47 – Berkeley All Blues 2 19

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

AR: Wilson, Giles

AR: Smith, Pete

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Date: 04/25/2015

Santa Rosa 32 – Sacramento Lions 17

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

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

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

SFGG Women 86 – San Jose Seahawks Women 5

Referee: Gordon, Preston

 

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

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

UC Davis 50 – Western Washington University 14

Referee: Hosley, David

 

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

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

University of Arkansas 24 – CSU Long Beach 14

Referee: Hosley, David

 

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

 

 

Date: 04/25/2015

West Coast Collegiate Women’s D2

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

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

 

Pool Play:

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

 

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

 

Knockout Stages:

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

 

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

 

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

 

Date: 04/26/2015

USA Rugby National Playoffs

Referee: Hosley, David

 

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

 

 

This Week’s Photo

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

 

D3 Team of 3

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Winding Up

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Winding Up

 

For most in Pelicanland the regular season has come to an end and teams have sorted out their respective places in the world – only Men’s D1 is still playing league matches and they finish up this weekend.   Yes, the playoffs are coming and there are a few trophies to hand out but the season has wound down so we know where teams will wind up.   Clubs will now nurse a wound down at the bottom of the table or get the wind up in their sails for some bonus rugby.   (Huh?)

 

Not me, though.   The Hail Pelicus has a season too and like the pelecanus occidentalis we all favor the urge to migrate drives us ever onward.  To seek new things and find new audiences.  To find new puns and worn out jokes. To dream the impossible dream and fight the unbeatable foe.   To bear with unbearable sorrow and run where the brave dare not go.   So thus I announce the end of my tenure at Hail Pelicus.   I never wanted to do this, rabbiting on about who scored a try or what team showed up with 13 players. I never wanted to do this job in the first place!   I… I wanted to be…

 

A LUMBERJACK!

 

Nah, kidding. I’m having a great time and am going to continue doing this.   Just winding you up.

 

Playoffs Are Here!

 

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

 

Ask A Pelican

 

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

 

“I really enjoy reading the HP.   It keeps me up to date on Northern California rugby and gives me some great zingers I can use at the university, after which I shout “bazinga!”. Are you really ending it and leaving?”

 

No, I’m not.   I hope you read the entirety of the opening bit, Dr. Cooper. It was just my little joke.

 

Cap’n Blackbearrd’s ARRRRRRRRR Course

 

Pelicus Scriptoris saw the plight of our pirate friend last week and sent in this note:

 

(USA Rugby’s AR course is) an on-line course now, given once a month. I teach it about every-other iteration. Sign up on USARugby.org. It’s limited to 10 students, and is $30. It is a prerequisite to have had the Level One Referee Course and the Touch Judge Course.

 

Go to USARugby.org , click on REF, click on Courses and then you’ll see the sign-up page.

 

         – Scriptoris.

 

Additional wisdom from Pelicus Bellatoris Cognitoris:

 

The AR course does not teach the duties of the 4, 5, and 6, however. There is no formal course for teaching those duties, although Bruce Carter and I have held a clinic to teach those duties; it takes about an hour, at most.

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process for reporting incidents

 

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

  1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone.  If you have an Iphone add the link to your home screen.
  2. When needed fill it out and click submit.  The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
  3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 04/18/2015

Berkeley 17 – Baracus 40

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Berkeley played its last match of the season on a field they had used before the Otis Spunkmeyer Field. It was an oasis between the Oakland Airport & Alameda with views of the Colliseum & estuaries around the bay. Tight 1st half with Baracus barely winning 7-5. They were the only team to score in the 2nd half. Pretty clean play by both teams who obviously respected each other.

 

 

Date: 04/18/2015

Berkeley All Blues 2 44 – San Jose Women 14

Referee: Ricard, Bruce

 

San Jose started the game very strong by scoring a try in the first 3 minutes of the game. Berkeley scored 3 tries during the first half to lead 17-7 at the break.

The second half started like the first one, with a strong San Jose team. They scored a try at the 5th minute of the half. The game was very balanced until the 60th minute, and then the All Blues started to score tries. They scored 5 unanswered tries in the last 20 minutes.

 

Special congratulations to the San Jose #8 captain who has an excellent understanding of the game and who poached more balls in one game than any other player in our area, at any level. I believe she successfully poached 5 balls, and obtained 4 penalties for holding on to the ball which resulted in a yellow card for the other team.

 

 

Date: 04/18/2015

California 57 – Navy 15

Referee: Akroyd, Phil

 

Navy gave Cal a very thorough 55 minutes of competition but couldn’t match the home team for power, pace, skill and endurance. Cal’s main issue was that they gave away too many penalties early (a ratio of 6-1 at one point) and with a dangerous tackle on their own goal line, they also found themselves down to 14 after 25 minutes.

 

It was 16-10 just after the break, but then Cal turned on the afterburners and pulled ahead. Pack-leader Alec Gletzer was clearly the best player on the field but there was a lot of talent on the filed as a whole. The Varsity Cup final should be excellent.

 

Date: 04/18/2015

MIT 30 – North Shore 16

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

Location: Cambridge, MA

 

Men’s D3 club semi-final playoff

 

My primary assignment for the weekend took me to the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA.  MIT, being made up of mostly grad students, plays in the men’s club league as opposed to the college divisions.  Therefore they also welcome non-MIT students into the mix.  This makes for a slightly more stable club than a traditional grad school team.  Good for them as they were seeded 1st in the D3 playoffs.  Saturday was a beautiful spring day for a drive, until we hit Boston traffic.  Being the Saturday before the Boston Marathon (which just kicked off as I’m writing this) the traffic was madness.  It took Colleen and I nearly a half-hour to go 1.5 miles up Mass Ave.  So I made it to Briggs Field 30 minutes prior to kickoff.  Both teams were well into warmups as I arrived.  Kickoff was right on time at 12pm.  The match was a bruising affair with one yellow on each side.  The first was awarded to MIT.  At a penalty about 7m from in-goal the MIT flyhalf took a quick tap beyond the mark, so I blew my whistle to stop him.  He made it to in-goal, where a NS player made a tackle, both not quite aware of the stoppage.  That’s fine, no one else on NS was taking part.  A MIT player took offense to this and charged into in-goal to save his flyhalf from a very safe tackle.  So, you can’t control yourself, off you go.  After an understandable dustup between the teams I spoke with the captains about the incident, that it was over and let’s get on with rugby.  I let them cool for a minute and talk to their teams.  All is well, right?  Not two minutes later a NS player late hits the MIT scrumhalf at a line out.   Fine, off you go, too.  After that, we did finally get back to playing rugby.  MIT was able to find the open slots for more tries, otherwise this was a pretty even match.  Good luck to them in the final.

 

Date: 04/19/2015

Boston Irish Wolfhounds 58 – Life 921

Referee: Haylee “It’s gonna be a” Slaughter

AR: Zanarini, Tom

AR: McKenna, Sean

Location: Irish Cultural Center, Canton, MA.

 

Reported by Tom Zanarini.

 

My secondary assignment lead me back to the Irish Cultural Center for an Atlantic Rugby Championship match.  Haylee Slaughter was flying in for the match, while Sean McKenna and I ran AR.  The ICC is a great facility with numerous fields.  The main field is a huge Gaelic football field with bleachers the length of the field and a nice press box.  The rugby field is directly adjacent to the Center Building that has a large patio.  The bar is like any Irish bar in Boston, staffed by ICC employees.  It’s a three story building, not counting the basement locker rooms.  It’s as nice a facility as I’ve seen in the USA.  Haylee was challenged with two teams who seemed to want to compete more with attitude than rugby.  I was very disappointed with the quality on the field.  Maybe it’s early in the season, but it was just a very sloppy, messy match.  Either team would give a challenge for the wooden spoon in the PRP.  That’s just my take.  BIW had four yellow cards, mostly for repeated infringements and cynical play.  I haven’t seen the other ARC teams, so hopefully the quality gets better as the season progresses.  The press write up is here: This Is American Rugby: Life Down Spirited Wolfhounds

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The press officer is suffering from early season mistakes as well. I looked for the final score in the press release and couldn’t find it.   Amateurs.

 

Date: 04/18/2015

Chico 35 – Vacaville 94

Referee: Tucker, Chris

 

A glorious day for rugby, and two teams that knew each other well played the last game of the regular season in good spirits. One of the better kicking performances I’ve seen, with Chico 5/5 on conversions, and the Vacaville starting #10 going 11/11 before taking a seat on the sideline. The subsequent Vacaville kickers were less successful, going 1/3. Fun day out.

 

 

Date: 04/18/2015

Colusa 65 – South Valley 17

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

 

Hot day in Colusa. Definitely over 80, forecast for 90. South Valley had 5 players broke down on Hwy 505, so we waited until 1:10 for kick-off (their players never made it to the game). In the 2nd minute of the game, Colusa muscled one in with good work from their forwards. 4 minutes later, their flyhalf/captain, Cody Beckley lofted a kick to their wing who picked it up on the full and was gone. The next two Colusa tries were scrum downs that they just pushed right to the goal and scored. Colusa was up 41-5 at the half as they dominated possession throughout the game. The second half was a little more balanced as Colusa subbed, 24-12 in the second half. South Valley ended on an up note; with no time left, their captain and number nine Anthony Guidry stole the ball and beat everyone to the post for a center try (the son of my former team mate, Matt Guidry). Good attitudes be all were displayed and the large crown created a festive, playoff atmosphere.

 

 

Date: 04/18/2015

EPA Bulldogs 62 – Fresno 38

Referee: Ranaweera, Aruna

 

Sunny 75F at the Stanford/Palo Alto community playing fields (turf). Both teams were structured and tactical on offense, but generally disorganized in defense, which resulted in lots of back-and-forth scoring. EPA imposed their physicality to lead 26-12 at half and 48-24 midway through the 2nd half, before Fresno stormed back to within 48-38 with 12 minutes remaining. EPA then sealed the game with 2 converted tries to win the contest, 10 tries to 6.

 

 

Date: 04/18/2015

Reno Zephyrs 47 – Napa 33

Referee: Crawley, Blake

 

Entertaining rugby match that went back and forth with several lead changes. Reno got a late try to take the lead and then added another in the closing minutes to seal the victory. Kudos to both teams.

 

 

Date: 04/18/2015

San Jose Seahawks 27 – Sacramento Lions 28

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

A hot, firm turf football field, more lines on the pitch than could easily be kept straight in anyone’s head, four lead changes, and the match decided at the very last moment. What a great game, and a fantastic way to spend the afternoon in San Jose.

 

The Seahawks scored and converted early following offside indiscipline from the Lions, but he Lions struck back with a brace of tries in the 13th and 16th minutes to lead 14 to 7. After much scoreless back and forth for the remainder of the half, the Seahawks tied it up just before the break. The Lions went back in front in the third minute of the second half, and the Seahawks scored eight minutes later to pull the Lions back to within two.   A few minutes later, a Sacramento player went into the side of tackle and conceded the penalty, which San Jose banged over for the lead. 22-21 Seahawks with 25 minutes to play.   The Lions got back in front with a converted try in the 61st minute, but the determined Seahawks dug deep, kept coming forward, and scored out wide on the left after sustained pressure on both wings. The conversion drifted wide, so with seven minutes to go it’s still Lions by one point.   San Jose fought valiantly back up the field, as Sacramento defended ferociously, but when the defenders conceded a penalty, the Seahawks had a chance to take the game with a long range penalty. The kick missed, was gathered by a Sacramento player in the in goal, and run up the field as the clock ticked down. In the subsequent passage of play, a desperate Lion played the ball on the ground at a breakdown, and with time expired Seahawks had one last attempt on goal. Could there be yet more drama? With the Seahawk touchline screaming “Backs chase!” the tee was brought out, and the ball sailed towards the right of the posts. Somehow, it hit the right post and bounced into in goal, where one of the aforementioned Seahawk backs caught it above his head, despite the close attentions of the Lions defenders, but he couldn’t ground it before crossing the dead ball line. The Seahawks missed out on a fairy tale win by the narrowest of margins and Sacramento escaped back up I-80 with the win. Thanks to both teams for a cracking match.

 

Date: 04/18/2015

San Jose Seahawks B 10 – Sacramento Lions B 5

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

Full teams, twenty minute halves.

 

 

Date: 04/18/2015

SFGG 5 – Santa Rosa 16

Referee: Lane, John

 

As usual at Treasure Island there was a strong breeze blowing mainly north to south and on winning the toss the Santa Rosa captain decided to have the wind as his friend in the first half!!

 

Santa Rosa used the wind to gain field position early and with a noticeably stronger scrum opted for scrums rather than kicking for goal or touch on two early penalties and were rewarded with a pushover try on 4 minutes. The strong breeze beat the kicker so 0-5.

 

Santa Rosa continued to dominate territory but possession was more 50-50. SFGG put some good possession plays together to build out of defense but, as with Santa Rosa, the wind often impacted backline handling and scrums were fairly frequent. Santa Rosa had the upper hand on these scrums and eventually this pressure lead to a successful penalty kick on 22 mins for a 0-8 lead.

 

As the half wore on SFGG started to get more of a foothold in the Santa Rosa half and put on some sustained field position pressure. On 30 mins, SFGG held up a maul well inside the Santa Rosa 22. In their efforts to avoid conceding a scrum turnover the defense split from the maul leaving an on-side SFGG player to step through and make a strong tackle and turnover which was driven over the line for a score. A narrow miss into the wind left the score at 5-8 on 31 mins.

 

SFGG continued to dominate the remainder of the half. On 37 mins having failed to score from an advantage SFGG opted to kick at goal from 20m in line with the left post. Going for power into the wind the kicker drilled the ball narrowly wide on the left. From the drop-out Santa Rosa kicked out on the full and SFGG retained pressure inside the 22m for the remaining 3 minutes. Santa Rosa defended well and with the last play of the half the SFGG fly half spotted his right winger free wide out and cross kicked to the corner but as rugby balls do, as the winger was running in to gather, the last bounced kicked away from him and into touch.

 

5-8 at half time in a keenly contested first half with the game all to play for.

 

Santa Rosa started well into the breeze in the second half and on 43 mins kicked a good penalty to stretch the lead to 5-11. The closeness of the score and the frequent scrums heightened the tension of the game and the vocal levels of the players rose significantly. A few quiet instructions for individuals to calm down were required which allowed the competitive nature of the game to be maintained without incident. In addition, the game was played at a fast pace so errors crept in as players tired. SFGG started to break into the Santa Rosa half on a more regular basis but a combination of good defense and attacking infringements to try to maintain secure ball allowed Santa Rosa to repel all attacks.

 

On 13:23 minutes the SFGG scrum half was sin-binned as his team executed a number of offside infringements in quick succession to slow and stop Santa Rosa attacking ball. Opting for a number of scrums in a row, the Santa Rosa captain and No 8 peeled off the back and ran in from 15 yards untouched to score (unconverted) for 5-16.

 

SFGG survived the rest of the sin bin time without conceding and put in a strong effort for the last 15 minutes which Santa Rosa continued to repel. The efforts being put in by both sides raised the temperature on the field and a quick chat with both captains was necessary to calm things down. The remaining 8 minutes was played out between half way and the Santa Rosa 22 as SFGG pushed for another score but Santa Rosa continued to defend effectively across the field.

 

The game finished with Santa Rosa driving an SFGG attack into touch on the 22 with the final score of 5-16 in favour of Santa Rosa.

 

A note of recognition to both hookers for some excellent line-out throwing throughout the game in the windy conditions!!!

 

This Week’s Photo

Referee Neil MacDonald can feel the pain of the offender but still awards the penalty, albeit reluctantly. It really is breaking his heart. (Photo courtesy of Peter Kobliska)

Neil MacDonald

 

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Super Rugby

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Super Rugby

 

As we boldly forge our way ahead into the Century of the Fruitbat new things appear on the rugby scene as old things fade away. Sometimes the new things resemble old things and give hope that some old things may reemerge, like a 17 year cicada, to overwhelm American rugby as it did in the past.   So what bold new idea are we speaking of?   What old retread is threatening to rise, Lazarus style, from the grave?   I am speaking of Super Sites and Tournaments, naturally. The Super Sites were rolled out for Men’s D3 this year and came back to mixed reviews – some liked them and some didn’t. Some were well organized and some were less so.   Some teams stuck around to drink beer, watch rugby and socialize and some teams took off immediately.   There were lessons learned, feedback given and notes taken, but overall we can consider the first iteration of the Super Site concept a success.

 

Next question to be addressed: Is it a Super Site, a Supersite, soup or sight, or just a super site?   I’ll need to get clarification on that.

 

So what does this have to do with tournaments?   The last 2 decades have seen USA Rugby get more organized around the various national championships and, by extension, have expanded the playoff structure all the way from the national level to the local level.   The, possibly, unintended effects that this had was to kill the spring tournaments that used to flourish in the rugby landscape.   Teams are playing or preparing for playoff games as we go through the local playoffs, then the territorial/competitive region playoffs and finally the nationals.   Teams can’t commit to a tournament because they don’t know if they are committed elsewhere and any tournament budget is sucked up in that trip to Dallas for a regional playoff. From the late 1960s until the mid 1990s the Santa Barbara International Rugby Tournament was a must-play event marked on a club’s calendar in indelible ink.   Your humble correspondent ran this event in 1992 and 1993 with over 70 teams across several divisions on 8 fields.   Now the tournament is no more and I tell youngsters about the glory days while yelling at them to GET OFF MY LAWN!   When I joined the San Jose Seahawks we went every year to the Golden Gate Rugby Tournament held up in San Francisco on the Polo Grounds.   Numerous fields covered with ruggers from all over playing the Game That Is Played In Heaven.   This has also succumbed to the vagaries of modern rugby.

 

The Super Sites were a taste of a tournament atmosphere.   I felt it up in Reno last weekend, a feeling that many young ruggers have not experienced.     Once people get used to this concept I hope to see some Lazarian tournaments arise again. That would truly be Super Rugby.

 

Playoffs Are Coming!

 

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

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from Captain “AR” Blackbeard of The Seven Seas, who asks:

 

“Yer Cap’n Bretz gave a fine chinwag fer duties o’ an AR last night.   I be wanting to ARRRRRRRR meself in these upcoming battles. Be I shipshape fer the job?”

 

Aye, aye Captain, your message has been received!   To be an official AR for a playoff match you must have completed the USA Rugby Assistant Referee course.   If you haven’t yet don’t feel like you have to walk the plank – we here in Pelicanland are looking to see if we can get an AR course scheduled before the playoffs start in earnest.   An eye patch and parrot is not mandatory, though often appreciated.

 

Pelicans Flying Ever Higher

 

Two promotions were announced at this month’s society meeting:

 

  • Matt Hetterman has been promoted to C1
  • Joe Delvin has been promoted to C3

 

Congratiilations to both of you! Keep up the hard work and dedication.

 

Pelicans Abroad

 

From Pelicus Avoidus Whistle Dude:

 

I reffed at the French 1/4 Fest Old Boys this past Saturday taking a break from the free music, food & drink which goes from Thursday to Sunday interrupted by a few showers each day. Palmer Chiro, Baton Rogue, & mixed teams from both Washington, DC & Texas were hosted by the New Orleans Rugby club which beat the Texans in the first match I reffed 15 – 0; & went on to win the tourny. Pretty humid conditions in between the storms & bars with more free bands on on Frenchmen Street. I can’t wait to return for my 9th year next year.

 

April Society Meeting

 

This month’s meeting was yesterday.   I am sure you already knew that, though.

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process for reporting incidents

 

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

  1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone.  If you have an Iphone add the link to your home screen.
  2. When needed fill it out and click submit.  The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
  3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 04/12/2015

New England Collegiate Rugby Conference Sevens Championships

Referee: Zanarini, Tom

Location: University of Rhode Island, South Kingston, RI

Competing schools: USCGA, Univ. of Vermont, Univ. of New Hampshire, Norwich University, Boston University, Univ. of Rhode Island

 

Final: US Coast Guard Academy 15 – University of Vermont 10

 

Finally! The winter has passed. Spring has arrived and all is well with the world. The gift of spring brings a gift of sevens. The rugby season here is flip flopped from California as most of you know. League matches are played in the fall, while the spring season is meant for thawing out and getting some friendly matches to tune up for playoffs, if you made it that far. With the growth of sevens rugby in college programs, we are now seeing spring sevens tournaments in New England, much the same as California now has fall sevens tournaments. Thus the never ending debate of ‘when is the rugby season?’ continues. So, when is the rugby season? Yes. Just answer ‘Yes.’ It is always rugby season.

 

URI hosted a 15s tournament on Saturday. I’m sure it was a friendly tournament. Why that was held the day before a sevens qualifier tournament I’ll never understand. Old habits I suppose. Young legs don’t care, they just wanna play. At any rate, 6 schools participated with A, B and C side brackets. My matches included 1.) USCGA 19 v BU 5; 2.) URI 19 v Norwich 20; 3.) Norwich 5 v UNH 5; 4.) UVM 17 v UNH 5; and the final for 5 total matches, which was bequeathed to me due to the tie match #3.

 

The prediction was that the Coast Guard Academy would run away with this game as they beat UVM 29-0 in pool play. But that game started soon after UVM arrived from a very long bus ride. They found their legs as the day went on and earned a championship berth. The scoring in the final was back and forth and could have been a different result if the match were 10 minute halves. Best of luck to the Coast Guard as they move on to the NSCRO sevens championships in Glendale, CO.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: I rather think that you were awarded the final not because of your draw earlier in the da, but because of your outstanding officiating. The Aura of Pelicus that surrounds you may also have helped as most societies look upon us here in Pelicanland with a mixture of awe and heady jealousy, as well they should.   You still owe the society a beer for that tie the next time you travel to Pelicanland or meet one of the members abroad.

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Aptos 0 – Life West C 0

Referee: Wilson, Giles

 

The super site model has been set up to be similar to tournament rugby in that many sides are present at the same location and they have the opportunity to make it more than a regular game and party.

 

From the start, the model was a little too close to be true with a couple of drop outs, something that even happened at Monterey in it’s heyday (but with an element of these young kids don’t know how to travel any more….) However, besides a few teething problems on the set up, those that traveled had a good time and rugby was played and some players filled out teams missing players (traditional rugby whores).

 

Some of the Mendo players enjoyed the night before a little too much, while injuries have decimated Sierra who required several loans of local players. This sounded like a mismatch but the first half belied that description with Sierra getting on the board first with a converted try. The teams went back and forth in the first half which ended at 27 (5 tries) to 22 (4 tries) in favour of Sierra.

 

In the second half, Sierra hung on to score three more tries but fatigue and the unfamiliarity of players with each other meant that their defensive pattern was ad hoc and Mendo worked over 9 second half tries for a final of 75 (13 tries) for Mendo to 46 (8 tries) for Sierra.

 

All involved departed for well earned burgers and libations which may or may not have assisted with the dehydration.

 

This is a good idea and I look forward to participating in more – it is nice to see multiple referees along with many rugby friends on multiple teams.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Baracus 59 – Diablo 29

Referee: Ricard, Bruce

 

Diablo started the game very strongly, completely dominating Baracus. They scored 3 tries in the first 10 minutes of the game, to lead 19 to nothing. The next 30 minutes of the first half were much more balanced, but Baracus’ game strategy was better, opened space for their backs, who scored 2 times. 14 – 19 at the break.

The second half was the exact continuation of the first one: Baracus playing better and better. They scored an unconverted try at the beginning of the half, tying the game. Diablo scored a penalty goal from 40m to retake the lead, but after that is was all Baracus. Their English full back had a devastating sidestep, and was playing formidable counter-attacks. A few times he caught his opponents’ long kick, ran between the defenders, and drew the last defender before passing to his winger. Some very beautiful plays by the Baracus backs. They score 7 tries in the second half, when Diablo could only score one.

 

Baracus 59 (9 tries) – 29 (4 tries) Diablo

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Life West 64 – Berkeley 17

Referee: Gordon, Preston

 

Life scored early and fairly often in this game. It was a pretty nice afternoon at SFGG too.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Life West Women 55 – Berkeley All Blues 2 30

Referee: Pohlman, John

 

Life West Woman hosted The Berkeley Old Blues second side this Saturday at 5:00PM. The games were moved to SFGG’s field on Treasure Island. Beautiful day, Beautiful field and location and most importantly some beautiful rugby. I had refereed both these teams earlier in the season and both have improved. The level of rugby was quite high. Both teams played psychical, clean rugby. Both teams showed closing skills finishing off scoring opportunities as they arouse.

Both teams scored four trys each in the first half. Life’s captain and kicker Jen converted two of Life’s trys to lead at half time 24-20.

Life’s hooker was my player of the day. She took the ball up hard breaking tackles and scored a hat trick. Life’s bigger players wore down the younger, smaller Old Blues team to pull away with a 55-30 final score.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

California Maritime Academy 29 – Colorado School of Mines 7

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

We kicked off the NSCRO PacWest semifinals between Cal Maritime and Mines. Vallejo provided perfect backdrop for playoff rugby.

 

The match began with hard physical hitting between two sizable teams. Both equally matched in ability and drive. The keel haulers were there fractions earlier. The half ended with Maritime 17 – Miners 0.

 

The second half was a change of wind. The miners dig in their heels and they chipped back at the Maritime lead. However, on this day the sea sailed over the rough rocky deep earth 29 – 7.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Reno 69 – Shasta 10

Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

 

The mastodons of the southern Cascades lumbered south to meet the not so gentle Zephyrs of the Sierra on the alluvial plains of the Basin and Range -aka the Reno super site. [Author’s note to Editor; I learned this stuff in Geology for Non Geology Majors back in my antediluvian university days. The hell with Roget’s.]

 

Not exactly a closely run thing; Redding played about 12 forwards against an undefeated Reno team. But good spirited real rugby enjoyed by all. And nice play by the scrum halves.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Touché.

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Sacramento Blackhawks 76 – Chico 29

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

As I approached Danny Nunn park I thought I was mistaken on match time….only a few Chico stragglers (and no fans) were in sight. They continued to trickle in, 16 strong, when the Blackhawks arrived on the pitch at 12:55. Nonetheless both teams were ready to go shortly thereafter. Chico opened up an 8-0 lead on a great flyhack and chase by captain Casey, followed by a penalty kick. An inordinate amount of handling errors were observed, as one player remarked, despite the perfect playing conditions. Blackhawks began playing their game, offloading in/before tackles, and the tries began ringing up. Blackhawks were up 47-8 at half and had momentum. Credit to Chico, they never stopped trying, and all of a sudden the momentum shifted back as they rang up three tries precipitated by quick thinking/quick taps from captain Casey and some yeoman’s work at the breakdowns. Even as they lost two players to injury and went to 14 for the last twenty minutes Chico continued to battle. Blackhawks countered with free flow play and racked up four quick tries to close out the match. Hard fought, great sportsmanship and only a handful of penalties.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Sacramento Lions 20 – EPA Bulldogs 48

Referee: Wilson, Dan

 

What shaped up to be a heaving hitting power match between the Sacramento Lions and the EPA Bulldogs didn’t turn out that way. EPA controlled the ball from the initial kick off, scoring converted tries in the 5th and 11th minute. Most of the first quarter was played inside Sacramento’s 22-meter line with staunch defense holding out other scoring opportunities. In the second quarter, both teams traded unconverted tries with Sac pulling together as a team and getting effective wide ball going. EPA, however, was scrappy and turned defense into offense quickly dotting down a converted try at the 40th minute. Halftime score: Sac Lions 10 – EPA Bulldogs 31.

 

The second half continued how the first went, with EPA controlling much of the tempo. Injuries seemed to be the main defense against EPA. The Bulldogs scored three tries, one of which was converted, and the Lions scored one converted try and one penalty kick. Overall, great spirited game and enjoyable to referee. Full time: Sacramento Lions 20 – EPA Bulldogs 48.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Santa Rosa 69 – San Jose 19

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

Summer Intern Made Good: Lee Johnson

 

Hot day at For Pete’s Sake in Santa Rosa. Traffic congestion for the visitors caused a little bit of a late start. Rosa wasted no time, scoring in the third minute. Down 17-0, Seahawks pushed with forward work to close the gap to 17-7, but it was all Rosa the rest of the half. They had good forward work, but their speed, both in the backs and some of their forwards, was too much and they took a 43-7 halftime lead (with 6 conversions from 7 tries and a penalty kick; Stein is a really good kicker). Seahawks started strong with a converted try in minute two of the second half, but four more tries from Rosa in the second half to create a lopsided score. Seahawks scored a try in minute 38, showing they fought to the end. Good game to watch is what I heard from the crowds. Thank you Lee Johnson for giving me advice and for watching my refereeing.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Santa Rosa B 40 – San Jose B 7

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

 

In the second game, Rosa had all fresh players, as well as substitutes. Seahawks had some of the same players on the field again and it was pretty hot. San Jose scored first and played pretty evenly for a time, but the fresh players from Rosa wore them down and Santa Rosa won this game also, 40-7. Again, Rosa’s wide open style and timely passing was fun to watch and hard for the Seahawks to equal, although the Seahawks had some good passing also. I should have been drinking more water in between games because in the second game, my calves were threatening to revolt (cramps) any time I had to sprint. So, I was grabbing water from the sidelines as often as possible, which helped me with the second half, but I will admit, there were some breakaway ties in the second game where I was further away than I should have been. HYDRATE!!!

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

SFGG 0 – EPA Razorbacks 41

Referee: Coppinger, John

AR: Sandy Robertson

AR: Paul Simko

 

This match marked the first day of formal use of the new, all-weather turf Rich May Field in East Palo Alto. The field is named in honor of Rich May, an East Palo Alto police officer killed in the line of duty in 2006, and was built through the extraordinary efforts of the Rich May Foundation (http://www.richmayfoundation.org/), spearheaded by Rich’s mother, Clarice Merrill, and his step-father, Frank Merrill, former president of the Pacific Coast Rugby Union and long-time Nor Cal Rugby stalwart. The next step is the installation of lights and tax-deductible contributions are more than welcome to help finish the project.

 

The match started as a battle and SFGG was tough for the first 30 minutes when the damn broke and EPA began to score more often than not.

 

Typical rugby match; one side alleging that their opponents had knives, guns, and cudgels (without any evidence of gun fire, wounds, or blood); and the other side claiming that the referee favored the other side even as the complaining side was awarded penalty after penalty. Thanks to Sandy Robertson and Paul Simko for acting as Assistant Referees (and neither of whom saw any evidence of knives, guns, and cudgels). Really, the whinging has to stop; it’s rugby folks.

 

Date: 04/11/2015

SFGG B 14 – EPA Razorbacks B 70

Referee: Simko, Paul

 

Great day in EPA with the unveiling of Rich May Field. It doesn’t get much better with fans, VIP tents, and pig roast (3 pigs). SFGG didn’t have many second side players, so they played 10’s for 15 minute halves. Half of the players on SFGG were EPA players, so it was a fun lighthearted match among friends.

 

Date: 04/11/2015

SFGG Women 38 – Sacramento Amazons 29

Referee: Freitas, Larry

 

For once I left my home in Aptos dressed in street clothes, knowing that upon arrival at Treasure Island I would have a referees’ room to get dressed for the game.   The kickoff to this encounter was at 12:10 following a high school boys match. San Francisco Golden Gate and the Sacramento Amazons were apparently well matched according to various reports I’d read and heard, and for the first twenty minutes there was no score as both teams failed to complete any forward or backline moves. The tackling was crisp and clean, and play generally within the confines of law. Sacramento penetrated deep into Golden Gate’s half, and a maul formed near Golden Gate’s goal line, with the Amazon’s pushing it over and one of their players touching down for the first converted try of the game. Some ten minutes later, Amy Fletcher, one of Golden Gate’s second rowers, took off with the ball and scored, drawing level with the conversion.   Later in the first half Golden Gate’s fly half followed up a kick downfield, dribbled it toward the Amazon goal using soccer skills, and the SFGG right wing pounced on the ball in-goal for another try and Golden Gate’s lead that they would never surrender. Another SFGG try made the score 19-7 at the intermission.

 

The second half opened with Sacramento gaining much possession and pressuring San Francisco in their end, and they would eventually give up a penalty near their goal. A tap and go from five meters led to the Amazon’s second try of the match at fifty-one minutes. Golden Gate’s ensuing kick off was deep enough to land near the 22, and the Amazon players didn’t get a handle on the ball. Amy Fletcher did, and she ran away from would be tacklers for her second try of the match for the home side. Sacramento would score another try from another penalty that was run at 58 minutes. It seemed momentum was flowing toward the Amazons, as they had made a few substitutions, and their new scrum half was sparking their play. Amazon forwards were rampaging into Golden Gate territory, gaining ground, going to ground, and forcing Golden Gate players to tackle time and time again; and at various times Golden Gate’s defenders were a bit hasty in anticipating the end of rucks, giving away penalties and ground. Another Amazon try came from a ruck that developed some ten meters out from Golden Gate’s line near the touchline, and the Amazon scrum half ran to her left and shifted the ball out to her backline, with the ball passed on quickly to the left of the posts in the classic fashion, so that one of their backs could score another try that was converted. Now the score stood at 31-24 with not much time left. Golden Gate responded by scoring a converted try with some four minutes left in the game. Sacramento would score once more with time running out, and after the conversion kick was taken and missed, I blew the whistle for no-side. Final score SFGG 38, Amazons 29. I’d say both teams were a bit gassed at the end of an enjoyable match to have adjudicated.

 

Golden Gate’s clubhouse is such a rare treat after a match: shower, food, and drink, and socializing with players, ex-players, and referees. The place is really a rugby museum as much as it is a clubhouse. I certainly enjoyed the experience.

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Silicon Valley 7 – Colusa 61

Referee: Hinkin, James

 

Something is wrong when there are two 5:00 in a day, but Saturday it was so as the gentle strains of my phone’s alarm eased me from the grasp of Morpheus at 4:45 am.   I love technology – it is so much nicer to awaken this way rather than being unceremoniously jolted from sleep with a loud and harsh buzzer.   So, awake at last, freshly scrubbed and kit bag at the ready I hopped in Pelicus Fistulator’s rocket van for the long drive to Reno.   On our way we picked up some bagels that came with Pelcius Procrastinorix and coffee.   With breakfast well and truly served we rocketed northward and eastward to The Biggest Little City In The World for the final Division 3 Supersite weekend.   My fears about not arriving on time for my 11:00 kickoff were unfounded as, reminiscent of a previous story in HP about travelling to Humboldt and arriving 1 hour before kickoff, Pete “Fistulator” Smith pulled into the parking lot and turned off his rocket ship at exactly 10:00 – approximately 260miles and we arrived 1 hour before kickoff to the minute.   I’ll let you, dear reader, ask him what time we left San Jose.

 

The Circle of Life was in evidence as back in January I refereed the first ever match for Silicon Valley RFC and today I refereed final match of the year for them.   Unfortunately for the rookie club the result was the same and possibly the reason: too many rookies.   They have the makeup that one would expect of a new D3 club: some wily vets who may be past their prime, a few players who know what they are doing and a couple of athletes who have no clue but like to run around and smash things.   They came up against an organized Colusa side that tried to cheat early, were caught, and then were smart enough to adjust resulting in open, expansive rugby. They scored early and often while limiting SV’s attacks to minimal gains.   The game was enjoyable (for me) and played in good spirit with the notable exception of a young rookie fullback for SV who didn’t seem to understand that loudly trash talking (actually shouting as loud as he can) is generally a bad idea and especially a bad idea when you are getting beaten so badly on the field.   SV’s captain Paul Davis had his hands full dealing with this player and the many other silly rookie mistakes and handled the responsibility admirably so that I did not have to deal with it myself. He is in his first year of rugby and is a player to watch.

 

The half time score was 37-0 and to their credit, Silicon Valley kept plugging away until a kick and chase garnered them a well deserved try.   This, of course, happened just after one of the greatest passes I have ever seen as SV produced slow ball to their flyhalf who rushed a clearing kick only to see it go off the side of his boot. The resulting kick streaked across the field into the arms of the chasing open side winger without his breaking stride with 30 m of open grass in front of him.   Magic.

 

Colusa were dominant in all phases and took their foot off the gas a bit in the second half as they emptied their bench.   Their tighthead prop was especially helpful when SV brought in an inexperienced prop to go against him and he helped keep the scrums safe and provided a few tips to the appreciative young rugger.   Well done, sir.

 

Hakuna matada. I finished the first match scheduled and retired to the beer tent to observe the rest of the day’s rugby.   As this is D3 rugby there are certain traditions that must be kept so, as protocol demands, a boat race was organized and officially started by the official, that being me.   The results of the boat race are a closely held secret, one that I will never tell.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

St. Mary’s College B 53 – Santa Clara B 5

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

After seeing a bit of a runaway A-side game, I was hoping that this B-side match would be a little more competitive…and it actually was (although St. Mary’s still clearly dominated). The first try for St. Mary’s didn’t come until 15 minutes into the match. After that they had a nice breakaway down the sideline and another couple of breaks through the middle. The first half ended with St. Mary’s up 24-0. At the start of the second half, Santa Clara was backed up into their try zone. They played some excellent defensive for several minutes until St. Mary’s was finally able to find a way over the line. The next try was practically like a soccer game, with kicks down the middle of the field led to a great race between two players, but St. Mary’s was able to fall onto the ball in the try zone first.   A few minutes after that, Santa Clara got the ball out wide and their wing was able to get around the outside and score a try. Much cheering ensued!! St. Mary’s scored 3 more tries in the game, for a final score of 53-5.

 

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Stanford 12 – Chico State 25

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

Chico used a strong pounding attack by their forwards to gain ground off each breakdown. When Chico went wide, Stanford positioned extra men on the defensive line, limiting the Chico backs. Stanford was more disciplined and effective in developing their back line but possession was dominated by Chico. Thanks to Neil MacDonald for AR support and his ref coaching.

 

Date: 04/11/2015

UC Davis 81 – Sacramento State 0

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

One way traffic, as Sacramento State struggled to regain possession from a dominant UC Davis side, who scored freely through a combination of smash mouth pick and go play, and pace and width from the backs.

 

Date: 04/11/2015

Vacaville 33 – Sacramento Capitals 66

Referee: Lane, John

 

A warm day in Vacaville – and the longest grass I have ref’d on since my move to US last year.

 

Walking into the football field the baseball fields were in full swing – it must be April!!!!!

 

Two enthusiastic sides took the field after the equipment check and captain talk and coin toss.

 

Sacramento chose ends so Vacaville kicked off. They quickly re-gained possession and controlled play for the first two minutes. But a midfield handling error and a quick pick-up and release put Sacramento in for a converted 50+ yard try. 0-7 at 3 mins.

 

For the next 15 minutes Sacramento dominated possession and territory but Vacaville held their line intact. Vacaville’s scrum was in the ascendency which helped them through this period of the game. Having held out, on 18 mins it was their turn to score. Some good handling and strong running through a few phases resulted in their first score, converted. 18 mins tied at 7-7. Play was even for the next few minutes but Sacramento then broke through again on 27 mins for 7-14 and from another turnover situation scored again on 31, unconverted. Leaving the score at 7-19. Vacaville put in a strong finish to the half and deservedly scored on 39 mins bringing the halftime score to 14-19.

 

The second half again started with an early score for Sacrament0 on 43 mins to stretch the lead to 14-26. Vacaville responded with a wide out score on 47 mins to continue the tit for tat scoring and 19-26.

 

The next 15 minutes decided the match as Sacramento through some good play of their own but aided heavily by Vacaville missed tackles and turnovers scored tries on 51, 53, 55, 58 and 62 mins with all bar 1 being converted for a 40 point lead at 19-59.

 

With their pride dented Vacaville responded with a converted try on 64 mins for 26-59. They continued their last quarter efforts but conceded again on 71 mins after a blood injury delay had slowed the game. 26-66. Again with some encouragement from their sideline support they regained field position and crossed in the left corner and an excellent conversion kick brought the score to 33-66 on 75 mins.

 

The remainder of the game was played out mainly in midfield with both sides tiring visibly in the heat and the game finished on double scores 33-66.

Date: 04/11/2015

Humbolt State Women 87 – West Oregon Women 12

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

Humbolt State v West Oregon – Humbolt State ran all over West Oregon to win the first round of Women’s Sweet 16 to advance to QF and play Cal State Northridge the following day at Stanford.

 

 

Date: 04/12/2015

New Mexico Highlands University 28 – Colorado School of Mines 24

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

Two teams very familiar with each other traveled a long way to play for the fourth time this year. The match started off with an impromptu singing of the national anthem. Sung as only collegiate rugby players could, out of tune and out of synch.

 

The match couldn’t have been any different from the singing. They played as two teams who are all too familiar with each other. The first half was a stalemate at 5 points apiece.

 

The second half was a blown open. Both teams were able to put a plethora of points up. The open play was a treat to witness. The end finished with rushed with both teams refusing to be outshined. The last two plays were tries from each team. They both fought to the last second.

 

Date: 04/12/2015

Stanford Women 0 – Sacramento St Women 0

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

This was the consolation match for the weekend playoffs. Sac State arrived with 17 players and a relaxed attitude. The humbling at the hands of UC-Davis the day before, left them ready to end the season on a high note. Stanford approached the day with the same pre-game discipline and preparation as they would any match. The game was a good one for the few folks that came to watch on a Sunday morning. Sac scored first and that seemed to light a competitive fire. Sac kept a lead through the first half with strong running and shaking off first contact with Stanford tacklers. Stanford stayed close trailing by 3 at half time. Stanford drew from their deep bench and the fresh legs enabled the Cardinals to put together two tries in a 5 minute span early in the second half. After looking like they were going to wilt under the Stanford attack, Sac fought back with scoring of their own, drawing to within 4 points with 2 minutes. The Stanford defense held got the win. The caliber of play during this match demonstrated why these two teams had advanced to the playoffs.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparently with all that excitement nobody scored and the game ended in a 0-0 tie.   You owe the society a round of beers, Jeff.

 

Date: 04/12/2015

UC Davis Women 0 – Chico St Women 0

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

UC Davis carried the day in this highly contested and physical final between the two strongest sides in D1AA’s Pacific Western conference. A brace of intercept tries by UC Davis’s #11, taking his total for the weekend to five, enlarged the score differential between the teams, as UC Davis’ defense repulsed Chico State’s attacks for much of the match.

 

Many thanks to Jeff Richmond and Patrick Mulholland for their AR help, and to both teams for a great match.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: See above note.   You also owe the society a round of beers, Neil.

 

Date: 04/12/2015

Humbolt State 35 v Cal State Northridge 37

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

In the closest game of the weekend, Cal State Northridge narrowly defeated Humbolt State to advance to Pittsburgh for the Women’s D2 final four.

 

This Week’s Photo

In honor or Throw Back Thursday, I am digging into the archives to show you Pelicus Pilula Biberarius and his wife on tour in France for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Pohlman in France

 

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Spring Fever

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Spring Fever

 

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! “

-Mark Twain

 

With March reluctantly giving way to April, as it is wont to do, spring has well and truly arrived, notwithstanding the brief rainstorm that rolled through Pelicanland late Sunday and Monday.   That final salvo was Old Man Winter’s last desperate attempt to disrupt the lives of the flock, which is a bit ironic, as we would have welcomed a bit more disruption just a scant few weeks ago.   Ever since January, really.

 

So what is this spring fever?   What is it that makes your heart ache because you want it so much? Why, rugby, of course. More specifically, playoff rugby.   This is the time of year where teams either make that final push to secure bonus rugby or officially designate this as a rebuilding year.   Hope springs eternal in the breasts of all ruggers, whether it is hope for a trophy, hope for next year or something in between, but all of us hope.

 

There weren’t too many games this week as most competitions had a BYE week to allow for any rainouts (seriously, rainouts) so this week’s HP will be a little on the lights side, but make no mistake, we will be back in full squawk next week as a full slate of games hit the schedule.

 

For those who are looking to advance to the local playoffs in April and the national playoffs in May, I leave you with one more inspirational quote.

 

“April is a promise that May is bound to keep. “

-Hal Borland

 

Playoffs Are Coming!

 

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

 

Ask A Pelican

 

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

 

“Is there an Ask A Pelican question this week?”

 

No.

 

April Society Meeting

 

This month’s meeting will be held April 15th 7:00 PM @ the SFGG Clubhouse on Treasure Island. We’ll be doing our last fitness test of the year, the beep test. If you have yet to test, this will be the last one for the year.   Beep testing will begin at 6:00. Get there early as I suspect we’ll need to run two legs. For referees desiring to move up in grades from C1 to B panel you’ll need to complete the beep test.  For our meeting we will be discussing:

  • Signaling (Bruce Ricard)
  • Injury, Concussion, & Ref Responsibilities (John Pohlman)
  • Assistant Refereeing: Running teams of 3 (Paul Bretz)

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process for reporting incidents

 

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

  1. Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone.  If you have an Iphone add the link to your home screen.
  2. When needed fill it out and click submit.  The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident.
  3. He/she may contact you latter for more details.

 

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 04/04/2015

Colusa 46 – Missoula Maggots 21

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

 

Missoula drove up in a bus with the Missoula Maggots painted on the sides and they were pounding on the windows: I knew this was going to be good. Gluttons for punishment, Missoula played Thursday against Reno (and won). Friday against Chico (lost in a good game), Saturday against Colusa and then. after partying from 5:00 till 12:00, took the bus to Portland for a Easter day game at 1:00 PM. 4 games in 4 days!

Big, muscle bound ruggers they were, but Nor Cal rugby we be! Big time friendly with a boat race to decide the kick off (OMG).

A very solid rugby game ensued, with Colusa collecting most of the penalties and Missoula taking the lead. Colusa finally got it together and got back on top right at the half, 17-14.

Both sides had 30 plus players, so a lot of substitutions were taking place and Colusa had the deeper team and pretty much took over in the second half. Great comradery on the field amongst the players and it was a great rugby day. 46-21, Colusa. The party was awesome with pulled pork, sausages, salads and a lot of beer. Thank you to the Montana refs that AR’d for me, Skip Hegman and his brother, Psycho Hegman!!

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:   I have been on the famed Maggot Bus while touring with the Modesto Harlots as the Hosted Side of the Missoula Maggotfest.   Great times were had (Maggotfest is highly recommended) and just about everyone on the team was ill the next week.   It was an experience I will never forget, though sometimes I try, especially when thinking about that bus and the things that went on inside.

 

Date: 04/04/2015

Napa Valley 119 – SF Fog 0

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Back up to Napa’s heavenly field through Carneros. Fog had limited numbers but stood firm in their pack. Problem was their backs looked like tackling dummies as Napa’s Islander backline (fed amply by their captain, coach & #9 Paul) finessed their way to score beginning at a pace of a try every 2 minutes & only slowing down to miss most of their 1st half kicks or they would led by a lot more than the 65-0 halftime lead they built. They only ran over 8 tries in the 2nd half (to 11 in the 1st) but Tomasi (Fijian outside center hit almost all his conversions). The Fog had possession on Napa’s 5 meter line for a few minutes & a few penalties but failed to score a try & missed their one long shot at 3 points with a stiff wind blowing against the kicker. In fact they were way ahead in the boat race but got screwed by their #4 drinker who collapsed as Napa again breezed by them. Should make for a very interesting & competitive 3rd division playoffs as Napa is peaking at the right time.

 

 

Date: 04/04/2015

Sacramento Amazons 86 – San Jose Seahawks Women 12

Referee: Hosley, David

 

Field did not have sideline flags. Home team said they couldn’t find them and finally put out tiny cones that were hard for the players and ref to see.

 

 

Date: 04/04/2015

Sacramento State 24 – Chico State 34

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

Another fine day for rugby. The sidelines began filling up and by match time were end to end. Both teams were very patient: Sac St. controlled the ball the first three minutes, rarely making the gain line, yet continued to chip away. Rarely did a team engage a ruck while on defense. Chico drew first blood with a nice chip by their flyhalf, putting their wing into space for an easy try. Another chip followed shortly thereafter to the other wing. Chico up 14-0.

 

But Sac St. showed tremendous heart and clawed its way back with great passing, captain Travis being the beneficiary and toeing it in the last 25 meters. This was followed by a lighting quick try by their wing. 14 all. Chico elected for a penalty kick near halftime and closed out the stanza 17-14.

 

Sac St. ramped it up in the second period, scoring first on repeated pick and goes to lead 19-17. Chico responded with another penalty kick to go up by one. Both teams were knocking on the door, each being held up in goal. Sac St went ahead with kick penalty taps, had Chico on the last foot, then dove for a try in the corner, unconverted. The game continued to go back and forth, each teams’ patterns matching the other. Then the ball squirted out from a Sac St. ruck, Chico flanker pounced on the ball and pick and drive did the rest. Chico up 27-24 with ten minutes remaining.

 

Chico had a penalty advantage when their inside center made a line break and kicked the ball, was the recipient of a strange hop and scored in the corner for the final score.

 

Great match, great sportsmanship. Sac. St. #7 was all over the pitch making plays, inside center Zach ran very hard, and #13 was a very elusive and effective runner, while the wing and replacement fullback were dynamic, yet received little ball. Chico St. forwards were big and physical, yet the Sac St. crew were their equal. Chico’s big center JW was devastating with his runs and the wings show good pace as well. The flyhalf controlled the game well and 15 made incisive runs.

 

 

Date: 04/04/2015

Sacramento State B 17 – Chico State B 44

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

The match started with physical play by Sac State and they jumped out to an early lead. After explaining to the Chico captain that I would penalize for dangerous tackles, not hard tackles, Chico got down to business. The Chico flyhalf started their scoring with a drop goal from about 20m out, the first I had seen this season. Chico was successful in stringing together multiple phases, keeping constant pressure on Sac State. Sac State’s strategy of trying to get the ball to their strongest backs just never got any traction.

 

 

Date: 04/04/2015

SF State 0 – UC Davis 124

Referee: Ranaweera, Aruna

 

After a decade in the bay area, I was looking forward to my first time inside Boxer Stadium at Balboa Park in SF. Between 1996-2003, the US national rugby team played 16 test matches at this venue against some of the best teams in the world. Now, Boxer stadium is considered just a “soccer-specific public stadium” owned by the SF Recreation & Parks Department, which charged SF State University an exorbitant $1000 for just four hours of use (12-4pm). At that price, it’s no wonder local teams don’t use this stadium more often, even though the picturesque setting is well-suited for high-level rugby.

 

The D1AA game itself was one-way traffic, with UC Davis leading 55-0 at half and notching 20 tries in total.

 

 

Date: 04/04/2015

SF State B 24 – UC Davis B 47

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

A beautiful sunny day at Boxer stadium. Fun fact, the USA Eagles used to play there. Thanks Aruna for that bit off knowledge.

 

Onto the match. It was a high spirited match by both teams. However, SF State started off the match having to play with some players from their A side. Despite having to repeat players they put up a good fight sprinkling into the mix a hint of cheeky play. But the depth of the Davis was too much for State.

 

We all had a blast during the match.

 

 

Date: 04/04/2015

SFGG Women 10 – Berkeley All Blues 2 17

Referee: Coppinger, John

 

This was a good competitive match played between two well organized and physical sides on a rock-hard pitch at SFGG. After pounding on the door for a while in the last minutes of the match, Blues scored almost on full time to break the 10-10 deadlock. The conversion made the final 17-10.

 

Date: 04/04/2015

UCSC 49 – SJSU 5

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

Another beautiful day of sunshine at what has to be one of the most spectacular pitches in the country, as SJSU visited UCSC to contest the MacBeath-Porter Cup, named for the founding men of the two clubs. UCSC kicked off towards the ocean, and it took 17 minutes for the first points, with the visitors grabbing a try. UCSC pulled back level with a score in the 29th minute, finished by a no look behind the back offload to the scorer. After conceding a couple of defensive penalties, UCSC found themselves a man down after not being back 10 at a penalty, but despite the deficit, scored right at the end of the half to go into the break up 10-5, after a very competitive first half.

 

A great break by UCSC was stopped by a no wrap tackle, and the home side banged over the resulting penalty from the 22 right in front of the posts to extend their lead. With a tidier breakdown and quicker ball, the Slugs piled on the pressure in the second half, adding a converted try during their one man advantage, and adding another two scores in the 56th and 66th minutes, for a 32-5 lead with fourteen minutes remaining. As SJSU tired, and fell off tackles, UCSC exploited space to score another three tries in the last six minutes, the last a length of the field break from full back, and won back the MacBeath-Porter Cup.

 

Thanks to Giles for his help on the touchline.

 

Date: 04/04/2015

UCSC B 5 – SJSU B 3

Referee: Wilson, Giles

 

With SJSU a little undermanned, the teams agreed to 25 minute halves and didn’t manage a score until 45 minutes had been played. SJS opted to kick a penalty from the 22m line – even then it glanced off the post before going over. UCSC were then galvanized into action and scored an unconverted try. Off the restart, SJSU applied pressure but knocked on 5m out and after the scrum, managed to clear the ball and end the game.

 

Date: 04/04/2015

UNR 0 – Stanford 24

Referee: Hettermann, Matt

Bullpen Referee: Wilkening, Russ

High Altitude Fitness Evaluator: Pendegrass, Joshua

Bunny Impersonator: Williamson, David

 

I took the opportunity of a match in Reno to make a family weekend in Truckee – which was great fun.

 

On to the match – Stanford was more disciplined than UNR – which was the difference. They split their four tries evenly between the halves. Approximately 30 minutes into the match I took a harsh (accidental) boot to the achilles. Joshua Pendergrass was watching the match and commented “I can’t believe you can even stand, let alone run” – although I’m not sure you could call it running after that. I lasted the rest of the half and about 10 minutes into the second, at which point my entire calf was cramping and I tapped out. Luckily Russ Wilkening had just shown up to cover the b-side match for me, and he filled in admirably.

 

Thanks to Dave Williamson (who happened to be in Tahoe that weekend) for offering to observe me.

 

When I got back to Truckee, my wife commented “I thought you switched from playing to refereeing to get away from contact injuries?” Indeed.

 

This Week’s Photo

I touched on hope at the start of this newsletter and sometimes the hope is just to keep playing forever.   Fred Forrester was opposite William Webb Ellis when, with a fine disregard, he first picked up the ball.   After chasing Webb Ellis down Freddy was credited with the first ever rugby tackle.   True story.

L-R Pelicus Byrnest , Fred Forrester, Pelicus Pilula Biberarius

Fred Forrester

 

 

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

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