Keeping Things Interesting

HAIL PELICUS!

Keeping Things Interesting

Welcome back everyone and I hope that you all have recovered from what may have been the Greatest Weekend In US Rugby History… more on that below. Lots of action this week as everyone was in full swing and we even had a few teams playing over the Vegas 7s weekend for some strange reason. There were a couple of top of the table clashes scheduled that I had metaphorically circled on the calendar and they didn’t disappoint, but one in particular needs special attention.

Before the Vegas break I wrote that the “San Jose Seahawks have alternated between blowing out teams by 50 and winning at the final whistle – including a rare defeat for St Marys B side. There is no middle ground for them – should they have a well managed 10 point win that might be the biggest shock of the season.” They were scheduled to meet with fellow undefeated Sacramento Blackhawks who held the points lead in the table by virtue of playing one more game but San Jose had a decisive lead in the point differential column. This was a classic clash of heavyweights that could go either way as they both came rolling in firing on all cylinders. Will San Jose’s revamped style and never say die attitude beat out Sacramento’s experience, physicality and home field advantage? We had to play to find out and last week I offered a rather tongue in cheek challenge to the Seahawks to keep the excitement going.

Responded San Jose, “Hold my beer.” Sacramento was keen to oblige as well.

You want to throw everyone for a loop and make not only a single match but the whole league table more exciting? Try having the last two undefeated squads meet in a high scoring game with massive lead swings until the last 20 where it becomes neck and neck, until 5 minutes left when a try to take the lead was followed by a disallowed try that would have extended the lead before culminating in a multi-phase, length of the field sequence by the trailing side resulting in a try at full time for the most incredulous, unexpected, sister-kissing result: a 46-46 tie.

Just to keep things interesting.

The Greatest Weekend In US Rugby History?

That’s a bold claim right there, but it deserves some consideration. Who are the other contenders? As impressive as it was, winning the Olympic gold medal in 1920 and 1924 wasn’t really even that big to Americans back then as most of the country didn’t know we had won nor would they have cared much – it was a different era then and the Olympics weren’t as high on society’s radar. To be honest, has the US Men’s curling team won gold in 1924, as unlikely and exciting as that last shot was, there would have been about 40 people who cared. There is too much empty history after our Olympic glory to make it more than an interesting footnote, at best.

The USA Women won the inaugural World Cup in 1991 and followed that up with runner up performances in 1994 and 1998. Any time you win a world championship it is hugely impressive. Unfortunately that was more of a seminal event for the rest of the rugby world signaling that they needed to start taking their women seriously and as the tournament grew and the rest of the world caught up we finished out of the top 4 the next 4 tournaments until 2017 where we finished a very respectable 4th. Even then, we played well but lost big against England in pool play and New Zealand in the semis and were clearly outclassed by them. Blame can be placed on coaching, resources, selections or a number of other issues but the point I am making here is that the World Cup win in 1991 was not at the same level of, say, the US Women’s soccer team winning the FIFA World Cup in 1999. The win by the USWNT sparked a huge cult following and even a pro league and today they fill 60,000 seat stadiums for their matches. The win by our Women’s Eagles went largely unnoticed. Unfair comparison? Possibly. Probably. True, nevertheless.

The weekend of March 3 and 4 saw not one, but two major championships for USA Rugby. The USA 7s team won the USA Sevens at home in emphatic fashion, thoroughly dominating in all phases, proving that the win in London a few years back was not a fluke. I remember when we used to give away needless possession at restarts by not kicking 10m or kicking directly into touch and top teams would crucify us for it. Now we are by far the best restart team in the world retaining nearly 40% of our own kicks and that extra possession in 7s is huge. Mike Friday has a team with skill, power and oh so much pace. There were many highlights and the one that everyone remembers (and made that night’s ESPN Top 10) was Perry Baker’s 98 meter try against Fiji, but that wasn’t the play of the weekend to me. That came a few minutes before in the first half. Fiji had scored first and worked the ball out to their speedster Naduva who caught the ball 60 meters out with nothing but green grass in front of him. Perry Baker turned, chased and CAUGHT him. He made up 5 meters in 50, bringing Naduva to ground and crucially into touch 5 meters from the goal line. There are maybe three people in the world who could have made that play and we have two of them in Baker and Isles (although for Isles, the tackle would have been by far the more difficult task). The momentum shift nearly knocked me off my feet it was so profound, although beer may have been involved as well. The difference between a 7 point deficit and a 14 point deficit against a world class side like Fiji is more than a mere 7 points and you could almost see the air go out of the Fijian sails as they though “what do we need to do to score?”

At the same time our 15s team was in Uruguay taking care of business against Los Teros. We had already done the hard work in the ARC by beating Argentina and Canada but Uruguay at home is still a difficult opponent. At 61-19 pasting showed our class even with none of our elite European based players available. We have now won the ARC 2 years running and must be considered the class of the Americas… until we play Argentina’s full side. That being said, their ARC team is not to be sniffed at and we beat them – we are not as far off as we used to be.

How often has the US won any major World Rugby championship? Much less two at once?

So now we come to Sunday, March 4 2018. This may yet be our coming out party, if it is handled right. Unfortunately, the people in charge of USA Rugby’s media relations seem to have fallen asleep on the job. Aside from the EPSN Top 10 clip I didn’t see any major media coverage – and because ESPN was broadcasting the 7s that was possibly the least they could do. This should have been blasted out to all media centers. America loves winners and we were showing the world we could win.

The only rugby media I saw generated by RIM? Advertising for Wales and South Africa playing in Washington DC.

March 3 and 4 may one day be considered The Greatest Weekend In US Rugby History as the day the US Men announced their arrival to the world.

March 3 and 4 may one day be considered The Greatest Weekend In US Rugby History as they day the US Rugby community realized the Rugby International Marketing is not interested in promoting US rugby, but merely in making a profit (and they aren’t good at that, either).

March 3 and 4 may one day be considered The Greatest Missed Chance In US Rugby History.

Shady Results In Vegas

Congratulations to Brian Vizard, chairman of the USA Rugby Foundation who won the USA Rugby Foundation I’Maul In Poker tournament, run by Brian Vizard. Hmmmm… I have to tell you it is highly suspicious when the person who runs a poker tournament just happens to win it. I have my eye one you, Viz.

Only In Vegas

Our final Las Vegas note: last year the players played on artificial turf and with the high desert air being so dry combined with high winds, the turf needed to be regularly watered between matches to prevent turf burns on all the players. This year they went back to grass so the end result was, since the surface was grass, they didn’t need to water it.

Yup, they had to water the turf but didn’t need to water the grass.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: Apparently not relevant
Brown University 43 – Salve Regina University 34
Referee: Tom Zanarini
Location: Providence, RI

Finally after 4 months I can say “SATURDAY IS A RUGBY DAY!” When better to start the beginning of the New England spring season then a day after a ‘noreaster? Since power was out at the Zanarini residence anyway, why not get on the field.

Salve Regina is tuning up for the NSCRO Championships while Brown is just tuning up in general. The match was played on the turf at Berylson Family Field and probably the widest setup permitable. This may have been scrimmage on paper (30 minute halves) but the action was full on. There were at least 3 lead changes in the match, Salve was in the lead at the half. I was using a new scorecard and did a poor job of noting when tries were scored, but suffice it to say Brown charged back in the final quarter, dotting down repetitiously.

To get some more minutes in my legs, I took on the B-side match (20 minute halves) as we previously agreed in the pre-match emails. A much different game that showed very good athletes taking to rugby. Salve came ahead 10-5.

Also, my friend and new referee Michael Adamson came by for his first taste of officiating, taking an AR flag for both matches. Michael has no previous rugby experience save for 2 practices in a Tennessee high school many moons ago. He is a recent Navy vet making his permanent home in Rhode Island. He was for a time my upstairs neighbor where I force fed him rugby during the PRO Rugby and Olympics telecasts. He took to it and came with me to the USA v Ireland match as well. The hook was set after that. He just took the level one and is jumping in. Make sure you buy him a beer when you meet.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: I will overlook the lack of a match date this one time in recognition of your shepherding another convert into the Church of Rugby.)

Date: 03/03/2018
Humboldt State Women 51 – Cal Women 22
Referee: Jessica Turner

The journey up the north coast to beautiful Humboldt county was a cold one! The ride up was wet and also snowy on some parts of the 101, but we all managed to arrive in one piece in good time. I was happy to have this match, to officiate my alma mater for the first time and to have my adopted college team with me was a treat. From the start this game was great! With 2 well disciplined sides it was another series of back and forth scoring. Both teams had lots of ball, but Humboldt was able to cash in on the end phases to get into the try zone. Humboldt showed a bit more intent and aggression overall, which contributed to their success. The Cal women were a little less intense, but showed incredible skill and vision when in possession. They had some cracking runs from their backs that were able to weave in and out of traffic, keeping me honest with my speed; one try was scored from deep in their 22m after some quick thinking using a quick tap to push the pace after being awarded a penalty. The second half was less tight for Cal as the sunny first half had changed to rain, and we Humboldt ruggers know how to navigate the worst weather conditions better than most in California. There were many scrums due to knock ons, which stunted some of the momentum that Cal was trying to build. Relentless to the end, the Cal women continued to fight until the final whistle, but Humboldt’s second half consistency allowed them to pull away from a very well contested match with a comfortable scoreline at the end. Thank you to both teams for a lovely skills and an exciting game!

Date: 03/03/2018
Pacific 0 – Univ San Francisco 58
Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Gardemeyer Field, UOP, Stockton, CA
Game time temp: 53F
Attendance: 225

For over nine years, the weather gods have not bestowed rain, sleet, hail, or snow on any match I have refereed. Sure, water in one form or another has fallen prior to matches, at halftime, and after matches, but there has been a remarkable lack of precipitation during playing time. And so it was for the onset of this match. Some sprinkles prior to the match and some during halftime but, despite the ominous, foreboding skies, it remained dry.

USF’s game plan: Give the ball to #4 for he shall score. UOP’s game plan: Dang, they gave it to #4, again. Halftime: Pacific 0, USF 48

Apparently, the gods on high do not like being taunted, or I told too many people of my precipitation-free streak. The whistle tone for the second half jarred, agitated, and disturbed the molecules with such force that the skies erupted with a downpour of near biblical proportions. Hyperbole? Sure. Nonetheless, the temperature to a five to ten degree downturn and the rain slowly appeared with bits of hail. USF scored two relatively quick tries before UOP was able to stitch together consecutive phases.
Ten minutes into the second half, the rain transformed to sticking hail. Five minutes later, a UOP player face down on the ground after contact yelled “My neck! My neck!” A surefire attention-getter, play was stopped to ensure rapid medical attention. While discussing the weather during the break in play, two bolts of lightning flashed across the sky. I offered to wait out the storm but the coaches agreed the players will be too cold to restart. Alas and rightfully so, the game was called.

I’m not a superstitious person (too many people knock on wood….); however, my pre-match driving playlist will no longer consist of “Again We Rise” (Lambs of God) or “Live for the Kill” (Amon Amarth).

Date: 03/03/2018
St Marys College B 128 – UC Davis B 0
Referee: Robert Hammack

One way traffic. UCD down to only 13 players in the second half due to injuries.

Date: 03/03/2018
Stanford Women 0 – Chico State Women 55
Referee: Preston Gordon

This was a fairly lopsided match, properly reflected in the scoreline. Chico State was up 0-24 at halftime, and tacked on 31 more points in the second half, including 3 rapid-fire tries by their captain at fullback.
In the B side game, Stanford got some points on the board. Halftime was 0-21 to Chico, but Stanford matched them in the second half to finish at 12-33.

The occasional microburst didn’t seem to have any effect on the game, though it certainly made things chilly.

Date: 03/03/2018
Univ Nevada Reno 67 – San Francisco State 5
Referee: Jeff Richmond

4 inches of slushy snow on the field at kick-off. A wet ball and cold hands made for a lot knock-ons. Still Reno was able to put on a show running through the SFSU backs pretty much at will.

Date: 03/10/2018
Central Coast RFC 10 – Marin 20
Referee: John Pohlman

Great day for rugby this past Saturday. A bit overcast and cool but perfect for rugby…with pitch being in good condition. Aptos/Central Coast hosted Marin in San Jose at Independence High School, Seahawks home field. About a fifteen minute drive for me. Yeah.

Kick off delayed five minutes due to a couple of Aptos players running late. Aptos had 16 players or so and Marin had 20 plus. Just a very competitive, open, enjoyable game to referee. Marin scored first at five minutes with a strong run from their fireplug center. Aptos realized Marin came to play and committed tackling was needed. Aptos commitment to the tackle led to a turn over try at 10 minutes. Marin realized how dangerous Aptos can be on turnovers. Score Marin 7- Aptos 5. Marin continued to control the ball early which led to a second converted try at twenty minutes. Aptos tackling led to another turn over try at 26 minutes. Marin finished the first half scoring with a penalty kick. Half time score Marin 17 Aptos 10 Game on.

The second half was back and forth from goal line to goal line, but no try’s. Marin’s kicker added three points at 18 minutes. Just a well played and competitive division three game. Thanks to both captains Arron and Kyle. Final Marin 20 Aptos 10

Date: 03/10/2018
Fresno 42 – Berkeley RFC 26
Referee: Giles Wilson

Both teams had about 20 players with a mixture of new heads and old heads; in the end Fresno had more young and physical players as well as more old heads running good support lines. Both teams created some good moves and nice overlaps but Fresno had better fitness overall. Two tries apiece in the first half with one missed conversion for a 14-12 home lead. The second half went more for Fresno with 4 tries to 2 and a final score of 42-26.

Date: 03/10/2018
Fresno State Women 45 – Univ Nevada Reno Women 22
Referee: Jeff Jury

It was a perfect day for College Women DII’s #1 and #2 to collide to see who will get the top seed. Cooler than the 70’F we’ve been experiencing in Fresno, but still a little warm for the Reno side who’s averaging 40’s. Field, was dry and fast.

There was battling in the first 20 minutes. Both side were exploiting gaps and making good tackles. The physicality keen and equally spread across both lines. Fresno drew first blood with a try at the 20 minute mark. Reno didn’t waste any time and answered 3 minutes later. Fresno scored another try wide on the same side as the first, but again, was not able to convert. The contest raged till 5 minutes left in the half, when Fresno pushed over for a converted try. Fresno 17 Reno 5

The second half did not see a drop in performance. Both teams made changes and continued to trade punches. Reno was obliged to return the halftime kickoff for a score following some good tight play about Fresno 22m at about 8 minutes in. Fresno’s changes started paying off, once they got the ball back. Fresno found gaps for 3 converted trys over the next 23 minutes. Reno answered under the posts with 9 minutes to go. Fresno converted one more with 4 minutes left, and Reno tryed with no time left. There is no quit in these gals. The final could be epic. Fresno 45 Reno 22

Date: 03/10/2018
Jesuit High School Rugby Club 41 – Granite Bay Grizzlies 10
Referee: Steven Fenaroli

JHS dominated from the start. This match between two recent national champions proved for hard dedicated rugby. Both teams played like they wanted it. There was no shortage of emotions.

Date: 03/10/2018
Life West 55 – Olympic Club 22
Referee: Phil Akroyd

Two competitive teams going at it in a good display of rugby, but improvements still to be made by both squads.

Life West ran out to 24-0 leaders, so there was never any real jeopardy in terms of the result, but OC came back and later had the score at 36-22. From there, Life West pushed on again and put the game away.

Date: 03/10/2018
Olde Gaels 12 – Colusa County 22
Referee: Preston Gordon

This was a pretty close matchup of two as-yet undefeated teams in D3, and it didn’t disappoint, with lots of action. Defense was a big part of the game for both teams. Accordingly, the first score took 23 minutes, with Colusa’s unconverted try. They added another at 33′ to finish the half leading 0-10.
Shortly after the second half started, the Diablo #3, who was maybe 5 feet in front of me, kicked an opponent in the face and earned himself a red card. One would think that Diablo playing the last 37 minutes of the match with a 10-point and 1-man deficit would lead to a blowout, but that’s not what happened. Colusa did score next, with another unconverted try at 45′, but Diablo responded with a converted try of their own at 58′ to make it 7-15. Soon thereafter, Diablo made a couple of great breaks, but the would-be finisher dove over the dead ball line before grounding the ball for a try. At 64′, Colusa was awarded a penalty try due to a collapsed 5m scrum on the Diablo goal line (7-22). At the last minute, Diablo scored another converted try to finish the game with a 10-point deficit.

Date: 03/10/2018
Stanford 14 – Chico State 34
Referee: Jessica Turner

It was another beautiful day for some footy down at Stanford University, hosting the Chico State men. Thankfully the weather held up which made for some much better conditions for the match overall. Not soon after the kickoff, did the match get interesting. There was a lot of intense contest the first few minutes, with a penalty awarded to Chico in their attacking 22m. They were able to capitalize off it it with a 3 point jump to get on the board first. Soon after that, Chico earned the only yellow of the match with a shoulder hit to a man off the ball about 6 minutes in. Stanford was able to get down the pitch and get the first try soon after that taking the score up to 7-3. There was a lot of back and forth between the sides in the first half, with Chico having a clearly dominant scrum and better attacking options with the ball. In fact, my “try of the match” goes to Chico’s flyhalf who chip kicked into a nice hole in the Stanford back 3, and was able to gather and bring it in for a try. There were more penalties than usual for me in the first half, I felt like both sides were trying to contest for the ball so intensely that they were constantly testing my standards that I was attempting to enforce. After a relatively evenly matched first half, the halftime score was 15-14 with Chico leading. The second half was much better for me; the teams had now figured out what I wanted from them which led to a significant reduction in penalties. But, the separation was now starting to become obvious as to who was going to have the consistency to pull out the win. There was still much contest, however Chico was able to finish off their stints of possession at key moments with 3 tries dotted down, while Stanford was unable to get anything on the board. They did have plenty of moments of brilliance, but just couldn’t get it together on the final phases to get the points. After a fun and fast game, Chico State came out victorious.

Date: 03/10/2018
Sacramento Blackhawks D3 56 – Mendocino Steam Donkeys 10
Referee: Jeff Richmond

A literal run-away match with the Blackhawk finding overlaps in the backfield all-day. The first half ended 42-0. Mendocino traveled with 16 and looked like a couple of their backs would be more suited playing prop. To their credit, the Mendocino defense was able to stiffen up in the second half, plus score a couple of tries.

Date: 03/10/2018
Sacramento Capitals 64 – SFGG D2 32
Referee: David Pescetti

Gloom and the over-hyped predictions of rain did not stop this game for a second. The only thing that did that was that damn ref. This game was exciting and close. Capitals opened the game with the first score. They looked very sharp, controlling the ball, and tempo. GG answered right back. When Sac got the ball back, they systematically marched down the field. But then an errant pass turned the tide. A full pitch length try opened the game up for GG. They didn’t look back.

Date: 03/10/2018
San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club 24 – Lamorinda Rugby Football Club 30
Referee: Robert Hammack

Very competitive match between two well coached teams. LaMo jumped out to an early lead with 4 first half tries to none for SFGG. LaMo had some wonderful strike runners in their backline, #13 specifically proving hard for SFGG to tackle. Repeated team infringements within the 5-meter line saw SFGG’s wing sent to the bin just before the half. HT 22 – 0.

Second half saw SFGG score several tries early and LaMo’s #13 sent to the bin for repeated team infringements. The tide seemed to have turned but LaMo regrouped well and kicked a penalty to stem the tide. When #13 returned from the bin, the match returned to more of an arm wrestle and LaMo carried their lead to full-time. FT 30-24.

Date: 03/10/2018
San Joaquin-Stanislaus RFC 33 – SF Fog 0
Referee: Scott Wood
Location: Northgate Park, Manteca
Attendance: 368

The Fog arrived in numbers; Harlots were slow to show. SJS Harlots were held to one converted try in the first half. HT Harlots 7 – Fog 0

Both teams took five minutes for the intermission and were ready to get on with the match. The Harlots maintained a majority of the possession and spread the ball wide. Despite a number of forward passes, quick hands and crashing offloads were in the recipe for success.

Date: 03/10/2018
Santa Clara B 28 – San Diego State 30
Referee: William Nelson

No Report Received.

Date: 03/10/2018
Santa Clara Women 38 – Sacramento State Women 27
Referee: Stephen Moore

Very competitive and fun match to referee. Santa Clara came out strong in the first half scoring three tries to Sac’s one try, scoreline 17 v 5 at halftime. Santa Clara appeared stronger at the breakdown and Sac less disciplined. First-half resulted in two yellow cards for Sac for repeated infringements. It felt like it was going to be a runaway match for Santa Clara. However, Sac got their act together in the second half leveling scores at 22 all, at about the midway point. Santa Clara responded with a converted try, Sac responded with a try but was not able to convert. The match completed with Santa Clara scoring a final converted try.

A key difference was Sac’s inability to convert tries (except one), and some discipline issues resulting in three yellow cards. Santa Clara was not without blemish, they did commit a professional foul with a side entry on their goal line resulting in a yellow. Sac quickly scored thereafter, so the harm was repaired. Overall Santa Clara was penalized much less for infringements.

Date: 03/10/2018
Shasta Highlanders 38 – Reno Zephyrs 39
Referee: Sam Reagle

77 total points and a 1 point margin of victory. Two teams battling it out with the Reno coach (KC) providing the only sub for either side. Brings back memories of the old days when “If you don’t start, you don’t play”.

The game started a bit ragged, but transformed into a fun game to be a part of. Reno took the opening kick-off and worked their way to their first try. They scored again on their next possession and it looked to be a rout. However, Shasta regrouped and took the lead with 2 tries of their own, one converted. Reno answered back 31 minutes in to retake the lead and Shasta scored a converted try at 37 minutes to end the half ahead 19-15.

The second half started like the first with Reno scoring just 3 minutes in to lead 20-19. Then Shasta scored a converted try and an unconverted try to go up 31-20. Reno answered back with their first CONVERTED try to make it 31-27 with 16 minutes to play. Reno scored again at 28 minutes to take a one point lead 32-31.

They exchanged converted tries to end the game. Awesome!

Date: 03/10/2018
Solano-Yolo Rugby Club 0 – Peninsula Green Rugby Club 38
Referee: David Hosley

Just a few drops of rain on an overcast afternoon in Dixon. Both sides were hustling to get their teams sorted out, with a carload from the Peninsula arriving ten minutes before match time. But the bigger Greens carried the day, shutting out the Solo side.

Date: 03/10/2018
UC Santa Cruz 25 – Sacramento State 19
Referee: James Fonda

Great rugby weather. Wet but not heavy rain. UCSC and Sacramento State were well disciplined as no cards were needed. Penalty count was even. Both teams played hard. Strained my Achilles tendon with only six minutes left in the match. Got through it but it is very tight today.

Date: 03/10/2018
Univ Nevada Reno 85 – Fresno State 26
Referee: Lee Bryant

No Report Received.

Date: 03/10/2018
EPA Razorbacks 23 – Santa Rosa 43
Referee: Paul Bretz

EPA hosted Santa Rosa at Rich May Field. Present to oversee the match was driving force behind the creation of the field Frank Merrill. Santa Rosa controlled the day with excellent set pieces and mauls. By half-time Santa Rosa were up 26-5. With 15 minutes left EPA seemed to find their second wind and proceeded to score 3 well executed tries.

Date: 03/10/2018
San Jose State 37 – San Francisco State 10
Referee: James Hinkin

A perfect crisp winter’s day in San Jose saw San Jose St host San Francisco St at Independence High School in San Jose. Why is San Jose St playing at Independence High? Because of 12 golfers, 2 alumni and a greedy, shortsighted administration. It really is a stupid, stupid tale that will need to be told in detail at a later time – preferably with many adult beverages involved.

The field was correctly if faintly marked as the collegians used the San Jose Seahawk home field markings from their last match. Both sides were ready to go and so, when the time came, we went. The first half started with San Jose St jumping out to a 5 point lead with a try in the first minutes but SF State quickly replied. This set the tone for an even first half as the Spartans reclaimed the lead only to have the Gators reply. The half ended 10-10 as nobody seemed interested in making a conversion, a theme that would continue throughout the match.

The second half was a different story as San Jose St started to take charge. They dominated possession and territory while overcoming a series of silly yellow cards (one at the end of the first half for not retreating at a penalty, another in the second half for, again, not retreating at a penalty, and one to the #8 for repeated offside). SJSU’s 8 man spent so much time off side he could have had his mail sent to

#8
Offside, Rugby Pitch
San Jose, Ca 95133

SF State could not seem to take advantage of the man advantage they spent nearly half the game with as San Jose put 5 tries on the board in a comprehensive second half display. San Jose even managed to make a conversion just to see what it felt like. Final score: SJSU 37 – SFSU 10

This Week’s Photo

As Pelicus Caseum Caput reported, it was a lovely day for rugby in Reno.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Don’t Cry For Me World Rugby

HAIL PELICUS!

Don’t Cry For Me World Rugby

(Song titles in italics, singers in square brackets. To be sung to the music of the musical “Evita”.)

“Oh What A Circus”

[Hail Pelicus:]              Oh what a circus, oh what a show
                                       Argentina has left town
                                       After the finals defeat by USA 7s
                                       We’ve all gone crazy
                                       Partying all day and partying all night
                                       Falling over ourselves to get all of the celebration right

                                       Oh what an exit, that’s how to go
                                       When they’re sounding the final hooter
                                       Standing alone like America’s team
                                       It’s quite a sunset
                                       And good for rugby in a roundabout way
                                       We’ve made the front page of all the world’s papers today

                                       But who is this USA 7s?
                                       Why all this howling, hysterical cheering?
                                       What kind of gods has lived among us?
                                       How did we ever get by without them?

                                       They had their moments, they had some style
                                       The best show in town was the crowd
                                       Inside Sam Boyd Stadium crying, “Go USA!”
                                       But that’s all gone now
                                       As soon as the smoke from the firework clears
                                       We’re all gonna see and how, they did everything right

“On This Night Of A Thousand Stars”

[Hail Pelicus:]              Now USA Rugby had every disadvantage
                                       You need if you’re gonna succeed
                                       No money, no cash
                                       No rugby tradition
                                       There was nowhere they’ve been
                                       In the game of fifteens

                                       But as the Sevens Series found out … 2015 London 7s
                                       Who has the distinction of being the first
                                       Tournament to be won by USA 7s

[USA:]                             On this night of a thousand stars
                                       Let me take you to Twickenham
                                       Where the music of rugby sevens
                                       Plays for evermore

                                       In the glow of those twinkling lights
                                       We shall play through eternity
                                       On this night in a million nights
                                       Fly away with me

                                       I never dreamed that a win could be as sweet as this
                                       But now I know that it can
                                       We used to try so hard without a win of our own
                                       We were desperate to a man
                                       But all our grief disappeared and all the sorrow we’d feared
                                       Wasn’t there anymore
                                       On that magical day when we first won a Cup
                                       In London

                                       On this night
                                       On this night

“Rugby’s Latest Flame”

[Hail Pelicus:]              At the watering holes of the Sevens Series
                                       I detect a resistance to
[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   Precisely!
[Hail Pelicus:]              The American’s style
[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   We’re glad you noticed!

[Hail Pelicus:]              The top nations of the Series table
[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   Give them a win!
[Hail Pelicus:]              Are afraid the Sleeping Giant
                                       Of world rugby
[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   They’ll try again!

[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   Such a shame they wandered
                                       Into the Cup round
                                       How unfortunate these upstarts
                                       Have forced us to be blunt
                                       No we wouldn’t mind them
                                       Playing in a final
                                       But behind on the scoreboard, not in front

[Hail Pelicus:]              Could there be in our rugby corps
                                       A lack of enthusiasm for
[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   Exactly!
[Hail Pelicus:]              Rugby’s latest flame
[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   You said it brother!

[Hail Pelicus:]              Should you wish to cause great distress
                                       And make your pool a mess
                                       Just mention their name

[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   That isn’t funny!

                                       Winning their pool, breaking every taboo
                                       Installed as a regular in the Cup round, too
                                       And they’re the States, the last straw
                                       Their only good sports are the ones they make up
                                       World Champions at sports that no one else plays
                                       This is our game, it’s not theirs

                                       The evidence suggests
                                       They have other interests
                                       They can’t be this good
                                       Never thought they would
                                       Ugh!
                                       Dangerous team!

                                       We have allowed ourselves to slip
                                       We have completely lost our grip
                                       We have declined to an all-time low
                                       Yanks have become the team to know

[USA:]                             I am only a rugby team with just one Series win
                                       Our experience in finals is much, much too thin
                                       We are tired of the dismissal of the Americans
                                       With no sign of a tournament expecting to give us the Cup we deserve

[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   It’s no crime for nations to try as they might
                                       As long and they know they will lose the last fight
                                       We ignore, we disregard
                                       But once they allow to run on the outside
                                       To step through the center where our tackling has died
                                       We are forced to concede the try

                                       They should get into their head
                                       They should not get out of bed
                                       They should know that there’s no chance
                                       They could make the final dance
                                       Crap!
                                       They won again!

[Hail Pelicus:]              This has really been your year, USA 7s
                                       Tell us where you go from here, USA 7s
                                       Which are the teams that you yearn to play?
                                       Who will you run past and beat today?

[USA:]                             We’re ready for the final, the try line’s mine
                                       That’s no help to the Argentine

[Hail Pelicus:]              Can we hope then that you’ll win?
                                       Is this because of your involvement with Mike Friday?

[ENG, NZL, FIJ, RSA:]   Things have reached a pretty pass
                                       When some team pretty lower-class
                                       Graceless and vulgar, uninspired
                                       Can be accepted and admired

“Don’t Cry For Me World Rugby”

[USA:]                             It won’t be easy, you’ll think it strange
                                       You’ll have to get used to the States
                                       Still standing on top after all that you’ve done

                                       You won’t believe us
                                       All you will see is a team you once knew
                                       Although they’re on the podium
                                       After the sevens with you

                                       We had to let it happen, we had to change
                                       Couldn’t stay all our life down at heel
                                       Looking up at the champions, staying out of the Cup

                                       So we chose winning
                                       Running around, trying everything new
                                       Our quality impressing you all
                                       As we expected it to

                                       Don’t cry for me World Rugby
                                       The truth is we never left you
                                       From the Olympics
                                       Back in the 20s
                                       We’ve always been here
                                       We’ll always be here

                                       And as for rugby, we love the game
                                       We’ve always been passionate here
                                       Though it seems to the world we need foreign players

                                       They are illusions
                                       They are not the solutions they promised to be
                                       The answer was here all the time
                                       The Sleeping Giant awakening now

                                       Don’t cry for me World Rugby

                                       Don’t cry for me World Rugby
                                       The truth is we never left you
                                       From the Olympics
                                       Back in the 20s
                                       We’ve always been here
                                       We’ll always be here

                                       Have we said too much?
                                       There’s nothing more we can think of to say to you.
                                       But all you have to do is look at us to know
                                       That every word is true

(And the final curtain drops)

This Week’s Photo

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

We Are Warriors

HAIL PELICUS!

We Are Warriors

What a weekend of rugby in Pelicanland. Northern California hosted a slew of top games this weekend, and nearly all of them were close, hard fought games that went down to the final seconds. Cal over UBC in an unusually high scoring thriller; St Mary’s taking care of business against Glendale Merlins to remain perfect; Golden Gate over Life West for PRP bragging rights in Nor Cal; top of the table D2 action with San Jose over EPA in the Seahawk’s second straight game with the winning score coming at the final whistle. High schools joined the party as Danville played a tight one with Granite Bay. High level dramatics are all the rage here and those who love and follow the game couldn’t be happier. Yes, it is the annual “Who’s got it better than us?” column.

Regular readers of Hail Pelicus are not only known for their high fiber diets but will also recognize the above theme as at least once a year we have several games with national implications happening on the same weekend while most other unions get these kinds of games once a year, if that. How many other LAUs will have this level of rugby in a year much less a weekend? St Marys and Cal dominate the college landscape with the occasional pretender rearing their head only to be slapped aside. The most consistent college sides from the rest of the nation, Life University and BYU, are isolated programs who need to travel for big games and those are rare, once a season type of games for them. Cal will play St Marys, Olympic Club, SFGG, UBC and Army – all of these outside their regular season schedule. St Marys will play Cal, Olympic Club, BYU, Central Washington and Glendale – all of these outside their regular season schedule.

And those are just the home fixtures we get to see here.

While MLR is still getting its legs and may someday overtake it, until then the PRP is the top league in the country and SFGG, Olympic Club and Life West will be playing top rugby every week against each other plus Southern California powers OMBAC, Belmont Shore and Santa Monica. And speaking of Life West, they are the reigning Women’s D1 champions and made their call to be included into the WPL even louder with a victory over WPL founding member and national powerhouse All Blues. Should they be promoted Nor Cal would be, you guessed it, the only region with two WPL teams.

D2 surprise team San Jose Seahawks have alternated between blowing out teams by 50 and winning at the final whistle – including a rare defeat for St Marys B side. There is no middle ground for them – should they have a well managed 10 point win that might be the biggest shock of the season. They are set up to take on the equally perfect Sacramento Blackhawks for top of the table bragging rights just after the Las Vegas 7s. That may be the Nor Cal Game Of The Week come March 10, if it not for the exact same challenge for Diablo Gaels and Colusa as they take their undefeated records at each other in D3 that same day.

Do What I Say, Not What I Do

What was the point of the previous section? That we live in America’s Rugby Heaven. Every week we have some of the best rugby in the country and they eyes of the nation are fixated here – especially since most of the leagues east of the Rocky Mountains are hibernating at this time of year. You can’t take a week off because you will miss something spectacular with national implications.

And on that note, I am announcing that I will be taking a week off for the Las Vegas 7s. Hail Pelicus will resume after the March 10 Madness.

Oprah’s Got Nothing On Me

With all of the big, exciting games this past weekend fan interest was high. And yet, and yet… nobody, be it a referee, club or fan, thought to send me a picture to be featured in this newsletter in spite of previous calls to do so. Sometimes it feels that I will see Godot before I get a picture sent to me. So far I have tried to share the iconographic wealth as much as possible but even then I appear more often than I should or want to. If this continues the Hail Peilcus will start looking like my version of Oprah’s magazine O, which has a picture of, you guessed it, Oprah on it every issue.

I don’t think anyone wants that.

To prove I am serious, this week I am giving you a taste of what this dystopian future would look like. The solution is in your hands. Send me captioned pictures and this can all be avoided.

ARC Round Up

A hard fought win over a tenacious Brazil side kept the Eagles undefeated and top of the table at the ARC. Things are looking good for the US to retain the title.

If only we can get our scrum halves to stop box kicking. We still truly suck at it.

The NCRRS Kit Store

Is closed. We will reopen it periodically as demand requires. Thank you to everyone who ordered kit and made this first run a success.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 02/24/2018
St Marys College 58 – Glendale PRP (RM) 12
Referee: Steven Fenaroli

Glendale Merlins traveled from Colorado to play St Marys at home. There was some last minute switching of times for the game and Glendale D1 played SMC B side at 1pm. Following that game was the Glendale U23 playing SMC A side at 2:45. The kickoff was delayed due to an injury from the first game.

Neither team could slot many conversions and the wind would be a factor throughout the game. Scrums were an issue with the Glendale the and the SMC lh losing their bind throughout the game. If I was on that side, there werent issues. This leads me to believe there was some tomfoolery amidst.
SMC was tough to stop with their dominant ball play. It was a team win as they were happy to get the ball out.

Date: 02/24/2018
St Marys College B 31 – Glendale 26
Referee: Rich Boyer

St. Marys hosted Glendale in a friendly. The match started with St. Marys scoring first on a penalty kick. Momentum soon swung to Glendale, as they gave St. Marys more than they could handle. Glendale quickly scored a forwards try, followed by the big inside center’s gallop for another. Both tries were converted. St. Marys got on the front foot immediately at the restart due to a Glendale handling error. Repeated pressure resulted in two consecutive penalties, the second of which captain Sean, the halfback, quick tapped and dove in for a try. Converted. The next try was a mirror image of St. Marys first try, capped off by the wily halfback. 21-17 Glendale towards the end of the first half. St. Marys restarts, and instead of kicking to touch the flyhalf swings the ball to 13, who makes a great line break, links up with the wing and runs 85 meters, to be tackled a few yards from the tryline. He first pikes to present the ball, then decides to lunge for a try. Penalty, and St. Marys escapes. The game was hard hitting, and the second half did not experience a drop off. The teams parried back and forth, with Sean from St. Marys scoring from the base of a strong scrum. Hat trick. Glendale’s number 7, who had a huge impact at breakdowns with timely poaches, rambled down the sideline and scored, with the try the only one of the day uncoverted. 26-24 Glendale. St. Marys eventually won ball back, the omnipresent Sean make a nice little pop kick collected by the flyhalf, ball was recycled near the try line and St. Marys scores. The flyhalf converted, resulting in the final score 31-26.

Date: 02/24/2018
St Marys College Women 22 – Univ Nevada Reno Women 42
Referee: Cammeron Feusi

No Report Received.

Date: 02/24/2018
Silicon Valley 17 – Google 33
Referee: James Fonda

Great day but a little windy and cold. Rugby was pretty good. Technical zones needs to be understood.

Date: 02/24/2018
Santa Rosa Black Roses 0 – Life West Gladiatrix B 0
Referee: Giles Wilson

This game was cancelled at 9.20pm on Friday night. Life West had call ups to their Elite team and on Friday night several other players apparently discovered that some didn’t get off work until 11-12, funerals and a couple of weddings – things that couldn’t have been foreseen……
I ended up refereeing Santa Rosa HS team against a combination of Milpitas (the official opponent) augmented by Elsie Allen players.

The game started with 8 Milpitas players, 2 from Elsie Allen and 6 on loan from Santa Rosa who didn’t show much cohesion giving up three tries in 10 minutes. Milpitas did manage a single try in reply. Several more Elsie Allen players arrived and filtered onto field. Six first half tries went unconverted by Santa Rosa to three tries and two conversions from Milpitas for a 30 – 19 half time score.
The combine Milpitas/Else Allen team developed more cohesion in the second half, they also managed to kick a number of conversions. Two more tries to Santa Rosa in response to four (and three conversions) from Milpitas/Elsie Allen gave a final score of 40-41 a conversion of any one of their 8 tries by Santa Rosa would have given them the honours to go with the forfeit win they already had in the bag.

Date: 02/24/2018
Santa Clara 10 – UC Davis 46
Referee: David Pescetti

The score does not reflect what this match was. This match was tight and quick paced. Neck a neck for the first half, that was until a key injury occurred to the Santa Clara 10. The punch, counter punch left when he was helped off the pitch. The context of the match changed. Davis punched, and it took longer for SCU to respond. The game slowly shifted from a dominant Santa Clara team, to an even match, and lastly to a Davis favored match as time ticked off the clock. It went from a 65% SCU ball to a possession which favored Davis. At the half Davis led 17 – 5. A game still within reach for SCUts. However, as the second half wore on the game, slowly, went out of reach. Davis 46 – SCU 10

Date: 02/24/2018
Santa Clara B 24 – UC Davis B 31
Referee: William Nelson

Everything seemed good!

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is some top end, focused reporting. Definitely not Fake News.)

Date: 02/24/2018
Sacramento State Women 22 – UC Santa Cruz Women 36
Referee: David Hosley

UCSC Assistant Coach, whom the head coach identified as Scott Palmer, did not stay in the zone but early in the match went to far side of the pitch. The CSUS coach brought that to my attention about 15 minutes in to first half, I asked the head coach to bring him back, which he said he would. About ten minutes later, the CSUS coach said the assistant was still out of the zone, and I admonished him to return or be removed from the pitch. He slowly complied. When I discussed the issue with UCSC’s head coach, whom I believe to be Chet Angus, after the match he said he lost sight of the assistant because he was focused on the match. I believe UCSC was trying to place a coach on the far side of the pitch for a coaching advantage.

Date: 02/24/2018
Olde Gaels 61 – Chico Mighty Oaks 33
Referee: Robert Hammack

Good back and forth match played with skill by both teams. Chico had plenty of opportunities to score additional points in their 22 but, ultimately, little errors cost them (knock-ons, missed lineouts, etc.).

Date: 02/24/2018
Life West Gladiatrix 36 – Berkeley All Blues WPL 25
Referee: Scott Wood

Life West traveled from Hayward to Sacramento to host Berkeley for this non-league match. This was to accommodate the logistics involved with Berkeley All Blues D2 facing off against Sacramento Amazons in the opening match.

Robla Park has never been well known for having much grass. With the return of drought-like conditions, the grass has migrated to greener pastures. However, two scrums were formed over some semblance of vegetation.

A well-played match with several lead changes. Several scoring opportunities were lost to penalties.
HT: Life West Gladiatrix 14 / Berkeley All Blues 15

Berkeley led 25-24 before Life West was able to put in two unanswered tries. The All Blues had an opportunity to score a try at final time but the ball carrier was pushed into touch less than a meter from the goal line.

Kudos to Catie (Life West) and Allie (Berkeley) for their captaincy and both teams for an exciting match.

Date: 02/24/2018
Life West D2 28 – Vacaville 38
Referee: James Hinkin

Looking at the standings one would have expected a comfortable victory for Life West over Vacaville this past Saturday but, as they say, this is why we play the game. Outsized at nearly every position, Vacaville threw themselves into the mix with wild abandon and proved that you can not sleep on a well-coached side and Chris Motes is a well-coaching coach. A lack of commitment from the home side saw them struggle to find 15 players to start the match and in fact the match was delayed two minutes so that 2 players who literally just walked up could put their boots on and start the match. Vacaville took full advantage of this lack of preparation and jumped out to a 19 point lead within 20 minutes. Sharp, angled running lines in midfield were cutting up the Gladiator’s backs while good technique and full commitment stopped the larger Life West forwards from making any progress. As the game progressed, however, Life West seemed to finally warm up and get their heads in the game and the contest balanced out. The last 20 minutes of the first half saw an exchange of tries to go into the break 26-7 to the Vacavillians.

The second half was the bizzaro version of the first as Life West came out on fire. More players had showed up for the home side and substitutions were made and paid immediate dividends. A pair of quick tries cut into the Vacaville lead and suddenly we had a game. The intensity rose as both sides realized that we were balanced on a knife edge. Vacaville were the next to score to increase their lead to 31-21 but the Gladiators replied to narrow the gap to 31-28, the closest they had been since the opening kickoff. With 7 minutes left and all the momentum going the home side’s way it looked for all the world like an epic comeback but Vacaville stuck to their guns. Desperately defending their line they first held up an attacking maul in goal, then defended the ensuing scrum and several phases of “I am bigger than you” crash ball until they finally were rewarded with a turnover. Running the ball out of their 22 ended with some controversy as a Vacaville wing was tackled near the touch line and, clearly seeing the ball infield, I played on. The touch flag went up while I called “PLAY ON” and Vacaville ran wide around the far side to score a try. Chaos ensued as several Life West players had stopped and were remonstrating with the TJ (a LW man) and the Vacaville team, who remonstrated right back. After consulting with the TJ I waived off the try and awarded the lineout, a decision that was made easier by a Vacaville player arguing with me about the call. (Seriously? I have awarded you a try and you are arguing the call?)

Fun fact, there are 2 reasons why a try may be taken off the board and one of them is touch. Law 18: “When play reaches a touchline, the ball is in touch and becomes dead.” Combine that with Law 7.3.f “Advantage must not be applied and the referee must blow the whistle immediately when…The ball is made dead.”

This all became academic when Vacaville scored on the ensuing set piece, stretching their lead to an unassailable 38-28. Well played by both teams and I must call out both captains for being a pleasure to work with and helping keep an intense finish exciting without disintegrating into a penalty fest.

Date: 02/24/2018
Danville Oaks RFC 27 – Granite Bay Grizzlies 19
Referee: Andrew Stockton

This was an excellent curtain raiser match at Witter Rugby Field. Both teams were incredibly competitive throughout the entire match and were playing with grit, heart, and determination until the end of the match.

I had originally thought that Danville, who I have seen a couple times over the past year or two, was going to walk away with a relatively easy victory. They have had good discipline, incredibly talented players, and some great tactics. I had seen Granite Bay the week prior against SOLO, and thought that they would be relatively disorganized (although that may have been a byproduct of an incredibly disorganized SOLO team).

My prediction could not have been more off. Both teams played a fast, hard hitting game with multiple line breaks and bone-crunching tackles, and some fantastic tries. Danville was able to score a couple of early tries and Granite Bay answered right back, keeping the first half tied. However, when Danville was put a man down for repeated ruck infringements, Granite Bay was unable to capitalize, and gain a lead. In fact, Danville, through a series of lucky breaks, was able to score a try while down a man, and effectively put the game away after that.

I think that given a second chance, Granite Bay would give Danville a run for their money and could most certainly beat them.

Date: 02/24/2018
CSU Monterey Bay Women 10 – Santa Clara Women 70
Referee: Larry Freitas

Drivng down Highway One on the morning of the 24th of February, I saw the snow capped higher peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountains in the distance. Yes, winter has returned to this area of California. I arrived at the CSUMB campus by 10:30 AM, and everything was set to go on this cool morning, a perfect day day for rugby at 50F. There was a breeze blowing in off the ocean, and clouds off in the horizon heading toward land. I saw that both teams didn’t have a lot of players, and in fact at the kick off Santa Clara University had 13 ladies kitted out to Cal State Monterey Bay’s 14. Both teams have had some injuries, but even more critically haven’t been able to recruit enough players to have a good amount of subsitutes on hand to replace those who get hurt, or otherwise miss matches because of other committments, be they studies, work, or anything else.

CSUMB won the toss and elected to defend the north end, figuring to have the wind at their backs for the second half of the match. The ground was firm, as little rain fell on the Monterey Peninsula during the fronts that went through the area during the week.

The game got off to a fast start for Santa Clara, as the Bronco women scored a few tries early. From a scrum some ten meters out Jessica Lew-Munoz, playing at 8, broke through a few attempted tackles and got the visiting side its first points for a 5-0 lead at 4 minutes of play. At 11 minutes Carley Fowler got the last pass from a ball that got passed through the hands of the backs, and ran away from the cover for another try and a 10-0 lead. It seemed at this point of the game that Santa Clara had the superiority in the backs, as they were running onto the ball as opposed to Monterey, who’s flyhalf was not getting good ball, and therefore not able to distribute quality passes to her backs, who were getting knocked over by the Santa Clara defense time and time again. Otters Janike Stein and Isis Smith rarely got touches that amounted to any gained ground. In the meantime Rachel Schneider, Carley Fowler, and Courtney Davis were running rampant through gaps and scoring tries or setting up tries for Santa Clara. In the forwards things were fairlly even, whether line outs or scrums, no one side dominating the other. Davis and prop Mariela Murillo each scored two tries apiece for Santa Clara to finish their scoring in the first half to give them 34 points, with Murillo connecting on two conversions, one for her own first try of the match, and for Davis’ second try. I am really impressed by Davis, who is on the smaller side, and has speed and the ability to side step tacklers, and change direction in her running. The ball got swung right out to the backs for that second try, from a lineout near the 22 of CSUMB, and she took the pass at her outside center position and wrong-footed a defender to glide past the goal line to touch down at the pitch’s north end. She’s a freshman. CSUMB did score at the 23rd minute when flanker Aliana Criado scored a try that was unvconverted. Half time score: 34 for Santa Clara, 5 for CSUMB. CSUMB lost Isis Smith to a groin pull injury, taking out their fastest back playing at full back.

The second half was a repeat of the first, with Santa Clara’s tries coming, in order, from Fowler at 46 minutes, for 7 points, followed by Schneider who basically returned the restart kick after the ball went through several hands, at 48 minutes. She scored another try at 55 minutes. Scrum half Stephanie Haro scored a try at the 68th minute of play. By this time CSUMB had a few more injuries, and were down to 10 on the field. I asked their captain if they’d be willing to finish the match if Santa Clara took out some of their players to even the sides, and the visitors agreed. Two more Santa Clara tries were scored, as Davis once again got the ball and had space ahead of her and no one able to catch her from behind. At 73 minutes Carley Fowler picked up a ball at the base of a ruck and scampered nearly half the field to the goal line under the posts at the south end. Near full time Stephany Arriola scored a try for CSUMB from close range. Final score, Santa Clara 70, CSUMB 10. A rather clean game played. I didn’t have too many penalties to call overall. Some few offsides now and then on either team’s back line, and a hands in the ruck call once, and a Santa Clara player entering the side of a ruck on another occasion.

Looking back at the season that is now in its final few weeks, I recall how CSUMB, when it had all their players available, starters or substitutes, lost by just two points to UC Santa Cruz in mid-November. UC Santa Cruz pulled ahead of Santa Clara in the last twenty minutes of play in that game in Janauary to win. I would have expected a close game today, using the evidence of those past two matches. I can only say that Santa Clara has been fortunate not to lose their best players, as CSUMB has lost three of their best players, two in the back line and their hooker, not able to play in this match. It made all the difference today.

CSUMB has one more game on the 10th of March to finish against USF. Santa Clara plays one more home match versus Sacramento State on the same day. Hopefully by then both teams will have fifteen out on the pitch at kick off.

Date: 02/24/2018
Central Coast RFC 48 – Reno Zephyrs 27
Referee: Paul Simko

On a partly cloudy day, with temperatures in the mid 50’s, I began to wonder why I left the warmer temperatures of Singapore. The game moved to San Jose due to field issues in Seaside, and the generosity of the San Jose Seahawks saved me a few hours that day. Both appeared to be struggling with numbers with a number of new players. Despite a yellow card in the first half for an intentional knock on, Central Coast (The former Aptos Beachdogs) went up 29 to 12 in the first half. The second half was much the same, but within the last 5 minutes, Reno scored 2 tries to even up the try total for the second half, making the final 48 to 27 in favor of Central Coast.

Date: 02/24/2018
Cal 39 – UBC 1 36
Referee: Tim Lew

No Report Received.

Date: 02/24/2018
Cal B 147 – USC 0
Referee: Roberto Santiago

Not a lot to see here. Cal was Cal. USC traveled with less than a full roster and had to go to uncontested scrums after an injury to one of their props. To their credit, the Trojans played with the same effort and determination from start to finish. They stuck together in the face of adversity, never complaining about anything. They lined up, kicked off, and played the best they could all the way through. The Gold Bears were just better.

Date: 02/24/2018
BA Baracus 21 – Sacramento Capitals 32
Referee: Peter Sandhill

The Sacramento Capitals traveled to SF to take on BA Baracus in this D2 men’s matchup. Baracus have returned to their home field this season, in the SF Sunset area, after being displaced for two years due to major rec. complex renovations. Refereeing with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop is something special, especially on a nice sunny afternoon on a grass field.

This was a close game with Baracus scoring in the first two minutes after starting fast and pressuring the Capitals backs. The Capitals then settled and ten minutes later scored through a nice team try. Around the twenty min. mark, the Capitals pulled away as their backs hit their stride and scored two more tries and a PG to be up at halftime 24-7.

Baracus brought on a few big men at halftime and came out firing, ready to take the fight up front and their forwards began to dominate. While the Capitals had a foray into the other half and scored a PG, Baracas camped in their half for around 25 or 30 min. scoring a hard won try and later another. With the scores at 27-21, the intensity rose for the final ten min. Mostly, clean hard and fast rugby. The Capitals scored on the bell to take the score to 32-21.

The Capitals #10 had a great day with the boot with some well placed line and field kicks as well five through the posts. Hats off to captains Robert and Kevin who worked to keep their teams behaving as the intensity rose.

This Week’s Photo

Suprisingly, this came out BEFORE the famous cover with Kim Kardashian. And yes, I do agree that referencing Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian in the same issue is a cry for help.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Good As Gold

HAIL PELICUS!

Good As Gold

There is a sense of hope in the air around USA Rugby these days. Our Sevens program has been ticking over nicely for the last few years under Mike Friday and while we have yet to reach the mountaintop we can see it and are a threat to win any tournament and beat any team. Our Fifteens team faces much greater challenges as we struggle to break out of Tier 2 status or even to the top of Tier 2. The Golden Age has started well with wins over Argentina, Canada and Chile in the ARC but these victories need to be put in perspective. Argentina sent their B side and any true test will have to be against their full squad and that hasn’t happened in a number of years. Canada is on possibly their worst run of form in their history and lost to Uraguay in their World Cup home-and-home playoff. To even make the tournament they will now need to win the final repechage spot. Chile is a team we must beat regularly and thoroughly – after all there are only 18,000 registered players in the whole country and we have more than that number just here in California.

Not to be all doom and gloom. We won and we won convincingly over our biggest rival Canada and ARC doormat Chile. The Argentina game was close but a quality effort against a side that will produce several Pumas. I like what Gary Gold is doing and the structure and gameplan he is utilizing. I am also eager to see what Psalm Wooching and Paul Lasike bring to the table. They had impressive debuts and showed signs of both inexperience and athleticism. USA Rugby has been for years using the age grade teams to feed the Eagles, as they should. That is what they are there for. Nearly every Eagle these days was a U19 or All American representative, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that there is a great untapped pool of amazing crossover athletes. Back when I started playing there was a common “What If?” game played where you would have Deion Sanders on the wing, Emmitt Smith in the centers, Michael Jordan as a flanker, Tom Rathman as a prop and so on. The thought was with that level of athlete we would be unstoppable. There still is a kernel of truth to that and athletes raised in the Great American Football Factory all the way from high school, through college and the pros can have a huge impact – we just gotta teach them how to play. Let’s not forget how Perry Baker, the current World Rugby Sevens Player Of The Year, got his start.

We have a long road ahead of us for rugby in the USA. After the disaster of the last World Cup we needed to change and get better. We needed to become more professional and that has had mixed results. The failure of Pro Rugby hurt but MLR has made some impressive strides. The PRP is the best league in the country but still is an amateur league – how long will that last? I am quietly pleased with results so far.

If only we can get our scrum halves to stop box kicking. We truly suck at it.

Uranus Takes A Pounding More Frequently Than Thought

Yes, that is an actual headline from an actual news article about interstellar objects smashing into Uranus. Some times they just write themselves. Speaking as a commentator who has to make up his own headlines, I would like to thank USA Rugby for selecting Head Coaches with such easily punnable and headline worthy names. A good headline should be short, informative and to the point but a great headline has that perfect level of Dad Joke that makes the reader smile and cringe at the same time. Friday? Gold? I am set for the foreseeable future. Even Coach Gold’s first name begs for Gary Glitter references. Mr Dan Payne, I am calling on you to keep this wonderful tradition going when selecting the next Women’s Head Coach, a position that as of this writing has yet to be filled. I am confident you won’t let us down and will expect an update on your progress at the I’Maul In Poker Tournament in Vegas.

Poker? In Vegas?

Whodda thunk it? Yes the USA Rugby Foundation headed up by former Eagle captain Brian Vizard hosts a couple of events during the USA 7s. Along with the Scrumble Golf Tournament there is the 9th Annual I’Maul In No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Charity Poker Tournament. The action takes place Friday March 2 at the Poker Room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. This is a fun event that draws a number of rugby legends past and present and the banter around the table is priceless. I play in it every year and I highly recommend it. The first hand will be dealt at 10:30 pm. The buy-in for the I’Maul In No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em Charity Poker Tournament remains $100 ($40 for the USRF, $30 for the player prize pool and $30 for Mandala Bay), which will be paid (cash only) at the Mandalay Bay Poker Room and additional, limited rebuys are available. Seating is limited to the first 100 players so get there on time to get a seat. If you’d like to guarantee your seat at the 2018 I’Maul In Tournament, please contact Brian Vizard at bvizard@usrugbyfoundation.com.

To find out more about the I’Maul In Poker Tournament, the Scrumble Golf Tournament or the USA Rugby Foundation in general go to www.usrugbyfoundation.org.

Wheresthematchreport?

I hope everyone enjoyed the Whostheref match reporting demonstration last night at our February meeting. I expect to be inundated with detailed and lovingly crafted reports from here on out. I would like to once again reiterate that should you decide to just email me scores and a writeup it will be summarily ignored. The notable exceptions to the above blanket statement are, of course, matches that are not assigned here in Pelicanland and are thus not in the system. So any referees on exchange can send me their thoughts as well as our excellent Roving Pelicans Tom Zanarini, Stephen Valerio and any others who wish to tell us of their exotic rugby experiences.

To help educate the flock Our Scott Wood has put together a nifty User Guide that is accessible from this very website: http://pelicanrefs.com/resources/whos-the-ref-user-guide/ . .

The NCRRS Kit Store

Last chance – the store closes Sunday, February 25!

As stated before, the NCRRS is moving away from buying all the kit and then reselling it to our referees. The reasons for this should be obvious in that 1) we have to guess ahead of time how many referees will want or need kit and we have guessed wrong in the past and 2) I really don’t want to continue to have to deal withal these boxes of old and new kit. So to that end, while we will continue to order and distribute jerseys, because we do not sell them – they are earned, moving forward we have set up a store through Canterbury to sell our kit directly to you, our loyal customers. This also allows us more flexibility to sell branded merchandise, such as warm up shirts, tee shirts, backpacks, tooks and so on. The store is now open so please check it out using the following link:

https://norcalrefsjan2017.itemorder.com/sale?read_message=true

The store will stay open until 11:59:59PM, Sunday Feb 25, at which point Canterbury will collect the orders, stich and screen as needed, and then ship them out. This store can be reopened as needed depending on demand, but don’t wait! Get your gear now!

Soaring On The Wings Of Pelicans

Glorious Leader Pelicus Iudex Pennipes has announced some promotions:

“Please join me in congratulating both Jessica Turner and Steven Fenaroli on their grade promotions. JT moves to C2 and Steven has been promoted to the B panel. Both referees were unanimously approved by the Referee Promotion Committee.”

I would also like to remind everyone that the Nor Cal B panel is equivalent to the USA Rugby National Panel so well done there!

Another Legend Passing

Hail Pelicus great Dr Bruce Carter sent in this bit of sad news and I will let him tell you of it:

Don Burgess died, a fellow from Vancouver Island and one of the unsung innovators of our game. He invented the kicking tee for rugby, and managed to get it approved by the IRB – never an easy task getting anything through them (or World Rugby) that wasn’t invented or dreamed up in-house.

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/obituary-rugby-legend-don-burgess-was-inventor-of-the-burge-tee-1.23170913

The tee was approved in the late 80s. I remember it well. Don came to a referee meeting I was at (can’t remember where) to promote the use of the tee.

It really made a huge difference. You think kickers waste a lot of time now with their routines – add a minute or two for digging a hole, or sculpting a mound, and then re-doing it when the ball didn’t sit right, even using a bucket of material brought from the sidelines for the purpose.

I’m hoping that although he might be unsung, he might not be forgotten.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 02/16/2018
Solano-Yolo Rugby Club 5 – Granite Bay Grizzlies 61
Referee: Andrew Stockton

I originally hoped that this would be a relatively close match after seeing Solo at this year’s KOT. I had thought they were a tough, and hard running team that would pack a lot of punch. However, their biggest downfall of the evening was discipline. Quite a few of their players didn’t arrive to the field until about a half hour until kickoff, leading to a bit of disorganization and a semi-lax attitude at kickoff.
Granite Bay scored first after a 7 minute run consisting of some offside penalties, a few lineouts, and a scrum. They scored again a few minutes later, pressing their advantage and superior running lines. Solo then struck back at 16 minutes into the half with a try of their own after a Granite Bay penalty inside their own 22. After that it was all Granite Bay. They added 9 more tries but were only able to score 3 of their conversion kicks.

For most of the evening, both teams struggled with maintaining a good offside line. There were several penalties to both teams, and I made a note to myself after watching the game film that I would produce a card the next time I had repeated issues with offside, even at a high school level. The other problem area was scrums. Granite Bay had obviously better technique and power, while Solo clearly needed work on staying steady and taking weight. There were quite a few resets, and a number of instances where we would spend 3 minutes or more at the same scrum because of balls coming out the tunnel and players slipping on the poor field conditions. I hesitated giving penalties because the penalty count against Solo was already high, and unfortunately, I don’t believe that penalties would have fixed the problems. I was able to manage my way out of it, and scrums toward the later parts of the first half and most of the second half were good.

Overall, I think that it was a challenging match, especially given the short and narrow field conditions. I will be interested to see how Granite Bay performs against a more quality opponent on a regulation sized field this weekend against Danville at Witter Field.

Date: 02/17/2018
Cal Poly Men 69 – USC 5
Referee: James Hinkin

A bright and sunny day in the Pelican Territories was the setting for a D1A clash between California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo against the University of Southern California. The whistle time temps were approaching 80 degrees so it was going to be a hot one. Unfortunately, (I assume) a series of injuries left USC without a capable front row so the match was forfeited. The End.

Just kidding. Not about the forfeit, but since everyone had travelled all the way to this remote outpost to play rugby we decided to play the game anyway, just with uncontested scrums. As California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo is known to have a powerful scrum one would think that would advantage USC but that turned out to be not the case as the California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo forwards got extra rest during the scrums and were much more active around the field. The scoreline does not reflect the tenor of the game as USC was more competitive that a 64 point loss would suggest. The Trojans were able to string several phases together and scored their lone try off of a sustained period of pressure, admittedly helped along by some ill discipline by California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo at the tackle. The difference was the unforgivable communication breakdowns that led to a few simple first phase tries and the fact that USC could only really sustain 4 or 5 either offensively or defensively and California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo would exploit the disorganization after that tipping point. 6 tries in the first half and 5 in the second half told the tale. USC was not without its bright spots as their bescrumcapped, long haired center (allegedly a transfer from St Marys) was a thorn in their side with numerous breaks, tackles and perfect timing when poaching the ball. He must have stolen at least half a dozen balls at tackles and also managed to be a part of one of the lighter moments that was shouted across the field:

USC Coach (after a penalty): “Did he penalize you for off side?”
Player: “No, for playing the ball on the ground.”
Me: “Don’t worry about it. You were off side, too.”
Player: “Coach! I was offside, too.”
USC Coach: “OK!”

Final note: “California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo” is the longest university name in the US.

Date: 02/17/2018
Berkeley All Blues B 15 – Life West Gladiatrix B 44
Referee: Duane Heil

Life hit harder and was more aggressive. They clearly dominated. Good game all around

Date: 02/17/2018
Sacramento Amazons 49 – SFGG Women 7
Referee: Sam Reagle

No Report Received.

Date: 02/17/2018
Sacramento Capitals 17 – Life West D2 20
Referee: Jeff Richmond

A very hard fought match; fast-paced, physical. Both teams made use of the full width of the field generating strong attacks by their back lines. However, good defense kept the try count much lower than it might have been. The Capitals had several opportunities pushing Life back against their goal line, but a knock-on or other turnover left them short. Life suffered through playing with less than 15 after yellow cards for repeat infringements, though they were able control the damage. The score stood at 17-17 for the last 10 minutes, then a penalty by the Capitals gave Life a kick at goal from 20 meters out. Life converted as time expired.

Date: 02/17/2018
Fresno 17 – Olde Gaels 33
Referee: John Pohlman

Fresno hosted Diablo Old Gaels on a beautiful sunny Saturday. Field a bit rough but set up perfectly, well lined with technical zones. Everyone ready for a 1:00 AM kick-off.

Both teams in the running for making the D-3 playoffs and this game lived up to playoff bound teams. The first twenty minutes had both teams attacking, tackling and testing each other. Gaels started the scoring at 21 minutes with an overall team score dotted down by Gaels #7. Only to be matched three minutes later by man of the match flanker Jon-Paul Salvador #7 . The Gaels had more possession in the first half and broke down the strong tackling Fresno defense for two more try’s at 34 minutes and 40 minutes. As time was completed for the first half the Gaels decided to run the ball rather than kick which led to a long try by a very talented Gaels winger. Haft time score Gaels 19 Fresno 5.

Fresno came out on fire in the second half. They had early ball possession leading to two try’s at 51 and 60 minutes. A missed conversion only stopped a complete Fresno comeback. Score Fresno 17-Gaels 19.
Game on. I hope the players know how much referees love rugby and love, even more, close hard fast games.

So thanks. Gaels had more experience and played slightly better rugby. This allowed them to breakdown the Fresno defense which led to two Gael try’s at 27 and 37 minutes. Final Gaels 33 Fresno 17. Thanks guys for a fun, fast competitive game. The players came to play rugby and the fans and myself were treated to a great game.

Date: 02/17/2018
Google 19 – Berkeley RFC 29
Referee: Stephen Moore

Fun match to referee, disciplined and competitive. Berkeley stronger side overall. End of first-half Berkeley led by 12-7. Berkley increased margin in second-half to 17 points, but Google came back strong narrowing the gap once again to 5 points. Berkeley scored one more try for a final result of 29-19. Google finished strong in the last minute running from deep kicking the ball to opposition 22. It was a touch and go contest at full pace, with Berkeley just kicking the ball out in time off the ground to make it full time.

Play of the day was a spectacular flowing run by Berkeley, starting deep with the ball passing delicately thru multiple sets of hands, ending with a final low pass skillfully picked up by a Berkeley player diving low to score. It was All Blacks type stuff, and great being in a box seat to experience it.

I really appreciate the polite input and questions I got from both captains during the match. I especially appreciated the input I got from one captain at half-time about squaring up a little more to see offsides. He will make a great referee one day, no kidding!

Date: 02/17/2018
Redwood Empire RFC 10 – Colusa County 26
Referee: Cary Bertolone

High tackles galore, from Redwood. Two high tackles from their number 4 in the first 7 minutes. Red card and penalty try for a high tackle on #3 at the ten minute mark. Then, number 4 from Redwood was yellowed for repeating high tackles at the 30 minute mark. He then kept talking from the sidelines and I had to warn his coach to shut him up or I would remove him from the rugby enclosure entirely.

Colusa was up 12-0 at the half. In the second half, I yellowed #23 of Redwood for high tackles and then gave him a red after he spent one minute after his high tackle lecture from me, making another one. As he was leaving the pitch because of the red, a Colusa player showed me a vivid bite mark on his back, made by the same player. Each team scored two trys in the second half, giving Colusa the 26-10 win. The Redwood coach kicked his #23 player off the team, after the game. Redwoods #3 actually only made one bad high tackle and was very apologetic about it during and after the game.

Date: 02/17/2018
San Joaquin-Stanislaus RFC 78 – Mendocino Steam Donkeys 33
Referee: Giles Wilson

Winter (?) rugby in California – clear sky, 70+ degrees and the first home game for the Harlots who now have a coach and some new blood in their ranks. One thing that would have been nice would have been if more teams bought the reversible jerseys – these two teams have almost identical kit. Since I lacked a nice matching dark blue, Mendo reversed their jerseys to play as white (no numbers of course – but what 3 player knows their number anyway?).

The field at Northgate Park is in pretty good condition, some gopher holes but nothing too bad. The markings were above average, with clear technical zones and even a score board. The spectators took a few minutes to realize the benefits of being on the sideline with the sun at their back but it all worked out.

Mendo arrived with only 13 players, based on their performance the outcome could have been different if they had a full squad. As it was they ended up playing short for the duration and were well in touch until about 50 minutes.

Things started a bit ominously with one of the new Harlots – “Junior” at 8 man – pounding through for two tries in the opening minutes before Mendo got themselves onto the scoreboard. At 27 minutes, the score was tied at 26. A Mendo sin bin at 33 minutes led to a half time score of 33-26 (Harlots). In the second half, the extra effort of playing short took a toll and Mendo managed a single score against 7 more from the home team. Final Harlots 78 Mendo 33

Date: 02/17/2018
Shasta Highlanders 10 – Central Coast RFC 13
Referee: Scott Wood
Attendance: 3,500

A beautiful day in you-don’t-get-much-more-north Northern California. The Beachdogs scored an early unconverted try before Scrumfest 2018 established an exhibition zone. A second unconverted try by the Beachdogs put them up 10-0 prior to the Highlanders scoring an unconverted try of their own.
HT Shasta 5 – Central Coast 10

A significant reducing in scrums in the second half due to improved handling / reduced mistakes / advantage quickly gained. Under penalty advantage, Beachdogs set up and attempted a drop goal which went wide right. They opted for and were successful at the ensuing penalty goal increasing their lead to eight points. With just under three minutes remaining, Shasta was able to score an unconverted try (next practice may include conversion attempts…), reducing their deficit to three points. The Highlanders were able to regain possession; however, their efforts ended with a knockon into touch.
Kudos to both teams for the match and the Highlanders’ award winning chili at the social.

Date: 02/17/2018
UC Santa Cruz B 15 – Univ Nevada Reno B 42
Referee: Larry Freitas
Scotsman Shouting At The Referee: Neil McDonald

This was another warmer than normal Saturday in this rainless February so far. UC Santa Cruz II hosted Nevada Reno II after the first team match ended. The game was scoreless for the first 17 minutes and I figured that this would be a close match. Then Reno scored a try by getting the ball out to their right wing Brent Hererra, the conversion kick failing. Some six minutes later the loose head prop for the Wolfpack, Mika Somers, would score a try from close range, using his bulk to muscle his way over the goal line. At 29 minutes of play a UCSC player shoulder charged a UNR runner. I had already warned the home side about their tackling, so the player was yellow carded by me, and would be on the bench basically for the rest of the half. Another try by Somers followed at 38 minutes. With time running out UCSC finally put some points on the scoreboard when Alvaro Vasquez broke free on a long run. the halftime score was UNR 15, UCSC 5.

In the first minute of play, after UNR kicked off for the restart which failed to go the required 10 metres, UCSC, now at full strength, took the set piece option on the halfway line, and the ball got spun out to the right, eventually into the hands of speedy winger John Kim, who raced away from the cover to score. Now the home team was only a try and a conversion away from taking the lead. It was not to be. At 46 minutes flanker Nick Taylor of the Wolfpack scored a try under the posts, finally converted by the flyhalf who had been either close or way off in his previous conversion attempts. That try was followed up 3 minutes later by Keaton Richards. The floodgates appeared to be opening. At 57 minutes, with Reno taking a tap penalty from the five metre line, prop Somers would score his third try of the match. From the restart kick Reno would score again, with center Ed Ferrigno breaking through attempted tackles to dot down, again the conversion missing. One more try for the Wolfpack was scored five minutes from time by Jacob Bourgault who took off on a long run that covered over sixty metres. Before the no side whistle Marcos Gonzalez would get a consolation try for the Slugs to end the match.

UCSC had a few opportunities in the second half when they pinned Reno back to their goal line, but some sloppy play cost them points, such as when a tap penalty was given, with UCSC trying to score from the Reno five metre line. The ball carrier ran into his teammate for the accidental offside offense. Reno cleared their lines following their put in at the set piece. Overall the game was played as a friendly, with both teams showing a lot of sportsmanship and with some humourous commentary from time to time, especially about Reno’s failed conversions. This was my first men’s match in awhile, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even if I had to hoof it a bit more up and down the pitch, though not to imply that there aren’t some very fast women college or club players. I want to thank Neil McDonald for his advice from the touchline as well.

Just as an aside I took a crack at stand up comedy later that evening down in Monterey. I have never taken a class, and didn’t really prepare, but I got more laughs than three comics out of the seven who performed. The funny thing is that the owner of this small theatre, after introducing me as Denis (I used my middle name) Freitas, a retired teacher and rugby referee, then announces to the crowd that she played women’s rugby in the past, as a lock for a club in Cleveland. I went into a monologue, with no planning, on the game, and the difference in the men’s and women’s game, even the size of shorts worn, joking a bit about how at 63 it’s a little more of a physical challenge to ref a college men’s match. It got some laughs, along with another bit I did on a former teacher of mine in high school! One other comic on stage was a former UNR women’s player. I guessed she played prop and I was right. I might do stand up again, but I’ll take a class first.

Date: 02/17/2018
CSU Monterey Bay 14 – Santa Rosa JC 27
Referee: Paul Simko

No Report Received.

Date: 02/17/2018
Humboldt State 31 – Univ San Francisco 17
Referee: Peter Sandhill

Thanks you weather gods for giving us another NorCal sunny day for rugby in the maw of winter. The fields were nicely marked and the sky blue, perfect conditions. University of San Francisco, USF, arrived with 16 players hence few replacements; luckily they had six who could play in the front row.
The game started in a flurry with some hard running and tackling. The first twenty minutes, however, were characterized by a plethora or (material) tackle and ruck infringements from both teams: hands-in, side entry, diving-in, not rolling or releasing. I was concerned it was going to be a long day so I called both forward packs in for a brief chat. Immediate response and cleaner ball ensued. The first half was fairly close with Humboldt scoring once and USF scoring twice to lead at halftime 12-7.

A different Humboldt team emerged in the second half playing wide, with quicker distribution to the backs, in general, with their outside center making some line-breaking runs and scoring two tries in quick secession. All of a sudden Humboldt were on the front foot and in the lead. USF scored a try again and with the scores now at Humboldt 26 – USF 17 the intensity rose for a brief period. USF seemed to run out of gas, however, possibly due to lack of replacement options. Another try to Humboldt and they were up 31-17 (the final score) and played hard until the final whistle. To USF’s credit, they didn’t give up and were attacking the line right to the end, until a final knock-on ended play.

Addendum: Humboldt State is a 5-6hrs drive north from the Bay Area through some of the most beautiful, lush country that includes mountains, rivers, flatlands, estuaries, forests… and then there are the Giant Redwoods. I encourage referees to travel north, at least once, to enjoy the beauty of far Northern California and some good rugby.

Date: 02/17/2018
St Marys College C 136 – Pacific 0
Referee: James Fonda

Beautiful day in Moraga. St. Mary’s C vs UOP. Teams were very disciplined throughout the whole match. They just played rugby. St. Mary’s out classed UOP but UOP never gave up and kept fighting no matter the outcome. In the 65″, a tackle from behind by a St. Mary’s player led to a potential bad injury. Time was off. In the 72″, St. Mary’s player 12 was yellow carded for dangerous tackle. Great match, though but a lot of running with so many tries.

Date: 02/17/2018
St Marys College B 45 – San Jose Seahawks 47
Referee: Paul Bretz

Throughout the week I was looking forward to officiating St. Mary’s 2nd side against San Jose Seahawks; I was not let down. As anticipated San Jose was much more physical in the first half and took control of the pitch leading by as much as 10 points going into intermission. I assumed that fitness combined with the size of the pitch would control the second half and as anticipated, St. Mary’s came from behind and went up by 18 points in the second half. However San Jose’s fitness was not an issue and with 10 minutes to go San Jose started coming back. With 30 seconds to go San Jose got ball in hands and immediately spun it out wide where the Seahawk wing went 70 meters to score in the corner to tie the game 45-45. I advised the kicker that he has his choice: He could hurry the kick and we would have a restart or he could take his time and the game would conclude in either a tie or the win. The kicker opted to take his time and made a successful conversion kick winning 47-45.
Congratulations to both teams. Lessons learned from this friendly will surly play dividends for both teams down the road.

Not a bad day of rugby. Got to referee coach my son, Run AR for the BYU V. St. Mary’s A side, and referee.

Date: 02/17/2018
Fresno State 26 – Sacramento State 39
Referee: Dan Wilson

Fresno State v Sac State turned out to be much more entertaining and competitive than anyone, including the Fresno State coaches thought. Sac State jumped out to a 22-0 lead in the first quarter, but Fresno State turned the pressure defense up and put Sac State under constant pressure. This pressure resulted in a converted try in the 36th minute and almost one more before halftime. Halftime score: Fresno State 7 – Sac State 22. The second half start was as the first half finished with Fresno State pressuring both offensively and defensively. Fresno scored two tries within the first 10 mins but Sac State was able to right the ship and hold the pressure for the final quarter. The teams traded tries but Sac State was able capitalize on some little slips from Fresno and scored two more. Excellent game to referee. Final Score: Fresno State 26 – Sac State 39.

Date: 02/17/2018
Cal Women 46 – Humboldt State Women 65
Referee: Robert Hammack

HSU got off to their typical fast start with a strong recycling, possession game from the forwards and very powerful running from their backs (especially their hard-running #13). Cal never backed down but fell off of too many tackles in the first half. HT 41 – 12 to HSU.

2nd half started off with Cal scoring 3 quick tries and the match started to have the feeling of a tale of two halves. However, HSU was up to the task and countered with several tries of their own, several against the run of play. It was a back and forth 2nd half but the lead proved insurmountable for Cal. Well-played and skillful match played in good spirits and sportsmanship. FT 65 – 46 to HSU.

Date: 02/17/2018
UC Davis Women 34 – Stanford Women 36
Referee: Jessica Turner

Another beautiful day for rugby in Davis! This time there was no wind and nothing but action during this tightly contested match, with the Stanford women at UC Davis. From the first to the final whistle, the entire match was back and forth. Both sides played very strong and intelligent footy, matching try for try on the scoreboard. It was a great match to be in the middle of, both sides displayed excellent discipline overall, which helped the management and flow stay at a maximum. There was a good mix of strong forward play from both sides, with their backs outshining them just a touch. Many of the tries from both sides were set up from brilliant individual effort, with some great vision from the backs from both sides. As promised, the excitement carried on until the very final whistle, with UCD scoring a try with no time left and Stanford held their breath while waiting for a conversion attempt wide left of the sticks. The kick was short and with a sigh of relief, the visitors held on for a tight 2 point win.

Date: 02/17/2018
Jesuit High School Rugby Club 10 – Mother Lode Rugby Football Club 37
Referee: Andrew Stockton

No Report Received.

Date: 02/17/2018
Marin Highlanders Rugby Club 22 – Lamorinda Rugby Football Club 39
Referee: David Pescetti

In a high school match that pitted east bay vs north bay; Lamorinda met Marin. Classic size vs speed matchup. Lamo with the size. Marin with the speed. The first half saw Lamorinda lead, taking advantage of a Marin binned player. Scoring twice in that time frame. Before the Marin error, we were playing an even match with both teams responding to the scores. Into the half Lamo led Marin 22 – 12.

The second half had an uphill battle. Temporarily a man down, and 10 point behind. However they held strong during that time and kept themselves within reach. Marin caught a break when, with twenty minutes to go Lamo went, permanently, a man down. 10 points. 20 minutes. Momentum was in their favor. However Lamo was able to overcome that disadvantage and place a converted try to extend their lead to 17 with 15 minutes left. Gritting their teeth, with the last 10 minutes Marin found their feet. Scoring and then scoring off the kick off possession. The quick strike brought them within 7. Five minutes remaining. Marin looked like they had the game given the momentum and advantage. But it looked like they used their last gas in the tank for those 2 tries. Lamo, stunned them by, off the kickoff, scoring. Making the game effectively out of reach for Marin.

Wonderful match by both side. Marin 22 – Lamorinda 39

Date: 02/17/2018
Peninsula Green Rugby Club 21 – San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club 61
Referee: Preston Gordon

On yet another perfect day for rugby at Sequoia High School, SFGG’s top tier U19 team was dominant over an enthusiastic Peninsula Green team. SFGG took two minutes to score their first converted try of the game, adding 4 more before halftime to lead 35-0 at the break. The second half started much the same way as the first, with a quick SFGG try, except this time the hosts got themselves on the scoreboard 5 minutes later with a well-worked converted try. At 40-7, the contest was perhaps over at this point, but the second half was a lot more balanced: 4 SFGG tries to 3 for Peninsula Green, who accomplished that while having 2 players in the sin bin for dangerous tackles in the second half (with a 6-minute overlap). The kickers on each side also did a great job with the conversions, missing only 1 out of the 12 in the aggregate. All in all, a fun game to ref.

Upon being asked, and finding out there was nobody else suitable and available, I took on the B side game as well. This one was played mostly by younger players, most of whom seemed to have plenty of experience doing things other than rugby while on the field. After 1 yellow card to a SFGG player for a dangerous tackle, and some additional post-breakdown activity, a brief but intense directive to both captains put an immediate stop to further nonsense. Each team went on to score one try in the first half (7-7), and in the second half SFGG added 3 more to win it 24-7.

A brief recommendation for a post-match meal if you’re in the area: Gourmet Haus Staudt, 2615 Broadway, in Redwood City. They’ve got excellent potato pancakes and other German food/drink selections in a pub and gourmet shop.

This Week’s Photo

Pelicus Tempus Procurator was deservedly appointed as AR for the USA Canada match in Sacramento and was caught reacting in the most English way possible to a dirty joke told by the referee

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

HAIL PELICUS!

Winter Athletics

This last week the Winter Olympics started in a show of unity as the two Koreas marched together in the opening ceremonies. This is an international quadrennial gathering that celebrates the fun people can have when it is really, really cold out and PyeongChang did not disappoint, with record breaking cold. Not to be outdone, the Weather Priestess here in Pelicanland decided on… a heat wave? Yes, as the world watched miserable sportscasters bitterly complain about the unearthly freezing temperatures we here were suffering, yes suffering through 80 degree days.

And yet, somehow the rest of the country doesn’t seem to want to send exchange referees over here this time of year. The mind boggles. To my certain knowledge the only non-Pelicans in town were national appointments.   While we can not guarantee beach-worthy weather, at this time of year there are very few leagues playing. Essentially you have the west coast and some D1A matches in Texas and that may be about it. All of those snow-bound referees in the midwest and east looking for a match are more than welcome because what we can guarantee is quality rugby matches. I would start harassing your exchange officer immediately. There are few better places for Winter Athletics than Northern California.

Matches? We Don’t Report No Stinking Matches!

A significant percentage of the flock are still having issues with the Whostheref assignment and match reporting system that we are using these days. We have all had a few months to get used to this system so it is time to start using it. Please note that should you decide to just email me scores and a writeup it will be summarily ignored. I have neither the time nor the inclination to comb through my email for referee reports. To be honest, I don’t know how my predecessor managed it.

The notable exceptions to the above blanket statement are, of course, matches that are not assigned here in Pelicanland and are thus not in the system. So any referees on exchange can send me their thoughts as well as our excellent Roving Pelicans Tom Zanarini, Stephen Valerio and any others who wish to tell us of their exotic rugby experiences.

To help educate the flock Our Scott Wood has put together a nifty User Guide that is accessible from this very website: http://pelicanrefs.com/resources/whos-the-ref-user-guide/ . There will also be a presentation at our meeting next week. We live stream those so there are no more excuses.

The NCRRS Kit Store

As stated before, the NCRRS is moving away from buying all the kit and then reselling it to our referees. The reasons for this should be obvious in that 1) we have to guess ahead of time how many referees will want or need kit and we have guessed wrong in the past and 2) I really don’t want to continue to have to deal withal these boxes of old and new kit. So to that end, while we will continue to order and distribute jerseys, because we do not sell them – they are earned, moving forward we have set up a store through Canterbury to sell our kit directly to you, our loyal customers. This also allows us more flexibility to sell branded merchandise, such as warm up shirts, tee shirts, backpacks, tooks and so on. The store is now open so please check it out using the following link:

https://norcalrefsjan2017.itemorder.com/sale?read_message=true

The store will stay open until 11:59:59PM, Sunday Feb 25, at which point Canterbury will collect the orders, stich and screen as needed, and then ship them out. This store can be reopened as needed depending on demand, but don’t wait! Get your gear now!

The Golden Years

The Gary Gold era in USA Rugby has started with a couple of wins over an Argentine B side and a full Canadian side. Wins are very nice – especially against Canada – but we still look very much a 2nd tier nation. Personally I would expect us to do well in the ARC – and we have, being the defending champion – but I still hunger for that first tier 1 scalp. If MLR is more successful than Pro Rugby (not a high bar, true) then we may finally have the professional league that is so needed to build a competitive national team. I have high hopes and a sense of great optimism that is only tainted by the knowledge that our national teams are overseen by USA Rugby who has shown very limited ability to successfully organize anything. More on that next week.

Laying Down Some Knowledge

I hope everybody had a lovely Sweetie Baby Day this week. Our February Society meeting is coming up on Wednesday, February 21 and will be once again at East Bay Sports in Livermore. We will be using this facility for all of our development meetings and training sessions for the 2017/18 season. The address is:

East Bay Sports – Livermore
6474 Patterson Pass Rd
Livermore, CA 94550
925.455.8300

The agenda is

  • Next Play Speed-Anticipate the trajectory of the game (Jukka Valkonen Guest speaker)
  • Goal Setting (John Lane)
  • Materiality (Jordan Bruno)
  • Advantage -When and how long (Pete Smith)
  • Whostheref Basic use review (James Hinkin or Our Scott Wood)
  • Online Kit Store (James Hinkin)

 

Vegas Needs Refs

If you have not already signed up to referee the Las Vegas Invitational then you need to do so soon as time is running out. How else will you be able to rub shoulders with and say you refereed alongside legends such as Phil Klevorick?

Referees One and All !

The biggest rugby tournament in North America is looking for YOU! The Las Vegas Invitational needs you on March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to help volunteer and officiate 7’s (and a select few 15’s) matches across youth, collegiate, and adult divisions in Sin City. As our tournament continues to grow, so does the number of referees needs to keep this event rolling! Come ref by day, and enjoy the most exciting city on earth by night! Northern California brought a great number of refs last year, and we can’t do it again without you!

All Referees receive:
– Rhino LVI Referee jersey (both Male and Female specific cuts)
– Tickets to all 3 days of the USA Sevens International event (when you stay at the Westgate Hotel – massive LVI benefits available on room rates, $10 breakfast deal, WAIVING ALL RESORT FEES THROUGH THE END OF JANUARY!!, and $40 shuttle passes from the hotel to the stadium and the fields)

Westgate Hotel link: https://aws.passkey.com/go/SLVI8R – again, with waiving resort fees, you get the cheapest rates and get to stay at an incredible resort and the hub of the LVI.

To register to ref at the LVI 2017, contact Autumn Arvidson at : mnrugbyref@gmail.com

Any questions about the event?: https://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/las-vegas-invitational/

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 02/10/2018
Berkeley All Blues B 14 – Life West Gladiatrix 61
Referee: David Pescetti

Saturday morning pitted old rivals against each other. Life West played their northern freeway rivals, the Berkeley All Blues. The match was a dead heat, stiff competition, and play from both sides kept the game within reach for the entirety of the first half. However as the match went on, Life West was able to separate themselves with their experience. The game broke wide open for them in the second half.
Life West 61 – Berkeley All Blues 14

Date: 02/10/2018
Cal B 65 – Cal Maritime 10
Referee: Pete Smith

It was a real pleasure to ref a two teams with such well disciplined players. Both teams wanted to avoid avoidable penalties and played a hard clean game. No back chat of any kind from players or coaches. With the perfect weather and atmosphere at Witter Field it was the postcard moment for why referees carry the whistle. Thank you to both teams for letting me be a part of your day.

Date: 02/10/2018
Cal 106 – Utah Valley University Men’s Rugby 7
Referee: John Lane

This match was played on a glorious sunny day in a really good competitive spirit – the high scoreline does not reflect the full match contest and the competitive nature of the breakdown play.
Cal kept the tries ticking over steadily with 8 tries in both halves with 5 converted in the 1st and all 8 converted in the 2nd – the quality of the replacement kicker (21) in the second half was particularly impressive with multiple wide out conversions splitting the uprights!!

Utah Valley had a few periods of pressure during the first half and early on turned down a kick at goal when only 12 – 0 behind. Unfortunately they turned over the lineout and the opportunity was lost.
They did deservedly cross for a score mid way through the second half and maintained field position and pressure for a period but Cal defended well and countered with some long distance scores on turn overs.

My thanks for the support from Pete and Rob/Tom who took a half each on the sidelines.

Date: 02/10/2018
Cal Poly Men B 19 – Santa Barbara Rugby Academy 24
Referee: James Fonda

Great day at Cal Poly. Nice and warm weather throughout the match so no problem there. Cal Poly is really having their program together. I am not sure what to expect from Santa Barbara Academy. Teams were ready to go so the kick off was about 5 minutes early. From kick off, these teams came to play. They went at each other. The main issue that I was having was they were trash talking to each other. This elevated during the half which led to a talking to the captains. This lead to additional penalties to each side for back chat. Eventually right at the 40 minute mark a Yellow Card was issued to Cal Poly #7 for back char. The second half was a lot better and the rugby was great.

One thing that I need to work on is to square my shoulders to that I can catch the off sides.

Date: 02/10/2018
Chico State 64 – San Jose State 7
Referee: Jeff Richmond

Chico simply dominated all aspects of the game. Chico maintained excellent control of possession and was adept at bringing the fullback into the back line creating numerous attacking opportunities. San Jose State had a few standout players but were out-matched by the home team. San Jose didn’t help themselves with numerous offside penalties, ultimately leading to yellow cards for repeat infringements.

Date: 02/10/2018
CSU Monterey Bay 10 – Humboldt State 39
Referee: James Hinkin

It is early February, a time that many call the dead of winter, so naturally I was glad to escape the heat and get down to coastal Monterey for some rugby in perfect conditions. I arrived a late to see both teams already well into their warmups. Yes, I did arrive late, showing up at 12:30 for a 1:00 game, but I feel that the car with its wheels uppermost next to the car facing the wrong way with a crumpled front end, blocking 1 of the 2 lanes on Hwy 156, may have been significant.

No matter. With the sun shining down, the temperature in the mid 60s, a perfectly marked field and two well supported teams eager to play I made damn sure that we were ready to go at 1:00. And so we were off. Humboldt St had the early advantage as CSUMB could not stay on side at the ruck. Several early penalties necessitated a talk with the captain and things soon sorted themselves out. Unfortunately for the home side, HSU was ruthless in capitalizing on these mistakes and were running in tries. The visitors scored 4 tries in the first half with 2 conversions. Not to say that the home team didn’t have its chances, because they did. The scoreline did flatter the Lumberjacks a bit, but every time the Otters got close the inevitable turnover, knock on or penalty would undo all their hard work. HSU showed a more convincing finishing touch is all. The loss of CSUMB’s scrumhalf to a reaggravated knee injury near the end of the half was particularly devastating. The HSU #13 Dalvin Jamal-Milton was exceptionally lethal in the back line as he showed the speed and vision to repeatedly carve up the Otter line. Unfortunately, the reason I know his name so well is, with about a minute left in the first half, he made a tackle and managed to get the player off their feet but not safely back to ground, so I gave him 10 minutes to think about the error of his ways.

Even though they were down a man the second half opened with another HSU try almost immediately after the whistle, thus opening up the NSCRO substitution law allowing HSU to empty their bench in the second half. (A great idea, in my opinion. This should be considered for all youth and lower level club competitions.) As the half progressed and CSUMB got their tail up and finally got on the scoreboard with a well earned try. With only a few minutes left HSU had some discipline issues as they developed a pattern of illegally killing the ball whenever the hosts got some momentum and I finally had enough of it when one of their players crawled through a ruck to grab the ball and bring it back to his side. The visitors ended the match down a player and Monterey Bay took full advantage to score a second try. Well done, them. The match ended with handshakes all around on a perfect rugby day.

Date: 02/10/2018
Fresno State 14 – UC Santa Cruz 78
Referee: Rodney Tuisavalalo

No Report Received.

Date: 02/10/2018
Fresno State Women 40 – Sacramento State Women 0
Referee: Jeff Jury

A nice clear, cool day. Both teams were riddled with injuries and used new players. The score does not reflect the competitive nature of the match.

Date: 02/10/2018
Life West – Santa Monica PRP
Referee: Giles Wilson

I’m not sure why USA Rugby would have a referee fly in from Chicago on the day of the game for an 11am kick off. Why not the night before? The flight was delayed and the referee was left with no time to warm up properly. Life West and Santa Monica both showed first game issues and the game became more fluent in the second half. Life West wore down Santa Monica, ending comfortable winners.

Date: 02/10/2018
Life West Gladiatrix B 34 – Sacramento Amazons 25
Referee: John Pohlman

Life West D-2 woman hosted the Sacramento Amazons at Sunset Park this past Saturday. Traffic was heavy and construction at the school/park caused me to get to the field around 2:15 for a scheduled 3:00PM kickoff. Both teams were in a full warm up when I arrived and told the kick off had been moved up to 2:30PM. The field was in bad shape but well marked with goal posts padded and flagged. No technical area, no cones or flags marking anything but goal line. Amazons had 25 or so players, Life had twelve players kitted up.

We kicked off about 2:40PM with Life fielding 12 players to start. Level of play was good with Amazons scoring two quick trys with the three player advantage. Life did score on a long run by winger Angelina Lomu at 11 minutes. Amazon forwards scored their third try of the first half at twenty minutes. The Amazons forwards were bigger and used the pick and drive to breakdown the 12 player Life team.
Around 25 minutes the Life team first side “reserves” showed up to fill out the 15 player roster. Life then scored two try’s to finish the first half. Life 24 Amazons 15.
The second half saw Life controlling most of the possession but both teams scored two unconverted try’s each. Amazons led by captain Ofa Mailangi who played at least three positions and took some kicks. Both captains were a pleasure to work with.
Final score Life 34 Amazons 25

Date: 02/10/2018
Olympic Club B 7 – OMBAC B 57
Referee: Robert Hammack

First try to Olympic at 7′ but one-way traffic by OMBAC the rest of the match. Olympic held OMBAC scoreless for the first 30 minutes but the OMBAC scrum steadily gained ascendancy and began to dominate set pieces and provided a great platform for their backs. HT 7 – 17. Second half was more of the same as the OMBAC forwards dominated and provided plenty of front-foot ball for their backline. Olympic was always competitive and had some deep forays into their opponent’s half but were frequently undone by knock-ons and general a little bit of sloppiness.

(From Giles Wilson: The referee for this game had to retire hurt after 5 minutes being replaced by the referee who had just finished the previous game.)

Date: 02/10/2018
UC Davis B 39 – San Diego State 34
Referee: Jessica Turner

The drive up to Davis was a mess due to an accident on the 80 east, luckily I was in good company and we barely made it on time to her (the great Leah Berard’s) match. So many random events either occurred or didn’t occur that day which made things a bit more rough than they needed to be overall, including a very windy day at the office. After toiling away as AR for the A-side match, I shoved snacks down my throat in an attempt to not die before my own kickoff, keen to get into my zone and have a good run out. After a quick toss with the captains, it was time to go. The game going on around me was actually really awesome. The guys had pretty good discipline overall, and the match was well contested with the Davis B side starting a little slower than San Diego State B. SDSU came out the first quarter or so, with much intent to take their possession and turn it into points. Slowly but surely, the Davis boys never backed down, slowly creeping up the scoreboard keen to overtake the visitors. After a necessary halftime break, we got back into it. This time the Davis boys had a fire lit, and I’m sure it came from some choice words from the coaching staff and team leaders. They came out with the same intensity that SDSU had started with, and conversely their competition came out ready to play but not quite as intense as the beginning. Davis was able to turn their possession into much needed points, eventually overtaking the scoreboard. It was a tooth and nail fight to the end, with a lovely mix of tries from the hard hitting forwards and some individual brilliance from the backs. One of the more memorable tries was in the first half, it was a great read from a Davis defender who stole it mid-air from the SDSU backs looking to stretch them, and he took it about 75m for a score. Long story long, SDSU couldn’t convert their final bits of possession into more points, and Davis held on for the win.

This Week’s Photo

This is what Pelican Referees can expect if they continue to not provide narratives to their matches – a stern talking to.   Much like the Pelican in the picture, you will feel shame.

 

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre