HAIL PELICUS!

We Won The Lineout But Lost The Ruck

This week’s Hail Pelicus is a bit on the tardy side but in my defense, 3 days in Vegas can often last a week. Looking back on the USA 7s all I can say is what a weekend it was! There was great rugby all around, especially on Sunday. Starting with the USA’s quarterfinal against Argentina and going all the way to the final, what I witnessed was some of the best rugby I have ever seen. Every game seemed to balance on a knife edge and when any team opened up a big lead the opposition came storming back – often to win (see: USA v Argentina and USA v South Africa). Our semifinal loss on Sunday was particularly torturous theater as we jumped out to a deserved early lead (by actually using the wind instead of being baffled by it as we did last year) and when South Africa came back we battled back and forth exchanging tries and the lead until the final seconds with the BlitzBokke throwing in a lineout 5m from their own goal. We had to steal the lineout or the game was over – end of story – and as the ball came in Danny Barrett rose with perfect timing and STOLE THE LINEOUT! HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY! South Africa is not the championship side they are without their own never give up qualities so they hit the ensuing ruck with vigor and pushed us over the ball to resecure it and, with a simple kick, end the game. Wow. Emotions flowed from elation to despair over the course of the game and even more so in those final seconds as we stole a sure victory from South Africa and then they stole it right back. After all, who didn’t believe that we would have scored from that position had we retained the ball?

We won the lineout but lost the ruck – the knife edge of sport that made this tournament so compelling.

It is a truism in rugby that any time you can beat New Zealand you have done a great thing and the USA did just that in the 3rd place game with (yet another) come from behind victory being settled in the final seconds. Anyone who watched that spectacle and wasn’t thrilled, excited and enthused probably is already clinically dead but just doesn’t know it yet. With yet another record crowd (80,691) filling Sam Boyd stadium over the three days of the tournament the USA 7s has firmly established itself as the clear #2 stop on the World Sevens Series, trailing only The Grand Daddy Of Them All, the Rose Bowl. Sorry, I meant The Grand Daddy Of Them All, the Hong Kong 7s. The size of the stadium in Hong Kong combined with the decades of tradition means that the title of Best Attended World Sevens Stop will remain out of reach unless something stupid and unlikely happens, such as an NFL team run by an incompetent and increasingly desperate owner tries to build a stadium in Las Vegas for the 2 year boost it would give his attendance numbers before they plummet.

But that would never happen.

Pelicans Dominant In Vegas

Not only did our own Danny Barrett (Cal) make the Dream Team (again) with his usual bruising yet subtle performance but Folau Niua (EPA) had a monster tournament and can feel slighted not to have also made the Dream Team. With his signature ‘fro flapping in the wind he was easily identifiable on the pitch and essentially ran the team with his ball handling and decision making, mixing in some tries for good measure. The dummy against South Africa was a perfect example as the defense had to respect his passing and didn’t commit in case he found a runner as soon as they broke the defensive line. Once he showed the ball and they bought it he gratefully waltzed through the ensuing gap to score under the posts. All of that was set up by his previous work throughout this and other tournaments and it is a weapon now honed to perfection.

Make no mistake, Madison Hughes is deservedly our captain, but Folau Niua runs the team.

What can I say about Danny Barrett that hasn’t already been said before? Just this: he is more than a bruising runner and defensive enforcer but is a complete rugby player. The ball skills and work rate have always been there and are assumed at this level but what really stands out now is at only 6’ 2” he has become a surprisingly effecting lineout option on offense and, even more surprisingly, a consistent stealer of the opposition’s lineouts. The end of our South African semifinal was just the latest case in point, but he was all over the opposition all weekend. The timing of his jump is perfect and the supporters get him up and in the ball’s path quickly. Once he has his hands on the ball his strength takes over and he just rips the ball to his side. This is yet another reason why Danny is a consistent Dream Teamer.

The USA 7s Women also had a strong showing with a fantastic win over Fiji and a tight loss to eventual champs New Zealand in the semis to finish 4th. Kelly Griffin, Bulou Mataitoga and Joanne Fa’avesi all come from Pelicanland (how many local unions regularly contribute ¼ or more of the national teams?) and especially dominant was the Sacramento Amazon’s Joanne Fa’avesi who seemed to be everywhere on the pitch.

It wasn’t just the players that represented Pelicanland well but our own referee society, The Greatest Referee Society On The Planet, provided Phil Akroyd and Lee Bryant as ARs for the event and they seemed to be chosen for some of the top matches involving Fiji, New Zealand, England and South Africa – the top sides not named “USA” which I assume they are ineligible for. Also representing were Steve Fenaroli as well as John Coppinger, the Hardest Working Man on the Judiciary Committee (not!). Mr Coppinger spend the entire weekend drinking fruity rum drinks with his feet up in the press box knowing that nobody had been red carded all weekend… until one was finally given with 3 seconds left in the final ruining his perfect vacation and requiring him to do some work after all.

And finally, Pelicanland was well represented at the ancillary events as well was yours truly entered the I’Maul In Poker Tournament hosted by Brian “do it for the kiddies” Vizard to benefit the US Rugby Foundation. Using the never back down decision making and keen analytical skills honed as a referee I managed to take 2nd in the tournament, winning a tidy sum of money that was subsequently donated back to the Monte Carlo over the rest of the weekend.

Champions Again At Last!

A hugely successful weekend for American rugby continued as our 15s side claimed their first major international trophy since the 1924 Olympics. It looked like we would need to beat Argentina in Argentina – a tall task indeed – to win the competition because of the point differential advantage that the Pumas had but with a try at full time the USA not only tied Argentina but unexpectedly secured a vital bonus point to edge out the Argies for the title. Yes. the Americas Rugby Championship is finally America’s.

Question Of The Week #1

If the ball travels 10 meters in the air but is blown back by the wind is it a live ball? (Answer: Yes. The ball just has to reach the 10m line, be it in the air or on the ground. After that play on. Law 13.5)

Question Of The Week #2

(Looking up at the light towers swaying in the wind on Sunday) I wonder what the harmonic period of a light tower is?

Question Of The Week #3

(A lady at the charity poker tournament trying to sell raffle tickets to Dan Payne to fundraise for her club) So are you involved in rugby at all?

Dan Payne: No, I’m in sales.

Lady: Oh? What do you sell?

Dan: Memberships.

Between Two Pelicans

Yes, our Pulitzer worthy segment Between Two Pelicans was in high gear this week with yet another high profile interview that will be presented in the next issue of Hail Pelicus because when the questions are that hard hitting everyone needs time to heal. Hail Pelicus also managed a few on the spot interviews with prominent rugby figures as well as “fans in the stands”. Here is a brief excerpt that I swear is true.

Hail Pelicus: We are here with CSUMB and San Jose Seahawk stalwart Matai Leuta after winning 3rd place with the USA in front of the home fans. Matai, you have worked with a few high profile coaches over the years so I have to ask, who is more likely to take his shirt off during a match, Mike Friday or Tory Golino?

Matai Leuta: Tory Golino, definitely.

HP: We asked fans to send in questions and Ryan Scott of Monterey, CA asks “Who is your favorite teammate ever?”

ML: My favorite teammate? That would be Ryan Scott of Monterey.

I tell ya, you can’t get that kind of journalism just anywhere these days.

New Kit

If you weren’t at the last Society Meeting then you missed out on a chance to get your kit, including the kit bags. The (astonishingly stylish) new kit will be distributed if I see you at some point in the next couple of weeks and at the Society meetings. I will do my best to find someone to distribute kit to those who can not make the meetings but feel free to reach out to me at hailpelicus@pelicanrefs.com if you plan to be in the San Jose area.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

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

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 02/24/2017
Cal Maritime B 10 – SRJC B 27
Referee: Sandhill, Peter

Kickoff was close to 8pm on a cloudless crisp and nearly cold Friday night. Perfect winter rugby conditions. Both Santa Rosa and Cal Maritime were ready for a competitive match. Clearly they knew each other well. At half time it was a try a piece with Santa Rosa having also kicked a conversion and pk for a 10-5 lead. From then Santa Rosa’s backs shone with some lovey tries. Three tries to one in the second half.

Date: 02/25/2017
All Blues 12 – Life West Women 100
Referee: Santiago, Roberto

Well that escalated quickly. On a beautiful, crisp, clear day at the Tom Bates fields Berkeley hosted Life West. The score was fairly close at half time, standing at 7 – 26 in favor of the visitors. Berkeley seemed to be coming on late in the frame, and a score or two early on after the break seemed possible. It was not to be. Life came screaming out of the gates after halftime and ran away with match. Berkeley showed the sportsmanship and positive attitude one would expect from such a storied program right through the end. Many thanks to both sides for a good run.

Date: 02/25/2017
Baracus 12 – Fresno 25
Referee: Gordon, Preston

The fields at the Ward Recreation Center in San Francisco have been totally redone in the recent past, with 2 baseball diamonds and 2 full-size soccer fields laid out, all on artificial turf, where there used to be a lumpy, muddy, mess. This is great for rugby, once everyone is clear about which lines will be used for our sport. We didn’t have any problems with this, but I’d suggest insisting that flags/cones/etc be used before playing rugby on these fields.

On to the game: Fresno traveled with a roster of 20, while Baracus put out a side of 23. Both looked to be evenly matched. Fresno had a large share of possession in the Baracus 22 to begin the game and scored their first converted try after just 4 minutes. Baracus responded with some good counterattacking and got a try of their own at 15′ but were unable to convert it. For about the next 20 minutes, there was no scoring, just a handful of penalties and a fairly high number of scrums and lineouts. Fresno got another unconverted try at 33′, and then padded their lead with a penalty goal at 38′ to go into halftime up 15-5.

Baracus had a stronger second half, with their defense limiting Fresno to another penalty goal at 48′ before we spent the next 30 minutes largely going back and forth in the middle of the field with neither team able to get over the line. At 66′ the Baracus #10 was shown yellow for an unnecessary late tackle, but still nobody scored any points for the next 10 minutes. As the game wrapped up, Fresno scored a converted try at 78′ to seal their win, but Baracus, to their credit, responded with their second (converted) try at 82′ to leave things at 25-12 to the visitors.

In the B side game, which was tens for 20 minutes, Baracus scored 5 tries to 2 if I recall correctly. This was a good warm-down and everyone seemed to have fun. Thanks to all for a nice Saturday.

Date: 02/25/2017
Berkeley 14 – Napa 57
Referee: Bretz, Paul

Napa scored 28 points in the first half and 29 in the second and in the process won their 5th straight match. Berkeley scored their 14 points in the second half. Napa used their speed out wide to control the pace of the game.

Date: 02/25/2017
Cal Poly SLO 7 – St. Mary’s College 94
Referee: Lew, Tim

#1 vs #14. At the slightly soggy SMC stadium, SMC took on Cal Poly. After SMC scored 3 tries in the first 6 minutes I knew which type of game it would be. There was some issues with the scrums stemming from the SMC loosehead and CP tighthead. CP’s only points came from a penalty try on collapsed scrum. Thanks to Scott & Peter helping sort out the scrums.

Date: 02/25/2017
Cal Poly SLO B 7 – St. Mary’s College B 83
Referee: Sandhill, Peter

After being AR for the A game which was well reffed by Tim Lew in which St Mary’s dominated, a similar tone was set in the B side game, which began with a quick try to St Mary’s. The St Marys pack was dominant with some nice rolling maul play, dominant srummaging on occasion winning against the head purely with power and by pushing. St Mary’s backs were on song with some slick passing and solid defense. Cal Poly was impressive in that they were playing hard, all in, until the final whistle.

Date: 02/25/2017
Colusa 82 – San Joaquin 15
Referee: Bryant, Lee

No report received

Date: 02/25/2017
Colusa Women 0 – SFGG Women 109
Referee: Godfrey, Mark

No report received

Date: 02/25/2017
CSU Monterey Bay WR 27 – Univ San Francisco WR 24
Referee: Freitas, Larry

Drove down Highway 1 to Fort Ord on a blustery and cool Saturday for a match of these D2 women squads, the Otters of Monterey Bay and the Dons of San Francisco. Indicative of the recent weather was the fact that I could see snow on the higher peaks of the Santa Lucia Mountains as I headed south. CSUMB hadn’t played a game on their home turf since early November, and their only win of the season so far was way back in early October against USF in The City. USF had brought down exactly 15 players, and CSUMB had their starting 15 plus another 5 on the touchlines, the most they’ve had dressed out for a match, and something to note as two other players from the past two or three seasons were in street clothes.
The game started under sunny skies that would eventually turn grey, and for about the first ten minutes both teams seemed not able to function, making passing and handling errors, meaning numerous scrums that were uncontested. Finally USF scored at 20 minutes from a lineout in CSUMB’s quarter, when Catroina Clohessy, inside center, took a pass from the flyhalf and found a nice gap to run through. The conversion failed. CSUMB’s Jannicke Stien scored a try from some loose play in the USF half of the pitch five minutes later, the ball placed near to the posts for an easy conversion made by herself. Stien had switched to playing inside center, a position better suited for her speed and handling ability than flanker or #8. Another five minutes of play saw Sydney Abel score a try for five more points. Abel was all over the pitch at breakdowns, and instigating counter rucks for turnovers at times, and smuggling ball away from CSUMB’s ball carrier’s, whether in a stand up tackle in a maul or on the ground at the tackle. The half would end with a penalty given against USF for an offside infringement as one back was standing in defense well past the hindmost foot at a ruck, and playing advantage two of their players collided in a tackle attempt, the scrum half getting a head knock that would take her out of the match, leaving them with 14 for the second half. CSUMB choose to kick a goal, as the attempt was some 25 meters out, but Stien’s kick was short of the posts, and USF’s attempt to run out of their own end failed with a knock from which CSUMB did not accrue an advantage, ending the first half of play with a 10-7 lead for the visitors.

CSUMB scored an uncoverted try from loose play within a few minutes of play to open the second half, this time full back Golden Sekai doing the honors. At this point in the match passes were finding hands, and play was more fluid overall, and at 52 minutes USF would score what I would have said was the try of the match, as a ball that was turned over at half way gave some USF’s backs a chance to break away, with Clohessy taking a pass from wing Sapphire Dedrick some twenty meters out to scamper into the in-goal and round her way past the last defender to place the ball right under the posts. The conversion was good and USF had a 17-12 lead. It didn’t last long, as Stien would score another try as the game was near three quarters gone, this time taking a ball from a ruck just a few meters out from USF’s goal line. CSUMB started to use their one player advantage, putting pressure on USF and keeping possession of the ball for longer phases of play. CSUMB would then lose Clohessy with an injury, taking their numbers down to 13. Five minutes before time scrum half Alyson Carpenter would score an unconverted try near the left hand corner. A few minutes later Terree Okabe, one of CSUMB’s veteran players, would score from loose play deep in USF’s quarter, dragging a few USF players with her over the goal line. I checked to make sure the ball had been grounded and not held up off the ground, and awarded the try. CSUMB had scored three tries and added 15 points in 18 minutes of play. With no time left USF would add 5 more points and score another try by Sydney Abel, after some great efforts by the Lady Dons to keep the ball alive and drive downfield against a tiring Lady Otter side. Final score: CSUMB 27, USF 24.

After walking off the pitch and taking a seat at halfway, and cooling off from the match, I noticed how cold it felt, getting into my sweats and bundling up. I’m heading to the UK for a good part of March, and thought to myself that the day’s weather had a UK feel to it. So my next match should be a U-16 game at Bredon Rugby Club in the West Midlands, and then on March 12 a women’s club side match, Paignton the home side versus Exonian Ladies in South Devon.

CSUMB will next be taking a road trip in early April to play in a tournament up in Oregon, though some of their players expressed a desire to play St. Mary’s and make up the cancelled game from a week prior. Having seen them play quite often these last two seasons, I see a lot of improvement on their side, and next season they should have one of their best back line players back from spending a year studying in Spain. USF hasn’t had as good a season as last, as they beat CSUMB twice, and as with Santa Clara, seems to be lacking in players overall with little depth to their roster. I have to say they certainly played with a lot of effort, and they have some players with talent, especially Clohessy and Abel.

Date: 02/25/2017
CSUMB 5 – USF 28
Referee: Hinkin, James

A fun game amongst two disciplined sides. The weather held off nicely and the CSUMB pitch was in excellent condition. The score does not indicate the even tenor of the match (the score was 5-6 at half time), however in the second half USF was more precise and lethal in the attacking third.

Date: 02/25/2017
Google 74 – Central Coast 22
Referee: Pohlman, John

It’s 8:00PM on a Saturday night and I am blowing the whistle to start the Google verses Aptos/Central Coast Rugby game at Google’s artificial turf field in Mt. View. Aptos received the opening kick and hard charging #8 Tui Tuivailia scored a multi phase try at 3 minutes. The score woke up Google, who had close to thirty players, which responded by scoring six first half tries lead by #3 captain Peter Danenberg’s score at 26 minutes. Half time score Google 38 Aptos 5.
Aptos has some talented players but thin on numbers. Aptos lost almost every scrum which simply led to Googles backs getting numerously more opportunities.
Second half Google substituted in some new CIPP’ed players especially a beast at inside center who either scored or assisted in at least three of Googles six second half try s. Aptos game to the end, scored three second half tries led by their speedy backs. Final score Google 74 Aptos 22.
Watch out Division three, if Google keeps this team together we could be looking at a Division 3 national champ.

Date: 02/25/2017
Jesuit 37 – Mother Lode Varsity 12
Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

Played on the football field that has less than standard lines, teams were slipping on the turf. This game pitted a highly ranked single school versus a highly ranked club team. Both teams had errors at the breakdown and too many uncontrolled errors.

Date: 02/25/2017
Life West 53 – SFGG Green 24
Referee: Pescetti, David

The rain spared us, but the pitch did not want to fully cooperate. Unfortunately numbers didnt show up for SFGG and they forfeited before we began, but that didnt mean we still didnt play. After being lent a few players by Life we had ourselves a match.

Much to everyone’s surprise SFGG made the best of their borrowed players and opened up the games first score, a try in the corner. But Life turned right around and scored right bac,k. This was the story of the days match. Whenever GG scored Life responded within minutes. Slowly, Life built their lead. And they put up 24 – 12 in the first half and then another 29 – 12 second half. Putting the final score at 53 – 24.

Date: 02/25/2017
Marin 38 – Mendocino 10
Referee: Labozzetta, Chris

No report received

Date: 02/25/2017
Redwood 53 – Shasta 15
Referee: Bertolone, Cary

4 games at For Petes Sake in Santa Rosa. High School, womens rugby, my game and a college game after. Shasta showed up with about 12-13 players, but the ones that did were good players. Redwood loaned them a couple of guys and everyone had a great time with big hits, nice passing, good rucking and a few really fast guys. Redwood was up 29-5 at half, then outscored Shasta 4 tries to 2 in the second half. No foul play; good clean rugby from everyone. It was a pleasure to ref. Good food and beer too.

Date: 02/25/2017
Reno 12 – Chico 49
Referee: Ulibarri, Phillip

Chico ran away with this match from the opening whistle.

Date: 02/25/2017
Sacramento Blackhawks 82 – Silicon Valley 21
Referee: Taueva, Favor

Blackhawks shows very good ball skills from the get go. First try was 1.46 minutes from the kick off. Silicon Valley did not just let Sac Blackhawks to put score on the board. Blackhawks got their skill together and scored 50-7 at the half time. Ben Parker clear up his bench with most of his B players and still produce 32 more points. Is was very good, to see Silicon Valley put up a fight all the way 80 minutes game. Thanks to both coaches and team mate for a very clean and fun rugby time. After match was a BOMB !!!

Thanks Ben.

Date: 02/25/2017
Sacramento Capitols 40 – San Jose 12
Referee: Boyer, Rich

This match was played on an all weather pitch. San Jose marched straight down for the opening try on a nice run down the sidelines by the wing. Sacramento quickly righted itself and stayed that way the remainder of the day. Flyhalf Eric poached a SJ ball and quick ball out to a crashing fullback resulted in the first of many tries. Both teams played smart rugby at the breakdown but Sacramento proved too explosive in the backs, which resulted in tries for quick stepping winger Isaac and inside center DJ. Strong forward play rewarded Sacramento with another try. 26-5 at halftime. SJ relied not enough on their tank of an inside center, who always required 3 players to bring to ground. They had good one off runners, notably number 5, but their phases were left wanting for mishandling errors. Sacramento brought on subs early in the second half. The match see sawed back and forth with good phases of play from both teams but they were repelled always near the try lines. Finally a good break by Eric resulted in the first try of the second half for Sacramento. SJ responded with multiple phases allowing their flyhalf to slice through the defense for SJs second try. Luke Sauser from Sacramento scored a great individual try at the death on a bullocking run. Great game, very few penalties.

Date: 02/25/2017
Sacramento State 29 – Santa Clara 53
Referee: Tucker, Chris

Really fun, competitive game played in the early spring sunshine at Sac State. Both teams were playing loose — not much structure, but a whole lot of energy and creativity going on, which kept me on my toes for the full 80 minutes. Sac State pinched an early try before anybody really got started, but Santa Clara got on the board themselves after 8 minutes. Another penalty by Sac State took the score to 10-5 after 10 minutes.

After the restart, I had my 3rd penalty against Sac State in the first 12 minutes, all for not rolling away, all by #7. He promptly left for a ten minute relaxation break (he got lucky sometime after he came back on, when he deliberately killed the play again — I was mulling whether this was now enough and he could leave permanently, but Santa Clara quick-tapped and ran in for a try, so I never got to a decision). Santa Clara pressured, but came up empty from their man advantage, only to score immediately upon his return. The first couple of restarts had been 2 feet over the line, so before the restart I asked the kicker to ensure he wasn’t kicking in front of the line — his reply was that “this isn’t aussie rules, I can do what I want.” I told him to go right ahead…

Ultimately we went into the half with the hosts up 17-10.

The second half remained tight for the first thirty seconds or so, then the game went back to its fast and loose character, with Santa Clara scoring twice in the first 5 minutes and taking the lead. We went back and forth, with two more tries to each side, and with ten minutes to go, Sac State were within 3 points with a man advantage. It was shaping up for a barn-burning finish, but then Sac State ran out of gas, and Santa Clara ran over three tries in the last 10 minutes. The score ultimately 53-29, but full credit to both sides for a fun match to referee.

[Footnote: every other restart by Sac State was from right on the line. He might have a bit of an attitude, but he’s at least smart enough not to challenge the guy with the whistle. Also 13.1.a]

Date: 02/25/2017
Sacramento State Women 15 – St. Mary’s College WR 31
Referee: Hosley, David

Everyone was glad for a sunny day and dry pitch at CSU Sacramento. Nice crowd with a new coach doing a good job for the Hornets, and my first time reffing St. Mary’s College. Even match early, but St. Mary’s picked and drove to a good margin of victory.

Date: 02/25/2017
Santa Rosa Black Roses 24 – Life West Women B 32
Referee: Hammack, Robert

Santa Rosa punched Life West B in the mouth with two early tries. LWB fought back well and scored several of their own. Only a conversion separated the score at half. 3rd quarter was a stalemate as exhaustion took over. LWB’s fitness and experience showed in the final quarter with several tries to pull away. Very competitive match and a joy to referee.

Date: 02/25/2017
SF Fog 17 – South Valley 71
Referee: Anderson, Rich

No report received

Date: 02/25/2017
Solano-Yolo 55 – Lamorinda Varsity 27
Referee: Coppinger, John

No report received

Date: 02/25/2017
Sonoma St 5 – American River College 32
Referee: Barfels, Ed

American River College’s (AR) forwards dominated the game. The Sonoma State (SSU) scum was outsized and outmatched. AR won all their own scrums and most of SSUs. The score at half was SSU 0 : AR 22 {4 tries, 1 conversion}. AR sent in their forward reserves for most of the second half. AR scored 2 more tries in the second half (no conversions). SSU did manage to punch it in on the last play of the game (1 try, no conversion). Final score SSU 5 : AR 32.

Date: 02/25/2017
St. Mary’s College C 46 – Cal Poly SLO C 7
Referee: Wood, Scott

St. Mary’s was ahead 17-0 before Cal Poly got on the board. HT 22-7. Second half was a continuation of the first. Both teams played a well-disciplined match but the Mustangs left too many holes exposed in the back line for the Gaels to exploit. FT SMC 46-7.

NB: If you are a trainer/medic and the prone player you are tending to says he has a headache, it shouldn’t take the referee to determine he should be replaced and seek further evaluation.

Kudos to both teams for a great match.

Date: 02/25/2017
Stanford B 56 – Fresno State B 5
Referee: Turner, Jessica

This was my first game ever as a referee. I was a little bit tired because I ran touch for the first 2 games because of my nerves. I was trying to calm down and get my mind working in referee mode, since it’s not a mode I’m used to thinking in (especially as a recently “retired” player). I definitely need to work on my positioning, mostly getting closer to the breakdowns quickly and staying even with the ball. Prior to starting my biggest concern was being in the way, so it doesn’t shock me that I was further away than I would’ve liked/needed to be. I felt pretty confident about the laws and even making calls, although several times things got a mess and I wasn’t sure how to call it because there was a lot going on. At the end of the day, I feel like I did well asserting my authority–especially since a couple of the Fresno men were questioning me and harassing me during the match about calls and things I missed, etc. That was the most frustrating actually, being badgered about calls and feeling disrespected. I don’t have the law book memorized to a tee, but I do know most of the laws much better than most, and I feel correct with my judgment. Additionally, I truly did enjoy running around in the mix! I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it, and I even cried afterwards trying to process all my feelings about what just happened. However, I do see it as a fun challenge for myself to learn more and do better every time 🙂

The game itself was low skill, especially on the part of Fresno State with a lot of new players. I did try to play a lot of advantage to keep a flow of play, which seemed to be good for a first timer. Even though Stanford played with 14 and we had uncontested scrums due to a lack of front row personnel, and the halves were cut short because of the players being beat up and tired, they had the smarter sense of play and were able to capitalize on their opportunities to score. Stanford received more penalties than Fresno, mostly surrounding slowing the ball down at the breakdown with the first player and then adding a 2nd and 3rd in to contest the ball which then led to a turnover. I saw this as an unfair advantage and blew them up. They were asking me to look at Fresno State sealing, which I did see but Stanford was the first continuous offender by slowing the ball down, which caused Fresno State to have to seal to win the breakdowns fairly (partly due to lack of skill, partly due to Stanford deliberately slowing the ball down). On the next occasion I’m looking forward to having live scrums!

Date: 02/25/2017
Stanford Women A 46 – California Women A 12
Referee: Stockton, Andrew

It was a wonderful day for rugby at Stanford’s Steuber Rugby Field. I was hoping for a high intensity, closely contested match between Cal and Stanford for Stanford’s parents weekend, but I was slightly disappointed. Stanford scored on a breakaway only 2 minutes into the first half and stayed in the driver’s seat for the rest of the match. They forced multiple turnovers with aggressive counter rucking, and had a massive advantage over the Cal scrum. Cal was able to score twice in the first half, keeping it close at 36-12 after the first half, but they were shut out in the second half due to excellent goal line defense by Stanford (Stanford held the ball up on 3 separate occasions). Stanford managed to score twice more in the second half, but it seemed as though they were content to sit back and play defense rather then press their already sizable lead. In the end, it was Stanford pleasing their home crowd 46-12 over the Cal Golden Bears.

Date: 02/25/2017
UC Davis 53 – UC Santa Cruz 19
Referee: Crenshaw, Jim

Great day for rugby in Davis, warming to the mid 50s, but felt warmer in the sun.
Pretty much all UCD in the first half with score at halftime 29 to 7. Second half was closer but UCD out scored Santa Cruz 24 to 12.
Jim

Date: 02/25/2017
UC Davis B – UC Santa Cruz B
Referee: Crenshaw, Jim

Martin had a nice match. Scrums and lineouts were good. Needs to improve penalty timing and signals. Talks a little more than necessary. Overall a nice controlled match .

Date: 02/25/2017
UC Davis B 30 – UC Santa Cruz B 14
Referee: Carmody, Martin

It was a brisk afternoon at UC Davis Russell Field and the pitch was in good shape. Davis started strong and looked set to run up a big score but Santa Cruz hung in there and fought back with two converted tries. One yellow card for repeated high tackles but other that that it was a spirited well contested competition.

Date: 02/25/2017
UC Davis Women A 50 – Chico State Women A 17
Referee: Carney, Mark

No report received

Date: 02/25/2017
UC Davis Women B 67 – Chico State Women B 5
Referee: Heil, Duane

Bright clear day! Pitch was soft but firm…perfect. The B side women asked to have 4 20 min quarters. Davis also asked to have as many subs as they liked at the quarters, and they had many more players so I reminded Chico that this was to their disadvantage since they had fewer players, but the captain agreed to the Davis request.
Davis won the toss and elected to receive.

Davis consistently out ran the Chico backs, but the forwards were pretty well matched. Both sides ran and hit hard.

I had to make a very controversial call at a goal-line ruck. Chico was defending and recovered the ball, however in order to move the ball away from the goal line, she crawled along the ground with the ball. I gave a failure to release penalty which resulted in a score by Davis. The Chico coach came onto the pitch and argued with me on this point..but I was 2 meters from the play and he was 50 meters…soooo

(EDITOR’S NOTE: You got that call correct – a player may not crawl on the ground with the ball. I am more concerned with the coach coming on the field as it sounds like this was during the match.)

There were 2 high tackle penalties called. I gave verbal warnings as well as the penalties.

There were several rucks where the ball exited to the side, so the ball was out. But the women kept up the wrestling match, which ended up in some coming off the feet…however, the ball was out…so what happens after is just noise. Right?
I called lots of other penalties: hands in the ruck, not releasing, obstruction. And second row collapsing the scrum. This was after a warning to Chico that if you can’t handle the pressure, you need to just move backwards

Date: 03/04/2017
California Women A 5 – UC Davis Women A 79
Referee: Anderson, Rich

No report received

Date: 03/04/2017
CSUMB 60 – UOP 27
Referee: Wood, Scott

31 penalties (as reported by CSUMB coach all deserved), two (could have been 5-6) yellow cards (repeated team infringements), one case of handbags that even the individuals involved can’t figure out why, two opportunities for medics to enter the field of play. Both teams walking away satisfied: Priceless. Glad I have access to a TENS unit.

Date: 03/04/2017
Fresno State B 24 – UC Davis B 43
Referee: Wilson, Giles

Fresno started strongly and had some strong sections to their game, overall UC Davis had better game management and better organization overall. At half time the visitors led 21-12 (3 tries to 2), in the second half the visitors added another 4 tries to the home side 2 additional scores for a final of 43-24.

Date: 03/04/2017
SFSU 19 – Chico State 73
Referee: Gordon, Preston

What looked to be a rainy afternoon turned into great weather for rugby, with scattered clouds, sunshine, and a cool breeze at Cal Maritime. The teams didn’t disappoint, playing a fast game and scoring 92 points in aggregate, while also listening well – there were perhaps 9 penalties in the whole match. Chico State brought a full squad, including reserves for the B-side game. SF State had 19 players, although unfortunately I had to limit them to an 18-man roster because they had only 4 suitably trained front row players (having a law book in one’s bag makes these kinds of pre-game explanations of law 3.5 very credible, as well as easy).

After a very short delay to procure an acceptably-inflated ball, we kicked off a couple of minutes after 1300. The sides appeared to be fairly equally matched for the first ~15 minutes. Chico State scored a try in the 8th minute, converting it easily, then repeating that process 3 minutes later. Although Chico State was taking advantage of their scrum dominance, SF State seems to be holding up well in defense and also executing attacks of their own. The third converted try for Chico State at 17′ began to open the gap, however. Down 21-0, for most of the following 12 minutes SF State was able to hold on to the ball while staying in the opponent’s half, though ultimately not getting any points out of it. Chico State got another brace of converted tries within 4 minutes at 29′ and 33′ though, and when the half finished at 35-0 in their favor, I figured the game might turn into a one-sided track meet.

Shortly after Chico State kicked off the second half, SF State caught the defense napping and scored their first converted try at 42′. Given the immediate response of Chico State, with an unconverted try at 43′, I figured that might have been a fluke. Chico State added 3 more converted tries at 48′, 52, and 57′ to pad their comfortable lead. At that point they seemed to take their foot off the gas, and SF State snuck a back around the outside to score at 63′ (converted), and followed that up by returning the restart kick for another (unconverted) try. at 65′ to pull within 42 points at 61-19 down. At 70′ SF State’s 4th front row player, who had replaced their starting loosehead prop, had to leave the pitch due to an injury. Luckily there were only 2 uncontested scrums in the remainder of the match. Chico State finished with the last two tries of the game, one converted at 71′ and one unconverted at 73′, to clear 70 points.

I’d like to thank both teams for an excellent, fast, and clean game of rugby, and also to Tim Mulholland for ARing.

Date: 03/04/2017
St. Mary’s College B 92 – SDSU B 12
Referee: Stockton, Andrew

It was a wonderful day for rugby at St. Mary’s rugby stadium. It had been raining on and off throughout the afternoon, including for a 10 minute section of the A side match. However, the weather stayed clear throughout the B side match despite some nasty looking clouds. St. Mary’s started the scoring 4 minutes into the first half and never looked back. They tallied 35 points in the first half while SDSU could only manage 7. Repeatedly, the speed, agility, and superior skill of the St. Mary’s players got the better of the SDSU players, despite their best efforts. In the second half, it was more of the same. St Mary’s put up 57 while SDSU could only manage 5.

Date: 03/04/2017
Stanford 67 – SJSU 12
Referee: Bertolone, Cary

Stueber field was looking perfect, we kicked off at 1:00 PM on a partly cloudy day. Within 2 minutes, Stanford broke through for a converted try and a 7-0 lead. After that, things evened out and it wasn’t until the 20th minute that Stanford scored another Try. SJSU lost a player for 10 minutes, on that try, but it took 9 more minutes for Stanford to convert again. It was 26 -0 at the half, although San Jose almost scored a try while they camped out right in front of the try zone for 5 minutes, which consisted of a lot of good defense on the part of Stanford. In the second half, Stanford scored on their own kick off with less than one minute into the half. They scored a penalty kick and another try before SJSU mounted some offense of their own. On the 18th minute into the second half, San Jose took advantage of some Stanford mistakes and with nifty passes, scored a try. Four minutes later, they scored another one and San Jose thought they were back in it. Two minutes later, Stanford dotted one down and they scored three more tries after that. Stanford had a player at hooker, his first game at that position, Guy Kasnick, and he scored about 4 tries, kicked the penalty kick and all of the conversions, and was a huge contributor towards the Stanford win. Really good player. Great game, coaches were nice, students were great and the facility was supreme.

Date: 03/05/2017
UNR 32 – UCSC 17
Referee: Pescetti, David

On a rare frigid snowy Sunday, what is this football?, in the high sierras two teams met. A field covered in white snow, lines plowed, snow gently falling, we played a physical and punishing match.

The slugs against a wolf pack. Despite their mascots slow appearance, slugs, their play was anything but. Yet Reno led off the scoring scoring in the corner 7 minutes into the game. It was surprising and because of the snow it took everyone a second to realize he was in the try zone. The slugs did stabilize and counter punch 5 minutes later tying the game up at 5 a piece. The kickers were stymied all day in the snow, windy, and numbing conditions. A scoreless 24 minutes went by until the slugs put another score on the board. but with 0 time remaining in the half, the wolf pack evened the game. At the half it was 10 all.

The second half was the difference maker in this one. But again there was a flurry of action in the opening minutes where Reno scored two tries and a conversion and Santa Cruz a converted try. With under 5 minutes left in the game Reno was up 5, 23 – 17. But Reno was just too much for the Slugs on this snowy winter day. With the slugs exhausted trying to punch in to have a chance, a misplay led to a 90 meter prop try to seal the game for Reno.

Final UNR 32 – UCSC 17

Date: 03/05/2017
UNR B 19 – UCSC B 10
Referee: Reagle, Sam

It snowed.

This Week’s Photo

I read the news today, oh boy! Hard hitting journalism is just a day in the life of Hail Pelicus, even if it means staying an extra day in Las Vegas to attend the after party. Here is Pelicus Pedem Referre is getting the story from Matai Leuta.

 

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

How Not To Make Friends On The Phone

HAIL PELICUS!

How Not To Make Friends On The Phone

As it happens, like many of us, I do have occasion to travel to the Land of the Griffon every so often. This past weekend I had an event in Pasadena and not wanting to waste a rugby weekend I contacted the Southern California Rugby Referee Society and notified them of my location and availability. They were kind enough to assign me to Pasadena’s home match against Tempe so I was set. All I needed next was to get there, and therein lies our tale.

Hail Pelicus often has tales of long drives through the countryside of Pelicanland, marveling at the majestic and pastoral by turn. The natural wonders we live amongst are spectacular and deserve all of the appreciation that they get but not all travel stories are the same. This last weekend was a tale of adventure and disappointment, courage and conflict, hope and despair before eventual victory, but at a cost. We shall start, as is proper, at the beginning.

I had booked a flight for the weekend months ago and used some of the Southwest points I have piled up through my business travel . I arranged lodgings and a car and was happily set for a fun weekend with friends and rugby. The Wednesday prior I was setting up a ride to the airport and checked my reservation and discovered something wrong: the flight was booked out of SFO instead of San Jose. That may not seem like a big deal to most but I live about 5 miles from San Jose International Airport and for me to get to San Francisco on a Friday evening in the heart of rush hour traffic was an eye-gouging, hair pulling, minimum 2 hour proposition at the very least. This could not stand. I called up the Southwest customer service department and calmly explained the situation and asked how it could be that I am flying out of the wrong airport. Well, apparently the Southwest website automatically suggests alternate regional airports when making reservations and I didn’t notice that the perfect flight at the perfect time was in fact, out of SFO not SJC. “NO!” I cried, “This is intolerable! Look at every other flight I have taken on Southwest! Look at the flight I am taking in two weeks! I always fly out of SJC! Look at my address; I live 5 miles for the airport! Why would you move my flight to San Francisco?” At this point the lady on the phone told me she could change my flight and we found an acceptable flight both coming and going out of San Jose. Phew! She started making changes and then said the fateful words “You don’t have enough points to cover the change fee so you will need to pay for it in dollars. The charge for this change is $500. How would you like to pay for it?”

It was at this point I started using profanity.

No, I will not pay $500 to fix your mistake, just make the change! I want to talk to your manager! I want to talk to Customer Relations (which is somehow different from Customer Service)! I will not pay this ridiculous fee for YOUR ERROR! Well, as expected I got nowhere, so with a final F-Bomb I hung up and resigned myself to dealing with traffic on the peninsula.

The next day (Thursday) I went to check into my flight and received the ominous message “This record locator is invalid”. At this point I got a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach. Had I gone too far with my righteous frustration? Did Southwest cancel the whole reservation as a final middle finger to me? I called up Southwest to see what happened and got a lady on the phone. (A different lady, thank the gods. I don’t think I could have dealt with the first one again after all I had said.) This lady looked at the reservation and said it was there but there was something funny about it. “Apparently” she said, “someone had started to make a change to the reservation but didn’t complete it. I show you flying out of San Jose at 3:00 and arriving back in San Jose on Sunday at 3:45. Shall I complete the change?” “Will this cost me anything?” I asked. “No, sir.”

Rock and roll! Glory, glory halleluiah! I jumped up and down pumping my fist and generally acting like an idiot.

“That will do nicely” I replied in a calm voice. She then checked me into the flight and I was set. All was right in my world, I smugly told myself. Sometimes being a complete asshole pays off. I was in a good mood with a foolish grin on my face for the rest of the day.

Karma, however, is a bitch and had a few more tricks up its sleeve for me.

Friday rolls around and the Storm Of The Century hits Southern California. Everyone’s favorite new meteorological term “atmospheric river” was heading straight for Southern California and it was looking to party. High winds and torrents of rain pummeled the region causing havoc. About midmorning I got a message on my phone that my flight had been cancelled.

$@#*!

I called up Southwest (again – by this time I should have had them on speed dial) and told them my flight had been cancelled and asked them to book me on another flight. Sorry, sir, but all available flights are full. “Even from San Francisco?” I asked, painfully aware that I had just spent two days behaving badly to get my flight moved out of SFO. Nope, not SFO. Nothing in Oakland, either. All flights were booked up until Sunday.

&%#$*@$#!!!!

The Southwest lady (do they even hire men for this job?) apologized for the inconvenience and refunded my points. The return flight was still good to go, so now all I had to do was get to Pasadena. I called up Hertz, with whom I have been a Gold member since 1996. I asked if I could change my reservation for the weekend? No problem, sir. Do you need to extend it? No, my flight was cancelled so I am going to drive. I would like to pick up a car in San Jose and drop it off in Burbank. Not a problem, sir, let me make that change for you… you had prepaid for the original reservation so I can cancel that transaction and reverse the charges… and now the charges are $550, plus a $60 cancellation fee because this is within 24 hours. How would you like to pay for that?

It was at this point I started using profanity. Again.

So much for being a Gold member. I eventually cancelled the whole reservation only paying the $60 blood fee (or cancellation fee, as they called it) and then went shopping online. I found the cheapest car rental I could find that had a car in San Jose that I could return in Burbank. Total, including gas, was $200 – I could live with that. It was close to 3:00 when I finished all of this and I still hadn’t packed so I decided to go get the car and then wait at home for traffic to clear and, hopefully, the heart of the storm to pass. At 7:00 I packed everything in the car and took off south. If all went well I should be rolling in to the hotel in Arcadia just before midnight.

All did not go well. To start the traffic on 101 was stopped at the 280 interchange. There was an accident that people had to get around. Not too bad, I was by it in 10 minutes and speeding my way south. I was moving along and woolgathering idly when a thought started nagging at the back of my head. “Hey idiot!” I thought, “You are approaching Salinas! You missed the 152 turnoff!” Arrggg. I sheepishly turned around and headed back north to Gilroy to get on the 152 and cut over to the 5. After all, only an idiot would try to take 101 all the way to Los Angeles. The rain was coming down less and less with longer breaks in between wiper worthy weather as I started towards the Pacheco Pass (naturally) behind a couple of 18 wheelers. The one lane road became two lanes and all of us regular folk happily sped past the big rigs heading towards the San Luis Reservoir… and stopped. All traffic in our direction had come to a complete halt and then slowly inched along. Apparently there was some road work several miles ahead and the lanes were reduced to one as people worked their way by. At this point I started thinking I would have been better of being a woolgathering idiot and taking 101 all the way down.

I didn’t reach the Hwy 5 interchange until 10:00pm.

Hwy 5 south was mostly smooth sailing at that point (why do people insist on going the speed limit in the fast lane?) until the Grapevine. Traffic slowed to a crawl at that point for some very good reasons: slashing, splattery rain making seeing difficult; patches of heavy, pea soup fog making seeing more than 50 feet impossible; and gusty winds that pushed your car around making steering an adventure in hope. I eventually rolled into my hotel at 3:00am.

Fortunately the gods felt they had punished me enough for my transgressions because everything else went great the rest of the weekend – match report below.

Will I learn a lesson from this? Probably not. Oh well.

New Kit

We have jerseys. We have socks. We have shorts. We have track suits. As of today we even have kit bags! The (astonishingly stylish) new kit will be distributed if I see you at some point in the next couple of weeks and at the Society meetings. I will do my best to find someone to distribute kit to those who can not make the meetings but feel free to reach out to me at hailpelicus@pelicanrefs.com if you plan to be in the San Jose area.

Las Vegas Invitational

The previous LVI Tournament Director has left his post to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a burlesque dancer on the Las Vegas Strip, so Steve Albrecht has taken over. Below is his call to the Greatest Rugby Referee Society On The Planet:

Referees One and All!

The biggest rugby tournament in North America is looking for YOU! The Las Vegas Invitational needs you on March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to help volunteer and officiate 7’s (and a 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!

All Referees receive:
– Rhino LVI Referee jersey (both Male and Female cuts)
– Tickets to all 3 days of the USA Sevens International event (when you stay at the Westgate Hotel – massive LVI discounts available)

ALSO – USA Rugby is holding a 1-day clinic Wednesday March 1st at the Westgate Resort. Don’t miss out on your chance to train with the best in the ever-growing world of Sevens Rugby.

Westgate Hotel link: https://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/official-lvi-hotels/

To register to ref at the LVI 2017: https://goo.gl/forms/e5Om9GuMqYsM5zR43

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

Las Vegas 7s

Overwhelmed with the awesome responsibility of representing Hail Pelicus and the entire Northern California rugby community in Las Vegas, the editors will not be putting an issue next week but will put out an issue the following week with thoughts, interviews and reactions worthy of the Greatest Rugby Community In The World. Please know that we will not be using our status as credentialed media to play childish pranks on the Lords of Rugby Union, but will be hard at work. I make this sacrifice for you, dear readers.

Plus, there aren’t any games scheduled to cover here during Vegas weekend.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

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

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 02/18/2017
Pasadena RFC 23 – Tempe Old Devils 14
Location: Pasadena, CA
Referee: Hinkin, James
AR: Reed, Austin (Southern California)
AR: Kruckenberg, John (Southern California)

An exciting D1 clash in Southern California pitted newly promoted Tempe Old Devils against the steadily rising Pasadena RFC. With heavy rains hitting So Cal the match was moved from Pasadena’s regular field to the all weather turf football field at Duarte High School. Football lines everywhere, but at least rugby was going to happen. Apparently when this happens in So Cal they have slightly different ways of dealing with the fact that the goal posts are at the back of the try zone. When I stated that any attempt to charge down a conversion should start from the goal posts rather than the try line I was told that isn’t always the case but it was accepted. Then I was asked if a penalty would be move forward 10 yards if a kick is chosen, because that is how it has been done in the past. No, I said, the mark is the mark.

Was I right? We are on a non-standard field so the law book doesn’t cover it, so yes, I was right because I made the decision at the start of the game and both teams had it the same. In reality, there is not “wrong” answer to this situation as long as you are consistent.

The game started in a drizzly rain – not enough to worry about but just enough to make the ball slippery. After 15 minutes of this match I thought Tempe would win by 40 as they were dominant in the scrum and their backs were running through the Pasadena defense. Pasadena was saved by handling errors as the slippery ball evaded the hands of the Tempe runners time and again. Tempe scored an unconverted try and were cruising in spite of their knock-ons. With all the scrums we had very few issues as an exchange of penalties at the first couple of scrums sorted them out (amazing how that works) and then Pasadena regrouped a bit and started pressing the Tempe line more and more. Pasadena had their share of knocks and was getting frustrated by the ball hawking of the Tempe defense. The #10 (a HS All American, I was told) was especially good at it, turning over several balls as the support arrived too late to prevent him getting his hands on the ball. Each side were able to kick a goal for a 8-3 Tempe lead at the half.

The second half was a different story. Pasadena made some adjustments and were able to get their support to a tackled player quicker. They also stiffened up their defense to allow fewer line breaks. Each side exchanged a couple of penalties for a 14-9 score. At this point a tiring Tempe side made some subs and that made all the difference, especially in the scrums. Tempe’s #1 is really, really strong and had been a handful all game but ran out of gas and had to be replaced. At the same time Pasadena put in a prop that usually starts and wow, did the scrums change. After 2 straight tightheads were stolen by what had been up to that point the weaker scrum I asked my ARs to check for foot up, illegal binds, or anything else that might explain it. The next scrum I was on the side of the Tempe replacement prop and saw the issue – he just wasn’t at the same level as his predecessor. Pasadena used their new found momentum to score a converted try and take the lead. With about 5 minutes left Pasadena put together a long, multi phase series and scored a great team try to put the game out of reach. Tempe fought hard until the end but came up short.

Both captains were excellent (the Tempe captain at 6’ 10” being the largest rugby player I have ever seen) and helped control a game that threatened to get chippy as legs tired and the game came down to crunch time. A pleasure to referee.   Many thanks must also go the ARs on the day, Austin Reed and John Kruckenberg, who were a great help.   Proper ARs are a luxury.

Date: 02/18/2017
Pasadena RFC B: something – Pasadena Old Boys: something more
Location: Pasadena, CA
Referee: Hinkin, James

The B side match was Pasadena B v Pasadena Old Boys with predictable results. No matter what the score, I was informed, the Old Boys won. Fair enough, but I got to use one of my favorite tricks to great amusement from both sides. Penalty and the Old Boys go quick. A B Baller tries to tackle without retreating but doesn’t bring the player down who passed on to a support player (who was playing in the A side) and he took off untouched and unstoppable. Now, the thing about Old Boys is they tend to get too tired to run but not too tired to yell at the referee and so several were lying on the ground loudly calling for a not 10 penalty. So I blew my whistle and gave it to them, despite the fact that the ball carrier was 50 yards downfield with no defenders in sight.

Sometimes you get what you ask for.

Date: 02/18/2017
Cal Maritime B 10 – Pleasanton Jesters U23 50
Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

This was the second match on a pretty and dry day at Maritime-Pistol Pete Smith having earlier moved both refs around like chess pieces on a board. And the teams were, in the rugby sense, motleys-some Jesters played with Maritime, and somehow a number of Solano fellows showed up and were mixed in.

If memory serves, these sides played each other last year. And while the result was the same, this was the better game (certainly good spirited). It took about 20 minutes of avuncular advice and penalties to herd the Jesters into rough compliance-but they scored on a number of pretty coast to coast tries anyway. And the Maritime Bs were of considerably sterner stuff this time. What they lacked in foot speed they made up for with some big hits.

Date: 02/18/2017
Cal Maritime 34 – USF 0
Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

Originally scheduled to be in Colusa for two games but this was a welcome easier trip. Hard work from both teams meant a good game on both sides of the ball. Maritime couldn’t make conversions. USF was close to the goal lines multiple times but couldn’t ever put the pieces together.

Date: 02/18/2017
Solano-Yolo 12 – Granite Bay Varsity 44
Referee: Boyer, Rich

This was an away match for both sides, held at Witter Rugby Field at Cal Berkeley. Granite Bay came out very strong with backline play and put up three tries, all scored in the corner by the outside backs, within the first fifteen minutes. Solo were game, but Granite Bay just had a little more sense of urgency. It was 27-0 at halftime. Solo made adjustments and came out firing, with three fine linebreaks by flyhalf Garlick and the outside center, only to be undone by errors. The Solo outside center had a clear try off an intercept pass but it went to ground, such was Solo’s luck for the day. Granite Bay continued with their stifling defense and wide open, expansive play, putting up 3 more tries before Solo turned the momentum with scything runs from Garlick, captain Jake and the outside center, which led to 12 points. But it was Granite Bays day.

Chico State Women 22 – Stanford Women 34
Referee: Carney, Mark

No report received

Date: 02/18/2017
EPA Razorbacks 18 – SFGG 48
Referee: Lew, Tim

On a narrow pitch in East Palo Alto, the razorbacks took on the SFGG gold. Both teams came out hard as expected with hard running and big tackles. EPA legally slowed down SFGG’s ball and prevented gate from playing a fast game. EPA was not able to defend the set pieces and gate dominated both scrums and Lineouts. Gate was able to fend off the late tries and maintain composure.

Date: 02/18/2017
Fresno State 69 – SFSU 0
Referee: Jury, Jeff

It’s been a tough week for SFSU and it didn’t get any easier traveling to Fresno. They’re a game group and threatened the Try line, but couldn’t convert. CSUF’s fitness and game plan ruled the day. CSUF 69 SFSU 0.
The B game was closer with a lot of the SFSU A’s playing twice. CSUF 24 SFSU 20

Date: 02/18/2017
Los Gatos 14 – Peninsula Green Varsity 17
Referee: Pohlman, John

Wow what a rugby game. Peninsula Green won on the final play of the game at Leland High School in San Jose this past Saturday.
This was a very well matched physical game. Many of the players have played together or against each other for many years.
United opened the scoring with #8 and former Pen Green player Nathan Garcia scoring at 25 minutes in. Pen Greens captain #7 Bo scored seven minutes later. Half time score 7-7.
The first half was fast and fun.
At 12 minutes in United’s winger intercepted a pass and went 60 plus meters for a try. Pen Green responded a few minutes later to tie the score 14-14.
The last twenty minutes were played at such a high tempo and mental drain that some of the players got a bit testy.
This led to a penalty call at the 35 minute mark to Pen Green. Their kicker converted the penalty and won the game with their first lead of the day. Pen Green 17 United 14.

Date: 02/18/2017
Napa 35 – Baracus 30
Referee: Wood, Scott

Napa (from Napa) hosted Baracus (from SF) at the Minnie & Lovie Ward Rec Center (formerly Ocean View rec center) fields. Not sure about the view but the winds from the Pacific were an unabated constant 15 mph dropping the temperature to a balmy 50 Kelvin. Both teams entered the match at 3-0. Napa was relatively strong, but not overly dominant, at the breakdown while Baracus featured a quick backline. The host were first to score a penalty goal only to have Baracus quickly answer with a converted try. Back-and-forth possession was the name of the game. One yellow card at the end of the first half left Napa down a player for the first 39:10 of the second period. HT: Napa 13 – Baracus 27

Not quite the tale of two halves; however, Napa capitalized off a downward sloping pitch scoring two tries prior to Baracus slotting a penalty goal (N25-B30). This fueled Napa’s attack as they battled down the pitch scoring another try and a penalty goal. Willing to battle to the end, Baracus created a momentum that led to the final five minutes mostly played inside Napa’s 22. Baracus was able to cross the goalline only to have a Napa arm snake under the ball and create a knockon. Scrum, penalty, penalty (scrum elected), clearing kick to touch, lineout, free kick (I tried to manage that to no avail), tap, pass, kick to touch. Game over. Napa 35 Baracus 30

Date: 02/18/2017
Olympic Club 51 – SFGG Green 8
Referee: Gordon, Preston

The GAA pitch on Treasure Island was in great shape after all the recent rain, with just a few soft spots, and the weather gods favored us with warm sunshine and a cool breeze that picked up slightly as the game went on. Olympic Club had a full roster of 23, while SFGG put out 18 players, 6 of whom were front-row qualified.

O Club opened the scoring with a converted try seven minutes into the game, adding two more at 11′ (converted) and 18′ (unconverted) before SFGG responded with a penalty goal at 23′ (19-3). It was fairly clear by this time that the game would be somewhat one-sided, and O Club notched 3 more tries in the half, at 25′ (converted), 34′, and 38′ (both unconverted) to leave the halfitme score at 36-3. There were a fair number of scrums in the first half due to knock-ons by both sides with no opportunity to play advantage, and O Club’s dominance in those set pieces clearly paid off. That platform, and their well-disciplined ruck play allowed their backs to get around the outside defenders or occasionally cut through holes in the midfield. SFGG, on the other hand, seemed to have a few players playing outside their usual positions.

The Olympic Club reserves got a pretty good workout in this game, with most of them coming in early in the second half after they scored another try at 52′. At that point, the rugby became a bit more haphazard on both sides even though the intensity stayed high (for the most part). SFGG got a great try in the corner at 63′, after spending ~5 minutes camped on the O Club line, but the wind pushed the conversion a little wide. O Club added two more tries at 36′ and 44′ (running time, there were a couple of injuries in the second half) to clear 50 points. In my view, 51-8 was a fair summary of this contest.

Thanks to all involved for a good game of rugby!

Date: 02/18/2017
Redwood 24 – Marin 10
Referee: Hammack, Robert

The rain had stopped by kickoff but the field was muddy and the conditions still wet. Ill-discipline was a recurring theme for Redwood (3 yellow cards) but they made up for it with hard running and strong defense. Marin had lineout trouble in the windy conditions and didn’t ask enough questions of Redwood’s defense.

Date: 02/18/2017
Sacramento Amazons 31 – All Blues 71
Referee: Godfrey, Mark

No report received

Date: 02/18/2017
Sacramento Blackhawks 31 – Fresno 24
Referee: Richmond, Jeff

After a 45 minute delay waiting for Fresno jerseys to arrive, play began on a very soggy but lush field in South Sacramento. The Blackhawks were off their game; the wet conditions and determined Fresno defense kept them from getting any rhythm. Frustration began to show on the Blackhawk side and several yellow cards were issued as their composure frayed. Fresno was able to exploit gaps in the Blackhawk back line and keep the pressure on. With time expired Fresno drove within a few meters of the Blackhawk goal line but a knock-on ended Fresno’s chance at an upset.

Date: 02/18/2017
San Joaquin 33 – Google 48
Referee: Taueva, Favor

Straight from work to the pitch. Had two hours of rest inside my car before 1 pm. I still felt a little tired from work, but managed to enjoy my game. Google club starting dominating the first 20 minutes of the game. Google scored two tries less than 15 minutes into first half of the game. San Joaquin seems to be not on the right tune during the first two tries scored by Google. I awarded a penalty try to San Joaquin for Google #7 intentional offside to avoid a try by San Joaquin #13 quick tap and go. Very clean and aggressive game. Seems to me Google did their homework for a game plan which was well played out. Good come back from San Joaquin, but it was too late into the game. Thanks to both coaches and team players for the fun rugby day. Hope for the best for both clubs .

#alwaysfavor

Date: 02/18/2017
San Jose 10 – Vacaville 12
Referee: Pescetti, David

What a barn burner in the suburbs of San Jose.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Independence High School is a suburb of San Jose? It is less than 4 miles from the City Hall and downtown.

This match was a nail biter. These two teams were evenly matched. San Jose had the first threatening of the match but were unable to convert. Each team attempted a Penalty goal and both were unable to put it through the posts, that San Jose winds rivaled Santa Ana this day. The stalemate was broken by Vacaville with 6 minutes remaining in the first half. With those being the only points of the first 40, they lead 5 – 0 at the half. The second half lead off with Vacaville scoring a converted try with 26 minutes remaining. This seemed that this lead, 12 – 0 would put the game out of reach, if the previous 55 were to remain true. However, San Jose came storming back, six minutes later put up their own, hard earned try. The wind played havoc all day with the kickers. With 15 minutes left Vacaville lead 12 – 5. The exciting play of the game happened with 7 minutes left. Vacaville was passing it wide, attacking on the San Jose 22. The last pass to the winger was a bit behind. He reached up and tapped it forward. San Jose’s winger jumped up and snatched the ball clean out of the air and we were off to the races. Sprinting to his life, with a Vacaville play closing in, but San Jose players screaming to center it. San Jose’s winger leaped and was able to touch the ball in the corner. And with 6 minutes left the pressure was on the SJ kicker, but again that pesky wind pushed his kick wide. San Jose down, 10 – 12, but was not out. They had possession, and an ill advised high tackle with 20 seconds left gave San Jose an option. The pressure on, time winding down. They rushed the kick, and unfortunately it went out into touch-in-goal. And that is how the game ended. A dramatic. Great game.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is hands down the greatest writeup of the season. English is a wonderfully varied language and expert practitioners can create poetic dissonance with such inspired use of sentence fragments, mismatched tenses and awkward sentence construction. Think Walt Whitman. Think Ezra Pound. Mr. Pescetti may be the first Rugby Dadaist.

Date: 02/18/2017
San Jose Women 0 – SFGG Women 79
Referee: Carmody, Martin

SJ were short players so SFGG lent them a few. Played 4 x 20 minute periods on a soft grass field. The first few minutes of the game were sloppy with 3 penalties given up within about 2 minutes for basic mistakes. After a brief warning to both teams the game progressed nicely with no incidents and lots of good multi phase open play.

Date: 02/18/2017
Santa Clara 19 – Cal Poly SLO 50
Referee: McDougall, Grant

No report received

Date: 02/18/2017
Santa Clara B 31 – Cal Poly SLO B 22
Referee: Stockton, Andrew

It was a great day for rugby at Santa Clara on Saturday. The sky was grey and gloomy for both of the matches, but thankfully, the weather held, and we were able to stay dry. SLO the scoring 8 minutes into the game with a try and a conversion kick. 4 minutes later, Santa Clara scored their first try, but missed the conversion. Then, on a penalty just inside the Santa Clara half, SLO gained three points at 16 minutes into the game. Santa Clara pulled ahead with two tries in quick succession and one conversion. They would retain the lead for the remainder of the game. The second half started to get chippy. At 62 minutes, I awarded a penalty to Santa Clara very near to their own goal line. Santa Clara took the tap quickly, and, without any attempt to retreat, a Cal Poly player made a large tackle and popped up whooping and hollering at the player he had just hit. I immediately awarded another penalty for not retreating and then issued a yellow card under section 10.2 of the law book. Santa Clara scored moments later, using the advantage they had gained. The match ended with a final score of 31-22, in favor of Santa Clara. It was an exciting match, and overall, a wonderful day for rugby.

Date: 02/18/2017
Santa Rosa 13 – Life West 54
Referee: Bertolone, Cary

It was close in the first half. The score was 21-13, Life West, at half time. In the second half, Life took control and scored 5 tries to none and won 54-13.

Date: 02/18/2017
Silicon Valley 33 – Sacramento Capitols 46
Referee: Santiago, Roberto

An overcast Saturday afternoon saw the Sacramento Capitals make the long trek down to San Jose to face the new-to-D2 Silicon Valley…Microprocessors? I don’t know what Silicon Valley’s mascot is, or if they have one. To no one’s surprise, Sacramento jumped out to an early lead. The score was 17-0 for the visitors who showed cohesion in the back line and domination in the scrums. Silicon Valley never hung their heads, and put over two score before half time. The score stood at SV 12- Sac 24 at the half, when Sacramento made wholesale changes, nearly emptying their bench. That’s when things got particularly interesting. Sacramento put one over just 01:35 into the second half to go up 19 points. But the home standing Microchips weren’t done. They answered with two converted tries to pull within 5. The Capitals responded with an unconverted try, which was met in kind by a converted try for Silicon Valley. With just a 3 point lead it looked as though substituting en masse may backfire on the first place Capitals. Then an intercepted pass turned into a 50 meter try, the defense stiffened, and another score sealed the deal for Sacramento. After the final whistle, both teams showed appreciation for a match that turned out to be more competitive than either side might have foreseen. In the end, Sacramento showed why they’re at the top of table, and SV showed that they made a good decision in moving up to D2.

Date: 02/18/2017
SJSU 5 – Chico State 29
Referee: Tiatia, Nome

No report received

Date: 02/18/2017
Sonoma St 10 – SRJC 41
Referee: Labozzetta, Chris

Hard hitting match with two disciplined and fit sides. SRJC’s #5 proved too strong against Sonoma st. His multi try performance was the difference.

Date: 02/18/2017
St. Mary’s College 27 – BYU 12
Referee: Bryant, Lee

No report received

Date: 02/18/2017
Sierra Foothills 71 – UOP 10
Referee: Tucker, Chris

And not getting the close game this afternoon either.

Curious point where the UOP coach pulled his captain and scrum-half after about 50 minutes, for no obvious reason. Since they were playing with no subs on the bench, this was not a replacement. 5 minutes later the coach asked if he could bring him back on. Law 3.13 provides for a player leaving the field “for any other reason” to rejoin when the ball is dead with the referee’s permission. Since he couldn’t be substituted, I said sure, come on back. Always amusing to me using the obscure bits of the lawbook.

Date: 02/18/2017
UC Davis Women 107 – Humboldt Women 3
Referee: Tucker, Chris

One of these days I’ll get a close game, but not this morning. They were pretty happy with getting the 3 in the second half.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is what you get for showing off and winning the referee fitness test.

Date: 02/18/2017
UC Davis Women B 32 – Fresno St Women 29
Referee: Davis, Austin

It was the perfect evening to smell the methane emitted by the holstein cows on UC Davis’ Dairy Field right next to their famed university dairy. Both teams were looking to improve their play due to the amount of new talent on the field.

Before the game, both teams came together to practice scrums. Afterwards, only 5 scrums were contested until the scrums became messy for both teams. At that point forward, all scrums were uncontested.

The game was a back and forth game for the four quarters the teams elected to play. UC Davis kept sending fresh shirts onto the pitch while Fresno had the ability to continue building their confidence. Throughout the game, I saw numerous minor infractions but nothing a warning did not fix. Both captains lead their teams very well and both teams shared many moments of camaraderie. Overall, it was a great game to referee and work with the coaches to help the new collegiate players understand the game of rugby.

Date: 02/18/2017
UNR 26 – Stanford 15
Referee: Ulibarri, Phillip

A close fought physical match.

Date: 02/18/2017
Lamorinda 19 – San Francisco Golden Gate Varsity 31
Referee: Bretz, Paul

SFGG Varsity High school visited Lamorinda and were pushed to the limit in this game. Up until the 65th minute the score difference was 1 point. Lamorinda controlled the scrums Lineout while SFGG were more adept at using their backs. Enjoyable game with intelligent players.

Date: 02/19/2017
Chico State Women 20 – California Women 0
Referee: Mulholland, Matthew

No report received

This Week’s Photo

From the “Better Late Than Never” file we have our NCRRS 2015 Rookie Of The Year Andrew Bailey receiving his trophy from Pelicus Pedem Referre. Apparently a free meal at the NCRRS Banquet isn’t enough to get people out.

 

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Dark And Stormies

HAIL PELICUS!

Dark And Stormies

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in San Jose that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty glow of the street lamps that struggled against the darkness. The staccato tapping of the ever-changing droplets, for some were heavier than others and hit with greater vigor against the double-paned windows brought forth, by turn, awe at the power of nature and respectful contemplation of the numinous peace and tranquility these rainy winter evenings produce while I, your author, who is the subject of this tale, curl up with a volume penned by Edward Bulwer-Lytton and the ice gently clinks as it floats and bumps against the side of a cocktail glass filled with Gosling’s Dark Rum and ginger beer. And so begins our newsletter.

New Kit

We have jerseys. We have socks. We have shorts. We have track suits. As of today we even have kit bags! The (astonishingly stylish) new kit will be distributed if I see you at some point in the next couple of weeks and at the Society meetings. I will do my best to find someone to distribute kit to those who can not make the meetings but feel free to reach out to me at hailpelicus@pelicanrefs.com if you plan to be in the San Jose area.

Flock Talk, Enriching The Vocabulary Of Pelicanland

Making its first appearance in the opening paragraph, we have this edition’s Word of the Day:

Numinous
adjective nu·mi·nous \?nü-m?-n?s, ?nyü-\
1. supernatural, mysterious
2. filled with a sense of the presence of divinity : holy
3. appealing to the higher emotions or to the aesthetic sense : spiritual

Las Vegas Invitational

The previous LVI Tournament Director has left his post to fulfil a lifelong dream and try out for the Las Vegas Raiderette Cheerleading Squad, so Steve Albrecht has taken over. Below is his call to the Greatest Rugby Referee Society On The Planet:

Referees One and All!

The biggest rugby tournament in North America is looking for YOU! The Las Vegas Invitational needs you on March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to help volunteer and officiate 7’s (and a 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!

All Referees receive:
– Rhino LVI Referee jersey (both Male and Female cuts)
– Tickets to all 3 days of the USA Sevens International event (when you stay at the Westgate Hotel – massive LVI discounts available)

ALSO – USA Rugby is holding a 1-day clinic Wednesday March 1st at the Westgate Resort. Don’t miss out on your chance to train with the best in the ever-growing world of Sevens Rugby.

Westgate Hotel link: https://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/official-lvi-hotels/

To register to ref at the LVI 2017: https://goo.gl/forms/e5Om9GuMqYsM5zR43

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

Las Vegas 7s

Have no fear that Hail Pelicus will be in Las Vegas to report on the goings on and daring dos of this event. Recognizing the prestige not only of Northern California Rugby but the humble organ that reports on it, we have been granted our media credential and we have already secured one promise of a high level interview and will seek out more scoops. If we have to stay up until 4am at a craps table to get the story for you, our loyal readers, then that is what we here at Hail Pelicus will do. No need to thank me, just give me some money.

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

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

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

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

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 02/11/2017
Vacaville 19 – Baracus 21
Referee: Labozzetta, Chris

Well played physical game. Both sides were relatively focused and in good form. Obviously the score was close, which meant both sides were well matched up. Baracus had the advantage in the scrum, which ultimately helped them win with a late push over try from 5 meters out.

Date: 02/11/2017
Univ San Francisco WR 15 – Sacramento State Women 27
Referee: Hammack, Robert

Well contested match played in good spirits on a beautiful San Francisco afternoon. Lots of rookies made continuity difficult but there were some great phases of play and strong defense. Score was tied at halftime and well into the second half. Sacramento’s experience showed with two late tries for the final score.

Date: 02/11/2017
UCSC 91 – SJSU 0
Referee: Bailey, Andrew

No report received

Date: 02/11/2017
UC Santa Cruz WR 5 – Fresno State WR 59
Referee: Jury, Jeff

The day was overcast and cool. The ground held up pretty well in the face the deluge of the night before. UCSC Women were gracious enough to travel to Fresno to play. UCSC had closed their campus fields due to their flooding.
The score does not reflect the character and fierceness of play between the two sides. In spite of the conditions, the scrums were well contested and handling errors were minimal. The Lady Dogs played well in the open field and their fitness feeds their game plan. CSUF racked up 35 points in the first half and 24 in the second. UCSC scored with 17 minutes left in the second half, but kept the pressure on by pounding Fresno on their own 5 meter for the last 10 minutes. Fresno relieved pressure with a steal and a streaking run for a converted try to end the game. UCSC WR 5 CSUF WR 59

Date: 02/11/2017
UC Davis 85 – SFSU 12
Referee: Tucker, Chris

‘A day getting the shit kicked out of you on a rugby field is better than any other day of the week’ – SFSU Stand-Off

A sentiment I agree with, and one that sums up the game nicely.

Date: 02/11/2017
Stanford Women A 24 – Chico State Women A 12
Referee: Stockton, Andrew

After the excessive amount of rain recently, it was nice to be able to play on a field in such good condition. Both teams contested the match well, and it was much closer than the score indicated. There was no incidence of misconduct, but Stanford was consistently not rolling away, something that I failed to call correctly. Overall, a great day for rugby.

Date: 02/11/2017
Sonoma St 31 – USF 33
Referee: Carmody, Martin

Close, well contested game. Very heavy field conditions.

Date: 02/11/2017
SFGG Green 22 – EPA Razorbacks 48
Referee: Tiatia, Nome

No report received

Date: 02/11/2017
SFGG 65 – Sac Lions 17
Referee: Hettermann, Matt

No report received

Date: 02/11/2017
Santa Clara Univ WR 38 – UNR Women 19
Referee: Freitas, Larry

I arrived at Santa Clara University after a journey lasting nearly an hour and a half, as Highway 17 was closed northbound due to a massive landslide earlier in the week. So I was Monterey bound on Highway 1 to Watsonville and Highway 129, not trusting if 152 was open, east to US Highway 101, and then north all the way to the De La Cruz exit and SCU. The 10 AM kick off was a bit earlier than usual, but the men were playing UCSB later that afternoon. The air had a chill and the skies were partly cloudy as both teams warmed up at 9:30. Santa Clara has had issues getting enough players on the pitch for games, and this one wasn’t an exception: 14 were ready to play, as two on the sidelines were still deemed injured, though one was kitted-out. Nevada-Reno had their starting 15 and another six or seven subs on the bench. Santa Clara kicked off then short a player, but within a minute had gained possession of the ball and started marching down the field, with some crisp passing as players were tackled, and some quick ruck ball when a player was taken to ground; a penalty was awarded to them from an offside at a ruck, and tight-head prop Mariela Murillo broke through for the first try of the match, near to the posts, that she easily converted for a quick 7-0 lead.
At 15 minutes inside center Rachel Schneider, back in action after missing the UCSC game, scored a try from loose play, again converted for a 14-0 lead. Nevada-Reno countered quickly, when a loose ball was recovered in mid-field and Teagan Cammarano scampered her way to the goal line for 5 points, cutting the margin to 14-5. After that try there was no more scoring until late in the half, when flyhalf Kira Clifton of the Wolfpack crossed the goal line near the posts for a converted try. The half would end 14-12 in favor of the Broncos. Several players were caught making high tackles, and therefore warnings went to both teams to be aware of their tackling. As an aside, I told the Nevada captain to have her players not question calls, as a Santa Clara restart after one of Nevada’s tries ended up bouncing right on the blue dashed line when it appeared it would fall short of the required ten meters, and one of the visitor’s players yelled out that the kick was short, to me directly, as play continued on and as Santa Clara recovered their own kick off.
Santa Clara scored right from the second half kickoff, some 30 seconds into the half, as Carly Fowler received a pass and found herself in plenty of space to score a try that, though placed near the posts, saw Murillo fail to convert. Nevada’s Sammi Lyons scored a converted try at 55 minutes to tie the match at 19-19. Nevada was now putting some pressure on Santa Clara, and their nerves were starting to show a bit. One 5 meter scrum to Santa Clara had their scrum half feeding the ball to fly half Michelle Coleman’s right, just out of reach, with the ball landing beyond the dead ball line, forcing another scrum 5 to Nevada. Unfortunately one of Nevada’s forwards was guilty of a second high tackle within the space of five minutes with three quarters of the match played, and it was a third high tackle for that player overall, so she was yellow carded. In the meantime a Santa Clara player left the field with an injury, leaving them with 13 on the pitch. Now it was 14 on 13, and Santa Clara would again threaten to score, pinning Nevada deep into their own end, where they would infringe. Santa Clara ran the penalty, and Jessica Lew-Munoz would score a converted try to once again put Santa Clara into a lead they would not relinquish. Before the Nevada player could be let back on the pitch two more Santa Clara tries were added. Mariela Murillo took advantage of space to go on a fifty meter run, only to be caught by a faster Nevada back in full flight as well, but Erica Sweet took a pass some five to ten meters from the goal line as she had been running in support, crossing over and setting up Murillo’s conversion kick for another seven points. A few minutes later, near 70 minutes of play having gone by, Michelle Coleman would score after a tackle-ruck situation, taking a pass and dotting down. The conversion failed, and Santa Clara had 38 points on the score board with some ten minutes left in the match, but with Nevada-Reno now back at full strength with their player returning to the pitch after the ten minute sin-binning. Another Santa Clara player would then be injured shortly thereafter, leaving them now with 12 players. Nevada quickly tried to take advantage of the situation, and penetrated into Santa Clara territory, realizing time was short, but that a few quick converted tries might bring them a chance to win. There were some infringements by Santa Clara, defending desperately, but they were making tackles to stymie any attempts to score on Nevada’s part. The horn went off as the forty minutes of time on the score board ended, but I already had notified both teams of three minutes of added stoppage time and to disregard that horn. Into injury time Michelle Coleman made a clearance kick behind the 22, finding touch and setting up a line out after one minute. Another minute of play went by when Coleman, standing deep in her quarter, got the ball in her hands again deep in her 22, but this time the attempted clearing kick went off the side of her foot straight into a team mate’s hands in an offside position up field some fifteen meters. Nevada took the scrum much nearer to the goal line for one last gasp attempt to score, but their possession, and the game, ended with a knock on as I blew for no side. This match leaves Santa Clara and Fresno State clashing head to head in two weeks time for the Division 2 championship, in Fresno. Fresno State has greatly improved in two seasons and might be considered the favorite, and they do have a deep bench. Santa Clara now has to face whether they will have at least 15 ready to play. Hopefully for them the two injured in this match will be ready, and the other two on the sidelines who didn’t play against Reno will be as well.

Date: 02/11/2017
Santa Clara 53 – UC Santa Barbara 21
Referee: Bretz, Paul

Santa Clara dominated open play and restarts to score 9 tries to UCSB’s 3 tries. Santa Clara’s scrum was dominated and this dominance resulted in a penalty try.

Date: 02/11/2017
Santa Clara B 19 – UC Santa Barbara B 7
Referee: Bretz, Paul

Santa Clara B made it two for two as they beat UCSB second side.

Date: 02/11/2017
San Jose Women 0 – Sacramento Amazons 121
Referee: Moore, Stephen

No report received

Date: 02/11/2017
San Jose 29 – Silicon Valley 14
Referee: Hinkin, James

Two teams that spent 80 minutes ignorantly whining and complaining and in between managed a few passages of rugby.

Date: 02/11/2017
Napa 40 – Fresno 20
Referee: Coppinger, John

Interesting game moved to a turf field in Vallejo lined for softball and soccer, which necessitated the use of tape for critical lines and resulted in some confusion on my part at least once (and I am being generous to myself).

There were lot of physical confrontations and big hits (which were very much for the most part legal) with the game being pretty much even until the deeper Napa team began to find running lanes and gaps into which to drop kicks putting Fresno on the back foot. Fresno stayed in the game mainly due to the efforts of the IRB’s 2005 7s player of the year, who was a pleasure to watch play up close.

Date: 02/11/2017
Mother Lode 88 – Marin Varsity 0
Referee: Davis, Austin

The game was held during a windy day at Livermore Park’s turf field in Folsom, CA. Marin has been struggling with keeping players healthy and accountable, having to put many inexperienced starters on the field against a strong Mother Lode side. The inexperience and fatigue due to lack of players/substitutes plagued Marin through the game.

The Captains were respectful and both teams played a clean game. Despite Marin’s downfall, they held their heads high and were extremely respectful players and a great side to referee. Mother Lode was a great home team to referee for as well.

Date: 02/11/2017
Los Gatos 7 – Danville Varsity 28
Referee: Pohlman, John

A large and festive crowd witnessed a great high school variety rugby game this past Saturday at Leland High School in south San Jose.
United hosted current national high school champion Danville. Danville came up against a very physical United team. United was totally up for the game, with little to no intimidation. At 21 minutes the first and only score of the first half was by my player of the game, captain and #12 Kevin. Half time score Danville 7 United 0.
Kevin opened the second half with another long and somewhat individual effort for a try at 4 minutes. At the 8 minute mark Danville’s fullback scored on another long run. United’s primary weakness was on mid field missed tackles turned into long runs due to poor forward support. Danville powerful #8 finished the scoring for Danville at the 12 minute mark.
United scored a try at the 32 minutes. The game was played with respect, speed and ingenuity.
Thanks to the coaches and captains for showing the respect to themselves, the fans and their opponents. That is what rugby is all about. Lighting up your opposite mark with a strong legal tackle and no dancing or smack talking after.
Thanks guys.

Date: 02/11/2017
Life West Women 32 – All Blues 12
Referee: Barfels, Ed

A great day for rugby at Cal Maritime. Life West (LW) was in blue and All Blues (AB) were in yellow. It caused a little confusion at the beginning, both sides would react when I asked “blue” to do something. However, LW took control of the game with good continuity in the open field and scored two tries in the first half. One in the 20 minute and one in the 23 minute. Neither conversion was made. AB did score in the 40 minute of the first half (a penalty try) and made the conversion. Half time score LW – 10 : AB – 7. LW continued the good open field play in the second half scoring four tries and one conversion. One try was scored when LW was short a player. AB was awarded a second penalty try after LW was offside three times (and numerous verbal warnings) while the ball was within one meter of the goal. The final score LW – 32 : AB 12.

Date: 02/11/2017
Humboldt Women A 32 – California Women A 45
Referee: Bertolone, Cary

Beautiful, sunny day as we kicked off at 11:00 am. Very even game with Humboldt scoring a converted try first, Cal scored the next three tries, Humboldt scored two more……kind of all game long, a see saw battle. Humboldt took the lead with 5 minutes to go, 32-31, the crowd went crazy and then Cal scored two converted tries in the last few minutes to put an end to the crowds cheerful excitement.

Date: 02/11/2017
CK McClatchy 40 – Jesuit Varsity 48
Referee: Boyer, Rich

It was a game that lived up to its billing. Jesuit always have a very good squad; Coach Inoke at CKM has built a very strong one as well, and now they are on the radar. It was a special game for me to ref in that no fewer than 10 Land Park Motley Alum were on the pitch for both teams at any given time, sometimes numbering up to 13. The Alum went through our youth and middle school academy at Land Park so it was a game of cat and mouse, what with them being very familiar with this ref’s likes and dislikes.

The monsoon proportions of rain resulted in Jesuit hosting this match on its turf pitch. I was looking for that easing flow into the game as it started but no such luck as Jesuit took the start and center George Niethammer made a scything 60 meter run for a converted try prior to the first minute ticking off. Jesuit would score again in the corner by their wing before CKM knew what had hit them. CKM, to their credit, stuck to their gameplan, naturally based on Kiwi rugby as Inoke hails from Wellington. The outside center, very slippery indeed, beat three defenders for a try under the posts and the game was on. And so it went, Jesuit would score, then CKM, who eventually gained the momentum and the lead into the third stanza with brilliant backline play orchestrated by Junior at ten, often times capped off with tries by Zach Neff, flanker. CKM took the lead on a chip and chase by the wing, brilliantly put down in the corner for a try. 36-33 CKM. Jesuit never once backed down or showed any discomfort. They soon gathered the lead with a barnstorming run by prop Conner Bellinger off a ruck, then padded it with a fantastic up and under (remember garryownens?) by Carlos Ramirez, a fortuitous bounce of the ball for the Jesuit wing and his subsequent great catch and dot down. Towards the end, captain Garrett Kay took a ball off the base of a scrum and powered in for his try. Credit CKM, they bounced right back to score a try at the death on another slicing run by Zach Neff. Conversion good. Jesuit wins in a well contested match, played in good spirits.

Date: 02/11/2017
Chico State 33 – 12 UNR
Referee: McSwain, Beau

The game was pushed to start a half hour later than normal in an attempt to allow the field to dry as much as possible due to the large amount of rain we have received in the north state. The breeze that replaced the rain Friday and Saturday did just that and the field was in great shape for the entirety of the game. Chico scored first at the 20 minute mark of the half and then put in three more scores to take a 26-0 lead into halftime. Chico scored first again in the second half at the 45th minute and then Reno followed with one converted try at the 71st minute and an unconverted try very late in the game. The final score was 33-12 in favor of Chico State.

Date: 02/11/2017
California 73 – Cal Poly 7
Referee: MacDonald, Neil
AR: Pescetti, David
AR: Heil, Duane

My weekend got off to a poor start when weather-related road damage scuppered our plans to head up to the Sierra for some cross-country skiing. Mid-morning on Saturday the call came: could I get to Berkeley in time for a 2 pm match to cover for a now injured ref who had been covering for an ill ref. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I was soon wending my way through the reconstruction zone that is Santa Cruz county these days and heading into the bright sunlit skies of the Bay. It was a beautiful day at Witter Field, and for the second match in a double-header, Cal was facing Cal Poly. It was fun to see a number of players I remember from their high school years, all of whom have blossomed into robust athletes. Cal Poly’s impressive scrum platform was a serious handful for Cal’s front row for much of the match, and the breakdowns were fiercely contested, with Cal Poly’s flanker and captain winning a couple of outrageous poaches. However, Cal’s intensity in defense, ball protection, and support play gave them the upper hand in open play, and Cal Poly couldn’t contain Cal’s lineout mauls from close range. Many thanks for David Pescetti and Duane Heil for their help on the touchlines.

Date: 02/11/2017
California 44 – Arizona St. 16
Referee: Pescetti, David

The torrential week of wet weather parted for it knew better than to impede our holy day. The sun shone brightly as kick off approached and it remained that way.

The initial 40 minutes were mostly controlled by Cal. Breaking out to 22 – 0 lead in the first 30 minutes. After that momentum swung decidedly to ASU. Unfortunately ASU was only able to manage a penalty kick in those final 10, despite threatening. However, the half time break did not relent up the pressure. The beginning of the second half ASU resumed their pressure and capitalized on that pressure. Putting up a Try and another Penalty Kick to bring the score to Cal 22 – ASU 11. After feeling the sting of the Sun Devil Trident close behind them, Cal went back to their open play-style. Using their speed on the wing they were able to spring for several tries and push their lead. Cal was able to score 4 tries and a conversion in each half bringing their final score to 44. ASU had an impressive second half scoring 13 points.

Final: Cal 44 – ASU 16

Good luck to both teams the rest of the way.

Date: 02/12/2017
Humboldt Women A 10 – UC Davis Women A 119
Referee: Bertolone, Cary

Another sunny morning in Arcata. UC Davis kicked off at 11:00 am, they tackled the Humboldt player, rucked over and through the Humboldt forwards, picked up the ball, five passes and they scored within 90 seconds. They also scored a try in the 3rd minute. And in the 5th and 7th minute and so it went. They have a small pack, but they are ferocious ruckers, good passers, they have a strong backline, shifty runners and they are in shape. Humboldt couldn’t stop them. Humboldt kept their humor and their high efforts. They scored a hard fought try in the 25th minute as well as in the 75th minute, so they never stopped trying (no pun intended). They were coached by my old team mate, Gary Gordon. I loved his upbeat approach, encouraging and never yelling. Of course, there wasn’t much to be yelling about on that day. I received a little bit of a workout (which I needed anyway).

This Week’s Photo

This week’s photo is of one of our youngest referees Andrew Stockton as he keeps a close eye on the ladies of Stanford and Chico St. I call it “Stockton at Stanford”.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

Slip Sliding Away

HAIL PELICUS!

Slip Sliding Away

You know you’re near your destination the more you’re slip sliding away.

-Paul Simon

With years of drought drying up the topsoil and weakening the root systems of our varied and various flora it is no surprise that during our current winter deluge that many of the hillsides of Pelicanland have decided to become the valley floors of Pelicanland. It is now nearly a daily occurrence for Hwy 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains to have mudslide blocking lanes and snarling traffic. Flooding is rampant in the Sacramento Valley and the North Bay and whole streets seem to be washed away at times. The rain is here – be careful what you wish for.

The slipping and sliding translates to the rugby pitch as well as teams relearn how to play in the mud. The exceptions, of course, are the turf fields that have cropped up across the region as well as the entire globe. While I personally prefer grass I do appreciate the value of turf on a day like last Saturday when steady rain kept up all day with a 5 minute deluge in the first half just for punctuation. The field remained playable and none the worse for the rain.

Of course, once spring arrives and we move into summertime we shall see how we feel about these fields radiating heat, but that is a different column.

February Society Meeting

Our society meeting has been double Comstock’d due to weather so we will be meeting Wednesday, February 8 at East Bay Sports in Livermore, CA (6474 Patterson Pass Rd, Livermore, 94550 http://eastbaysports.net/livermore.html).

From our Noble Leader: This will be the only fitness testing session that the society will provide this season. If you desire to receive national appointments or participate as a center official for NCRFU playoffs you need to participate in the testing. We have an indoor synthetic field reserved for 1800hrs. Please be there ready to go by 1800hrs so arrive early to warm up. @ 1900hrs our meeting will commence in a conference room. The society will provide food. Beverages, both adult and soft drinks, are available for purchase.

Language, Please!

“Words are the litmus paper of the minds. If you find yourself in the power of someone who will use the word ‘commence’ in cold blood, go somewhere else very quickly.”

-Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

New Kit

We have jerseys. We have socks. We have shorts. We have track suits. The (astonishingly stylish) new kit will be distributed if I see you at some point in the next couple of weeks and at the Society meeting.

Las Vegas Invitational

The previous LVI Tournament Director has left his post to study interpretive dance so Steve Albrecht has taken over. Below is his call to the Greatest Rugby Referee Society On The Planet:

Referees One and All !

The biggest rugby tournament in North America is looking for YOU! The Las Vegas Invitational needs you on March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to help volunteer and officiate 7’s (and a 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!

All Referees receive:
– Rhino LVI Referee jersey (both Male and Female cuts)
– Tickets to all 3 days of the USA Sevens International event (when you stay at the Westgate Hotel – massive LVI discounts available)

ALSO – USA Rugby is holding a 1-day clinic Wednesday March 1st at the Westgate Resort. Don’t miss out on your chance to train with the best in the ever-growing world of Sevens Rugby.

Westgate Hotel link: https://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/official-lvi-hotels/

To register to ref at the LVI 2017: https://goo.gl/forms/e5Om9GuMqYsM5zR43

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

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

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

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 02/04/2017
Vacaville 24 – Sacramento Blackhawks 27
Referee: Lew, Tim

An early 10A kickoff in Vacaville on an all weather field started my Saturday. The game was fast and clean for the conditions. Halftime was tied at 12-12. Sac Blackhawks gave away 8 first half penalties compared to Vacavilles 3 which gave Vacaville most of the possession. Sac had a solid second half and both teams traded off scores. Sac had the last try and ended holding off Vacaville in the 22m for the remainder of the game.

Date: 02/04/2017
USF 36 – Sierra College 29
Referee: Heil, Duane

Note: away team was college of the Sierra. Not sfstate.
The game was played on artificial turf at negocio field at usf. The field was wet, but it only rained slightly twice during the game.
Both teams were highly physical and very fit. The usf side is well coached and it showed by their organization and level of play. 24 players showed.
Sierra Had only 20 players. They asked for open subs, but usf requested standard closed subs.

The first half Sierra out scored 3 try’s to 1. At the half, Mike coached me to become more aware many offsides by Sierra and breakdown infractions. Once I started penalizing Sierra, the flow of the game changed radically.
There were also several high tackles, one lifting, and a couple no wrapping calls.
With 15 minutes left in the game, I stopped play and had a conference with the captains to stop the excessive chatter and profanity, mostly by Sierra.
In the final minutes of the game, usf scored the winning try.

I was extremely grateful to have Mike coach me in my effort.
His main points were for me to be better positioned so I could see the flow of the game. Also, he suggested that I become more deliberate in my calls and signals. I also need to call out the advantage and blow it up sooner.

Personally, this was a great opportunity to learn and move forward in my referee career.
Thank you!
Duane Heil.

Date: 02/04/2017
UOP 20 – Sonoma St 34
Referee: Barfels, Ed

The skies were cloudy and the field was grass. Given all the rain this week, we all knew it would be muddy. Before the game the coaches and I decided on uncontested scrums (for safety). Sonoma State (SSU) started early with a try in minute two. The SSU scrum half came off the side of a ruck and ran 10 meters (untouched) for the score. It was a move he repeated two more times during the game with the same results. In the first half, SSU scored two tries with one conversion. Additionally, SSU made one penalty kick. UOP did score one try (without conversion). Half time score: SSU 15, UOP 5. The second have was a little more even. UOP had to play short a man for 10 minutes due to a high tackle. UOP #14 high tackled a SSU player in the 16th minute of the second half. However, UOP did score a try while short handed. Both teams scored three tries in the second half. SSU had two conversions and UOP none. The final score was SSU 34, UOP 20. Not bad for a wet & muddy field.

Date: 02/04/2017
UCSC 24 – Chico State 36
Referee: Bailey, Andrew

No report received

Date: 02/04/2017
UC Davis Women 20 – Sonoma St Women 20
Referee: Hosley, David

Cloudy but just a few drops for a friendly between two evenly matched sides.

Sonoma dominated early, but UCD came back with some impressive work by the forwards.

Played on an artificial turf field next to the cow barn due to wet grounds at Russell Field.

Date: 02/04/2017
UC Davis Women 15 – BYU Women 30
Referee: Bretz, Paul

BYU were happy to be out of the snow despite the rain as they visited UC Davis. The coaches agreed to 4 20 minute quarters and open subs. BYU were bigger and faster than their hosts and scored first and last. Both teams learned allot from the game and I believe they will see each other come playoff time.

Date: 02/04/2017
UC Davis 87 – SJSU 7
Referee: Crenshaw, Jim

This match was over early. UC Davis scored early and often. Score at half time was 50 to 0.

Date: 02/04/2017
South Valley 5 – Google 60
Referee: Freitas, Larry

I arrived at Paradise Park in Morgan Hill after a commute over the hill via Route 152 that winds its way over the south end of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the South Santa Clara Valley and South Valley’s home turf. A few showers near noon gave way to partial sun but mostly clouds and a 60F afternoon. Google, the visitors, started the scoring just 2 minutes into the game by crossing South Valley’s line, continued with another try at 8 minutes from a kick and chase from half way out that saw the South Valley full back desperate to defend and in a spot of bother, and after a period of play in which no team seemed to be able to do much with the ball, Google again scored as they swung the ball out wide to the backs in South Valley’s quarter, with the wing going over for another un-converted try and a 15-0 lead with a quarter of the match played. South Valley responded at 25 minutes when Marcus Rosevear crossed the line from a penalty awarded 5 meters out and 5 meters in from touch, with South Valley running the ball from the mark.
Google got right back on track and scored three more tries before the half time whistle, and their number 8, Pila Tai, had a few of them. He would add a few more in the second half as Google kept South Valley scoreless, adding on three converted tries and one unconverted for a 60-5 margin as the game ended. Google had some very experienced players in their side with accents that weren’t American: one French, and then more than a few Australasian. A few flare ups happened with tempers, but nothing to warrant disciplinary action. Several players got warned for their tackling, as in one more and they’d be off the pitch with a yellow or red card, so no second offenses for any one player.
The recent rains meant the surface was greasy, and as Paradise Park was the venue for the previous Saturday’s win against the Central Coast Beach Dogs, the turf got even more torn up. South Valley is to be commended for getting the old goal posts that once were at Live Oak High School, the real-deal metal posts, which are thirty feet high, a great improvement over PVC uprights and cross bars. If only Paradise Park hadn’t that one short stretch of the asphalt walk way on the south end keeping the pitch from being lined wider and the in-goals lined deeper, it would be an excellent place to play. Someone needs to do some jack hammering! I’m reminded of Wrigley Field back in the day when the Bears still played there, and the south east corner of the end zone was sliced off by the visitors’ dugout! We all went to the Box Seat afterwards, south of downtown Morgan Hill off the Old 101 (Monterey Highway), for beers and hamburgers afterwards. A shout-out to Alan Barker, Google’s coach, for the conversation post match.

Date: 02/04/2017
Solano-Yolo 33 – Mother Lode Varsity 39
Referee: Richmond, Jeff

Very fast match with multiple lead changes. The teams were very similar in size and game style, dependent on forwards able to crash off of loose play then use a quick back line to exploit overlaps. Solano was trailing in the final minutes and nearly came back to win it.

Date: 02/04/2017
Silicon Valley 12 – Napa 48
Referee: Lane, John

Independence High School was the venue for this entertaining D2 game. Both sides were committed for the full 80 with a vocal sideline encouraging them on throughout.

Napa started the stronger and after turnover ball from the kickoff attacked the line with a few phases. Silicon Valley infringed just short of the line and the Napa 10 converted the penalty for a 0-3 lead on 3 minutes.

For the rest of the half Napa dominated the majority of play and territory. SV had a number of promising phases but did not make any opportunity count.

Napa crossed for tries on 10, 24 and 34 minutes with each converted for a 0-24 scoreline.

On the restart Napa continued to have the upper hand and stretched SV’s defense a number of times before crossing for a 4th converted try on 43 minutes stretching their lead to 0-31.

SV reacted positively to this score and dominated possession and field position for the next period and after a number of close surges to the line shifted the ball left and scored wide out. Conversion missed – 5-31 on 52 mins.

Having scored SV lost concentration and Napa scored a simple try left of the post which was again converted – 5-38 on 56 mins.

SV got back in the game form the kick off and controlled territory again for the next 10 minutes. Scoring a well taken try on 63 minutes which was converted for 12-38.

Both sides were visibly tiring but the Napa subs bench were stronger and they controlled play for the final stages of the game crossing for 2 unconverted tries on 69 and 74 minutes leaving the final scoreline at 12-48.

Date: 02/04/2017
SFGG Women 0 – Life West Women 62
Referee: Tiatia, Nome

No report received

Date: 02/04/2017
SFGG 35 – Life West 19
Rerferee: Micheletti, Chris (Montreal)
Referee Know It All: Johnson, Lee

Visiting referee Chris Micheletti from Montreal. Chris is being coached this season for Rugby Canada by our own Lee Johnson.
With both sides fielding their respective Cal Cup sides, SFGG were in a determined mood to win this first Men’s D1 game for the “Gold” side. Life West took an early lead in the 6th minute. SFGG had an extended period of pressure, during which they missed two kickable penalties before finally succeeding in the 30th minute. A further period of pressure resulted in a well worked try for the SFGG number 8. Half Time 8-5.
The second half was all about SFGG in which they controlled the scrums and enjoyed long periods of attacking pressure. With two tries all of which were converted and two penalties by SFGG number 10, Volney Rouse. With 10 minutes left on the clock, Life West scored a converted try. Not to be outdone SFGG completed their scoring for the day with Hooker, Neil Barrett scoring SFGG’s fourth try of the day, that was again converted. Life West had the final say as SFGG seemed to shut off for the last five minutes with a further converted try to bring the end to a very entertaining game.

Date: 02/04/2017
San Joaquin 12 – Colusa 59
Referee: Wilson, Giles

The rain took a break for Saturday (a rugby day) and Colusa travelled to Manteca to play the Harlots. The field was in good shape, firm and marked correctly.

Colusa kicked off and had score within a couple of minutes, direct running and regularly breaking the first tackle was a feature of the game. The hosting Harlots battled on and had some good passages but were generally on the back foot. The first half ended 33 (5 tries) to Colusa with the Harlots on 7 ( 1 try).

The Harlots had some better patches in the second half but also some more covering tackles (some very brave rear guard efforts) and mistakes that led to turnover scores. In the second half Colusa racked up 4 more tries to one in reply from the Harlots. The final score was Colusa 59 – Harlots 12.

Date: 02/04/2017
Sacramento State Women 10 – CSU Monterey Bay WR 7
Referee: Devlin, Joe

No report received

Date: 02/04/2017
Sacramento Amazons 101 – Colusa Women 0
Referee: Wood, Scott

Initially, this match was scheduled for 11 a.m. at Danny Nunn Park; however, due to (somewhat understandable) weather conditions, the Amazons were left seeking an alternate pitch location. Securing the pitch at Robla Park prior to the Lions / Santa Rosa match was perfect as I was assigned to evaluate the referee at that location. As with all well-laid plans, they rarely play out as desired. Sacramento State women had lost access to their field and were also accommodated at Robla. Nonetheless, Joe Devlin was able to get his match finished in an expedited manner and we transitioned to the pitch in a fairly economical manner. While there were some poorly drained areas, the pitch held up relatively well.

Both teams were seeking their first win of the season and it was apparent from the onset that the Amazons were not going to let the opportunity to go to waste. The first of nine first-half tries was scored three minutes into the match. Forwards kept moving forward and backs spread the ball wide exploiting space and tackles. Undeterred, Colusa competed at rucks and tackles but were overwhelmed by the Amazons’ experience and tenacity. Colusa lost its loosehead to a head injury (NB: don’t duck into an elbow) and we had to deal with the abysmally boring (no pun intended) uncontested scrums for the remainder of the first half. HT: Amazons 55 / Colusa 0.

The second half was a continuation of the first with Colusa missing tackles and the Amazons scoring. Kudos to Colusa on its improved tackle form (read: lower) and offside lines / tackle entry. Amazons lost some focus but was able to cross the 100-point barrier. FT: Amazons 101 / Colusa 0.

Date: 02/04/2017
Reno 17 – Redwood 22
Referee: Reagle, Sam

The game was moved 35 miles from Reno to Fernley because the city believed the reports that a storm was coming. Though it was quite windy, it was a beautiful clear, cool day. The first 20 minutes of this game were somewhat sloppy. Turnovers and scrums were frequent. Then Redwood managed to break a tackle and open the scoring with an unconverted try at 27 minutes in. This seemed to awaken Reno as they took the lead back with a converted try at 32 minutes and closed out the half with an unconverted one. Halftime: 12-5

The second half was just the opposite, Reno scored first to take what looked like a commanding lead at 17-5, but something happened. Redwood started playing noticeably better. Their support was better and their passes were accurate. Redwood scored a converted try at 20 minutes and an unconverted try at 31 minutes to tie the game. The last 9 minutes were very exciting as both teams wanted the victory. Redwood sealed the win with a try at full time thanks to 3 perfect passes to supporting players thru several defenders. The social at the Man Cave was well attended by both teams.

Date: 02/04/2017
Olympic Club 34 – EPA Razorbacks 0
Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

An emotion filled game saw OC putting phases together. EPA struggled to make tackles and stop OC momentum.

Date: 02/04/2017
Fresno State 19 – UNR 5
Referee: Jury, Jeff

The day was between rain storms, clear and the warmest of the year (65’F) so far. The pitch was firm, but slick for scrummaging. UNR was smart to split up their ride, make the pass Friday-finish the ride Saturday morning.
Both teams were fit and ready. The first half was played at a frenetic pace with CSUF stretching the field and trying to exploit gaps. UNR countering with Hard hits and committed direct running. UNR drew first blood with an uncovered try 5 minutes before the end of a long half. CSUF responded by pinning UNR down inside the 22m after the restart. Slow ball from the breakdown provided an
opportunity for a slashing interception and converted try. CSUF 7 UNR 5
The second half picked up right where it left off. Play felt desperate, almost playoff like. Unfortunately, knocks and forward passing instigated more than a few scrums. This and the heat started wearing on the UNR pack. CSUF scored a couple of worthy trys at 9 and 18 minutes in (1converted). UNR was game and threatened, but couldn’t convert in the second half. CSUF 19 UNR 5
The B game had more than a few rookies but, was contended well. CSUF 19 UNR12

Date: 02/04/2017
Chico 67 – Shasta 0
Referee: McSwain, Beau

Final was 67-0 in favor of Chico. 11 Trys and 6 Conversions. Shasta was a little short handed, but Chico graciously gave them a couple of players throughout the game. Game went off in good order and no cards were given.

Date: 02/04/2017
California Women A 12 – Stanford Women A 31
Referee: Hinkin, James

It is always a pleasure to referee at Cal’s Witter Field and Cal v Stanford is one of the great rivalries in American Sports no matter what the game or situation so I was looking forward to this clash. Steady rain was no problem with Cal’s turf field so when everyone was ready I damply started the match. Stanford looked the more precise team early and it showed with an early score but Cal battled hard. The scoreline was flattering to the visitors as the game was much more balanced than it indicates, but Stanford was able to finish off their moves while Cal struggled in the final phase. Captain Abby Vogel was a powerful presence for the Bears all over the pitch but her Cardinal counterpart Olivia Huey got the decisive word in with a late try. Cal was able to get the last laugh with a converted try but could not stop the inevitable Stanford victory.

Date: 02/04/2017
All Blues 99 – San Jose Women 0
Referee: Carmody, Martin

lop sided game played fairly by the dominant team. No issues, no cards.

Date: 02/05/2017
Stanford Women B 0 – Humboldt Women B 0
Referee: Bretz, William

Referee showed up. Teams did not have enough healthy players for game. Meet with coach to confirm.

Date: 02/05/2017
Stanford Women A 41 – Humboldt Women A 17
Referee: Bretz, Paul

Fun Sunday morning game between Stanford and Humbolt women. Less than 12 penalties and lots of open field play. Stanford were much smaller than their visitors yet controlled the scrum and maintained possession in the tackle. The last passage of play of the first half lasted more than 4 minutes of open play.

Date: 02/05/2017
California Women A 5 – Chico State Women A 39
Referee: Sandhill, Peter

It’s always a pleasure to referee at Witter Field, home of the Cal bears rugby. This year in this league, all teams play each other twice and it’s early in the season: Chico and Cal’s first meeting. Cal women started strongly with some very positive front foot forward play resulting in a near try (held up). After a couple of tries to Chico, Cal fought back and scored. Chico were ahead 3 ties to 1 at the half. In the second half, Cal changed their tactics and stopped committing to the ruck and instead placing forwards in defensive positions.

Overall, both teams seemed pretty even, with Chico gradually demonstrating stronger rucking and counter rucking skills. Chico had a strong #10 and some quality outside backs while Cal seemed to have a slight edge in the forwards, especially at the set piece. It’s funny in rugby how teams can sometimes seem close on the field and how the scoreboard doesn’t reflect that. Often it’s the little things, an edge here or there. To their credit, Cal never gave up and were positive until the final whistle. You would have thought the scores were close at the end by the way both teams kept attacking from deep in their own quarter, until late in the game. Lovely rugby.

This Week’s Photo

The Monthly Society Meeting is this week and food will be provided. Players and coaches are always welcome to attend.

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

The Late January Report

HAIL PELICUS!

The Late January Report

You heard that I was feeling ill
Headache fever and a chill
Where the nurse to restore my pluck?
Looks like I am out of luck.

Yes, the entire editorial staff here has caught a bug and, combined with actual paid work that we need to do because the salary here is, frankly, peanuts, means that this week’s edition will be late and lacking the usual risible commentary. Though many of you, our dear readers, may prefer their Hail Pelicus that way we here are fully confident that normal service will be restored next week.

February Society Meeting

Our society meeting was also Comstock’d due to weather so we will next be meeting Wednesday, February 8 at the usual location, the SFGG clubhouse on Treasure Island. NOTE: If rain is forecast we will be holding the training at Tracy High School so keep your ear to the mud for updates from our illustrious leader Pelicus Iudex Pennipes and also in this space.

There will be a Yo-Yo fitness test at 6:00 to determine which referee can do yo-yo tricks the longest. If you desire to receive National Appointments or wish to be considered for NCRRS playoffs plan on completing the test. You must “walk the dog” at least twice and maintain a “sleeper” for a minimum of 10 seconds to be considered.

At 7:00 we will commence our monthly training. The following are the presenters and topics:

Neil MacDonald – Breakdowns
Lee Johnson – Scrum and the Dark Arts
Lee Bryant- Psychological elements of officiating
Paul Bretz- Game Management Guidelines

New Kit

We have jerseys. We have socks. We have shorts. We have track suits. The (astonishingly stylish) new kit will be distributed if I see you at some point in the next couple of weeks and at the Society meeting.

Las Vegas Invitational

The previous LVI Tournament Director has left his post to embark on a journey of self discovery and contemplation as a roadie for the Billy and the Boingers reunion tour so Steve Albrecht has taken over. Below is his call to the Greatest Rugby Referee Society On The Planet:

Referees One and All !

The biggest rugby tournament in North America is looking for YOU! The Las Vegas Invitational needs you on March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to help volunteer and officiate 7’s (and a 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!

All Referees receive:
– Rhino LVI Referee jersey (both Male and Female cuts)
– Tickets to all 3 days of the USA Sevens International event (when you stay at the Westgate Hotel – massive LVI discounts available)

ALSO – USA Rugby is holding a 1-day clinic Wednesday March 1st at the Westgate Resort. Don’t miss out on your chance to train with the best in the ever-growing world of Sevens Rugby.

Westgate Hotel link: https://www.usasevens.com/las-vegas/official-lvi-hotels/

To register to ref at the LVI 2017: https://goo.gl/forms/e5Om9GuMqYsM5zR43

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

On To The Game Reports!

Date: 01/26/2017
Cal Poly SLO 3 – BYU 91
Referee: Lane, John

After the 3 hour drive down to SLO I got to stretch and prep for the 19:30 kickoff while Pete Smith ran an entertaining B Game.

In pre-Game BYU looked to be more organized and intense and while Cal Poly put in some strong phases throughout the game overall the extra power and on average the higher skill set across the BYU roster ensured a steady ticking over of the score board which did little justice to the efforts put in by the Cal Poly side over the 80 minutes.

On what this Irishman viewed as a pleasant evening in January, the strong support were out in their “winter woolies” on the side line and added plenty of encouragement to both teams.

Throughout the 1st half BYU were scoring regularly as Cal Poly were proving competitive through the first few phases but would become stretched defensively resulting in scores being conceded.

BYU scored 6 tries and converted 4 in the 1st half while Cal Poly had a number of attacking opportunities but had to settle for 1 successful penalty conversion to leave the half time scores at 3-38.

The second half continued in a similar way with BYU dominating the scoreboard throughout. Cal Poly continued to play open rugby despite the pressures they were under in contact but the stronger BYU side wore them down and in addition to some well crafted scores by BYU some errors crept into the Cal Poly play giving away a few softer scoring opportunities which BYU took.

In total a further 9 tries were scored by BYU with only 4 conversions successful.

This left the final score at 3-91.

Date: 01/27/2017
UC Davis Women A 46 – Stanford Women A 0
Referee: Bryant, Lee

Great game to start off the season in the beautiful Aggie Stadium. Highly contentious game at the breakdown with both teams getting a handful of turnovers throughout the match. Davis dominated a bit more in the scrum and the backs moved the ball easily with deadly support. Stanford fought all game and knocked on the door of the in-goal a few times but could not punch it in. Stanford supported well at the breakdowns but could not match the ferocity of Davis’ backs.

Date: 01/28/2017
All Blues 132 – Colusa Women 0
Referee: Rauscher, Eric

No, that’s the right score. Perennial powerhouse the Berkeley All Blues play in the fall in the WPL and use the spring D2 league as a means of practice. As I understand it they forfeit all of their games in the spring, so I guess Colusa won. This is the first year for Colusa. They recruit from the city of Colusa and have players from the men’s team as their coaches. They showed true grit and a willingness to receive a pounding and play on.

I offered to shorten the game and they refused. I am really impressed by how Colusa has embraced rugby.

Date: 01/28/2017
BA Baracus 38 – Silicon Valley 10
Referee: Richmond, Jeff

My first time at the Crocker Amazon park, with an interesting pitch set-up. We ran sideways across a half-soccer field on artificial turf, nearly a square rather than a rectangular playing area. It was a hard-fought match, both sides able to get the ball out wide and assemble attacks with their backline. With the score 17-7 at half-time, Baracus brought in fresh legs and blew it open in the second half. There were a lot of problems with people going to ground at the breakdowns early on but we (captains and I) were able to sort that out and play flowed much more quickly. I understand Silicon Valley has moved up from D-3 and they certainly are able to compete at the D-2 level. Many thanks to Nome Tiatia who ran AR on one side. He was able to suppress his allegiance to Baracus by helping me call back one of their tries!

Date: 01/28/2017
Berkeley 19 – Fresno 23
Referee: Rauscher, Eric

The ref for this game was Mauke Mauke BCRRS. It was played at Albany Middle School on their turf Football field, with all the problems that that entails. The game however was a very hard fought close affair. Mauke enjoyed doing the game. He especially liked that the #10 for Fresno used to play for the Auckland Blues.

Date: 01/28/2017
Cal Maritime 57 – Sonoma St 24
Referee: Tucker, Chris

CMA looked organized, and turned out in numbers on their home field for the game. SSU, on the other hand, were in technical forfeit based on roster issues before the game started. But we played regardless, on the general theory that more rugby is much, much better than less rugby. The game went the way my preamble suggests, with CMA putting their opponents to the sword. SSU’s roster issues got worse in the second half as their 8 man got the second yellow for contact to the head. It’s always with a heavy heart that one looks at the number of the player and sees the same as the one noted from the earlier misdemeanor, but the second offence was worse than the first and World Rugby apparently does not want such transgressors on the field of play. So he sat down again, this time for good. 3 other players got a time out for head contact. I’m pinning my hopes on this being the first game of the year for these guys. I’m spending too much time on the subsequent paperwork…

Date: 01/28/2017
California Res. 143 – Pleasanton Cavs 0
Referee: Bretz, Paul

At half time the score was 73-0 in favor of Cal Bs. With 30 minutes to go in the match the score board had reached 99. I offered the Jester captain the opportunity to the end game early and to their credit chose to continue the beatdown. This is the inaugural season for the Pleasanton-based U23 program and believe that they will bounce back. I had the opportunity to see them the week before while coaching a referee and they looked good and dominating against USF.

Date: 01/28/2017
Chico State 35 – Fresno State 21
Referee: Bryant, Lee

Both teams fought hard to contest at the rucks and secure ball and poach. The first 20 minutes remained close for both teams but Fresno was a bit undisciplined at the breakdown and earned a few penalties that kept them in their half, but they maintained momentum throughout the first half and worked their strong pack at the rucks. Chico has a very organized attack and was patient when moving form back to forwards in open play allowing them to attack weaknesses in the Fresno line. Fresno had more speed in the back but was plagued by handling errors which hindered the speed on the outside. The score was 23-7 half to Chico at half, but Fresno gained back momentum in the second half though it wasn’t enough to overcome the point deficit continued by Chico. Also enjoyed a 7 phase goal-line defense that resulted in a beautiful try by Fresno in the second half.

Date: 01/28/2017
Diablo Gaels 17 – Napa 21
Referee: Leisek, Joe

Season opener and Napa’s first D2 match. The match was played at Alhambra High School in Martinez, on an all-weather surface marked for football with slightly wider soccer sidelines. Compliments to the hosts, the Gaels, for the field setup and markings. The match itself featured several early-season handling errors, players not yet familiar with each other, etc. Territorial kicking was basically non-existent. The teams seemed to prefer running the ball directly at each other from everywhere on the field. A very physical game with a ton of commitment from both teams. The visitors scored two converted tries in the first half and another fairly early in the second, and it looked like a shutout might be possible. However, the hosts scored three tries in the second half–only one of which was converted. Napa seemed to lose focus and discipline and nearly coughed up the lead in the waning minutes. Kudos to both sides for a hard-fought match.

Date: 01/28/2017
Google 22 – Colusa 5
Referee: Santiago, Roberto

Google hated Colusa at the near witching hour of 8pm in a classic D3 style match. Both team displayed a mix of veteran skill, new comer enthusiasm, and 1980s tough-guy bravado. For teams with few true old boys the tone and style certainly reminded me of the games I witnessed in the early 1990s. Colusa held up well considering the late start and long travel. Both teams gave away multiple opportunities inside their opponent’s 22 in the first half, with Google finally breaking through at 27:00 minutes. The G-men aded a penalty at 34:00, and ended the first half a long run up the sideline by a big fella, who looks like he shouldn’t be that fast.

Colusa gave up another score while short handed early in the second half, but came back to make a game of it by scoring a try at 58:08. After that Colusa had chances to get closer, but just couldn’t find enough continuity or ball retention to get over the line again. Though the game was contentious at times and tempers flared, in true rugby fashion all was forgiven after the final whistle. Both teams greeted each other in good spirits, and even had some nice things to say about the ref.

Date: 01/28/2017
Lamorinda Varsity 0 – Danville Varsity 50
Referee: Lew, Tim

Cold day in the Orinda valley, the two high school teams came out with high energy. Both teams traded strong running and solid tackles. Danville scored after ten minutes and continued score. Lamo made a strong push at the start of the second half but had a knock on the 5m which stalled their push.

Date: 01/28/2017
Life West 30 – EPA Razorbacks 27
Referee: Smith, Pete

No report received

Date: 01/28/2017
Marin 17 – Chico 39
Referee: Bertolone, Cary

A nice, sunny day, for once, we had a kick off in Marin City at 1 PM. Both teams initiated play with a lot of off sides, knock ons and a few high tackles, so the whistle was blowing. Chico scored two penalty kicks in the first twenty minutes. In the second twenty, Chico converted three tries, all a product of great passing and catching their passes on the burst. All three were over 50 yards of multiple passes with plenty of support for their runners. Nice rugby! So, the score was 27-0 at the half. In the first 15 minutes of the second half, Marin put together some great forward work and scored two tries of their own. That coupled with Chico playing short because of a yellow, the game had a different look. Chico was making mistakes, missed a few tackles and the game seemed pretty balanced. Chico scored another try, Marin received a yellow and the rest of the game Chico scored two tries and Marin scored one for a final score of 39-17. A fun game to ref as everyone played in good spirits. BBQ dogs at the pitch with three shooting the boot.

Date: 01/28/2017
Redwood 28 – Mendocino 26
Referee: Barfels, Ed

Both teams scored two tries in the first half. SR made both conversions, while Mendocino only made one. Additionally, Mendocino missed a penalty kick. In the second half, both sides scored two tries and all conversions were made.

Date: 01/28/2017
Sac Lions 5 – Olympic Club 47
Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

Home games for Sacramento teams are always nice to travel to. The dry weather and firm ground made for good rugby. OC had two scores and Lions scored before half. OC came up with 5 more scores rounding out the game 47-5. Lions had limited numbers with OC bringing plenty of guys to play

Date: 01/28/2017
Sacramento Amazons 12 – SFGG Women 50
Referee: Taueva, Favor

Weather was perfect for rugby especially considering the rain and cold at the KOT last weekend: SFGG was there on the pitch with enough time for them to warm up: Amazon was still looking for numbers up to the last 15 minutes to play. SFGG was very good with their handling skills. Amazons showed very good heart for rugby to defend SFGG. SFGG put up 20 points within twenty minutes into the game. SFGG was too good today for Amazons to go past 20 points: According to the Amazon’s captain words “we had our moments today and it will be a different story next time we play against SFGG”.

There is always room for improvement. Thanks to both team’s coach for the game of rugby. #alwaysafety

#alwaysfavor

Date: 01/28/2017
Sacramento Capitals 25 – Vacaville 12
Referee: Akroyd, Phil

A last minute switch found us playing this game in Lincoln, which was a first for me. However, the City fields were in good shape and given the recent weather, there wasn’t much to complain about.

The Caps went out to a 15 – 0 lead and had trouble converting their tries, so even though they were generally the all around better team, they never got too far out of reach. Vacaville managed to keep a foothold in the game and with a couple of minutes to go, we were at 20 – 12. Vacaville had possession and were slowly advancing through the home team’s half when they coughed up the ball and it was taken in for a try by the Caps, making it 25 – 12.

Not a bad game given little prep by both sides, and the silly mistakes that occurred will hopefully be eradicated as the season advances.

Date: 01/28/2017
San Jose Seahawks 10 – Sacramento Blackhawks 44
Referee: Pescetti, David

No report received

Date: 01/28/2017
San Jose Women 0 – Life West Women 83
Referee: Tuisavalalo, Rodney

The game was forfeited by San Jose even before the first whistle due to the lack of players. The teams agreed to play 4 quarters-20 minutes a quarter. As the score line suggests, Life West dominated in all facets of the game. Their forwards were relentless and were just as good as their backs in offloads. What impressed me the most was their unselfishness. Every open line break saw the ball move through the hands which kept San Jose’s defense just a step short of a successful tackle. Life West’s #8 was explosive in the attack and often drew in multiple defensive players. This led to pretty wide open gaps in the defensive line and easy scoring opportunities. Halftime score 53-0. In the second half, San Jose tried to make it a game. The forward pack led by their #3 kept the score line from getting away too far. San Jose made some clean breaks which saw them sniff Life West’s 22 meter line only to have an untimely penalty or knock-on stall their momentum. What the Seahawks lack in experience, they make up for it in heart and grit. With bloodied faces and bruised egos they played hard until the final whistle was blown. On the other side of the ball, the Gladiatrix is a well-oiled machine and are dangerous from 1-23. They are well coached and the ladies look like they’re having fun on the pitch. That combination will make it difficult for any opponent to handle. Final score 83-0.

Date: 01/28/2017
Santa Clara Univ WR 32 – UC Santa Cruz WR 24
Referee: Freitas, Larry

January 28 arrived with sun and a bit more warmth than what the previous days had offered, and a contrast to the prior weekend weather here in the northern and central parts of California, with the cold rain and coastal mountain snow. This would be a great day for some running rugby then. Santa Clara University hosted UCSC in the first round of D2 second half play, with both teams having made the “winners” bracket via their records in the first half of the season in the fall months. Santa Clara had 13 players suited up for this match, with two on the sidelines having not been cleared by the athletic trainer to play, and another two missing because of other commitments. UCSC arrived with most of their team, though the captain, the team’s hooker, and also the regular fly half and team’s kicker were missing. This meant that the Banana Slugs were basically fielding a team made up of first-year players or players who hadn’t that much experience playing in the previous year, so they were not at full-strength, though they had plenty of subs on their bench.

With Santa Clara having played only one game with 15 players so far, a loss to Santa Cruz on December 3, their coach, Kyle Domingue, seems to have figured out ways to control and possess the ball and keep it away from the opposition and constantly put pressure on them. They did it at CSUMB back in November, and they would do it again on this day. Within four minutes of play one of Santa Clara’s forward went down with an injury as I blew a whistle for an infringement deep in Santa Cruz territory. After the delay to get the player off the pitch, the Bronco women proceeded to score the first try of the match when a tap penalty saw the ball swung out wide into the hands of Carly Fowler, playing out of position in the back line, who crashed over for a try. Number 8 Jessica Lew-Monoz would score the second try of the match at 17 minutes to make the score 10-0, this after two attempts to cross the goal line had me denying tries as the ball was held up in the tackle and not grounded, awarding 5 meter scrums to Santa Clara, the second one setting up the try as a result. Santa Cruz was being denied the ball throughout much of the first half, and with quite a few first year players on the pitch as forwards, there were some offside calls going against them as a few loitered on the side of rucks, or were slow in rolling away or getting up from the back of rucks after tackles, not allowing the ball to come out. Regarding the high tackle rules, both teams had one player cautioned about this infringement, but overall the tackling was clean and hard, but not dangerous. Santa Cruz started to counter ruck as the game wore on, successfully winning ball a few times, but there didn’t seem to be any real advantage created from this, as Santa Clara’s backs and forwards were tackling anything with a black shirt on that had the ball, and therefore keeping Santa Cruz from gaining ground or creating any back line movements, or forcing handling errors. Finally at 27 minutes UCSC would score an unconverted try by one of their flankers, as a mishandled ball by Santa Clara set up an opportunity for the visitors. At 10-5 I was starting to assume that the Santa Cruz XV would start to wear down the Santa Clara XII, but that wasn’t to be the case. Within three minutes Michelle Coleman, playing outside center instead of her usual fly half position, would score a converted try, as Santa Clara methodically and clinically marched down into the Santa Cruz half after taking the kickoff from the previous try. Coleman got a pass from quick ruck ball deep in the opposition end, that went through several pairs of hand, and was able to dodge and squirm her way over the goal line. Nearer to the half time whistle Coleman would again dot down. Half time saw the cardinal red and white hooped-shirted home side ahead 22-5. I had in mind that Santa Clara, of the two teams, might be the more fit, and that might have had much to do with the score. Santa Clara also played a game the previous weekend as a tuneup to this match; Santa Cruz had last played December 4.

The second half started with both teams basically playing defense, and with a substitute forward coming in for the visitors. Santa Cruz seemed to be more determined in their efforts to stop Santa Clara’s attempts to hog the ball with some good tackling, and with that sort of pressure Santa Clara players were suddenly guilty of some handling errors and bad passing. From half way Lauren Roundtree, UCSC’s flyhalf, broke free and left would be tacklers behind, scoring a try at 50 minutes under the posts. The ensuing conversion was good, and now the deficit was cut to ten points. In less than five minutes history repeated itself, with Roundtree breaking a tackle in loose play, running down the pitch near the right touch line, crossing the goal line with a few Santa Clara players fast approaching, thereby forcing her to touch down just to the right of the posts; the conversion was good, and now the score was 22-19. UCSC was now within taking the lead with lots of time on the watch and the score board clock. Santa Clara didn’t panic, got back to playing to their original pattern, cut down on the handling errors, stopped UCSC’s attempts to counter-ruck at the breakdown, and finally would score from a tap penalty by Michelle Coleman, her third of the match. As the game wore on, Santa Cruz seemed somewhat desperate to stop the pressure on them, and a few backs were guilty of being up too far ahead of the offside line at the breakdown, and in one instance a Santa Cruz player tackled a Santa Clara runner who hadn’t run more than a few meters, after being in an offside position well behind play in a just concluded ruck. Another Santa Clara try at the 70th minute followed, again after UC Santa Cruz was penalized deep in their own end; but they would get another Roundtree try from a tap penalty down deep in Santa Clara’s quarter, with some four minutes left in the game to close out the scoring. Santa Clara was able to control the ball in the dying minutes after taking possession of the ball on their kick off following the try, the scoreboard horn going off while the ball was still in play, and my final whistle ending the match with a knock on infringement.

Final comments: Michelle Coleman and Lauren Roundtree were both women of the match in my estimation. Coleman, at 5’4” has sure hands, an ability to read defenses via instinct or quick thinking, good speed, and can beat tackles with her side stepping. Roundtree, at 5’8” has speed and good size, and is learning the game and developing into a fine player, better suited perhaps to play center or wing. I would have to also credit Santa Clara’s Carly Fowler, a freshman who usually plays second row, on her running ability as a substitute inside center. With two more games left to play, I would assume Santa Clara can get 15 on the pitch as winning the division is within reasonable possibility. Santa Cruz has two home games left to play against Fresno State and Reno, and I would think that some questions about commitment and overall fitness would be answered for them to succeed. I also want to correct a report from the CSUMB match back on Nov. 5, as it was Xitlalic Soto who scored the second to the last try of that match for Santa Clara, not Jessica Godinez.

Date: 01/28/2017
Santa Rosa 28 – SFGG-Green 22
Referee: Gordon, Preston

The pitch at For Pete’s Sake had mostly dried out by Saturday afternoon, which was great. Santa Rosa had the advantage of a full roster, whereas SFGG brought 17. Santa Rosa scored first, and held the lead throughout the game. The halftime score was 18-5. SFGG made the last few minutes interesting when they closed to within 6 points shortly after a Santa Rosa player went to the sin bin for his team’s repeated infringements near their goal line, but ultimately Santa Rosa held out to win.

Date: 01/28/2017
SF Fog 17 – San Joaquin 47
Referee: Tiatia, Nome

No report received

Date: 01/28/2017
Shasta Highlanders 95 – Reno Zephyrs 22
Referee: Wilson, Giles

Due to some sort of scheduling issue, Reno had only 10 players available to travel but neither teams wanted a forfeit so we started with 15 vs 10. The teams managed the scrums pretty well but it was fairly predictable that by half time the score was 43-0 in favour of Shasta, scoring 7 tries.

For the second half, the teams balanced numbers a little but it didn’t change things very much. Shasta ran in another 8 tries while Reno managed 4 of their own.

Final score was Shasta 95 – Reno 22

Date: 01/28/2017
SJSU 0 – UNR 53
Referee: Hinkin, James

A break in the recent rains left the fields at Independence High School in great shape for rugby on a perfect winter Saturday . The fields were well lined (with only flags at the back of the try zone missing) and the teams were eager to get started on 2017. UNR came out with their guns blazing as they scored practically off the opening kickoff as the Spartan backline were still playing fall touch rugby. Another kickoff and another series of missed tackles brought the same result. A few minutes later the forwards decided that they didn’t need to tackle either so a 3rd try in 6 minutes was on the board and it looked like a long day for myself (I gotta sprint with these kids too) and the SJSU squad. The game settled down a bit as rugby started to be played and the Spartans started to test the Wolfpack a bit and make some breaks, but the inevitable error would shut down the move. A high tackle from the SJSU wing resulted in 10 minutes of quiet time for him and the Nevadians took full advantage to score some more. The first half mercifully ended at 48-0 and it could have been more if the UNR kicker hadn’t started drop kicking the conversions. Or not, we will never know.

Judging by results the UNR team had a pretty relaxed half time while the SJSU team were told in no uncertain terms that they were there to play rugby, dammit, so they had better start. The match evened out quite a bit at this point and even when the San Jose #10 was yellow carded for a cynical foul Reno was only able to get one unconverted try on the board. Back at full strength the men of Sparta threatened the Reno line again but tried to power the last 2 meters against a bigger, more physical team and the inevitable turnover occurred when the ball carrier was piled back into bodies on the ground and couldn’t get it back to his side, resulting in a rather simple poach. Excellent attacking space was available just 3 or so meters on either side of the breakdowns so I am sure the coaching staff will review the white line fever of the forward pack. The game ended on a sour note as a young Reno player was carded for impolitely questioning a decision by the official, but with the watch at all zeroes San Jose only had a chance for one score which they were unable to get when they knocked the ball on.

UN Reno looks to be in excellent form with a powerhouse #3 that couldn’t be stopped and a #2 that was consistently battering over opponents half again as big as he was. San Jose St needs a little more discipline and to be organized from the opening whistle and they will be fine – they have the athletes.

Date: 01/28/2017
SJSU B/Seahawks B 27 – UNR B 0
Referee: Hinkin, James

Men and Boys vs Boys was the theme of this match. The men from San Jose Seahawks combined with San Jose St reserves to take on UNR reserves. What generally happens when you have 30 year olds playing against 18 year olds? Yup. Lessons were learned on both sides and everyone seemed to be happy with the match.

Date: 01/28/2017
South Valley 34 – Central Coast 12
Referee: Moore, Stephen

Excellent competitive match despite score line. SV dominated first half scoring 29 points. Excellent malls from SV forwards and sweeping backline attacks from SV backs along with dogged defense. Second half was very different, SV scoring one try and Central a try and a conversion. At least three times SV went over their try line and held up by Central and one occasion SV knocked the ball on on placement in try zone. Central to their credit counter attacked sweeping all the way down field three times only to lose control of ball at last moment. Both sides disciplined and cooperative. A small altercation between backs at final whistle as Central sweep to try line, but knocked ball on. It was a pleasure to referee this match. Thanks.

Date: 01/28/2017
St. Mary’s College C 34 – Santa Clara B 39
Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

This match on the main field was the last of Saturday’s three games, and clearly the best. Santa Clara’s B side had clearly not been paying attention to the Gael’s dominance in the previous matches. SMC scores first? No problem, they then scored twice. The young Gaels are exactly that and still sorting things out. But their improvement since I last saw them two weeks before was vast.

It was a closely run thing and anyone’s game. There were four lead changes in the first half-with the Broncos on top at half 24-19; their back line was slightly better on the day. With four minutes left, Santa Clara led by a flimsy two points. They padded the lead with a penalty kick at full time. Bravo to both teams.

Date: 01/28/2017
St. Mary’s College 15 – Santa Clara 106
Referee: Lane, John

A lovely spring afternoon in Moraga with a slightly soft field following all the recent rain and excellent team of 3 support from Bryant and Peter.

As the scoreline suggests this was a very comfortable win for St Mary’s but it does not reflect the commitment and effort and solid play put in by Santa Clara.

The Gaels started at pace turning over possession from the kickoff and crossing for a score (unconverted) on 90 seconds for a 5-0 lead. Santa Clara settled after that and following a mid-field individual line break with good support lines and offloads scored a converted try to take the lead 5-7.

The Gaels responded well to this setback. Throughout the game they dominated line-out and scrum time turning over multiple possessions and always putting Santa Clara on the back foot.

Scores came steadily with 3 tries (2 converted) leaving the score 26-7 on approximately 30 mins. Santa Clara were competing well but would eventually be short in defense or slip off a tackle after multiple phases.

St Mary’s own discipline at the breakdown was costing them territory and eventually another 3 points from a penalty. 26-10.

The half was rounded off with 2 converted further tries by the Gaels and a 40-10 scoreline.

The second half continued in the same manner with St Mary’s crossing for tries on a regular basis despite the high work rate of Santa Clara throughout. St Mary’s stronger bench helped keep their momentum and pace up for the full 80.

10 tries and 8 converted for St Mary’s with one excellently timed intercept and an 80 yard foot race to the corner by Santa Clara left the final score at 106-15.

Date: 01/28/2017
St. Mary’s College B 43 – Santa Barbara Academy 12
Referee: Sandhill, Peter

St Mary’s front field was very soft underfoot, muddy in places. It was a morning game and there was plenty of sunshine. A great day for rugby. St Mary’s and Santa Barbara were evenly matched for the first period with some nice rucking by both. Both teams had a good backline and were competitive out wide. The game was clean, fast and a joy to referee.

Date: 01/28/2017
St. Mary’s College WR 84 – Univ San Francisco WR 0
Referee: Stockton, Andrew

In general, this was a well played match between two competitive teams. Scrums were played uncontested at the request of a less experienced USF side. Both coaches agreed to this change prior to match day. St. Mary’s had a very obvious upper hand due to playing experience and superior numbers. However, USF played very well. The field was not in the best condition due to the recent rain. There was lots of mud and chunks of grass overturned that could have made play dangerous, so, when possible, I moved set pieces such as scrums laterally away from the hazards. Toward the end of the first half, with about 5 minutes left, I cautioned and gave a yellow card to one of the USF players (Sydney Abel) for tripping. The rest of the match was relatively uneventful aside from a stoppage to discuss a forfeiture by USF. Ultimately, the game was not forfeited, but both coaches agreed to a stoppage of play 10 minutes early. This was because USF was taken down to 14 players because of illness (one player became sick to her stomach) and a lack of subs. the final score, after 70 minutes, was 84-0 in favor of St. Mary’s.

Date: 01/28/2017
Stanford 79 – UC Davis 12
Referee: Coppinger, John

A minute into the match, there was clear sign that the match would be a track meeting played out on the Stanford pitch when the Stanford 7 (a class player) intercepted a pass from the UCD 10 to 12 off the UCD lineout to go 85 meters for the try between the posts. In another sign of things to come, Stanford 7 missed the dropkick conversion to leave the score at 5-0 in favor of Stanford.

After the initial bit of good fortune for Stanford, the match went almost completely in UCD’s favor as they ran riot scoring 79 points while only giving up one second half try on a nifty 25 meter run by Stanford 7 whose sidestep left the UCD 15 on the ground trying to tackle 7’sshadow. For UCD, 2 and 3 were effective ball carriers and very good at the defensive breakdown poaching a lot of ball and creating Stanford penalties for holding on. The UCD 10 was magnificent with ball in hand and in distributing the ball on the pass and via the boot. The only thing that stopped UCD from crossing the 100 points mark was that they were occasionally too adventurous leading to turnovers.

Date: 01/28/2017
Stanford B 12 – UC Davis B 17
Referee: Pohlman, John

Beautiful day at Stanford. Defending champion U. C. Davis’s second side defeated a mix of Stanford second side and first side players in a shorten game.

Date: 01/28/2017
UC Santa Cruz 70 – SF State 5
Referee: Bailey, Andrew

No report received

Date: 01/28/2017
USF 36 – Humboldt St 10
Referee: Tucker, Chris

Second game of the day, just after I’d managed to cool down from the last one, it was time to warm up again. The teams were both fired up and ready, and we got going into a hard-hitting encounter. SFS took a while to get into the rhythm, but had the better possession in the first quarter, putting a try across after 17 minutes. By this point I was noticing Humboldt’s tendency to over-commit at the breakdown, and after a couple more penalties, their first player hit the sin-bin. Shortly followed by his compadre, guilty of not rolling away, 2m from the goal line. With two men up, SF scored from the subsequent scrum-option. Miraculously, playing 2 short focused the minds, and we began to get clean ball… Then, just as it looked like Humboldt would escape with only the one try, their fullback needlessly tackled high, and found himself the third player in the bin. SFS eventually took their third score before the half, but they made heavy going of it, requiring a dozen phases to eventually get the break they needed.

Second half was more even, and probably better reflected the abilities of the teams. SFS still on top, 3 tries to 2, but Humboldt showing they knew the way past the gain line with some hard, direct running. Another card for dangerous play, this time on SFS’s loose head for a fend to the face of his opponent took my disappointing total to 7 for the day. The lack of discretion available was informed to all teams before the game. And when it was as blatant as those 7 were, it’s impossible to ignore. One hopes for a swift adjustment, because short-handed rugby is a mean game.

Date: 01/29/2017
UC Davis Women A 84 – California Women A 0
Referee: Bryant, Lee

No report received

Date: 01/29/2017
UC Davis Women B 56 – California Women B 5
Referee: Hosley, David

Beautiful day for rugby at UC Davis. Austin Davis, a certified ref new to the area, came out and ARed for me, which was very helpful.

Competitive match into the second half, when UCD’s ability to pick and drive set up a number of scores. Lots of new players for both sides, which is great for rugby.

This Week’s Photo

Is a video of Saint Nigel explaining the new tackle emphasis. Best takeaway – there are no new tackle laws.

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/nigel-owens-perfectly-explains-new-12545017

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre