And They Played Stormy Weather

HAIL PELICUS!

 

And They Played Stormy Weather

 

What a relief it is to be writing about wet, muddy conditions and the need for (read “scramble to find”) rain gear.     The Great California Draught is not over by a long shot but the winter of 2016 is doing its level best to put some water back in our reservoir and snow in our mountains.   As I write this we here in Pelicanland are enjoying a respite from the rain but the forecast calls for a bit of rain come the weekend – nothing to worry your Wellies about but a good sign of the rain cycle continuing.

 

Of course, I’m not a meteorologist. I just play one on TV.

 

Above all, remember the wise words of Ford Prefect: “If you want to survive out here, you’ve got to know where your towel is.”

 

The Great Unreffed Weekend

 

“I have assigned every available referee for this weekend and we will be woefully short with several league matches uncovered. KOT, injuries … all contributing. There are 4 league matches and at least a dozen B sides with no ref with a few more games unconfirmed by the ref. I assigned a few folks in the hopes they will accept, but otherwise, we are gonna have a lot of unhappy people this weekend that don’t get refs. “

 

-Pete Smith, Referee Assigner

 

We have reached our first critical mass weekend of the season and the society is in dire need of referees.   The KOT up in Sacramento has drawn many of our regulars as well as a separate event that limits the availability of several senior referees has piled on to the usual unavailables and leaves the flock in a rather embarrassing position:

 

We don’t have enough referees to cover our games.

 

This isn’t the usual litany of B sides going uncovered but several A side matches are in need of an adjudicator.   If you have a whistle now is the time to step up and represent the Northern California Rugby Referee Society, the greatest referee society in the world.   Do it for the kiddies.

 

If you have not already, please go to assignr.com to confirm/announce your availability and matches, or if you haven’t received an assignr.com account, contact Pete Smith at me@petesweb.com to let him know you are available.   To get an assignr account please contact our Scott Wood at rscottwood@gmail.com .   He will get you all the information you need to sign up and announce your availability.   More details on assignr are in the next section.

 

Assignr – Making Match Reporting And Assigning Easier Since 2014

 

The NCRFU will continue to use the assignr system for assignments and match reports.   Again, please make sure that your availability is correctly listed on the site – if you aren’t listed as available you might not get assigned.   Under “My Availability” you can make yourself available for a block of dates and then recuse yourself for specific dates if needed.

 

Please remember when filling out your match reports on assignr, ASSIGNR IS NOT WHERE YOU REPORT MISCONDUCT. I know the box is titled “Narrative/Misconduct” but this section of assignr is for the match summaries that are below in the main body of Hail Pelicus.   If there are red cards or reportable yellow cards in your match then report them via the method detailed below in the section titled “Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents“. This information will be in every Hail Pelicus and is also available on pelicanrefs.com.

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from, well, me.   I guess I had better do this properly so… This week’s question comes from James Hinkin of Los Gatos, CA who asks:

 

“We all know that if a player catches a kick directly while one foot is in touch and one foot in the field of play the ball is considered in touch but NOT taken into touch by the player who caught the ball (Law 19 definitions).   We also know that if a player catches a kick while one foot is in goal and one foot in the field of play the ball is considered in goal but NOT taken into the goal by the player who caught the ball (Law 22 definitions). What is the call if a player is near the corner flag and catches a kick with one foot in goal but the other foot in touch AHEAD of the goal line – aka in touch not touch-in-goal?   Would that also be considered touch-in-goal because one foot is in goal?”

 

Yes, I actually asked this because I happened to be with Leah Berard of Woodruff, Wisconsin who was in Pelicanland for last weekend’s National Rugby Summit and is scheduled to referee a match in San Francisco this weekend, so she decided to stay and enjoy the delights of Northern California… and the lack of snow.   With a referee who is not only on the Northern California ‘B’ panel (aka the USA Rugby ‘A’ Panel) but is an international referee employed by World Rugby available, I asked the question.   Her ruling: Since the player’s foot was in touch and not touch-in-goal the ball is considered to be in touch and NOT to be touch-in-goal and the subsequent restart should be decided accordingly.   (emphasis mine)

 

Well, that makes sense.   We here at Hail Pelicus thank Mrs. Berard for clearing that up and wish her luck not only on her match this weekend but wish her a safe flight in a couple of weeks when she flies out to Great Britain to referee in the 6 Nations.

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

 

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

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

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Baracus 17 – Olympic Club 2 24

Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

 

The game was moved late to Franklin Square due to weather. Franklin Square is meant to be a soccer field so preparing the field meant duct taping goal lines, 22 m, 10m and chalking out 5m from touch lines. This meant setting the line out required a little more work and it was my discretion for quick line outs.

Baracus scored first after a hard fought series, but missed the kick. The next 40 minutes saw a tough fight from both teams, but O club managing to score more than Baracus.

That did not stop Baracus and around 70′ was down by one try and one conversion. O club was able to hold them off and win 24-17.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Baracus B 41 – SF State 15

Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

 

With a large turnout, Baracus was apt for a second game that afternoon. SF state pulled some O club players to round out their side. Baracus started the game off strong and never relented. Baracus was awarded a penalty on SF State 22m, they went for points and scored. 5 minutes later, in front of the post, they went for points and scored again. The conversion kicks in this game were much better than the first. Baracus were 100% for their conversions scoring 16 points from kicks.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Cal Maritime 71 – CSUMB 0

Referee: Devlin, Joe

 

No report received.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Chico 15 – Sacramento Capitals 25

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

The drive to Chico was beautiful: abundant flocks of geese and ducks, and standing water everywhere! The Chico pitch, try as the administrators may, remains a challenge and is quite lumpy. But it drains well. It did not particularly impact the game quality Saturday. Sacramento Capitols came out on fire, with a quick lightning strike that started with great backs ball and ended with a Fischer chip and Rich at fullback chase dot down try. The second try was scored by captain Mike Dopson, taking the scrum feed at the base and running weak side. 12-0 Caps and it looked to be a blowout. Chico fought back, correcting previous handling errors, and were rewarded with a try by their wing after good forward play. The period seemed to fly by, with great sportsmanship illustrated by both teams in conjunction with very few penalties. Chico were on the back foot in the second half and the penalty count increased. Capitols capitalized (no pun intended) with two penalty kicks and another 3 went a begging. The Chico halfback made a nice break the resulted in a ruck near the try line, and the big Chico lock looked for all the world like he would bring three tacklers with him and score a try, but he was unselfish and passed to the wing, only for a knock on to ensue. The Caps changed tactics midway through the period and used a driving maul to put Joel Scott into the try zone. 25-8 Caps. Credit Chico, they never gave up and scored a converted try at the death. A gem of a game.

 

The seconds match saw an inexperienced Chico squad encounter a very strong Caps side. The game was played in good spirits, with lots of creative backline play from the Caps as well as good instructions provided to the newer Chico players. 54-10 Caps.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Chico State 31 – SJSU 7

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

The Chico State match was played on a muddy pitch well churned up by a Chico – Sac Captials immediately before. SJSU was quite outmatched. Chico State was able to launch quick attacks by their back line before SJSU really had a chance to form a defense. On a fast field the difference in scores may have doubled. SJSU was less skilled at the breakdowns, regularly infringing for every offense possible – side entry, going to ground, not releasing. I gather it is a relatively inexperienced side. Some of the usual excess testosterone and overly zealous coach to deal with, otherwise everyone stayed safe. The losing captain made a point of complimenting me, especially in being consistent with the calls.

Had one new situation – a missed drop goal went past the dead ball line. I incorrectly offered the choice of scrum or drop out to the defender. I’ll know what to call next time someone tries a drop goal – maybe in 5 years?

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:    The correct call is a 22m drop out. See Law 22.8 Ball kicked dead through in-goal: If a team kicks the ball through their opponents’ in-goal into touch-in-goal or on or over the dead ball line, except by an unsuccessful kick at goal or attempted dropped goal, the defending team has two choices:    to have a drop-out, or to have a scrum at the place where the ball was kicked and they throw in.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

CSU Monterey Bay WR 5 – Fresno State Women 61

Referee: Freitas, Larry

 

Saturday arrived after a Friday of heavy rain on the Santa Cruz side of the Monterey Bay, with less of it having fallen on the Monterey Peninsula side. I hardly left the house Friday, so with Saturday’s partly cloudy skies and wind, it was time to drive down to CSUMB for a college women’s match. Fresno State had a good many players on the pitch warming up, but Monterey Bay was suiting up just 15 players, as two were on the touchlines with injury, and with school not having started just yet, a few other players were not on campus for the game. The weather, as far as I’m concerned, was perfect for a rugby match: cool mid-50’s, lots of cloud overhead, and a chilly breeze blowing in from the ocean only a mile and a half away to the west. The pitch was somewhat soggy, though. CSUMB had stopped a practice session late in the afternoon Friday when a heavy downpour hit.

Fresno State got off to a great start, scoring its first try seven minutes into the game, from a tighthead inside Monterey’s 22, which wasn’t converted. Four more converted tries at the Seaside end of the pitch would follow for a 26-0 lead at halftime.   Fresno kept the ball alive, not always going to ground in tackles, and passing the ball off before a tackle could be made, so there really wasn’t that much phase play from them overall. So, even with a wet ball, the passing between forwards and backs produced scores, whether from a short or longer distance for the final touch down. UCSC had a few chances to score themselves. Their scrum half, Sabrina Bacuangan, made one break from a scrum after a dummy to the flyhalf, near the halfway line, and sped off for what I thought would be a try at the Marina end of the pitch, only to be chased down by the cover defense of the Bulldogs some ten meters short, and then give up a penalty for not releasing the ball before any Otters could arrive at the tackle. The Otters also lost one of their props to injury 30 minutes into the game after a high tackle offense by a Fresno player, and therefore a Fresno State sub came in for them at that position.

Fresno’s try-scoring spree would continue after the intermission. Six tries were scored, with three within the first twelve minutes of play. After that things settled down, and Monterey’s defense stiffened. Ten minutes would go by before the Bulldogs scored again, and two more later, the last eleven minutes from no side. Monterey Bay scored a try just minutes before the game ended when one of their forwards reached out and placed the ball over the goal line after being tackled near the touchline, following a period of pressure that produced some of Monterey’s best play of the day.

Regarding penalties, both teams backs were caught offside a few times at rucks, there were at least two calls per team for not releasing the ball in tackles, and a few each for playing the ball on the ground. Both teams did well in listening to my “instructions” at various times during the game.

Fresno State’s Stephanie Rovetti, fly half, had three tries, as did their flanker Nikki Wheeler, and scrum half Mariah Holtman had scored two. It was a wet and mud-splattered group of players that walked off the pitch with the final whistle. One other note on the game itself is that despite the soggy pitch and some mud patches (and I did move some away from the worst of those), not one scrum collapsed during the match, and there were quite a number of them.

There was an after match function at the Round Table in Marina afterwards, and I enjoyed trading stories about the recent RWC with Monterey’s coach Alena Porte, who also was in the UK and Ireland at that time, and also found out that Fresno’s coach played for the Fresno club back at a time when we surely would have played against each other when I was a Santa Cruz Rebel back some thirty years ago.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

EPA Razorbacks 59 – San Jose 9

Referee: Smith, Pete

 

No report received

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Life West Women 48 – All Blues 0

Referee: Hinkin, James

 

Life West hosted a rugby festival as the scheduling genius of Pelicus Fistulator had every Life West die playing at home.   Women, men’s D1 and men’s D2 put 5 matches on the docket for a full day for everyone.     (As an aside, this will not be a unique occasion. Every club with multiple sides in multiple competitions have had their schedules aligned.   Fantastic.)   With a solid week of rain behind us and promises of more ahead this was not only a test of the players but of the ground.   I look forward to reading about the state of the grounds after the final match.

 

This match was technically a forfeit as the All Blues needed to field a couple of players who were ineligible due to participation in the WPL but Life was glad for a game and up to the challenge.

 

And up to the challenge they were indeed.   The scoreline flattered the home side as the game was more even than the score suggested, the difference being the finishing. The All Blues are well coached and methodically worked the ball up the field but inevitably would lose possession due to either a penalty, a poach or, quite often, a slippery ball going to ground.   Life West boasted an absolute firecracker at fullback named Cameo Motley who scored 5 tries – many from distance.   She had another gear that the other ladies just could not match and when she was put into space she showed the defense a muddy pair of heels as they tried to contain her.   She is someone to watch.

 

Three tries in the first half were followed by 5 in the second half as the All Blues seemed to tire as the day went on.   The tackles were fierce and the commitment was unwavering but the sight of Cameo in the try zone seemed to deflate the All Blues as the day went on and they had no answer.

Date: 01/23/2016

Life West 2 56 – Berkeley 10

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Life was in mid-season form. Berkeley played their usual tough defensive match but Life was too much with too much ball.

Real nice try & moves by Calvin their flyhalf/captain & good prop play. Halftime score was a close 24-10. Life has many interchangeable players on 4 teams they’re field & should be even tough as the season moves on. Fresno however won the party as being the only out of 10 teams to show up! Relatively nice weather except for a torrential downpour 10 minutes into match lasting about 10 minutes. And field was playable in one half while the other was sunken with mud.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Life West 56 – Fresno 5

Referee: Sandhill, Peter

 

When I was a kid in Sydney, I loved the muddy games. It was so enjoyable to be at a grassy NorCal field in the wet. It was pouring with rain on the drive to the this game. At the field the rain had abated, however, underfoot it was mushy, muddy, very wet with intermittent grassy spots. The Fresno players were so happy to be playing in the mud and not in Fresno where apparently their home field was underwater.

 

Life West were D2 National Champs last year and seemed very fit and hungry. Fresno took it to them for 30 min. after scoring the first try. At about 25 min. it was 12-5 to Life and quite tense and competitive on the field. The first quarter tended toward more forward play, a lot of pick and drives . As Life began to utilize their faster outer backs, especially in the second half, the game opened up and the points began to tick over. No tries were easy give aways as Fresno stuck in there until the end. Both teams were also well coached and played clean hard (muddy) rugby.

 

Life West responded well to referee (my) concerns about repeated off side at the ruck early in the game and a tendency to be a bit “lippy.”

 

Thanks to Matt and John for AR duties well dispatched. And big gratitude to Dave Williamson for his time to PR, coach.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Life West B 35 – Fresno B 5

Referee: Pohlman, John

 

Life West hosted three rugby teams at Sunset Fields in Hayward. Five games were played on the field, mine was the last. Fresno second side played Life West’s second’s in a shorten game. After four previous games played on the field with lots of rain throughout the morning, the field was pretty beat up.

Life continued their domination in a 35-5 win.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Marin 7 – Reno 20

Referee: Coppinger, John

 

Wet bog of a field in Marin City. Most sunny with occasional showers and rainbows. Rugby the way it used to be in Northern California before the drought. I actually wore cleats for the first time in three plus years.

 

Reno came out from the get-go with some big hits, but struggled with most aspects of the laws such as offsides, the gate, and what is a legal tackle. After a quite a few penalties and two yellow cards to Reno, Marin scored a scored between the posts and added a conversion while Reno had two men in the bin. The Marin try and conversion were the only points of the first half.

 

At half time, Reno apparently held a seminar on the laws and were much more compliant with the laws in the second half. Reno also started to get the ball to their big ball carriers on the outside and Marin soon began to slip off tackles, which led to four unconverted and unanswered tries for Reno. Final score: Reno 20, Marin 7.

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Olympic Club 19 – Central Washington 15

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

Central Washington University, stir crazy from pre-season work indoors, drove for 13 hours to play Olympic Club’s PRP team. We were fortunate to be playing the match at Cal Maritime, where the field shed the pre-match downpours amazingly well, and gave the teams a great surface to play on.

 

CWU’s gym work had clearly paid off, and they were itching to tackle hard and to smash their opponents at the breakdown. The initial exchanges were fast and physical, with first blood to CWU, scoring from a lineout maul just 12 minutes in.   CWU proved to be a handful for O Club in the early scrums, and were fiercely contesting the breakdown.   An O Club player was beaten by the ruck at a tackle mid-way through the first half, and CWU kicked the resulting penalty to take an eight point lead.   O Club, recovering from some initial surprise at CWU’s intensity, came back with a period of sustained pressure inside the CWU 22, and finally got on the scoreboard in the 28th minute, crossing to score from a 5m penalty after CWU collapsed a driving maul. With CWU down to 14 after an O Club’s player was taken out in the air jumping to gather a kick, a CWU infringement in the last movement of the half gave O Club the opportunity to tie it up with a kick for an 8-8 half time score.

 

Exploiting the huge boots of Keegan, Hawley and Anderson – now playing #15 for O Club following his stellar career at Cal – the home team took lots of territory and cleared their lines numerous times throughout the match.   11 minutes into the second half, this gave them the platform to show that they could maul from lineouts too, and they crossed to take their first lead of the match at 13-8.   A hugely committed CWU team scored and converted with 13 minutes left, but two successful penalty kicks from O Club put them 19-15 up. CWU battered their way to O Club’s 5m line with time expired, only for the ball to be lost forward at the back of the final ruck.

 

A highly contested match from two talented sides, with the result contested to the very end. Blessed as we are with great teams and great rugby in Pelicanland, we should consider ourselves lucky to have had a team of CWU’s calibre visit northern California, and with this performance in their first match of the season, there’s a lot of promise of good things to come. O Club did well to weather the storm, adjusted, and were dynamic and dangerous whenever the back line was set free. Roll on this year’s PRP! All the best to both teams with their seasons.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Sac State 7 – UC Davis 53

Referee: Tucker, Chris

 

A lopsided score, but not that much of a lopsided game. Sac State showed enterprise with the ball, but lacked a cutting edge going forward. Davis were organized, and ran the home sides somewhat wayward kicking back hard against them. For a supposed grudge match between two local sides, this was played positively, safely and in good humour throughout. A genuine pleasure on a beautiful Sacramento afternoon.

 

Also good to see a cast of Pelicans on the sideline. Messrs. Walsh, Crenshaw and Franzoia were all on good form and out enjoying the sunshine.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Sac State B 5 – UC Davis B 100

Referee: Franzoia, Tom

 

A beautiful partly cloudy day after a morning downpour didn’t wake the sleep from the Sacramentans as they tried to be awaken by Davis Aggies who finished the day with a 100 to 5 mule kicking over the Hornets.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Santa Rosa JC 43 – Menlo 14

Referee: Leisek, Joe

 

The match was a friendly between hosts Santa Rosa Junior College and Solano Community College (apparently Menlo and Solano have both dropped out of league competition). Played in front of a good crowd at For Pete’s Sake in Santa Rosa, even after days of heavy rains. A variety of skill and experience levels, with lots more passing and running than I expected. Not a lot of structure in the play of either side, but more so from the home side as the score indicates. More than enough chirping, however, particularly from Solano. Many thanks to John Tomasin for serving as AR and to Dominic Patrick for his help as touch judge.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

St. Mary’s College 24 – Lindenwood 13

Referee: Lane, John

 

Having supported Jordan Bruno (welcome back) in an entertaining B game I got my first game on the excellent St Mary’s pitch at 1pm last Saturday.

 

With the heavy rain over the last period the pitch was quite wet but playable with only one very small section showing surface water which was agreed with both teams to be acceptable to play.

 

Despite the wet surface and ball both sides served up an open and attack minded game of highly competitive rugby with excellent commitment and a fair bit of skill thrown in.

 

Pre game the body language was showing a more confident St Mary’s squad but after a early period of attack from the kickoff it was Lindenwood who held the upper hand in the opening quarter.

 

On 12 minutes after a few phases of attack the Lindonwood 10 (a fellow Irishman) converted a penalty for a breakdown infringement to lead 0-3. From the resultant restart St Mary’s looked to put immediate pressure but in doing so lost their defensive shape and Lindenwood capitalized on the gaps to return down field and despite St Mary’s attempting to slow the ball recycle Lindenwood played through their advantage and another quick recycle saw them crash through tackles to score a converted try. 0-10 on 14 minutes. And the home support were clearly restless and the volume rose appreciatively.

 

A few minutes of play between the 22’s with some turnovers mainly due to knockons in the conditions and some over anxious play by St Mary’s followed but steadily they started to dominate field position and having missed a penalty chance some quick recycling and straight running lead to their first try by the posts to bring the game to 7-10 on 25 minutes.

 

St Mary’s continued to dominate territory for the next 10 minutes but we’re well defended against and Lindenwood controlled the final 5 minutes to lead by 3 at halftime.

 

The half time chat had most impact on St Mary’s who restarted with a strong purpose. Moving the ball well across the backline in the conditions stretched Lindenwood and the pressure paid dividends with unconverted tries on 7 and 14 minutes turning the score to 17-10 in their favor.

 

Lindenwood looked to be running out of ideas at this stage of the game but some good kicking brought them in range and they drew another penalty from the stretched defense and closed the gap to 17-14 on 18 minutes.

 

They then dominated the next few minutes but St Mary’s who had received a team warning for repeated slowing down of attacking ball retained their discipline and kept their line intact during this crucial stage of the game.

 

Having survived the pressure St Mary’s the used some turnover ball to good effect with quick phase recycles and scored by the posts on 27 minutes for a 24-13 lead.

 

Neither side slowed down with the benches coming on with good energy but despite some good opportunities to both sides the defenses won out in the last 10 minutes with no further scoring leaving St Mary’s with the win in this highly entertaining and strongly contested friendly game.

 

Best of luck to both sides as they face into the competitive stage of the season.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Stanford Women B 10 – Chico St Women B 24

Referee: Makino, Ren

 

(Game was moved to 1:00 PM) The rain was on and off during the match and when it rained it rained hard(Californian Standard) but the pitch was not too muddy. It was unexpectedly a smooth game with no high tackles and not many off-sides but a lot of not releasing (both tackler/ball) and playing on the ground. Great match from two disciplined teams with really respectful players. Thanks to Bryant for coaching.

 

 

Date: 01/23/2016

Vacaville 48 – Diablo 24

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

 

We kicked off at exactly 2:00 PM; not much rain, mostly cloudy with a 10-15 mile wind. It seemed like Diablo was out playing the home team, but mostly because of penalties on the Diablo forwards, Vacaville was able to play on their side of the field. They broke through with a try from their winger at 11 minutes. All 5 of Vacaville’s first half tries were scored by their backs (of course, they needed their forwards to get them the ball) and Diablo was guilty of not making their tackles. Strong running though and it was 31-5 at the half. The second half was much more even and Diablo actually outscored Vacaville in the second half, 19-17 for a final score of 48-24. Both teams had players receive yellow cards, one penalty try was awarded and I had to end the game four minutes early because of fiestiness (is that a word?).

 

 

Date: 01/24/2016

Santa Clara 12 – Lindenwood 62

Referee: Bretz, Paul

 

Lindenwood was too fast and too strong for Santa Clara. Thanks to John Coppinger and Ed, Zin Zan, Gardner for providing AR duties. Lindenwood effectively stretched Santa Clara’s defense.

 

 

Date: 01/24/2016

UCSC 11 – UNR 32

Referee: Hinkin, James

 

With rain forecast for Saturday but sunshine on the menu for Sunday the UC Santa Cruz rugby club wisely decided to push their scheduled match out one day and host the Wolf Pack from the University of Nevada, Reno on the drier Sunday.   There are few sights in Pelicanland finer than the UCSC rugby pitch on a clear, sunny day.   The view from the pitch of the Monterey Bay and surrounding vistas is a gentle reminder of the reasons we live here in this great region.   The day, as promised, was clear and dry with a lush, firm pitch perfectly marked with proper, regulation posts and boasting an electronic scoreboard – a joy to referee (and play, as I recall) on.   The collegians were enthusiastically warming up when I arrived and I was quickly able to dispense with the necessary protocols and leave them to their own devices for the final 30 minutes before match time.   The partisan crowd swelled and started to be heard and was helped along by the addition of UCSC cheerleaders. After seeing the Santa Clara trot out the band I didn’t think anyone could do a better job of creating a festive atmosphere. This is now a toss up.   I love college rugby.

 

The first half started with plenty of energy from both sides as they tested each other as well as the referee.   Once standards were set and the players realized that I was going to hold them to said standards the game moved along quite nicely.     UNR was able to put a couple of tries on the board against a solitary penalty goal for the hosts as the Banana Slugs just couldn’t convert pressure into points effectively.

 

In spite of UCSC enjoying a man advantage for 8 ½ minutes form a yellow card just before half, the second half was more of the same as UNR was able to punch through the UCSC defense for tries while the Slugs could only muster a penalty.   Things got worse for the home side when 2 yellow cards in quick succession (repeated infringements, time wasting) saw them playing 13 on 15 but, as it does at times, this seemed to inspire the team and UCSC started finding space to run in and sliced right through the center of the UNR defense to score a well earned try.   Once parity was restored they regressed again and a capable and well drilled UNR side started scoring tries again, finishing with 4 for the half.   With one conversion from six they really should have had more points but a guess the air was too thick for their kicker down here at the coast

 

This Week’s Photo

The future of Pelican Referees at Stanford with a wise mentor. L-R Ren Makino and Bryant Byrnes.

Ren and Bryant

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Bienvenido El Niño

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Bienvenido El Niño

 

The weather models have been steadily growing more certain as the Equatorial Pacific current warms up and it seems to have finally arrived, so let me officially give a Hail Pelicus welcome to El Niño. For the last couple of weeks bands of rain have moved through Pelicanland watering our lawns and washing our cars for free while dumping precious, precious snow into the water bank we call the Sierra Nevada Mountains.   After a couple of years of seeing pictures of horrifically parched lakes across the entire state we are already seeing signs of recovery.   Lake and reservoir levels are rising and the hills are green again.   Of course, the Great California Draught is not over – a few weeks of rain does not offset years of dry weather – but we here at HP are hopeful and this is a good start.

 

What does that mean for the Flock and Pelicanland in general now that we have kicked off the 2016 campaigns?   Well, we should all keep an eye on the weather and expect rainouts or field changes as availability becomes less certain. While it is great to have a confirmation email on Tuesday, as the weekend approaches check and doublecheck field availability and start times and be prepared to switch location and even games at a moment’s notice. Now is the time to set aside the wet weather gear – bring a plastic garbage bag to keep your kit dry during the match and bring a warm change of clothes.

 

Above all, remember the wise words of Ford Prefect: “Never leave home without your towel”.

 

Who’s Got Next?

 

Now that the seasons are in full swing our annual availability call comes out. We have need of all available birds but we can’t tell if referees are available without you telling us first.   Please go to assignr.com to confirm your availability and matches, or if you haven’t received an assignr.com account, contact Pete Smith at me@petesweb.com to let him know you are available.   To get an assignr account please contact our Scott Wood at rscottwood@gmail.com .   He will get you all the information you need to sign up and announce your availability.  More details on assignr are in the next section.

 

Trust me, there are plenty of games and referees will not be going unused.

 

Assignr – Making Match Reporting And Assigning Easier Since 2014

 

The NCRFU will continue to use the assignr system for assignments and match reports.   Again, please make sure that your availability is correctly listed on the site – if you aren’t listed as available you might not get assigned.   Under “My Availability” you can make yourself available for a block of dates and then recuse yourself for specific dates if needed.

 

Please remember when filling out your match reports on assignr, ASSIGNR IS NOT WHERE YOU REPORT MISCONDUCT. I know the box is titled “Narrative/Misconduct” but this section of assignr is for the match summaries that are below in the main body of Hail Pelicus.   If there are red cards or reportable yellow cards in your match then report them via the method detailed below in the section titled “Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents“. This information will be in every Hail Pelicus and is also available on pelicanrefs.com.

 

How To Write A Match Report

 

The best method I have stumbled across for writing your match report is to have your game card in front of you to refresh your memory of the score and other incidentals and then open a Word document (or some other word processor) and write it out there, making liberal use of the spellcheck facility.   Seriously, spellcheck – it is a great boon to us all.

 

Once you are satisfied just copy and paste your work into the “Narrative/Misconduct” box on assignr and hit submit.   Easy, yes?

 

From Our Esteemed Education Officer, Vicky Hudson

 

Wanted! Hereto unheard voices of the Flock to enlighten, edify, educate and entertain!    Presenters are wanted for the following topics at the April and May Society meetings:

 

In April – The scrum is falling and other details about sound scrum management, fair contest, and safety.

 

Also in April: Law Variations & Officiating Techniques in 7s rugby – a prep/primer for the coming summer 7s season.

 

In May, someone with the ability to create a RWC2015 refereeing highlight presentation (drawing on what’s on youtube) to discuss interesting, surprising, and/or controversial calls from the world cup.

 

Reply to VickiHudson@pelicansref.com.

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from George R. R. Martin of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who asks:

 

“I am a great admirer of your match report writing style.   Do you have any tips that a young referee can follow to write like you do?   And how do you resist the urge to kill off beloved characters in your reports?”

 

Thank you for your question, Mr Martin.    This is a great question and all I can really say is that I try to not only report on the game itself, but try to paint a picture of the day/event as a whole. If I have to travel any kind of distance I will talk about the scenery and the trip itself, maybe give some background and history on the teams or notable players and generally set the scene.   Then I try to describe the action as a story unfolding before me rather than a simple list of tries and score.   NEVER give a one line report such as “Good game” or “Well played”.   Try to show a little effort – the players and the readers appreciate it.

 

As for the second part of your question, the temptation to kill off a “beloved” character from the narrative is indeed great, but I have so far restrained myself.   There might be a lesson there… or there might not.

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents

 

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

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

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 01/09/2016

Life West Women/Stanford Women – Chico State Women/New Mexico Women

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

First match of the day: Life West Women vs CSU Chico

 

To start our wet Rugby Saturday we had Life West Women play Chico. The slippery conditions made ball handling crucial and cautious scrumming. In the end, Life was bigger, faster, and more organized than Chico and managed to spin the ball wide and utilize their superior speed to score many of their tries.

Life West Women 34 – 0 CSU Chico

 

Third match of the day: CSU Chico vs New Mexico University

 

Over this 40 minute match it was back and forth. Chico opened up the scoring and converting off spinning the ball wide and breaking tackles. New Mexico responded with a hard fought, multi-phase try, which went unconverted. Chico, once again, capitalized on mistakes was able to use their speed and break a tackle to score right under the posts and making the easy conversion. New Mexico would not be deterred. After the last try by Chico, it was all New Mexico. They fought back and applied the pressure to Chico. They ended up score two more tries and forced Chico to play very defensive. Eventually the score ended with NMU winning by a hair, but in a longer match they would certainly won by more.

CSU Chico 14 – 15 NMU

 

Fifth match of the day: Life West Women vs New Mexico Universtiy

 

At the end of the day everyone was tired, but there was still rugby to be played. NMU had to borrow players to field their team. Life, being the home side, was able to field a fresher team. This lead to many missed NMU tackles. This should not sell Life short, they pulled together some marvelous tries. Like a 50+ meter prop try, she broke at least 4 tackles to finish in the try zone.

Life West Women 53 – 0 NMU

 

Date: 01/09/2016

Napa 36 – Diablo Gaels 13

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

Napa hosted Diablo in soggy conditions. Napa has a strong bench with what must be 40+ players suiting up. The game started slowly, with Napa kicking a penalty for first points. It was a forward dominated game, owing to the conditions, and very physical. At one point on a scrum the ball was completely encased in mud prior to put in. Napa illustrated a good game plan, with strong running from the number 8. After multiple phases the ball eventually found its way to the wings, who scored two straightforward tries. But Diablo fought back behind their captain BJ, who scored a strong try in the second half. Diablo #12 had a strong game running as well. But Napa were too good on the attack this day, with a few scintillating runs off quick taps from Tomasi at 13 followed by pick and drives by replacement hooker Sione. The final five minutes saw a very spirited goal line stand by Diablo, only to be thwarted in probably the 20th phase on a maul and score by #8.

 

Date: 01/09/2016

Sacramento Lions B 70 – Sacramento Blackhawks B 13

Referee: van Staden, JC

 

What can I say, at min 55 I was the only person that chase down the try scorer, for a third time, so I put an end to the wasting of good drinking time 😉

 

Date: 01/09/2016

Santa Rosa 5 – Olympic Club 43

Referee: Bryant, Lee

 

This friendly comprised of 3x 30min periods taking place on a bog in the rain. Good times on a Saturday. True to the definition of a friendly, there were no tempers and no foul play, just two teams working it out in the mud.

 

Date: 01/09/2016

SF Fog 6 – Shasta Highlanders 3

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Fog hosted Shasta for a pre-season scrimmage at their back up artificial turf field b/w the Mission & Portrero Hill. Fog outscored Shasta 3 tries to 2 both halves. It helped the Fog had about 25 players while Shasta only brought 15 bodies.

Shata commented that the Fog were diligent in both their tackling & counter rucking.

Party was back to normal Fog standards with plentiful drink, eats & conversation, which Shasta also took advantage of.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If the “Fog outscored Shasta 3 tries to 2 both halves” how could the final score be 6-3?

 

Date: 01/09/2016

St. Mary’s College 3 – SFGG 44

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

Two elite sides playing one another in a preseason tune up for the year. It was a very physical and fast game. SFGG made positive tackles all day which made SMC have slow ball. SFGG’s forwards timed their poaches well and made SMC work for ball. SMC never was able to string together multiple phases or have quick turnover ball. It was great fast game.

 

Date: 01/09/2016

St. Mary’s College B 31 – Vacaville 19

Referee: Bretz, Paul

 

Fun day despite the rain. Best line came from a Vacaville Prop: “you again… You are always telling me what I’m about to do that is wrong and I’m really getting tired of it”.

 

Date: 01/09/2016

St. Mary’s College C 39 – Modesto 12

Referee: Hettermann, Matt

 

After 9 long months of Achilles repair/rehab, I finally got to blow the whistle again – glad to be back! In super wet and muddy conditions, this preseason friendly was played in mostly good spirits. Match was all tied up 12-12 at half, but the fitness of the college boys was too much for the Modesto club in the second half. Thanks to Tim Lew for AR’ing for me, and John for the feedback. Stuck around and AR’d for Paul in the next match and watched Tim cover St Mary’s-SFGG.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

All Blues 15 – SFGG Women 15

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

Technically, SFGG won this game because the All Blues had some ineligible players. But on the field, it was a fantastic game! The All Blues came out aggressively and put up two clean tries in the first 15 minutes. But Gate started gaining ground with a few well-placed kicks. They got 3 for a PK, then came back out with a try to put the score at 10-8, then they got another converted try with 2 minutes left to go ahead at the half. The second half had quite a bit less scoring (and several balls going over the fence), but was no less competitive. With 2 minutes to go, the All Blues scored again, but missed the kick to tie the game. Great match overall. Thanks to Vicki Hudson for referee coaching.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Technically a forfeit? Balderdash!  This still counts as a tie and you owe the society a beer. See you at the next meeting, Jen!

 

Date: 01/16/2016

All Blues 25 – California Women 10

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

Soggy Saturday made another return to the pitches this past weekend, but this time we were prepared with field turf! We played 3 20 minute periods. The first two thirds, were edged out by the All Blues scoring 2 tries in each. The third third was a completely different game. Cal turned it on as the All Blues fatigued scoring two tries within minutes of the kick off. After the stun faded from the All Blues, they were able to stabilize, playing staunch defense and stopped any further leaks in their defense.

 

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Aptos 10 – Mendocino 24

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Actually played in Ukiah due to rain out in Aptos. Very competitive 3rd Division match throughout where Aptos held Mend on many tackles preventing further scoring. Great scores by Mendo’s outside center scampering 60 meters & Aptos #8/Captain in a small whole in the try zone. Halftime score was 14-5. Dude’s theory of relativity once again prevailed: The team with relatively more players WINS.

Also great after party at Mendo Brewing Company & their Red Tail Ale & make your own burritos, making the 2 hour drive worth it.

 

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Berkeley B 19 – Baracus B 8

Referee: Rauscher, Eric

 

Bodner field in the overcast and drizzle. Perfect conditions. Well balanced teams. Baracus had a couple of it looked like sure tries (intercepted pass and streaking down the field for gold) but somehow Berkeley turned on their jet boots and not only caught up with but got the ball back due to lack of support. Had to call the second half short due to having to be off the field at four, but a good B side game.

 

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Chico St Women 17 – Oregon St Women 19

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

No rain but a muddy, beat-up pitch made this a game of possession. Both teams controlled their breakdowns well, developing multiple phases. I made a bit of allowance for the conditions when players lost their feet. Chico had a chance to win with 2 minutes remaining when their center broke through the Oregon St. defense and headed for in-goal from 30 m out. She attempted to dive and slide in for the try but the mud prevented a smooth entry, she grounded the ball a half meter short and knocked on.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Colusa 57 – Google 12

Referee: Bryant, Lee

 

No report received

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Diablo 10 – Chico 19

Referee: Coppinger, John

 

A fun game for all played on my new favorite venue, Cal Maritime’s rugby pitch. Although the sides were fairly even, Chico went out to a 12-0 lead at half time thanks to the hard running ginger at center and the consistent support given by the Chico forwards. Both sides just missed scoring a try with a knock-on in-goal. Gaels came back in the second half to score two unconverted tries to cut the Chico lead to 2 points late, but Chico scored a converted try to put the match away 19-10.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Fog 0 – Napa 101

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

The Napa “Wine Thieves” RFC ran rampant in the rain in San Francisco, maintaining momentum in contact and offloading out of tackles to the waves of support players that always seemed in just the right place at the right time.   With pace to burn outside, and great hands through the back line, Napa were unstoppable.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Fresno 8 – EPA Razorbacks 60

Referee: Wilson, Dan

 

It really was a game for approximately 15 minutes of each half. In the first half, Fresno kept the ball in the forwards which kept the ball in their hands. However, Fresno could not get past EPA’s 22 and they had to settle for penalty kicks, only making one in the 5th minute. As soon as EPA actually kept ball in hand for more than two possessions, they scored, and scored, and scored. They scored tries in the 8th, 19th, 30th, 36th and 39th minute. Many of EPA’s tries came off of Fresno mistakes, losing the ball, fatigue and just plain bad tackling. Halftime score: Fresno 3 – EPA 33

 

At the start of the second half, Fresno showed life with some ball retention and scored a team effort, unconverted try in the 15th minute. Unfortunately, you could tell that fatigue was starting and the majority of the Fresno team wasn’t enjoying trying to tackle EPA’s power and speed. On the other side, EPA was just starting to enjoy the ball by running at the defense and creating textbook support passes. They scored tries in the 20th, 29th, 32nd, 35th and 38th minute. In the end, the score was purely indicative of the game. Final score: Fresno 8 – EPA 60.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Fresno B 0 – EPA Razorbacks B 62

Referee: Tuisavalalo, Rodney

 

Both teams decided to play 20 minute halves with 10 men a side. The Razorbacks continued to dominate in all facets of the game. Scrums were uncontested, but the set plays by the Razorbacks off of those scrums were well run and calculated. Fresno had some good moments in the game with strong running and intermittent defensive prowess. However, their inexperience with several new players this year was no match for the visiting team.

For future B games, I would encourage teams to front 15 men a side. Sure the format is similar, and the fundamentals are the same in both instances, but in order for developmental players to truly understand the concept of 15’s rugby then they must field the correct numbers.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Modesto 21 – SiliconValley 24

Referee: Jury, Jeff

 

A beautiful day and ride to and from Fresno that day. The game was both team’s first game of the season, so we all got reacquainted with the Law book. I have to say, I got tired of my whistle. But, to their credit, neither team made the same mistake twice. Play was fair. First half ended with Silicon Valley scoring an unconverted Try, none for Modesto. All that “learning” really paid off in the second half with some space, nice running angles and some good tackles. Final score Modesto 21 Silicon Valley 24.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Sacramento Blackhawks 3 – Santa Rosa 13

Referee: Akroyd, Phil

 

No report received

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Sacramento Lions 15 – SFGG 13

Referee: Tucker, Chris

 

A mud-fest between two competitive teams, that ultimately hinged on the kicking — or lack thereof — from both sides. Highlight for me was a try scored at my feet by the GG flanker. Lions had a defensive ruck near the goal line, which Gate shoved hard, moving it backwards towards the line. The ball rolled onto the line, at which point I called “Ball In Goal, Ruck ended!”. The Lions looked at it, while the attacking flanker dived round the outside to ground it on the line. The eminently kickable conversion missed, ultimately forming the difference between the two teams.

 

 

Date: 01/16/2016

San Jose 10 – Life West 71

Referee: van Staden, JC

 

Long awaiting rain, and a rough few days almost made me pray for a lot of rain so the game can be canceled and I can go home and feel sorry for myself….. nah!!!

Strap on your boots chap, cause Life have a score to settle with you, and like you have always said, and preached, “beat them on the score board boy’s!”, and so they did.

Ever saw a team running a ref into the ground? Well, if you were not at this game, you would have missed it, sorry. If you were, you would have seen rugby on a level that was hard to report, retold, or even report on.

 

Every trick in the book were played, from left step, to blind side blocking, penalty milking, to law-book rewriting, bring it on it was on that field.

First half, marked by about a point scored per min played, by the team that only hold 20% of all ball and field possession. Seahawks, done the work, to take Life back in their 22, for nothing less than 5 tries of more than 80m sprint turn-over tries in the first 40 min, leaving us with 6 tries, 4 converted and 38 to 0 going into the second half.

 

Second have was nothing less, and the moment I thought I read the play good enough to lead the play, cheat and run short cut, Seahawks intercept, which left the ref, once again on a 70 m, turn around dash to award the try. Somewhere I was thinking they have done that with intention just to drive in the dagger, but the Hawks got rewarded with a very hard earned try, just to keep their heads up. Taking nothing away from Life, that used up their entire second string, and merely missed the 80 mark by a ball hog or 2 still cranked out a total of 71 points for the day.

 

After refereed the same team last season, 3 reds, 3 yellows, with about 70% of the same players, it was a pleasure doing this game, with less than 10 penalties an half, and a show case of ball swinging by the back-line, lead by the captain. The maturity in this team have grown with leaps and bounces, to something rugby can be proud of. Thanks guys, it was a pleasure. And point taken, I got my spanking on that scoreboard 😉

 

 

Date: 01/16/2016

San Jose B 41 – Life West B 10

Referee: Pohlman, John

 

Life and San Jose played two 25 minute halves for their second side match. Life dominated possession and finished most opportunities. Both teams used a lot of the second side as subs for the first side game this led to the shorten halves.

Both teams played hard and clean rugby. No problems.

San Jose played at Independence High School about 15 minutes from my house in Fremont. Nice field, real grass and close to a regulation side pitch.

 

 

Date: 01/16/2016

San Jose Women 0 – Life West Women 88

Referee: Freitas, Larry

 

I arrived at the new pitch that the San Jose Seahawks have secured for the 2016 season, on the Independence High School campus, as some of the men’s team were lining the pitch and putting up the goal posts. I checked the field and no gopher holes! The grass surface was firmer than what I expected after the recent rains. The first half started under threatening skies, which did produce some off and on showers. San Jose forfeited the game as they only had 13 players, but borrowed a few of Life’s players to have a game. Life was able to rack up 48 points in the first half, the first try just three minutes into the match, scoring seven tries and a penalty goal overall. Megan Foster, ex of Chico State, is their flyhalf and kicker, and she was successful in converting five tries and potting the goal, and would add to her points tally with her own try.

The second half was much like the first, with the last try scored four minutes from no side, and with a prop playing for San Jose with no prior experience, uncontested scrums.

San Jose should have a full squad and subs soon enough, with some of their players unavailable until February, and Laura Pelton, their captain, also informed me that quite a few of their players, Navy personnel who were stationed at the Post Graduate school in Monterey, had been transferred elsewhere. Life should be very competitive when it comes to playing their matches with San Francisco and Sacramento. They are a very talented and experienced team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they finish first in the table when April comes around.

 

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Santa Clara Univ WR 22 – UC Santa Cruz WR 22

Referee: Hinkin, James

 

Welcome to 2016!   My first match of the new year and I was determined to start the year off well.   Santa Clara women against the Banana Slugs of UCSC.   So how did I start the year? With a tie.

 

I guess beer is on me.

 

The game itself was a barn burner – everything I or the crowd could have wanted. The teams were trading tries back and forth the entire match with neither side gaining ascendency.     UCSC scored first yet Santa Clara was undaunted and responded with their own score to set the crowd afire – converted (hooray!) – to take their first lead of the day.   More back and forth rugby followed and UCSC responded before the halftime whistle and converted from under the posts (hooray!) to make the score at the break 12-7 to the visitors.

 

The second half was a tale of enterprising rugby and poor goal kicking.   Santa Clara was determined not to let down the crowd and shot out of the gate to score a try and tie the match.     From then on the game was in the balance as UCSC scored to retake the lead followed by the Broncos answering and tying the score.   Rinse and repeat.   With both sides missing conversions from rather simple angles it seemed that if anyone could convert it would be the difference.   Inevitably, the ladies ran out of time and the final whistle blew with honors even.   Good game from both sides.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Santa Clara B 26 – Cal Maritime B 12

Referee: Hinkin, James

 

The B-Ballers for Santa Clara and Cal Maritime were pumped up after a hard hitting and exciting A side match and were eager to take the field to prove to Coach Hiatt and Coach Keeler that they belonged in the top squads.   Santa Clara used to power of the crowd and some nifty rugby to jump out to a 7-0 lead before Cal Maritime responded with a patient buildup topped off with a kick and chase that saw one player from each team diving for a bouncing ball in the try zone.   Well, our balls aren’t round so Fate stuck a finger in to nudge it towards the Cal Maritime player who was able to ground it just ahead of the defender.   With the difficult conversion missed the score stood at 7-5. At this point the game settled into a series of scrums as wet, muddy conditions produced a slick ball nearly impossible to catch.

 

Wait, what?   Wet? It has barely sprinkled all day.   Muddy? Santa Clara plays on turf. I guess both sides had some early season jitters and need to do a little more handling work.   The scrums, after a couple of penalties and free kicks, settled down and were a true contest, but the constant need for them slowed the game down. Late in the half there was a Santa Clara kick and chase into the try zone and the race was clearly won by Cal Maritime yet Fate was feeling a little whimsical and nudged the bouncing ball into an awkward hop that evaded everyone until a Santa Clara chaser fell on the ball to score.     The half ended 14-5 to Santa Clara.

 

The second half was nearly a carbon copy of the first with both sides trying to play enterprising rugby but the flow of the match was interrupted by handling errors.   Not to say that there wasn’t some really good stuff. Poaches, defense, running angles, passes – these are both well coached teams and they showed it.   A little more concentration and precision with the hands and this is a top class barn burner.   That being said, Santa Clara put up 2 tries (one converted) to 1 from the Keelhaulers to finish out the match 26-12.   A good time was had by all.

Date: 01/16/2016

Santa Rosa JC 10 – St. Mary’s College C 28

Referee: Bertolone, Cary

 

The game was played at St. Marys. It was raining pretty hard throughout and the field was a muddy bog. Everyone had a good time and the game was fairly even most of the time. St. Marys scored two tries in each half and converted all four (good kicker) while Santa Rosa scored one try in each half without making their kicks; hence, the score of 28-10. After the final whistle, most of the players made skidding dives through the mud on the 50 meter line, I guess because they were not muddy enough from the game itself. Great camaraderie and fun to ref them.

 

Date: 01/16/2016

Vacaville 34 – Sacramento Capitals 30

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

It’s nice to have a game go on despite rain! Of course, the all weather pitch on which host Vacaville plays had a lot to do with it, and, to be fair, rain ceased at match time. Sacramento Caps travelled with numbers; Vacaville had fewer. Vacaville struck first with a penalty kick, but momentum shifted back to Caps through good phases of forward play and a lightening quick try by the fullback which, combined with a penalty kick, to result in a score of 10-3, Caps. The try was set up by an intercept by Ryan Koewler, center. Momentum was then snatched by Vacaville with an intercept try by the fullback, and back and forth and so on. Vacaville scored on a penalty advantage chip kick deep in Caps territory via a wicked bounce and great chase. This was followed by good forward pick and drives which resulted in another score to Vacaville.   The second half saw Sacramento come out strong and on fire.   They tied the score 24 all on a great open field run that resulted in a try by Koewler, followed by a pick and drive try by flanker Seth. Then captain Mike Dopson, who was perfect on kicks all day, converted two more penalty kicks. 30-24 Caps. Momentum then favored Vacaville with the Caps often on the back foot. Pressure resulted in a try, followed by a penalty kick by captain Matt, who, like his counterpart, was perfect on kicks all day. The Caps rallied but time expired as the ball was knocked on. A good match played by two competitive teams with good technique and game plans.

 

This Week’s Photo

Welcome to El Niño. A snapshot of this Saturday’s forecasted weather map.

Rain Map

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Pelicus Festivus

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Pelicus Festivus

 

We here at the editorial board of Hail Pelicus would like to wish everyone a Happy (insert holiday here – or not).   Ever since humans first started to look around and think “what’s is all about, really?” there have been midwinter festivals to hasten the end of the darkness that is taking over the world and bring the sun back. Surprisingly enough, it worked every time.   Apparently those old druids and shamans knew a thing or two about Ancient Rites From The Dawn Of Time.   These traditions have continued throughout history and have now evolved into all of our modern late December holidays.

 

With the rugby season preliminaries winding to a close teams are polishing up their set pieces and looking forward to a season of rugby come the new year.   2016 promises to be an exciting and fun filled year as divisions have been shuffled and a new men’s club 4th division has emerged. Supersites will be in their second year with lessons learned and more ambitious plans.   The Northern California Pelicans Mens and Womens teams will be in their second year of revival and have a slate of matches lined up. It is a good time in Pelicanland.

 

Hailing Pelicus

 

For those of you looking for a holiday gift for the rugger in your life we here at Hail Pelicus are proud to announce that the last 2 years of newsletters have been bound together for publication as “Hailing Pelicus” a coffee table book just in time for Christmas.   Relive all the warmth, humor and introspection of the introductory comments while recalling past matches through the eyes of the referees.   Full color photographs and large typeface allow even front row forwards to enjoy this gift.   All proceeds, minus a discreet editorial fee, will go to Pelican Charities, a non-profit supporting good works in the community.

 

How do I get this gift, I hear you ask?   Simple!   To order a copy approach a referee before a match and give him or her $60, plus $20 handling fee plus $20 for shipping.   For best results donations should be in cash and be done in full view of the opposition to show them your support for Pelican Charities.   Who knows? You may even shame them into matching or even bettering your donation.   If you don’t have a match before the New Year don’t worry as we will continue to accept orders while supplies last.   That means you can continue to order copies at all of your matches throughout 2016 and beyond.  Do it for the kiddies.

 

Pelicus Scriptoris speaks

 

The Rugby Republic http://www.therugbyrepublic.com/ is a California based rugby news site created and edited by Ahmad Bahrami out of Fresno.   He recently interviewed my predecessor Dr Bruce Carter. It is a good read and well worth the time.   It can be found here: http://www.therugbyrepublic.com/blog/2015/11/6/thank-you-sira-wrap-on-a-great-career

 

Eagle 7s Flying High

 

The World 7s series has started up again and the USA Eagles looked to improve on what has traditionally been a poor start to the 7s season.   We were the in-form team at the end of last season with a dominant Cup win at the London 7s followed by Olympic Qualification.   The big question was if Mike Friday and his staff could keep the momentum going after several months off?   Could he reintroduce players who participated in the World Cup smoothly?   Would these players be 7s ready or need more time to switch gears?   After 2 legs, Dubai and Cape Town, the answers are yes, yes and no, and maybe.   The US is still playing at an elite level getting to the cup quarterfinal in both tournaments while placing 3rd and 5th respectively and maintaining 3rd place in the World Sevens Series standings.   After never having beaten them before the US now has a 3 match winning streak against New Zealand.   Let me repeat that.

 

The US has a 3 match winning streak against the New Zealand All Blacks.

 

There is no finer indication that we have arrived.   Yes, the kiwi machine had some injuries but that is what elite teams do: they take the chance given and exploit any weakness.   Let’s not kid ourselves – New Zealand will reload for the next tournament and will remain a force and a favorite to win the series and a gold medal, but this may be the final mental hurdle we had to overcome.   Core team status? Check.   Consistent Cup round appearances? Check.   Cup victory?   Check. The ability to beat EVERY team on the circuit? Check.

 

I can’t wait for the Olympics.

 

Things that make you go “hmmmm?”

 

Question: Why does world rugby’s World Sevens Series feel the need to put “7s” after every country’s name?   USA 7s, England 7s, New Zealand 7s… This is the 7s series – isn’t it obvious?

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from Rich Uncle Pennybags of Atlantic City, NJ, who asks:

 

“Do referees get paid?”

 

Thank you for your question, Mr Pennybags and the short answer is yes, referees do in fact get paid.   This was a change in policy in the NCRRS enacted a couple of years ago in response to other organizations both locally and around the country paying their referees and it was felt that we would lose the services of younger refs to these paid matches.   There was, of course, quite a lot of debate over this issue as many argued that we need to keep up with the times while more traditional referees held out that we should referee for the love of the game and since the players weren’t being paid neither should we.

 

The most telling argument, although not a decisive one, came from the observation that as Pelicans we were duty bound not to accept money for our services because there is no room in the game for a professional fowl.

 

Exchange Notes

 

David Pescetti and Pete Smith went on our East Midlands Exchange this time around. Below is David’s report.

 

I arrived into London on an all too typical British afternoon: dreary, muggy, and pleasantly rainy. My first host was the wonderful couple of David and Annie Roberts, who live in Leighton Buzzard (I had to look it up too). Leighton Buzzard is a quaint town 45 miles to the north of London. On the way there we were told that the majority of matches, even the premier matches, were played at the same time. This seems very odd because all the people playing club rugby don’t have the opportunity to watch their favorite teams play on Saturday.

David Annie Roberts

Thursday was spent recovery and adjusting as best I could with an introduction course to their homemade spirits. I have at minimum come away learning a lot about preserves, not of the jelly variety. Friday we went to a local pub and spent the evening what they called “going to a session”. This was a group of people in a pub singing songs, folk and contemporary. I knew a few of the songs, thank you Metallica! They all seemed surprised when a young guy was singing along to an old folk song. Onto the weekend matches!

Saturday I was driven to Northampton where I had Northampton School for Boys vs Leicester Grammar. The day was fresh despite the muggy weather. I was very happy to feel the rain. It was a tale of two halves. The first half was dominated by the fresh Northamptonion boy legs. In typical English fashion it was a forward heavy game and after sucking the defenses in they would spin it out wide. They were able to force a 12 to 0 lead at the half. However the second half was equally if not more physical than the first. Leicester, within the first 10 minutes of the second half, had managed to respond and make it a 12 to 5 game. Unexplainably in the middle of the second half a Leicester prop socked a Northampton boy in the head. He claimed to have been punched first but I did not see any such initial strike upon video review. . It was a shame that he chose to take such action and for it I sent him off. Leicester was apply pressure on Northampton and would have threatened much longer had they been at full strength for the remaining of the match. The match ended with the score Northampton 12 – Leicester 5.

After the match I traveled up to Kittering Rugby Club for a pint and to drop off a Washington DC referee, Mike O’Brian, for his match. We stopped for a pint within their clubhouse and enjoyed atmosphere that is club rugby in the UK. My driver, thanks Jon!, and I stayed to watch a bit of Mike’s game and the other men’s match occurring one pitch over. During our viewing of Mike’s match he also sent a player off for striking. Needless to say the Yanks were seeing red that day! The evening was spent conditioning and making homemade pizzas in the wood fire oven my hosts have in their back yard.

On Sunday I was taken to Bedford to referee Bedford rugby club U15s vs Rutheford U15s. It was a fun match to referee, despite the old school no lifting/supporting at the lineout. The difference in play style is very different at the U15 level than at the high school level. They play a much wider game, with the ball being spun to gain space and use their athleticism to gain ground. Bedford was clearly the better side on this day. Bedford scored three times in the first half and twice in the second. Rutheford was only able to score once within the 60 minute match. Unfortunately we had a brief stoppage for a suspected broken collar bone. Twas but a scratch!

Monday we traveled to back to Huntingdon to partake in the East Midlands referee meeting. Their meetings a structured very similarly to ours, covering similar topics. Many good laughs were had while covering the new lineout vs maul management. Tuesday I traveled down to London to visit the Museum of Natural History and British Museum. After spending a few hours getting lost within the wonders that the English managed to accumulate, I went and had drinks with a friend in Soho before hopping back on the train back up to Leighton Buzzard.

Wednesday I traveled back up to Northampton for a match between Northampton University vs Banbury. Unfortunately this match ended before it got started. Within the first twenty minutes of this wet and cold match we have a major injury. A player broke his leg, while it wasn’t a compound fracture, it was close. The most surprising thing was when we called 999 they said they would not send out an ambulance because it wasn’t an emergency. Talk about carry on! I sent both teams off to their respective locker rooms because we had reached 15 minutes of waiting. We then called the non-emergency line, 111, and they sent out a paramedic, who as soon as she saw the injury said, “Yup we need an ambulance.” By this point it was getting too dark to finish the match, and the game had to be abandoned. It was quite a shame because it was shaping up to be a well contested match in the mud.

After this match I said adieu to my Leighton Buzzard hosts David and Annie. I was whisked away my new home in the north, a lovely town called Stamford. Now that’s Stamford with an M not an N, as my host Andy put it. That night we had the pleasure of going to Cambridge and watching them play Crawshay, a traveling side from South Wales. Despite having Jamie Roberts, the 77 capped Wales center, the Cambridge team only managed to pull ahead of Crawshay in the closing minutes of the second half. Before that, Cambridge, was down 13 – 19. Managing to successfully kick the go ahead conversion, Cambridge went up 20 – 19, and that is how the match ended. They will have to play at a level not displayed that night if they wish to beat Oxford in the Varsity match coming up.

Thursday we spent a few hours in Cambridge seeing the colleges and some of the sights. After spending a lazy hour on the English version of a gondola, ‘punts’ they called them, I headed off to another match. Thursday’s fixture was at Bedford School when they played Harrow school. The Harry Potter-esque grounds were quite a sight to see, especially with seven matches going on at the same time. The match was a fast paced match with everyone thinking they are the next Pocock, McCaw, or Hooper. This nail biter went down to the wire with Bedford eking out the win with a score of 17 to Harrow’s 10. I learned a lot about my own chatter during this match. It turns out I shut down my talking much sooner than ten minutes into the match. I will have to address and work on being vocal for longer.

Friday we woke up too early, but the destination was right proper. Arriving at the Hook Norton Brewery right and early to get our day started. The brewery is quite different to the ones I’ve visited in the states. It was the equivalent of a craftsman home, but a brewery. They still used a steam engine to power the brewery, sometimes. It was surprising to learn that they use the same yeast strain for all their beers. After our tour we got a healthy helping of our choice of their fare. They had a much larger variety of beer than I expected, everything from a dark stout to an American style IPA. They had this amazing team of horses which they would deliver kegs fresh to their doorstep. My phone ate the pictures of this part of my trip L

After getting good and full on delicious beer at the brewery we traveled onto Blenheim Palace. This place is a legit palace. Being the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill didn’t hurt either. This estate looks like it could have housed the Queen and I would have believed them, it was that grand.

Saturday I traveled to Dunstable to referee their third team. However, when I arrived, there was no team to be found. I ended up running touch for their first team match versus the undefeated Oundle. Despite Dunstable being a mid-tier team they put a very good showing against the top of the table. Oundle started off very sluggish only managing one of everything: a try, conversion, and a penalty kick. On the other hand Dunstable started off with a bang! They put up three tries, two converted, in the first half giving them a 19 – 10 lead at the half. The second half started with Oundle waking up, scoring a converted try to bring their deficit to 2 points. After a pair of penalty kicks by both sides we were left with Dunstable 22 and Oundle 20 with twenty minutes left. With points coming at a premium Dunstable kicked another penalty kick to go up by 5. Oundle could see their undefeated season begin to slip away. But they would not go away lightly. With 8 minutes left in the match Oundle was able to force a try into the corner to tie up the match. This invigorated their exhausted team. Pressure mounted. Finally, with only a few minutes left Dunstable fell. Oundle managed to score the go ahead try to win them the match. It was a great match to be a part of. Dunstable 25 – Oundle 30.

Saturday ended with a few pints around Stamford capped off with a fiery Indian curry to stew overnight in my belly.

Sunday, feeling the pains of my questionable late night culinary dinner choices, got into a car and struggled to make it to the airport.

I want to thank Paul Bretz and the rest of the board for allowing me the opportunity to go on such a wonderful adventure!

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process for reporting incidents

 

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

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

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

Date: 12/05/2015

Cal Maritime 21 – Alumni 37

Referee: Bretz, Paul

 

Enjoyable match to be part of. All parties agreed that we would start and restart the match with 15 on 15. Everyone agreed. How is it then that at one point and time Alumni had 19 players on the field?

 

Nevertheless played in good spirits.

 

Date: 12/05/2015

CSU Monterey Bay WR 22 – UC Santa Cruz Women 15

Referee: Freitas, Larry

 

The game had an early start because UCSC had to get back to campus to study for finals. I arrived at the pitch at the former Fort Ord to find both teams warming up, and indeed they needed to with my car’s thermometer registering 48F and the skies partly cloudy. The screen on the fence to the east had been taken down since last I officiated a match there, and with clear skies one could see the Gabilan Range off the to east, offering a great view. The kickoff was at 10:05, and about five minutes later UCSC scored what was to be the first of three unconverted tries in the half. This is a rebuild year for UCSC, and they had brought nearly thirty players, so the side taking the pitch for the first half was the more experienced of the two, and it showed as they were able to answer a Monterey Bay try with another two, and a few players who got little time to play last year were getting a chance to show what they could do. The Otter try was fashioned after a long run by their full back from half way, only to be tackled short of the line and knocking on. The subsequent scrum five found the Banana Slug scrum half hounded enough by her opposite number to make a bad pass to the right wing in goal, who then fly-hacked the ball back toward where the base of the scrum was. Monterey’s scrum half, Sabrina Bacaungan, all of 5’1” tall I would say, fell on the ball about a meter short of the line, and as I shouted at her to release the ball, she passed it off to a teammate who then dove into the in goal for their first try of the match, making the score 5-5 temporarily.   Things were starting to warm up, literally and figuratively.

In the second half UCSC had replaced a number of players with first year players, and there was much scruffy play, as both teams were showing that some weren’t completely aware of the laws of the game. The play did flow enough in that I tried to play as much advantage as possible to the non-offending side. CSUMB were able to score three tries in the half and take the lead and hold it in the last sixteen minutes of play. The first try was from a scrum five when Bacaungan scooped a ball up at her number 8’s feet and darted past defenders to touchdown. The tying score was also CSUMB’s Bacaungan’s, anticipating and intercepting a pass on Monterey’s own ten meter line after UCSC won ruck ball, and outpacing a few UCSC players to score near the posts. I didn’t think she’d make it as I chased play, but a quick change of direction by glancing back paid off, shaking off the last would-be tackler to cross the line. She was soon substituted with another player, getting an ovation from supporters. Another try some ten minutes later also came from some nifty running by CSUMB’s back division. That try was right under the posts, and the conversion was good to give them a seven point lead. The students on the touchlines, some of whom were of the men’s team waiting to train post game, and Monterey’s subs, couldn’t have been more excited, when those last two tries were scored, and when I whistled for no side. This was CSUMB Women’s first win after the team was resurrected last year. Their coach, Alena Porte, should be proud. Kevin Miske, UCSC’s coach, is also hopeful that his new players are going to improve and have a good year.   Regarding Sabrina Bacaungan, I only can say that for a player new to the game she has some instincts to run with the ball in hand that can’t be coached or learned. She was definitely “Woman of the Match.”

 

Date: 12/05/2015

Sacramento State 84 – UOP 12

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

Sac St. came out strong, scoring a try within the first three minutes. UOP hit back quickly to level the score. But from then on it was pretty much one way traffic. Sac St. make multiple line breaks, backs being the beneficiaries of strong running exhibited by #5. Nick Weeder at ten managed the backs well and made many searing line breaks, scoring at least three tries. Isaiah at outside center filled in nicely and had a brace of tries. Credit to UOP, they never gave up or backed down. Led by captain Justin, their halfback, UOP made numerous breaks but failed to capitalize each time. Justin took quick tap penalties every time he could, getting Sac St. on the back foot. Outside center Jermaine tried to put the team on his back with very active defense and great running. But Sac St. were too dominant and won going away.

 

Date: 12/05/2015

Sacramento State B 12 – Sierra College 88

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

I’m sure tackling drills will be on the agenda for the next Hornet practice. Thanks to Mark Godfrey for helping out at AR.

 

Date: 12/05/2015

Solano 11 – Humboldt State 43

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Nice field & facilities like stadium seating at Solano CC in Fairfield. Both teams played a tight 1st half but Humboldt’s defense did not let up while Solano kicked a few balls to Humboldt’s strength –their back 3 who scored all tries except a real nice defensive steal & tap kick ahead by their scrumhalf who pounced on the ball before it left the barely 5 meter try zone. Humboldt’s scrum & lineouts were solid which gave them plenty of possession. Both teams should only play better since this was their 1st league match. Halftime score 26-8.

 

Date: 12/05/2015

South Bay Tournament

Referee: Makino, Ren

 

Was able to referee two matches that day. Had a great time meeting new referees as well as some players that I knew playing for Google. First game was Sacramento Capitals (88) – Silicon Valley (7). It was my first Men’s Club game and my first game that I refereed where one team dominated the other. Had one scrum during the match. The Sacramento Capitals’ 10 was a really nice guy. Silicon Valley was able to go scoreless with a lucky loose ball. I think the try scorer was new to the game so I was happy for him. Received some great feedback about positioning after the match. Second game was SJSU (19) – UCSB Frosh/Soph (0). It was my first men’s college match. This was a rookie match but there were some experienced players playing as well. Had a lot more work to do than the first game. Was helped a lot by the assistant referees. Also learned about how to slow down the game after penalties.

 

Date: 12/05/2015

South Bay Tournament 0

Referee: Pohlman, John

 

San Jose Seahawks hosted the South Bay Tournament this past Saturday at the Morgan Hill Sports Complex.   Six teams were broken into two pools. Silicon Valley lost to the Slugs from UC Santa Cruz in the opener. Sacramento Capitals then beat an undermanned Silicon Valley.   Sacramento won their pool with a win over UC Santa Cruz.

Google won the other bracket beating the host Seahawks and barely getting by San Jose State.

Sacramento won the tournament finishing off an overmatched but determined Google side.

Good run was had by all.

 

Date: 12/05/2015

St. Mary’s College 67 – Santa Rosa 7

Referee: Akroyd, Phil

 

Rosa came into the fixture with a couple of weeks of pre-season training, SMC had a couple of games under their belts and started their pre-season conditioning in September. It was only going one way.

 

The kick-off from SMC traveled about 8 meters in the air and dropped to the ground, then it rolled over the 10m line. Rosa hesitated, SMC picked it up on the bounce and ran in for the first try after about 10 seconds. And so it continued.

 

It could have been more if the field was drier but it was cutting up pretty well in the third game of the day.

 

Date: 12/05/2015

St. Mary’s College C 58 – Santa Clara B 7

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

On a soggy field at St Marys college, the SMC Cs took on Santa Clara B side to start the day. Each team traded tries to begin the game but it was St Mary’s the rest of the way. Santa Clara’s defensive first tackles were weak which allows SMC to use their ball skills. The deep three for SMC made most of the breaks. Also of note- there was 25+ scrums as a result of the wet ball.

 

Date: 12/12/2015

Cancer Awareness Tournament

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

I managed to draw two Blackhawk matches in the finely run Blackhawk rugby tournament in Sacramento. Florin Reservoir Park has had some renovations and is in the best shape ever. First match saw Blackhawks II v. Life II. It was a physical match with Life playing a bit more cohesively. The Blackhawks hung tight, were solid in defense and had some really strong runs from Cali, but in the end were betrayed by errors. Life II hooker was noticeable in the loose and had some good runs and poaches. Life broke off a few long range tries and ended up victorious, 26-7.

 

The second match pitted Blackhawks v. Santa Rosa. The Blackhawks appeared to have the match in hand early as a result of strong forward play, but late intercept and penalty tries along with poor decisions resulted in a 26-14 win for Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa’s hooker played very well and made some well timed poaches while Blackhawks #5 was very strong with ball in hand.

 

Date: 12/12/2015

D3 Pre-Season KOT

Referee: Wilson, Giles

 

Napa had plenty of bodies and 3 marked fields; the goal posts were the last things to go up and if the teams would have arrived a little earlier then the 9am start could have worked. As it was the games went off a few minutes late, apart from that things ran very well.

 

I started with Marin vs South Valley – most players were getting their first game of the new season and this showed in the skills. In other areas some player were in mid-season form for “advising” the referee.

 

Next up Google and Aptos; both bringing some new players (more for Aptos than Google). Google made better use of space and Aptos paid the price but kept working and scored a couple of their own.

 

By the afternoon SF Fog and Google had lost some players to injury and elected a 7s game. Again google used space better.

 

In my final game Reno were worried about snow on Hwy 80 and Modesto had lost their coach to a significant injury – but they came for 3 games so why not 10s?

 

Date: 12/12/2015

D3 Pre-Season KOT

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Did 3 matches including the highlight match of my day Shasta barely squeaking by Napa’s 2nd side 19-17 with their kicker hitting two conversions & Napa’s only one.

Real good pre-season tourny for all who took part including my buddy Joe Silva who bought 5 raffle tickets & hit on 2 of them including the 1st one resulting in a tour of Buena Vista Winery; & got a bottle of good red wine form Napa.

They used a new field right by the toilets & picnic tables which was a better location then what they did last year for their late season tourny and their regular matches.

 

Date: 12/12/2015

D3 Pre-Season KOT

Referee: Pohlman, John

 

Napa Valley hosted a preseason kick off tournament this past weekend. I refereed four games which were 20 minutes halves. Beautiful day in Napa. Division three rugby is alive and well. Lots of good competitive games. Lots of good sportsmanship. Thanks to Pete Smith for organizing this tournament. These gathering bring back the tournaments from years ago. Fun competition, social activities with beers and food after. After all Saturday’s a rugby day.

 

Date: 12/12/2015

Diablo Gaels 25 – Chico 12

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

The Gaels met the Mighty Oaks in a pre-season match at Cal Maritime, set up as 4×20 minute playing periods. The Gaels opening the scoring early, with their fly half going over in the corner.   Rugby wasn’t often able to break out among the knock-ons, the most memorable of which occurred when a Chico player, having successfully crossed into the Gaels’ in-goal, heeded his team mates’ exhortations to take the ball in to the posts, only to drop it when he attempted to ground it. The Gales went over in the 33rd minute, under penalty advantage from Chico fringing, to take it to 10-0. Chico’s #4 went on a bullocking 70m run through and around defenders, and the kick went over to pull it back to 10-7. Rugby broke out in earnest from this point on, with direct running from Chico’s 9 and captain Kendo at 10, combining with much more attentive support running than in the first half. The Gaels on the other hand looked dangerous every time they put width on the ball and the pace of their back line will do more damage with a few fewer knock-ons as their season continues. Diablo went 15-7 up, only for Chico to score almost immediately from a wonderful series of offloads in contact to bring it back to 15-12. The last eight minutes were telling, with the Gaels running in two more scores to put the game away.

 

Date: 12/12/2015

Sacramento Amazons 10 – Life West Gladiatrix 51

Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

 

It was very helpful having Paul available for feedback and comments

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Even more helpful would be a description of the game

 

Date: 12/12/2015

San Jose State 17 – San Jose Seahawks 12

Referee: Hinkin, James

 

A cold mid December day pitted the San Jose Seahawks against San Jose St in a friendly. The Seahawks put out a mixture of rookies and vets and the Spartans were not impressed, running out to a 5-0 in the first 20 minute period.   A game characterized by penalties that failed to find touch actually created more open play as the counters were on. The second half saw parity restored as the older, wiser Seahawks were able to match the young, fresh Spartans at 2 tries (1 conversion) apiece.   A good match for both sides as they both got a run out before finals/holidays and the Seahawks were able to talk to possible recruits for their future campaigns.

 

Date: 12/12/2015

San Jose State B 0 – Santa Rosa JC 12

Referee: Hinkin, James

 

A three legged event at San Jose St started off with Santa Rosa JC taking on the Seahawks B siders.   The youngsters proved too much for the rookie club men to handle, however as they ran out to a 12-0 lead on 2 tries (1 conversion).   On a day most notable for kickers missing touch at penalties, the match had far too many stoppages to really flow.   Knock ons, free kicks and penalties were a curse that only evaporated for short periods of running, flowing rugby.   The second 20 minute period was more balanced as the Seahawk rookies found their legs but neither side could claim any points.

 

 

This Week’s Photo

As this is the final HP of the year, I thought I would end with a joke.   Remember this the next time a member of the flock gives you two fingers.

5 Beers

 

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Requiem aeternam dona eis

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Requiem aeternam dona eis, et lux perpetua luceat eis
Eternal rest give to them, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
 

To An Athlete Dying Young

A.E. Houseman

The time you won your town the race    
We chaired you through the market-place;         
Man and boy stood cheering by,             
And home we brought you shoulder-high.          

Today, the road all runners come,                    
Shoulder-high we bring you home,         
And set you at your threshold down,     
Townsman of a stiller town.       

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,  
And early though the laurel grows          
It withers quicker than the rose.               

Eyes the shady night has shut   
Cannot see the record cut,          
And silence sounds no worse than cheers            
After earth has stopped the ears:            

Now you will not swell the rout 
Of lads that wore their honours out,      
Runners whom renown outran 
And the name died before the man.       

So set, before its echoes fade,   
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,            
And hold to the low lintel up      
The still-defended challenge-cup.            

And round that early-laurelled head      
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,               
And find unwithered on its curls               
The garland briefer than a girl’s.
 

For the supposed quiet time of Pelicanland the last few weeks have been full of excitement, news and sadness.

 

We start with sadness.   Jonah Lomu, a titan of the sport in every sense of the word, passed away at the unthinkable age of 40. 6 foot 5 inches, 260 pounds, strong, quick and fast… as a WING!   He was something unheard of.   As an unstoppable natural force Jonah Lomu was the first great rugby star of the professional era. While the details of his passing have not been published (to my knowledge as of this writing) he has long been struggling with nephrotic syndrome, a rare kidney disease that cut short his brilliant rugby career and a decade later cut short his brilliant life.   If you haven’t already seen all of the tributes to his rugby prowess then a very quick search will bring them up, but the most moving, and by far the most important and revealing video I saw was a short clip from a documentary on his life that showed him visiting the man who was instrumental in breaking his heart in 1995, Joost Van Der Westhuizen, who is himself suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known in the USA as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Just take a few minutes to watch this:

 

There will always be great players and great humans.   Occasionally they will combine in a single entity.

 

There will only be one Jonah Lomu.

 

One Order Of Crow, Please

 

I have lived my sporting life with two certainties: the Cubs will never again win the World Series and the All Blacks can not win a World Cup on foreign soil.   I smugly based my RWC predictions on the latter certainty and picked the Irish to hoist the Webb Ellis Trophy with one hand while giving the English two fingers with the other.

 

Alas, I was sadly mistaken. Ireland, as well as Wales, were cruelly dealt a rash of critical injuries and faded valiantly in the quarterfinals.   The French never looked like beating anyone outside of tier 1 and, to the delight of the world north of Hadrain’s Wall, south of Dover’s white cliffs and east of the Gresford bells, the English failed to qualify out of their group.   The southern hemisphere dominated this Cup and the final pitched Austraila against New Zealand, who’s dominance was on show for all through the entire tournament.

 

And what a final it was!   As a fan with no horse in the race I was looking for spectacle, entertainment and fun and I got all of that and more.   As a referee I was greatly impressed with how Nigel Owens handled the match, allowing the players to show their skills and pace while maintaining control at all times.   I am reminded of descriptions of great waggoneers who controlled teams of 8 horses with just a few clicks and commands plus the occasional flick of the reins.   New Zealand ran out the deserved victors and, as I promised, I will give them their due credit. It has been said that this is the finest team ever assembled and I can find no sound argument against that statement. Richie McCaw, who just announced his retirement after the RWC, rides off into the sunset with GOAThood attached to his legacy.

 

Avé! Duci Novo, Similis Duci Seneci!

 

As with all organizing bodies within the rugby universe, the periodically NCRRS holds their Annual General Meeting and elected their Board of Directors. The NCRRS Board for the next two years is as follows:

 

Pete Smith

Preston Gordon

Our Scott Wood

Paul Bretz

James Hinkin

 

Congratulations to all of the board members and be aware that the editorial staff at Hail Pelicus will be watching your activities with considerable interest.   We are closer than you think.

 

Fancy A Game, Old Chap?

 

World Cup Final referee Nigel Owens spent the weekend after the match not, as you would expect, in a hot tub drinking champagne with buxom female celebrities but at a local club match in Wales.   The story is here if you would like to read about it : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/11981826/Nigel-Owens-Grassroots-rugby-helped-me-through-the-dark-days-now-Im-glad-I-can-pay-the-game-back.html

 

One quote, however, from that article I have some issue with: “You know people can hear what you say, but when you’re in a game you have to concentrate so much, you’re not aware of what you’re saying. It’s certainly not a performance. I think once you start playing up to it, you’re on a loser.”

 

Yes, as a referee it is critical to remember that you are neither the center of the game nor the reason that people watch but performance is a big part of it.   You have to play to the crowd, in the sense that when you make a decision EVERYONE must know about it.   A small gesture and quietly telling the players what happened is insufficient when you have 200 spectators wondering why this idiot just blew his whistle.   To borrow from the stage, you need to play to the back row. A good referee will stand up straight and make obvious, deliberate signals that can be seen from everywhere even if their voice can not be heard.   No, you don’t prance around and make the game about you but when you are forced to make a call you sell it for all you’re worth to both the players and the crowd.

 

Upcoming Referee and Coaching Courses

 

Northern California will be hosting a number of referee and coaching courses over the next few months.   Please watch this space for further details on these chances to improve your rugby knowledge and acumen.   From personal experience, I can tell you that there is definitely an aspect of academic rigor involved in being a referee – you need to know the laws and keep up with all changes and interpretations.

 

When a player shows an interest in the finer aspects of the game we generally try to guide them into refereeing.   If a player doesn’t know the laws and doesn’t understand how to apply them, they usually become a coach rather than a ref.

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process for reporting incidents

 

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

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

 

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: More reports are coming in from the Wastelands Beyond The Pelican’s Flight!   Keep them coming!

 

From Senior East Coast Correspondent Stephen Valerio:

 

Data: 10/17/2015

Navy C-side 24 -Frostburg St 22

 

Saturday was one of the cool, crisp days I missed in California. Nice and sunny, with the trees approaching peak color. I headed out to Frostburg St and the trees got more colorful as I headed into the Appalachian Mountains. I didn’t notice the skies getting cloudier at first, but as I approached the exit the skies had turned gray. As I pulled into the lot just as the hail started.

 

Saturday was one of those days that I laughed at when I lived in California. We played the match with intermittent hail showers. Not rain, not snow, hail. I have never heard of hail showers before, so I like to believe I coined the term. Frostburg State’s pitch is carved into the side of a hill and is fairly narrow. The grounds crew was kind enough to paint lines for the rugby club. Blue lines, which showed up brilliantly off of green. I passed on to the captain that they could use gold paint to contrast with the white. They could also learn to make dotted lines. Solid 10 m lines, 15 meter lines, 5 meter lines. Nope, no confusion there.

 

The match kicked off on time, and Navy was at first frustrated by the narrow width and sloppy playing conditions, letting Frostburg St score an early try. However, they soon adapted and put across 4 tries, converting 2, in the first half. They received fairly good go forward ball from the pack, but the rhythm of the match was choppy with plenty of knock forwards and balls on the deck.

 

The second half started during one of the breaks in the hail. But the pitch was now thoroughly muddy. However, the biggest change was the substitutions to Navy’s backline. The centers didn’t come up as aggressively allowing Frostburg’s backs to get the ball wide and their rhythm. After being burned out wide twice, the Navy backs over-compensated leaving themselves vulnerable to a cutback run from Frostburg’s flyhalf who dotted down between the posts. This allowed Frostburg to finally collect a conversion as they pulled to within 2 as the match moved into its final frame. Frostburg moved back into Navy’s half and picked up a penalty with the clock running out. They chose to go for the penalty kick, but it drifted wide, costing them the upset.

 

Data: 10/24/2015

Chambersburg 73 – Washington Renegades ‘D” 31

 

Chambersburg was victimized earlier this season when some idiots in pick-up truck decided to do donuts on their pitch after a rain, destroying their home field. So we moved further north to Shippensburg State’s home field for the match. Weather was great, with a firm (some would say hard) surface and try zones the maximum 22 meters. I was wondering if the larger than typical try zones were going to factor in, but they didn’t.

 

Chambersburg had defeated Washington 17-5 earlier in the season at Washington. However, this match was not going to be the same defensive affair. Washington didn’t shake off their road trip quickly and Chambersburg ran through them quickly for 3 tries and and an early 19-0 lead. After a severe tirade under the posts, Washington eventually got the ball back and quickly struck for a try. However, their defensive structure and poor tackling continued to let them down and Chambersburg ended the half up 31-5.

 

The second half started with more of the same with 5 more tries for Chambersburg. However, injuries hurt their defense and Washington started to gain the upper hand in the attack. By the end, it seemed no one was playing much defense with Washington putting  4 tries over in the last 20 minutes to one by Chambersburg. As the last conversion sailed through the post, Chambersburg came charging out of the in goal looking for one more try, but time had expired. I am pretty sure they would still be playing now if I would have let them.

 

Date: 10/31/2015

Wheeling Jesuit 41 – Loyola of Maryland 8

 

While there was a rugby match of some note going on at Twickenham. I trust the reader of this note knows how that much ended by the time this comes out. However, a different rivalry was being renewed in Towson, MD. Loyola University of Maryland was hosting Wheeling Jesuit. The 2 Jesuit schools had not played each other since 1994, meaning most of the current players, if not all, weren’t alive then. However, the Jesuit Rugby Classic marked a renewal of the rivalry.

 

Wheeling Jesuit came into the match ranked #11 in D1, while Loyola plays in the NSCRO. However, Wheeling had played and defeated Delaware the night before. A bigger challenge was the narrow, football-sized pitch. Wheeling’s first several offense thrusts were thwarted by the lack of space. Loyola came out fired up and was able to collect an early penalty while Wheeling was collecting itself. Loyola fought hard throughout the half, but Wheeling’s backs were lethal. Three tries and a penalty gave Wheeling a 22-3 lead. The same held in the second half with Wheeling in control, though Loyola was disruptive enough that the match remained competitive despite the final score line.

 

Wheeling Jesuit B 35 – Loyola of Maryland B 7

 

The B-side was more organized and structured. While Wheeling’s backs proved decisive in the first match, their front row made the difference in the B-side match. Their front row consistently punched through the Loyola defense and made the hard meters. Plus they popped up all over the field. Loyola was able to contain the damage in the first half and went into the break down 7-0. However, the physicality took its toll and they were able to punch several tries over in the second stanza. The only thing preventing the whitewash was an intercept try at the final whistle

 

Date: 11/7/2015

Mount St Mary’s 79 Navy C’s 7

 

I returned to Mount St Mary’s for a match between 2 squads whom I had seen both defeat Frostburg St earlier in the season. While a bit closer than the first match I had managed at Mount St Mary’s, it was still heavily one-sided for the home squad. The primarily plebe-side from Navy had their hands full with the experience MSM squad and their quick recycle game. Even a yellow card for repeated infringements deep in their end didn’t allow the Midshipmen to keep the game close. The inexperienced side made some strategic errors that the hosts punished mercilessly.

 

Date: 11/14/2015

University of Maryland 85 – UVA 0

 

This ACRL match was officially a forfeit as injuries had decimated UVA, particularly in the pack. The match was played with open substitutions so that Maryland could more fairly match the squads. While the UVA pack was under pressure, it wasn’t the biggest challenge for the team. They were unable to take advantage of opportunities due to inconsistency in their lineout and some rushed strategic moves borne out of desperation more than anything else. Instead of catching Maryland napping, it often resulted in isolated runners or kicks that left them vulnerable to counterattacks. The scoring slowed in the 2nd half as Maryland liberally subbed out their starters.

 

Date: 11/15/2015

Potomac NSCRO Finals

Mount St Mary’s 41 – Catholic University 21

 

I ran AR for Roberto Santiago, so 2/3s of the team of the 3 were Pelicans. Assuming Roberto’s battery didn’t die, he may have a picture.

 

Hoping you have a wet season

 

Date: 10/24/2015

Cal Invitational 7’s

Referee: Lane, John

 

Cal Autumn 7’s – 8 team – 16 game tournament

 

An excellent day of collegiate 7’s Rugby – committed and clean play throughout in a very well organized day’s rugby.

 

4 Ref’s including myself, PaulB, PeteS and Neil MacD ably supported by RobH as AR throughout.

Operating teams of 3 throughout the day with the full 5 for the final – so everyone’s legs got plenty of exercise!!

 

My ref day started with Game 3 (AR – Game 1) for Cal Poly v UC Davis which were 2 physically well matched teams but Poly proved to have that extra level of execution skills and eventually won 19-0 with 3 tries.

The game produced the only yellow card of the day for a deliberate slap down denying a clear try scoring opportunity – penalty try and YC – accepted with no challenge from the player involved which reflected the player spirit and ref respect all day.

 

2 more AR’s runs kept the legs warm before returning for Game 8 – UC Davis v Cal Frosh/Sophs. A new challenge here with the teams in virtually identical kit!!! After a request for a jersey change was met with a no option available response I started the game with heightened awareness spotting that UC Davis had a Blue square around the jersey number at least gave something to work with (thank god it was 7’s). Again a good contest but Cal F/S used field width combined with quality cut-backs to score 3 1st half tries for 19-0 half time lead. NeilMacD had used the first half and his Scottish charm to good effect and miraculously a change of jersey arrived for the Cal F/S during half time. Davis started the second half well scoring an early try and kept up the pressure for the next few minutes but did not convert the posession. Cal F/S capitalized on a turnover ball to score from long range with the game finishing UC Davis 7 – Cal F/S 26.

A short break and then back out for game 9 – SF State v Cal. Both teams were 2-0 so playing for a spot in the final. Cal wasted no time to put their mark on the game – receiving the kickoff they secured possession and using the width of the field work through a few quick phases to create the space and the first score. Despite a high defensive work rate from SF State the traffic remained mainly one way in the first half with Cal particularly strong on regaining their restart kicks (a feature of the whole day). 3 more tries and a halftime lead of 26-0. Cal scored first in the 2nd half to extend the lead but SF State finally managed to retain possession for a series of phases and deservedly got on the score board. At this stage Cal had released fresh legs from the bench and re-asserted control with 2 further tries to secure their spot in the final on a scoreline of 5- 47.

 

3 more AR runs before I returned to the middle to close out the day with the Cup Final after PaulB – Shield, PeteS – Bowl, NeilMacD – Plate had set the scene.

 

The final saw Cal Poly take on Cal (after tournament rules avoided a Cal F/S v Cal final after 3 wins each!).

 

Cal continued their dominate form despite a never say die attitude from Cal Poly but an overall higher fitness level across the squad definitely started to show in the players 4th game of the day. 4 tries to 1 in the 1st half with a noticeable drop off in the Cal goal kickers strike rate as only one Cal try was converted . The Cal subs bench kept the pace up in the second half adding 3 more tries before the end to win out the tournament on a 7-41 scoreline.

 

A special mention to RobH for a very long and active day on the AR sideline – not sure you knew what PeteS had roped you in for but much appreciated – I hope we spotted you out enough through the day.

 

And back to do it all again for the Pac 12 on 7&8 November!!!

 

Date: 10/24/2015

Google 56 – McGeorge 28

Referee: Simko, Paul

 

We played four, twenty minute quarters in this preseason warm up. There were plenty of new players out there for both sides, which unfortunately kept the whistle blowing. It was close for the first half. The 3rd quarter became a track meet for Google. McGeorge came back with 2 tries at the end.

 

Date: 10/24/2015

UCSC Men Slugfest

Referee: Freitas, Larry

 

I officiated four matches in this men’s pre-season tournament at UCSC, played on the upper field and lower field. First thing I noticed on the upper field was that the rugby pitch wasn’t lined correctly, and that the east touchline ran through, and I mean right on, two drains that were encased in cement! I immediately got in touch with the OPERS director, had a few UCSC players come up from the lower pitch with spray cans, and had a new touchline added at least a yard further infield, and had bags and other assorted material thrown over the drains. With the drought and evidence that the field has been used plenty for intramurals, and last week’s women’s tournament, there wasn’t a lot of grass on much of the pitch, though on other parts there was plenty of grass. Cal Poly 2s beat Santa Clara’s 2s, most of whom were playing in their first ever game, 55-0. UC Davis beat Sacramento State 29-0 in my next match an hour or so later. Cal Poly then defeated Sacramento State 29-7, with a late try by the Hornets from a free kick given because of a scrum infringement by Cal Poly, between the 10 meter line and the 22, in which Cal Poly hadn’t retreated the 10 meters, so that they were marched back another ten with a free kick now a penalty for that offense, and a Cal Poly player now obstructing a Sacramento player from taking a quick tap, meaning another ten meter march off and a verbal warning from me, and then the penalty run in for a very late try.

 

My last match was on the lower field, one of the best rugby pitches in California if not the whole USA, and possibly the world given the view of the Monterey Bay below. I just hope we get some rain soon, because its wear and tear is starting to show, with some patches of turf well torn up from use, and I was noticing wear and tear on my legs from running around on hard pitches all day. I happened to have played in a “veterans” match in Tewksbury in the West Midlands of England a few weeks earlier on the California Bald Eagles RWC tour, and playing on that grass was easy on the legs and feet to say the least. It was finally starting to cool off from the 80F warmth of mid-day, and the unusually high humidity. Sacramento State beat an undermanned Sonoma State, that had borrowed a few Humboldt State players, 45-0. I was fairly worn out from the day’s activity by then, and got a night’s sleep straight through from 9:30pm to 5:30 the following morning.

 

 

Date: 10/24/2015

UCSC Men Slugfest 100 – TBD 100

Referee: Asonye, Elvy

 

Great day of rugby had, many teams with only 4 referees but we made it work in the hot heat.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: I will give Elvy a pass on the brevity of this report as she, as well as your humble scribe, ended up reffing 8 games each on the day. We were really kinda tired after that, you know?

 

 

Date: 10/24/2015

UCSC Men Slugfest

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

I reffed 4 matches all blowouts by Sac St, Cal Poly (twice), and UC Davis giving me plenty of sprint workouts. Could have used a few more refs (only 4 of us showed up). Luckily James Hinkin & one of the UCSC coaches Rob filled in for me for two other matches I was too exhausted to ref.

Great tourny for all those who attended on a spectacular day overlooking the bay.

 

Date: 10/24/2015

USF 0 – University of San Diego 13

Referee: Pescetti, David

 

These two colleges met on a warm sunny morning on Saturday. I don’t think they got the memo that New Zealand and South Africa were playing!

 

These two teams were very evenly matched. Both teams had stout and stingy defenses. The only try of the match coming off of a miss-handled kick that was scrambled for by both teams. USD managing, in the scramble, to kick the ball down field a few times and managing to collect the ball right before the goal line. The only other scores were via penalty kick. At the half the score was 10 – 0 in favor of USD. The rest of the match was even more stingy than the first. USF threatened several times but was unable to punch it in. The match finished with USD winning 13 – 0.

 

Date: 10/25/2015

Stanford 17 – Alumni 17

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

Stanford’s Alumni match kicked off under clear skies and sunshine at Steuber Field. The alumni came to play hard, opening the scoring with a converted try seven minutes in. The students found themselves a player down mid-way through the half, after one breakdown penalty too many, and the alumni carried their lead into the break.   The students clearly left their half time talk with their new coach re-energized, and scored twice, taking a 12-7 lead half way through the second half, before extending it further to 19-7 with nine minutes left. The alumni did not tire, their heads did not go down, and they came roaring back with a line break, and taking the ball through a few phases with great ball retention to crash over and close the gap to seven, and with a successful conversation, to five with three minutes left. A bridge too far for the alumni? Don’t you believe it. Over they went again in the final minute to tie up the game. A nailbiter conversion for alumni captain Nathan from wide on the right to pull out the win, but the kick drifted left and the honors shared. Stanford look to have recruited well this season, with a number of athletic additions to the squad including a scrum half with dancing feet who looks to have a lot of potential.

 

 

Date: 10/28/2015

Stanford 32 – Stanford GSB 10

Referee: Lew, Tim

 

Always a pleasure to referee a game on Stueber Field at Stanford. With a newly appointed coach, Stanford Men looked athletic and fast. GSB started the game with a quick score but that was all they had for the game. Stanford Men were more athletic and took advantage of their fitness in the end.

 

 

Date: 10/31/2015

Berkeley All Blues B 32 – Berkeley All Blues C 17

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

This was originally going to be a friendly 2nd side with some other players filling it, but it ended up being All Blues on All Blues playing 10s after the high quality WPL 1st side game. Some great plays and some excellent support was seen on both sides, and it was fun to get a run in for everyone.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: See next two reports…

 

Date: 10/31/2015

UC Santa Cruz 0 – San Jose State 0

Referee: MacDonald, Neil

 

Match cancelled. Found out after I got there.

 

 

Date: 10/31/2015

UC Santa Cruz B 0 – San Jose State B 0

Referee: Lane, John

 

Game was cancelled night before. Clubs informed Neil MacDonald who was on the A game.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Teams must realize that cancelling a game at the last minute not only affects the players but the referees, who sometimes have to travel long distances to get to the match.   Please make sure that all referees are notified in a timely manner if a fixture is not to be played.

 

Date: 10/31/2015

UOP – USF, SF State

Referee: Wood, Scott

 

After coaching my daughter’s last silly-round-ball game of the season, I travelled over to UOP for their annual pre-season round-robin tournament. Three teams (UOP, USF, SF State), three games (2×20), one referee…

 

Match 1

UOP 17

USF 41

 

UOP was stronger in the scrums and breakdowns but their backs were unable to contain USF’s 8-10(?) power combo.

 

Match 2

UOP 21

SF State 33

SF State countered UOP’s scrums and was able to exploit holes in the backline.

 

Match 3

USF 28

SF State 0

The aforementioned USF power combo was the featured attraction. SF State controlled its scrums and breakdowns well.

 

Kudos to all participants for demonstrating that rugby is the world’s greatest sport.

 

On my way to my car, I was appoached by a SF State parent. We had a great, albeit brief, discussion on how some of the game has changed and his stated desire to return to the ranks. It has been around ten(?) years since I have seen Joe Saccomanno and hope to see more of him. Especially on the pitch, whistle in hand, rugby in heart.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: I have also run into Pelicus SSaaccoommaannoousas well when refereeing SF State – it would be nice to bring an apostate back into the fold.

Date: 11/07/2015

AKM Memorial Tournamnet

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

It was a fine day for a festival. Santa Rosa played Humboldt St. Early days for both teams, who were very enthusiastic and energetic, which resulted in multiple penalties in the opening stanza. They calmed down a bit second half and Santa Rosa won 21-0. On to Bend v Blackhawks, with Bend being the team of the tournament.   They are in midseason form, have a great gameplan and are patient. Bend with the win, 31-17.   A newly reconstituted Sac Capitols then played Emerald Triangle, a composite of Mendo, Colusa and Shasta player. Capitols exhibited really solid team play and won 32-20.

 

 

Date: 11/07/2015

AKM Memorial Tournamnet

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

A beautiful day in Reading and a nice event, supporting the AK Mittry Memorial. Reffed 4 matches, with Rich Boyer, Bruce Bernstein, Mic Dunston (from Bend) and Kevin Brown (Oregon Inst. of Tech) also covering a bunch. 20 minute halves made for a manageable day.

Started with Bend v Sac Capitals; Bend dominated 32-7. They put together multiple phases at each breakdown and were often able to find gaps in the Sac back line. I understand Bend is just wrapping up the first half of their split season ans they were a bit more polished with their play.

Second match was Central Oregon v Santa Rosa JC. Very fast game, though more rough around the edges with a number of inexperienced players. Came down to the last few minutes of play. Central Oregon scored the go-ahead try off a scrum at about the 5-m line. The ball was put in cleanly by SRJC and hooked by SRJC, I looked up to check the positioning of the backline players and suddenly the CO scrumhalf was diving in front of me with the ball and touching it down in-goal. SRJC players claimed it came back out the tunnel, but I didn’t see it, so awarded the try. CO 17, SRJC 12.

Third match was ugly, Sac Blackhawks v. a mish-mash of Shasta, Santa Rosa and other whores. Apparently, there were a number of grudges to settle among players and coaches. Sac chose to make some kind of statement by not attempting conversions after each try. At the close of the first half, there was a bit of pushing, shoving, and taunting going on. I took aside both captains and told them I would call off the match at the first sign of escalation. They were able to calm things down but there was a lot of bad blood between the two. Sac’s decision to not take conversions came back to bite them as the mish-mash won 24-20.

Closer was Sac State v Santa Rosa JC. Reffing SRJC for the second time, they showed a noticable level of improvement in their play. Sac State is a strong team but didn’t travel with many of their first 15, so SRJC hung with them. Sac State 12, SRJC 5.

 

Date: 11/07/2015

AKM Memorial Tournamnet

Referee: Bernstein, Bruce

 

Definitely worth driving up to Redding for the Andrew Mittry Memorial Rugby Tourney. 6 college & 6 mens teams played for the fun of it with: 3 college scholarships handed out at lunchtime; a tri tip dinner served after; and a great bar hop through downtown Redding (which was pretty good). 6 refs helped out. Our Jeff Richmond, rich Boyer & myself; with Mic Dunston from Bend & Kevin Brown a prof & coach of the Oregon Inst of Tech (OIT). Bend looked in mid-season form since they started a split season in September, but Sacto Capitals & Emerald (a local touring side) were also right there. The college teams all were fun to watch & ref with tough competition from Sac State, Central Oregon CC (from Bend) & OIT (which beat Sac State in a great match I was able to ref.

 

 

Date: 11/07/2015

Cal Maritime 3 – UC Davis 14

Referee: Coppinger, John

 

Cal Maritime dominated the scrum and the breakdown, but had no answer for the speed Of UCD’s outside backs on the turf temple of rugby at Cal Maritime. Donal Walsh was prowling the UCD side and it is always to good to chat with Donal.

 

 

Date: 11/07/2015

Cal Maritime B 10 – UC Davis B 29

Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

 

First match for everybody. And first ”oh f***” moment of the season. In spite of traffic, I arrived 30 minutes before kick off. Except both teams are on the pitch, ready to go, missing only a referee. The host coach hit a note of grace; “No worries; ready when you are. The first match actually started on time.”

 

The Aggies the better team on the day. They took the opening kick and methodically rucked their way down the field-scoring on about the 19th phase. But Maritime-mostly new fellows-played hard and dotted it down just at full time.

 

Play of the game: a Davis back fielded a kick near touch inside his 22, and with a fine disregard for shouts of ”run straight!” immediately crossed the field east west to the the other side of the field, and then reversed field again before being tackled. 200 meters for a gain of 50. The days of our youth are the days of our glory.

 

Date: 11/07/2015

Fresno State 10 – Santa Clara 46

Referee: Jury, Jeff

 

Santa Clara ran some good clean lines and kept shape pretty well in attack and defense. Fresno State has good, fit athletes but is still in the learning phase. Fresno was able to fill some gaps in the second half and managed a couple trys.

 

 

Date: 11/07/2015

Fresno State B 15 – Santa Clara B 29

Referee: Jury, Jeff

 

A little more scrappier than the first game with newer players filling both sides . Fresno B was able to match Santa Clara B try count in the second half.

 

 

Date: 11/07/2015

PAC 12 7’s

Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

 

4 games. I got good pointers on managing the ruck and seeing when space is taken away what to look for

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: As a game description or analysis, this leaves much to be desired.

 

Date: 11/07/2015

Stanford Women 48 – UNR Women 0

Referee: Simko, Paul

 

There were 3 teams (SCU was the third team) that played 4 quarters. In the first quarter (40 minutes), Stanford rolled over UNR 48-0. In the second quarter (40 minutes), Stanford blanked SCU 39 – 0. In the third quarter (30 minutes), UNR shut out Stanford 27-0. In the 4th quarter (30 minutes), we had a tight one. It was 17-10 with Stanford leading SCU. SCU scored on the final play, but missed the conversion and lost 17-15.

 

 

Date: 11/08/2015

PAC 12 7’s – TBD

Referee: Fenaroli, Steven

 

Officiated 2 games, I had the 3/4 game. First time working with radios and a full crew. The second game went well and was managed well.

 

 

Date: 11/14/2015

CSU Monterey Bay WR 10 – St. Mary’s College Women 27

Referee: Asonye, Elvy

 

Great friendly between the two teams. St Mary’s got a try within the first two minutes and had the only successful conversion to start off the match. They were able to push through the center of the field two other times in the first half, until CSUMB got a break on the outside and the winger scored a try. Going into halftime St. Mary’s got another try, making the score 22-5 at the half. Halfway into the second half CSUMB got another try, after a hell of a fight pushing through inside the 22 and managed to get around to the outside for a try. St Mary’s fought hard the whole match and were able to get one last try with five minutes still left on the clock. A great fight by both teams, I’m sure the rest of their season will be even more fruitful.

 

 

Date: 11/14/2015

Solano CC 23 – McGeorge 57

Referee: Pohlman, John

 

Solano College hosted McGeorge in a pre-season friendly. The Solano Football field was well marked and in good shape. It was a bit small, but for my first game since last season suited my conditioning well.

McGeorge looked to be in mid season form. Their back row was all over the field led by captain Dan. The McGeorge backs looked like they had played together for years, hitting the ball with speed and angles. After two 20 minutes periods McGeorge was up 35 – 8.

Second half Solano started to link up some passes which led to two nice try’s. Solano’s captain Chris scoring one.

Final McGeorge 57 Solano 23.

Two items of note. This being my first game back in this early season and a supposed friendly, I was a bit relaxed to start the game. Both teams played hard, mostly positive rugby. I needed to set my standard early and remember once the ball is kick off there are no friendlies.

And two, if you referee at the Solano College Stadium bring your mosquitoes repellent. The mosquitoes were very bad.

 

Date: 11/14/2015

St. Mary’s College B 0 – SF State 0

Referee: Gordon, Preston

 

Bryant Byrnes and I switched off for the 4 40-minute periods at St. Mary’s. I did the second and fourth periods. There were a lot of tries scored in this fast pre-season match, most of which went to St. Mary’s, but SFSU got a few good ones of their own. It was a great day to put in 5 miles of work reffing (and ARing) and each of these teams should do very well in the upcoming season.

 

 

Date: 11/14/2015

St. Mary’s College C 0 – SF State B 0

Referee: Byrnes, Bryant

 

A beautiful Fall day for a friendly in Moraga. And on their old Pat Vincent Field. Many an old China hand ref fondly remembers this as the Everglades of NorCal pitches. You needed to bring your whistle, watch and defrib paddles to bring back players drowning in the muck.

 

The format was four 40s. Preston Gordon and I did alternating periods. St Mary’s had 40 plus players, the Gators perhaps 26,27-so it was a bit of mix and match. When subbed in, the Gael A side was a bit of a tidal wave. But when the SFSU guys played the SMC younger fellows, they were stout. Fun day for everyone.

 

 

Date: 11/14/2015

UOP 19 – Fresno State 33

Referee: Boyer, Rich

 

Fresno St. made the two hour trek to play UOP at their fine pitch. Both teams started strong, but promising phases were cut short by knock ons. UOP were in the match early on, following their captain Justin, scrumhalf, who scored two tries on long range quick tap penalties and who also had a hand in the third try. Fresno St. backs shone, particularly the fullback and wing, both who had blistering pace. The Fresno St. flyhalf set up multiple back line plays and was handy with the boot on conversions. Both teams exhibited good pattern of play. Good game played in good spirits. Fresno St. had too much firepower but UOP never quit battling.

 

 

Date: 11/15/2015

Stanford Women 7’s Tournament

Referee: Tetler, Jen

 

Fun times with Neil McDonald, John Lane, Lee Bryant, and newbie ref Ren! The final game of UC Davis v. Stanford showed a lot of good passing and support.

 

 

Date: 11/15/2015

Stanford Women 7’s Tournament

Referee: Bryant, Lee

 

Despite the weather report and waking up at 4:30 am by a downpour, not a drop of rain on the pitch for the games. Great rugby with a great fight to qualify for nationals. Stanford won top honor in a well fought final.

 

 

Date: 11/21/2015

Chico Holiday Classic

Referee: Wilson, Giles

 

Mitch, Beau and the rest of the Chico rugby folks once again put on their Holiday Classic. No goal posts, no scores recorded – a chance for teams to give new players their first games, to get the big lads/lassies back doing what they enjoy after a summer of 7s for the fast lads and lassies.

 

Play started on time with strict instructions that whatever happened, the games must finish on time, in order to keep the event rolling. And so it went.

 

I started with a spirited game between Chico State (who requested the TJs stand as goal posts, for the first game anyway) and Sacramento Capitols. The former have some good skills being developed but were significantly outweighed in the front row. Despite this, they managed well. Both teams ran hard in the centers and there were some significant collisions. This game featured the first game of Mike Dopson’s “retirement”, with the Capitols needing a scrum half.

 

SFGG women vs Nor Cal women was my next game. A wide range of skills and experience levels were on display. A few rampaging runs from either side and plenty of skill. Youngster’s got some game time and started to learn about what old age and treachery can do to youth and exuberance.

 

I finished with Sac Capitols against UNR, who were also bringing in some newer players. They have couple of horses in their back row but struggled with the physicality of the Capitols. They are developing a playing style under Maka and will get better.

 

Another fun event with the spirit of rugby to the forefront.

Date: 11/21/2015

Chico Holiday Classic – TBD

Referee: Franzoia, Tom

 

Well, a good day was had by all teams, Chico, Colusa, Chico State, Sac Capitals, Reno, BA Baracus, Mendocino, UN Reno,Chico State Women, Humboldt State Women, Nor Cal Women, SFGG Women. Twenty minute halves flew by, Mitch kept an eye on everyone especially the Chili, outstanding.

 

 

Date: 11/21/2015

Fresno State B 14 – CSU Northridge B 26

Referee: Jury, Jeff

 

CSUF A 28 v CSU Northridge A 19, Good clear day, hard pitch. Northridge somewhat neutralized CSUF better coordinated attacks by “bringing the wood”. Northridge pressure kept Fresno away from the gainline, but Fresno kept shape and averaged 2 converted trys a half to Northridge’s try count 1 and 2 with a missed kick at the end. Good day had by all.

 

 

Date: 11/21/2015

San Jose 31 – Berkeley 17

Referee: Pohlman, John

 

San Jose hosted Berkeley in a preseason 3 thirty minute period game. The game was played at Shepard Middle schools football synthetic turf field. First period was fast, positive rugby. Both teams played strong defense yet both had brief tackling lapses which allowed soft trys.

Berkeley 10 San Jose 7.

Second period was dominated by San Jose in ball position and scoring. San Jose 19 Berkeley 0.

Last period had lots of newbie players but still mostly positive go forward rugby. Berkeley 7 San Jose 5.

Final score San Jose 31 Berkeley 17.

Thanks to both Captain Dan and Captain Mark for great leadership. My only problem was the field and try area being poorly marked. But a great day of rugby.

 

Date: 11/21/2015

Solano CC 10 – Napa 2 50

Referee: Asonye, Elvy

 

Quite the friendly match between these two teams. For my last game to referee in California, I asked both teams to play clean and fair. The teams decided on breaking up the first half into 20-min periods, then finishing the second half straight through. Napa started off early with a try by their flanker, that was answered back by Solano two minutes later. Napa followed up with one more try in the first period, with a score of 5-12, Napa 2. Tensions were still pretty low and contained and players began to get a little more anxious. I called the captains together to talk to their players and remain calm during the game. Napa got a pair of breakaways through the center and scored two trys, and Solano stripped the ball from Napa to score a try before halftime with a score of 10-26, Napa 2. During the second half I spoke with both captains to speak with their team as there was unnecessary fighting and yelling, and cautioned that the game could end early if players were more focused on fighting than playing rugby. Early into the second half, I cautioned the Solano hooker for a dangerous charge. Napa took advantage and were able to get a try down the center. Napa was then able to use the momentum to score another 3 trys. Of the 8 trys that Napa had, five conversions were successful.

 

 

Date: 11/21/2015

UC Davis Women 45 – TBD 10

Referee: Hosley, David

 

This was to be an exhibition with four teams, but two dropped out so Jen and I discussed online with the Davis club president and I did the four quarters of 20 minutes each between Reno and UCD. This was a good match for the pre-season, and lots of new players for both sides on a beautiful day.

 

 

 

This Week’s Photo

The game that is played in heaven just got a bit better.

Lomu Tribute

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre

Adult Swim

HAIL PELICUS!

 

Adult Swim

 

We have started getting to the pointy end of the World Cup (don’t ask me why a cup has a pointy end) and kiddie time in the pools is over: it’s time for Adult Swim.   For all of their bluster and pompousness, England turned out to be a kiddie.   For all of their poise and daring, so did Japan which is a real tragedy.   The outcry against the scheduling – forcing Japan to play South Africa and Scotland back-to-back being the most obvious calamity – has resonated around the rugby world yet World Rugby remains firmly in the control of the Home Nations and the Tri Nations who, as the beneficiaries, see nothing wrong with it.   There will be lip service towards making the schedule fair and balanced (now there’s s phrase that causes rational people to shudder), but in the end all you need to do is ask yourself, “What would ESWIFSANZA do?” and you have your answer.

 

Naturally, ESWIFSANZA stands for England Scotland Wales Ireland France South Africa New Zealand Australia.   I’m embarrassed I even had to tell you that.   I’m even more surprised nobody has produced a “WWESWIFSANZAD?” bumper sticker.

 

The more surprising results came in the quarterfinals as every remaining northern hemisphere team was knocked out. It’s an antipodean world and we just live in it.   My personal pre-tournament favorite Ireland looked overmatched against Argentina, a team that has taken their lumps in the Rugby Championship and learned from them.   France looked hopeless against New Zealand, a result that has every Kiwi everywhere breathing a sigh of relief as France has a habit of knocking the All Blacks out of the tournament.   Wales defended valiantly against South Africa but there are only so many tackles you can make in a game (197!) and finally Scotland was once clean lineout away from upsetting Oz but could not come up with the ball at that critical moment.

 

And so Joubert, you see it’s true, Jon Welsh bears no more guilt than you!
What’s the score?     3 5 to 3 4!

 

Craig Joubert’s decision to penalize Scotland’s Jon Welsh for off side has been analyzed, commented on, the commentary commented on and then this commentary analyzed.   Speaking as a referee and presuming to do so for all of my fellow Pelicans (even I suspect Neil MacDonald, though I haven’t talked to him about this) I am appalled at the vitriol that has been hurled at Joubert. As Nigel Owens so famously said, this is not soccer.   The reaction around the world had some nasty roundball undertones and that greatly concerns me.

 

I saw that play in real time and thought that he got it exactly right.   Even the first replay angle I saw looked like he got it exactly right. I only saw the ball come off an Australian on the third replay while it was in slow motion so yes, he got the call wrong. Even World Rugby said he got the call wrong in a rather pompous, wordy and officious statement.   Australia should have been awarded a scrum and who knows what would have happened. Based on statistical analysis the chance of scoring from a scum inside your opponent’s 22 is about 9%, so Scotland should have won and they should be declared victors by fiat from World Rugby.

 

Or not.

 

This is rugby.  You have one referee who will make hundreds of decisions in a match and acting on a few of them to penalize one team or the other.   We all make mistakes and there is zero chance that Joubert was trying to influence the outcome of the game as some rather rabid pundits have suggested.   The play looked like a Scottish knock on played by a Scottish player in an off side position and it was called that way.   He didn’t see the ball come off the Aussie 21 so he couldn’t call it – it was a bang-bang play and only obvious on replay.   For all the people (including just about every TV pundit I could find) clamoring for the TMO to step in, well, he couldn’t. From World Rugby:

 

“It is important to clarify that, under the protocols, the referee could not refer to the television match official in this case and therefore had to rely on what he saw in real time.”

 

And there you have it.   Joubert had to rely on what he saw and he made his call. For those who think that Scotland was hard done by then let me remind you that all Scotland needed to do was hit their lineout jumper cleanly.   Australia didn’t contest the lineout so he was up there all by his lonesome but the Scottish hooker missed his throw. Make your throw and we aren’t having this discussion – and that is ignoring all of the other mistakes that led to Australia getting their first 32 points.

 

This loss is on the players. It is always on the players and always will be on the players. The referee is there to ensure that safe, clean and hopefully fast rugby is played but, much like some people I have played with, DOES NOT EVER SCORE A POINT OR MAKE A TACKLE.   A poor refereeing decision will affect a single play, but rarely affects an entire game.   Referees are not perfect and the higher you go, the higher the stakes, the faster the game goes and the quicker you must make your decisions.   For all of the players and coaches, before you criticize a referee for a single mistake (or two, or three…) remember that a player, if he’s good, may be involved in 25 actions during the game.   Let’s say he misses 1 tackle and knocks on 1 ball.   That’s a pretty good game, but this player failed 8% of the time he was asked to do something.   A referee has easily over 200 decision a game – often simultaneous – so if he misses 2 he has a 1% failure rate.   Who had the better game?

 

Still waiting patiently

 

The editorial board here at Hail Pelicus is quite surprised that we have not heard of Mike Tolken’s resignation yet.   After that disastrous and embarrassing World Cup campaign we all thought he would resign his position the instant he touched down on US soil in a rather symbolic gesture that the World Cup was over for us.   Possibly he isn’t here yet and was delayed doing some last minute scouting for his successor. I hear the Newcastle Falcons have a new flaker who is tearing it up in the English Premiership and is eligible to play for the USA.   Hopefully he is getting a look.

 

Quis docet ipsos doctores?

 

Our Referee Development Officer Vicky Hudson created a survey regarding last year’s referee development.

 

Please take a moment and help up develop our development and learning processes as this is a major tool in improving the Society.   You can find the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Pelican_Development

 

Ask A Pelican

 

Yes, it’s time for this week’s installment of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus.   This week’s question comes from Sunshine Moonwillow from the Natural Holistic Life and Earth Mother Energy Institute of Berkeley, CA, who asks:

 

“I have been reading your World Cup coverage and it all seems so grim.   You seem a depressing person. What makes you happy?”

 

Well thank you for your concern, Sunshine.   As a matter of fact something occurred today that put a smile on my face and a spring in my step: I discovered that my iPhone autocorrects “Hail Pelicus” to “hell pelvis”.   This is a true thing.

Keep sending in your questions to us here at hailpelicus@pelicanrefs.com!

 

Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process for reporting incidents

 

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

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

 

 

On To The Game Reports!

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Not only do we have expat Pelicans sending in reports but we have current Pelicans on assignment sending in reports. Great stuff, Mr Akroyd.   Next time you might even want to include a date and a location!

 

Date: A long, long time ago

Location: A galaxy far, far away

KC Blues 13 – 33 Metropolis

Referee: Akroyd, Phil

A/Rs: Pete Winklebauer/Tyson Haney

P.R: Callum Pender

 

In what was billed as a close Midwest rivalry game, it was a shame that it didn’t quite end up as close as the crowd would have liked.

 

The game was played at Swope Soccer Complex in Kansas City with a 7pm kick-off under the lights. The crowd rolled in late but happy after watching the Royals play at home in the MLB playoffs in a come from behind home win.

 

KC took the early lead with a penalty kick after a high tackle from Metropolis inside their own 22. That was the last piece of attacking play they would have for a while though. KC were a little weak outside of their front nine and had a pretty poor kicking game. Metro were all power and skill in the three-quarters which happened to feature former Sacramento Lion, Pate (who went over for a nice try).

 

It was 3-19 at half and Metro continued to put the hammer down in the second half, stretching out to a 3-33 lead. KC came back a little toward the end but it was far too late.

 

It was a little odd finishing a game at 9pm on a Saturday night and a 6:45am flight the next morning didn’t help my recovery, but it was a fun weekend in the Midwest.

 

Date: 10/10/2015

Baltimore-Chesapeake 41-15 Frederick

Referee: Valerio, Stephen

 

It has come to my attention that since I am no longer submitting scores through the I NorCal system that some of the staff are confused as to when my matches have occurred. I have endeavored to alleviate this problem with this report.

 

Saturday was the perfect autumn day that I missed when living in Northern California. While I did relentlessly mock my east coast friends as I went for a run while they were trapped under a layer of ice in February, it is tough to pass on a sunny, crisp October afternoon. Cool enough for the players but not so cold that the spectators were uncomfortable.

 

With the beautiful weather I showed up early to get a run in as an AR for the Frederick Women’s Club match against the DC Furies Div 2 side.

 

Properly warmed up we started promptly at 1:00. Both the Frederick club and the Baltimore-Chesapeake Division 3 side came in with a couple of losses under their belts. However, based on the start, both sides came to play. As one on-looker said to me afterwards, within 2 tackles you knew this was being played like a Division 2 match.

 

BC took the opening kick-off and ran through several phases of play before touching down for the early try. Frederick quickly responded with 2 tries and about 10 minutes into the match Frederick was leading 10-5 and I thought we were off to the races. However the rest of the half was spent with the 2 sides slugging it out between the 22s.

 

The second half opened with BC collecting an early penalty and then the floodgates opened. BC started to get the ball out wide and their winger was a deadly combination of speed and power who struck several times throughout the half. Their outside center broke the Frederick line consistently enough to through the Frederick defense into disarray. With Frederick only mustering a single try in the second half BC walked off with a 41-15 win.

 

Date: 10/03/2015

Berkeley All Blues 22 – Glendale 19

Referee: Asonye, Elvy

 

Good game

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: I see that Elvy has learned from the best and perfectly emulates our NCRRS President Pelicus Iudex Pennipes with her match reports. The skill to be able to boil down a match experience of over 80 minutes with 41 points to two words is rare indeed.  

 

Date: 10/03/2015

Berkeley All Blues B 12 – Glendale B 36

Referee: Tetler, Jen

AR: Asonye, Elvy

AR: O’Brien, Michelle

 

After a nailbiter of an A-side WPL game (in which the All Blues edged out Glendale 22-19), the B-sides geared up to play. Even though Glendale was thin on players for a second side, they came out with a vengeance in the first half. They had some quick inside runners as well as some speed on the outside combined with an ability to break tackles, and scored 4 times in the first half to Berkeley’s one. The second half continued to be competitive, with strong play by both side. Glendale ended up with 6 tries and 3 conversions to Berkeley’s 2 tries and 1 conversion (though the second conversion was super close, bouncing off the cross bar, as one of the last plays of the game). Huge thanks to Elvy Asoyne and Michelle O’Brien as AR’s!

 

Date: 10/03/2015

OC Invitational 0 – NorCal Pelicans Development 0

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

Enjoyed the opportunity to participate in some good 15’s rugby after a summer of 7’s. The Norcal squad suffered from a lot of penalites and lack of cohesion as a team. Olympic Club was much more organized at loose play and working through phases of attack.

 

Date: 10/17/2015

Santa Clara B 17 – UNR B 17

Referee: Simko, Paul

 

Good to get back out there. Sloppy preseason rugby with lots of new guys. Reno ties it up with no time on the clock, and misses the conversion. Santa Clara had this at 17-12 but I confirmed the score with each captain at the end of each half (3 twenties).

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Looks like the AGM will not be a dry one this year!   Thanks Paul!

 

Date: 10/17/2015

UCSC Women Slugfest

Referee: Freitas, Larry

 

Here are the results of three games I officiated during the UCSC Women Slugfest this past weekend: Chico State 15, Cal 2s 5, Nevada Reno 34, UCSC 7, Chico State 28, Nevada Reno 5. Chico State scored it’s last try of the day against Reno when a loose ball near their goal line was scooped up and carried nearly 100 meters in the other direction. Nevada’s coach had told me that some of their players didn’t make the trip to the tournament. Based on what I saw in their matches I would think Chico State and Nevada Reno are going to have winning seasons in front of them.

 

 

Date: 10/17/2015

UCSC Women Slugfest 0

Referee: Asonye, Elvy

 

Great day of games from all teams!

 

 

Date: 10/17/2015

UOP 19 – Alumni 29

Referee: Richmond, Jeff

 

The alumni had a size advantage on the UOP team though UOP played well as a unit considering a number of new players. We played three 20 minute periods giving the alums a chance to catch their breath. When the university President showed up we regrouped for a 5 minute bonus period in which the UOP team played some inspired rugby and aided by a untimely alum penalty was able to put in a try as time expired.

 

 

 

This Week’s Photo

Throw Back Thursday, Hail Pelicus style! We don’t know who the rest of these men are but the fellow in the middle wearing the white shirt is none other than rugby stalwart JRR Tolkien playing for Exeter College, Oxford.   After a stellar schoolboy rugby career Mr Tolkien went on to write a couple of books (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion) that essentially defined modern fantasy literature and made Peter Jackson a couple of billion dollars. This was sent in by Pelicus Veneficus, who should know a few things about wizards.

JRR Tolkien

Hail, Pelicus!

For the Senate

Pelicus Pedem Referre