A Tale Of Two Rugbys

HAIL PELICUS!

A Tale Of Two Rugbys

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

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

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

How You Can Help

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

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

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

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

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

Two Champions In One Place

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

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

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

Correction

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

On To The Game Reports!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Chico 14 – Eugene 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Week’s Photo

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

A Deep Breath

HAIL PELICUS!

A Deep Breath

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

High School Championships

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

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

USA Rugby CR 1 Playoffs

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

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

USA Rugby D1-A National Championship

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

Varsity Cup Final

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

Banquet

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

Good morning NCRRS Referees,

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

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

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

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

Regards,

Pelicus Iudex Pennipes

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

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

If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

Nope. Just you wait until next week.

This Week’s Photo

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

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

The Passing Of A Legend

HAIL PELICUS!

The Passing Of A Legend

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

From Dr Bruce Carter,

Donal Walsh died earlier this month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assigned Games

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

This is not always the case.

Playoff Match Reports

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

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

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

If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No report received

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

Stanford Cardinal faced off against the University of Arizona Wildcats.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stanford vs. Lindenwood

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

This Week’s Photo

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

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Oh, Canada?

HAIL PELICUS!

Oh Canada?

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

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

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

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

What Is In The Water In Singapore?

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

The Greatest Rugby Weekend Of The Year

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

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

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

Eat, Drink And Be Merry

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

Good morning NCRRS Referees,

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

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

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

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

Regards,

Pelicus Iudex Pennipes

Playoff Match Reports

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

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

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

If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No report received.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Week’s Photo

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

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Amper, Maar Nie Stamper

HAIL PELICUS!

Amper, Maar Nie Stamper

The USA 7s played in the Greatest 7s Tournament Of Them All last weekend, the Hong Kong 7s. Expectations are high for the lads from the States and they did not disappoint, going 3-0 in pool play with close victories over Russia and Scotland and a 33-5 dismantling of Argentina. There is no doubt who is the top dog in the Americas these days. This set up a difficult quarterfinal with England and it is well known to those who know it well that England is the only team that seems to have Series leader South Africa’s number as nobody else can find a way to beat them, so the Americans had their hands full.

No problem. USA 27 – England 7. This was not the prettiest of games but it was won when the US relentlessly pounced on England’s mistakes. Dropped ball? Try. Knock on? Try. This is a sign of a very good team. It wasn’t that long ago that teams like England (and Fiji, and New Zealand, etc) would just sit back and wait for the inevitable US mistake and make us pay for it. The tables have turned.

This match also produced a great referee game management moment from our old friend Craig Joubert. After Dan Norton of England stretched for a pass but instead knocked the ball on about 4 meters apparently some US players felt the need to inform Joubert of that by shouting “knock on!”. His reply is a classic: “Do you really think I could possibly have missed that?”

After this match this tournament started to get the feel of the magical run in the 2015 London 7s as our boys got stronger as the tournament went on. That tournament also included a date with South Africa and, no surprise here, we got the Blitzbokke in the semifinals. Again.

If you have not watched that game go to the World Sevens Series website and watch the replay. Don’t worry, we will wait. Trust me, it is worth it.

All done? Good. It’s ok if you need to take a moment and have a good cry. For the third straight tournament the USA has played South Africa in the Cup Semis and for the third straight tournament we have literally lost on the last play of the game. Yes, literally. In Las Vegas we were down a try and SA had a lineout in their end with no time left so we needed to steal it and we did – but got pushed over in the ensuing ruck and SA kicked the ball out to end the game. In Vancouver we were down a try with no time left (again) and attacking hard, stopped just short of the line when we drove over and were held up in goal. This time we were down a try with no time left (sensing a theme here) but instead of turning the ball over we scored sending the game into overtime! But once again, in overtime a critical mistake led to a SA try and we lost on the very last play. We are soooooooo close. Mike Friday had better have his sports psychologists working full time to get us over the mental block that is the South African Blitzbokke 7s team. As they say in Cape Town, amper, maar nie stamper.

Correction

Last week we referred to Steve Hiatt as the poor man’s Paris Hilton. This is incorrect. Steve is actually the poor man’s Alice Sheets Marriott. We also incorrectly referred to Mr Hiatt as the Head Coach of CSUMB. He is actually the Head Coach of the California Maritime Academy.

Hail Pelicus regrets these errors.

Does This Tournament Make Me Look Fat?

One of the issues that the USA 7s team has is we are very thin, that is we lack depth. Our top 7 can hang with anyone. Our first two subs are world class, even, but after that the drop off is precipitous. Ben Pinkleman deservedly made his first Dream Team along with Perry Baker who has become a regular, but it was the loss of Danny Barrett in the second straight South Africa semi (this time to injury) that may have been the difference. Danny Barrett is a world class player, indeed, but the lack of depth means that when he is unavailable others have to step up. Pinkleman has done so admirably but once that happens he and Duratalo get almost no rest. The same is true for other key members of the squad as Baker, Hughes and Niua are almost never off the pitch and those legs are tired. At the end of a long 7s tournament fresh legs can be more important than skill. As my old 7s coach used to say, “if you are 5 meters faster than someone but 6 meters out of position, it doesn’t make a bit of difference.”

I am sure Mike Friday is well aware of this. If we are to have continued success on the international 7s scene we need to start producing young studs. Niua is 29 and Baker will be 31 in June. That is old for 7s. Who will be their replacements?   As the great philosopher Alberto Malich said, “Sodomy non sapiens.”*

* Buggered if I know.

That’s Just Crazy Talk

The pools for next week’s Singapore 7s have been announced and the USA is drawn with New Zealand, Scotland and Wales. A tough pool indeed, but that isn’t the story. The USA is the top seen in that pool.

Let me repeat that. The USA is the top seed in their pool. A pool that includes the All Blacks.

Go ahead and lie to me – tell me you ever expected to see that.

Playoff Match Reports

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

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

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

If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 04/08/2017
University of Rhode Island 48 – Providence College 29
Referee: Zanarini, Tom

Coming off of two hard fought playoff matches at Brown in consecutive weeks, I was looking forward to a friendly, good ‘ole rugby match. But then I remembered, there’s a trophy on the line. The Rhody Cup, passed between colleges in Rhode Island, Ranfurly Shield style. So, this was gonna be a match. The weather was cool and pleasant for a New England spring, although a strong wind made kicks for posts, restarts and touch very challenging. More than a few kicks to touch didn’t make it and I even had the most fun restart kick making it 10m in the air and then blowing back 3 meters. Confusion set in regardless of my calling ’10m, play on!’ Never saw so many deer-in-headlight stares all at once.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: Didn’t these kids watch the USA Sevens last March?)

Both teams play in New England D2, so it was a step slower than my two former D-1AA playoff matches. Either way, the pace was equal on both side but eerily reminiscent of Brown v Yale where both teams were equal in size and fitness, but URI out rugby’d the Friars. And unfortunate yellow-card tip tackle by the URI fullback at the end of the 1st half saw advantage played until PC scored a try. The second half was URI scoring tries in the first 20, then PC answering back with a few to gain momentum. One try at the 75th minute saw my favorite fullback chase a breakaway runner to the 5m line, jump high and brought him down by the shoulders. Penalty try/yellow card/red card. This player does not seem to want to finish a half. URI took the cup from PC and will retain it until the fall. I also took on the B-side match that saw URI win 54-0.

Date: 04/08/2017
Cal Poly SLO 14 – SDSU 41
Referee: Bryant, Lee

Cal Poly struck first by making good use of two penalties in front of the post. Game was fast and close in the first half. Both teams contested hard at the breakdown and attempted to spread the ball wide in the middle of the field. Cal Poly had a far superior scrum but San Diego had cleaner play in their back line and were able to pull away in the second half.

Date: 04/08/2017
Fresno 39 – Diablo 32
Referee: Jury, Jeff

The day was cool and overcast with a chance of rain in Fresno. The previous wet days softened the Valley hardpan and greened up the grass nicely. Fresno started the scoring at 7 minutes in with a converted try. The Diablo Gaels matched 3 minutes later. Both teams trade penalty kicks to even at 10 a piece. Then Diablo started opening up with some punch kicking that rewarded them 2 unconverted trys with about 10minutes to go in the first half. Fresno rallied back to the 5 meter where Diablo’s ball killing tactics gave Fresno a converted try. At the ensuing kick off, a couple neat passes and a long sprint put Fresno ahead with a converted try, with 4 minutes to go. Fresno 24 Diablo 20 at half.
The rain started to fall as Diablo kicked off. Fresno made quick work to open the second half, with an unconverted try at 2 minutes in. Fresno defended Diablo’s kicking game well at this point, by scoring in the corner at 10 minutes. Try unconverted. Diablo, never out of the game, pounded their way back through Fresno territory to score an unconverted try 3 minutes later. The battle continued between the 22’s for the next 12 minutes, until Fresno found themselves on the five meter going in. Two minutes of hard bashing earned Fresno another unconverted try. Both teams played a desperate game of protect and advance with Diablo scoring a converted try with seconds left.
Fresno 39 Diablo 32.

Date: 04/08/2017
Sacramento Blackhawks 24 – Baracus 15
Referee: Sandhill, Peter

Spring ducked behind the rain clouds this past weekend in Sacramento. The Blackhawks home field was washed out. Due to some fast leg work, Ben Parker secured a patch of grass behind a local high school. While sloshy and soft underfoot, the field was very playable. BA needed a win to secure a playoff birth. Blackhawks were hoping to secure a #2 seed. There was a sense of urgency and focus from both teams.

Unfortunately, the wet led to a lot of dropped ball = lots of scrums throughout the game. The first half was both aggressive and athletic with some lovely kick and chase work on both sides. For a few minutes some tempers flared leading to a no wrap (yellow card) tackle however both captains were responsive and players cooled and refocused. Blackhawks scored twice to BA’s one, plus a penalty goal. 12-10 at half time.

The second half saw a change of tactics from BA for a while as they began to not contest rucks. The pace picked up and the game opened up for a while. The Blackhawks score twice in the second half to one BA try.

Date: 04/08/2017
Colusa 81 – Reno Zephyrs 5
Referee: Wilson, Giles

The last game of the quarter finals meant that the last hail shower of the day had passed through. The fields were well marked and held up well to the days play.

The game started well with periods of pressure from both teams, culminating with the first Colusa score at 17 minutes, followed by another three minutes later. Reno hung in for the remainder of the half but still reached half time 28 – 0 down giving up four scores.

The second half saw Reno tire pretty quickly and with Colusa running hard, direct lines it became a procession of Colusa scores – 9 tries but only four of them converted with a single Reno try, also unconverted.

Final score Colusa 81 – Reno 5

Date: 04/08/2017
Google 32 – Marin 0
Referee: Tucker, Chris

4 seasons in 1 day — sun, rain, hail, back to sun again — reminded me of home. Pitch was in excellent shape in spite of recent rain, and the two sides went at it hammer and tongs. Game was a lot of fun, even with a couple of incidents of foul play, and Marin kept hammering away to the final whistle, and were unlucky in the end not to get on the scoreboard.

Date: 04/08/2017
Redwood Empire 17 – San Joaquin 12
Referee: Coppinger, John

Initially marked by some heavy hits. Boorish behavior seemed the norm as Empire held off San Joaquin at the end.

Date: 04/08/2017
San Jose 10 – Berkeley 22
Referee: Pescetti, David

The final match of the regular season ended with San Jose vs Berkeley.

This was a very close match. The first half was a complete stalemate. The only scores coming minutes of each other. Each scoring around the 14 minute mark. And we headed into halftime tied 5 a piece.

The second half was not as kind to San Jose. Berkeley seemed to be to have more wind in their sails. They scored 3 times twice by their 15. This pushed them over the top in today’s game. San Jose did manage to add a late try to bring the final to 10 – 22. The standout players from each side were the full backs. As a former forward, nothing pains me more than to say that. They scored 4/6 or two thirds for all you math nerds out there, of the tries.

Date: 04/08/2017
San Jose Women 42 – Colusa Women 5
Referee: Hinkin, James

What was supposed to be a pleasant Saturday morning run in the California spring turned into a dithering atmospheric mishmash by a Weather Priestess who is, I assume, badly in need of a drink. Alternating between glorious sunshine and rain, the Weather Priestess couldn’t seem to make up her mind at all. We even got some hail and a roll of thunder for good measure. It must be that time of the climate for the Weather Priestess. (Yes, I know starting a report on a women’s match with a joke about the menstrual cycle of a mythical goddess may be considered in bad taste, but I have been assured that the mythical goddess community doesn’t mind and, in fact, thought it was quite risible. At least I didn’t make a global warming = hot flash joke. Now that would be tasteless.)

The ladies didn’t seem to mind the weather and were ready for some rugby. Colusa showed up with 10 so we decided to play 10s. San Jose had a few subs and the extra legs helped them with what was a convincing victory. They scored early and often in the first period as Colusa struggled to get out of their half. First and second phase tackles were made but as the ball was recycled the defense got more out of shape and gaps appeared. Seahawk scrum half Angela Silva has developed a nice sidestep to compliment her game and she used it to great effect, leaving defenders grasping at air. Halftime score was 37-0.

The second period was a different story, however. Colusa’s team talk at the break must have stiffened a few resolves as they came out the more aggressive side and pressed the action. Several breakaways were left wanting due to bad passes and knock ons but they finally got their just reward with a well worked try. San Jose was able to score one of their own but the second half ended with honors all even and a final of 42-5.

After the whistle the ladies got together and decided to play one more period. Colusa was carrying a few injuries so San Jose lent them a couple of players to keep the numbers even. A great time was had and great spirit shown by both sides. The sideline BBQ/drink up that went on during the San Jose men’s match was fun and who is to say if any traditional acts were performed by first time try scorers? (Note: Henry V – Act 2 would have been great to see performed, but that is not the kind of traditional act I was referring to.)

Date: 04/08/2017
SFGG 72 – EPA Razorbacks 8
Referee: Bretz, Paul

SFGG controlled the game with set pieces and moving the ball out wide. EPA scored all of their points in the first 15 minutes of play. After that it was all SFGG.

Date: 04/08/2017
SFGG Women 0 – All Blues 17
Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

A fool’s errand, I thought as I drove through the pouring rain to TI for this early match. But at the Bay Bridge, blue skies broke out. As did an excellent match. This was listed as a ”friendly”; not so friendly on the pitch. I recently commended a men’s team on its tackling, Well, the tackling in this one was better. Play of the game-a 110 lb Blues fullback absolutely nailing a 160 lb Gate flanker (I think) to save a try. A thing of beauty.

Blues score early (6 minutes) and late (35 minutes) in the first half, but only put it away with a third try at about 60 minutes. Gate banged away all day with fervor within the Blues 22, but no success on this day.

This Week’s Photo

USA’s Perry Baker gives 2 thumbs up to Hail Pelicus readers after scoring against England in the Hong Kong quarterfinals. He is a big fan.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre