The Wales v France clash last weekend was notable for some good rugby but all anyone could talk about was the ending. It took around 20 minutes to play the last 30 seconds of the match – a statistic you don’t often see outside of basketball. England’s Wayne Barnes was in charge of the match and, as expected, many commentators were complaining that he lost control, but what do you expect? Most sports commentators are chosen because they are big name former players or coaches with big personalities (think John Madden or Charles Barkley) and while they may understand what it takes to compete at the top level, they rarely understand the laws of the game – especially when it comes down to precise, critical, pressured decisions. They deal with the emotion of a match as fans do rather than process what is happening as referees do so it is no surprise that they immediately look to blame the referee if things go wrong. These talking heads almost always come down on the side of the player (“just let them play and they will sort it out”) and have no understanding as to what would actually happen if the ref just lets them play. An all-out brawl would be the just the start.
(To be fair there are many excellent commentators who do understand all aspects of the game and one takes note if they criticize a referee because it is probably well deserved. Unfortunately they are often overshadowed by the Truthiness Brigade. Excitement and controversy sells.)
At the end of this match, Mr Barnes had several key decisions and made them all perfectly while keeping his composure, no mean feat. A masterful performance, I would say. It all started with Wales clinging to a slender lead but defending their line at a scrum. Wales gets pinged for engaging the scrum early and then the French engage in what can only be described as chea… sorry, gamesmanship. A confused looking medical staffer rushes on to pull off French tighthead Uini Atonio, who doesn’t think he is hurt and after Barnes asks him (several times) plays on. After the reset scrum goes down the French medic comes back on and claims Atonio needs to come off for a HIA. At this point Barnes can not overrule the doctor and must allow the replacement.
This is the fun bit. Several French phases run into Wales’ desperate defense which ends up with a yellow card against them for killing the ball. Good call, that. Apparently there is a bit of a language barrier between Barnes and the #4 as he makes sure the replacement prop (who was on earlier) was removed for tactical reasons and not for injury. This is important as a player who is replaced for injury can not come back. It took him several questions, usually a rephrasing of the same question, but Barnes handled it well. Then he has to sort out who is sacrificed and to make it even more complex, France also wants to make a change. Took a while to sort that out.
Then Wales is pinged again at the scrum for an early engagement but this time it is a penalty. This seemed to confuse many talking heads(it was a free kick before!) but it is good refereeing. It was obvious that Wales did not learn their lesson with a free kick so Barnes rightly upgraded to a penalty. The next upgrade is a yellow. Play finally restarts and we now have a biting incident that Barnes did not see and the TMO really was no help on. Barnes’ hands are tied at this point so play on.
All of this scrummaging and resetting and penalties and substitutions and more scrums and more resetting means that the player who was yellow carded earlier…. with 30 seconds left in the match… comes back on. Amazing.
Now we have another scrum and another penalty against Wales. Before the inevitable scrum can be reset there is an issue with the 4th official which stopped the match (again) and turned out not to be an issue with the 4th official (huh?). Eventually France get their try and win the match to Wales’ great disappointment. Players, fans and the media lashed out at the referee for this “travesty” but cooler heads who actually know what they are talking about all agree that Barnes did nothing wrong while under extreme pressure. This ending was a travesty, yes, but not of the referee’s making. Players infringing, biting accusations, technical issues, all of these things combined to create this mess but Wayne Barnes was calm above it all and did what he needed to do.
Moral of the story: If you want to win a match, try scoring more points instead of hoping the referee will bail you out.
A great step by step writeup and analysis from Wales Online is here.
And Now Here It Is, Your Moment Of Zen
Last week a TJ was upset that I ignored his suggestions on how I could referee better. He accused me of not respecting the game while he was running touch holding a dog on a leash.
Ask A Pelican
Yes, it’s time for the return of weekly installments of “Ask A Pelican”, the widely loved Q and A session with Hail Pelicus. This week’s question comes from Yakov Smirnoff of Odessa, Ukraine, who is in town for the Forgotten 80s Comedian Tour, asks:
“What a great audience! In Russia, pelican asks YOU! What a country! I love Pelicanland! So my question is this: I have noticed that many referees are trying to use comedy in their matches. Why are you trying to take my job? After divorce I need the money!”
Ha ha! What a great question from a great comedian. It is true that humor can often be used to develop empathy with the players and while not many referees are known for their comedic timing it is a useful tool to have in your kit bag. The referee considered the greatest current exponent of this technique is Welsh referee Nigel Owens, perpetrator of the “this is not soccer” talk with chatty players. After Nigel came out as gay and the rugby world collectively shrugged its shoulders (just ref a fair game, sir – we don’t care what you do after or who you do it with) he was dealing with wayward lineout throws by saying “I’m straighter than that one.” (See that clip here.)
Roman Poite recently came to fame during the England v Italy “no ruck” match with his great reply “I am a referee, not a coach” when the English captain asked how they should deal with the Italian tactics.
One of my personal favorites was a couple of years back when doing a CSUMB match the captain complained to me that the sideline fans were saying hurtful things to his players. My reply? “Haters gonna hate, hate, hate. Players gotta play, play, play. Just shake it off. Shake it off.” That got a laugh and we moved on from there.
The point being having a sense of humor and sharing it with players can not only be an effective management tool but can defuse potential flashpoints. This is a game and it is supposed to be fun. Talk to players, especially at stoppages like scrums. After all, if you can’t have fun with the front row then you have a serious humor deficiency and should have it looked at. Just remember to use small words.
Between Two Pelicans
Hail Pelicus, leading exponent of Fake News tried some Real Journalism in Las Vegas at the USA Sevens when we had a sit down with USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne. Last week saw Part 1 and Dan discussing USA Strategy 2020 and we continue with that topic this week, so get ready as we present Part 2 of our interview:
Hail Pelicus: Looking at the (USA Strategy 2020) model it, like every other model I have seen, looks to increase the youth base. Are they looking to direct financial resources more into the youth game and grass roots rugby?
Dan Payne: So there is a multi-prong effort . We are looking at regional development officers who will be focused on growing the youth and expanding the contact/non contact youth game – flag rugby – all those different initiatives. We are going to be communicating the message quite a bit to those who are completing their playing career that you need to please think about reffing, think about coaching youth, think about starting to build out the game at the 5-13 year old age group. So a lot of it is going to be messaging but we are going to be putting resources in to help facilitate the growth.
HP: Well that ties into my next question. In the 90s we had Dan Lyle, a superior athlete who picked up rugby in college and then went on to a famous professional career with Bath. Then we moved on a bit and the next great Captain America would be Todd Clever who came up through the high school system, started playing as a 14 year old and then moved on to college and then on to the professional game, becoming the first American to play Super Rugby. Our players are starting younger. So do you think our next talismanic figure will be someone who comes through the youth system or more of a crossover athlete in the Perry Baker mold?
DP: Well I think we will have to let time tell us that. We have our Perry Bakers, we have our Nate Ebners, we have out Liv Kelter. We have these men and women who are becoming such great ambassadors and representatives of the game that I would bet that it will continue to be a combination of both. We are going to have some crossover athletes who come to the game later but we also know that on the men’s side we have 28 players that are at NCAA D1 football programs right now that played High School rugby so we are tracking them. So we know that at 21, 22 if they don’t make it to the NFL, which the majority of them don’t, we can bring them back into the game.
And that is Part 2. Part 3 we will discuss money and finances and how Dan feels about RIM jobs and the relationship with USA Rugby.
If you weren’t at the last Society Meeting then you missed out on a chance to get your kit, including the kit bags. The (astonishingly stylish) new kit will be distributed if I see you at some point in the next couple of weeks and at the Society meetings. I will do my best to find someone to distribute kit to those who can not make the meetings but feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to be in the San Jose area.
Please note that I am tired of storing this junk. If you don’t claim your stuff soon I may just dump it in the Guadalupe River while there is still enough water in it to cover up my misdeeds.
Disciplinary Action Reporting – Process For Reporting Incidents
The various competitions all have their own disciplinary chairs and this will make it difficult to centralize the communication and data. To help Scott Wood has developed a form that will centralize the process, regardless of the competition. The link to the discipline form is https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1mmUNg11uVOSkIsUtHifSqQzalhWbwohk_J6AmPyrucQ/viewform
Copy the link and have it available on your smartphone. If you have an iPhone add the link to your home screen.
When needed fill it out and click submit. The discipline chair of the competition you refereed will receive a notification about the incident. He/she may contact you latter for more details.
If you have any questions as to how to use the app please refer to the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Uz0_gTaOnY
On To The Game Reports!
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Starting off by cleaning up a few submissions that were emailed directly to me for various reasons. I missed posting them at the time but wanted to make sure the effort was appreciated. Keep them coming!)
MD Exiles 29 – St John’s 5
Referee: Valerio, Steven
Location: St John’s High School, Somewhere on the Wrong Coast
When I moved from California, I thought I would miss February the most. While the weather may be cool, it was perfect for outdoor activities. Meanwhile, I knew February weather from NJ to be cold and gray.
So, when I saw I had a February 19th match, I prepared for the cold, not thinking to check the weather report until the day before. Match day was sunny and in the 60s and probably broke into the 70s at some point. While the wind made the kicking a little interesting and challenged the throw ins, it was a fantastic day for rugby.
It was a pre-season friendly played in 3 20-minute periods. While the Exiles are maturing after the club separated into 2 different teams, they had played some friendlies leading into the match. St. John’s boasted a larger squad than in the past, but this was their 1st time out on the pitch this year and they were definitely the smaller of the 2-sides. The first period was marred by very enthusiastic, but undisciplined play. Everyone wanted to take a quick tap, even if they weren’t in the same zip code as the mark and some early lineouts were plagued by confusion over who went where. St John’s benefited from the developing organization right from the opening kick. The Exiles misplayed it and St John’s collected the ball went through a couple of quick phases to score their opening try of the season. The rest of the period did surprise with good ball-handling and no scrums with knock-ons being infrequent. The Exiles excelled in the counter-ruck, stealing several balls, but employed a straight-forward, brute force approach. While they were able to gain ground, they weren’t able to string together multiple phases with their structure not holding after the 2nd phase. Never being able to take advantage of the St John’s defense bravely tackling, but committing significant numbers to bring down the larger Exiles. St John’s, for their part, had a better shape to their game, but weren’t able to physically match the Exiles. The opening period ended with St John’s up 5-0.
The second period was similar to the first, though some substitutions led to more ball-handling errors. The Exiles were able to punch over a try and won the 2nd period 7-0.
The third period was different as St John’s made whole-sale substitutions, with many of the players getting their 1st rugby playing experience. The Exiles, short on numbers, still had many of their starters on the pitch. Their fly-half gave the Cadets fits, cutting through and breaking the gain-line. The new players got sucked in, frequently leaving the wing unmarked and the Exiles collected 3 tries on the outside. The Cadets finally adjusted and stopped the bleeding, but the Exile were finally able to punch a try through the middle.
Peninsula Green JV 75 – CK Mclatchey JV 17
Referee: Wilson, Giles
I was reassigned to these games at the last minute and ended up with two enjoyable games on a beautiful, sunny day.
The JV game was at 12.15pm and the players were warming up and ready. Peninsula Green were noticeably bigger than their opponents and ran hard and straight. McClatchey stuck to their task and tackled bravely but were continually scrambling.
The first half ended with a 38-5 lead for Pen Green ( 6 tries to 1) and the second half continued in the same vein with another 6 tries for Pen Green to 2 for McClatchey and a final score of 75 – 17.
Peninsula Green Varsity B 26 – CK Mclatchey Varsity B 34
Referee: Wilson, Giles
The Varsity B side game followed and the physical disparities were reduced but Pen Green still had a size advantage but were less organized and less disciplined. Pen Green lost a player to a red card (dangerous tackle) at 12 minutes and this limited them. Half time saw McClatchey ahead 20 – 12; they couldn’t buy a conversion for their 4 tries.
Pen Green fought back in the second half, scoring two converted tries to take the lead at 26-20 before McClatchey re-awakened themselves to close the scoring with two converted tries of their own for a final in their favour of 34 – 26.
Elsie Allen 42 – Dublin 27
Referee: Bertolone, Cary
Friday night game at Elsie Allen High School in Santa Rosa, on St. Patty’s day/night. Kick off at 7:30 PM, with Mike Gadau announcing the game, the game was very even with the teams taking turns scoring tries and Dublin scoring the last one for a 17-10 lead at the half. In the second half, Elsie outscored Dublin 5 tries to 2 and won going away, 42-27. Good game to ref with some some fast kids out there.
Granite Bay 25 – Danville Varsity 31
Referee: Fenaroli, Steven
A high level high school match played on Bonney field gave both teams a chance to play rugby on the same pitch as internationals. Both teams were disciplined but GB came back late to score a try at 80′. It just wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit run up by Danville
Cal Poly SLO 81 – Sacramento State 0
Referee: MacDonald, Neil
A short-handed Sacramento State squad of 17 were overpowered by Cal Poly on a beautiful spring day in San Luis Obispo. The Hornets did a great job of legally disrupting the Cal Poly rolling maul, but had no answer in the scrum. With a surfeit of front foot ball, Cal Poly scored thirteen tries in a dominant performance.
Colusa Women 0 – Sacramento Amazons 0
Referee: Barfels, Ed
It was a nice 90 minute drive to Colusa County. The last time I went to Colusa was when I played for Humboldt State in the 80’s. While overcast, it did not rain. The field was a bit small, but in ok shape. The Amazons only had 11 players so they forfeited. A friendly game of 10’s was played. After the game the Colusa team hosted a nice lunch. Beer, beef, salad and garlic bread. Overall it was a nice experience.
Fresno 46 – San Jose 14
Referee: Pescetti, David
Hot, dry, and windless day down in Fresno. It was a great day,
This match started off tight. Fresno scoring 8 minutes into the match, and 5 minutes later SJ taking a two point lead with a converted try. It stayed that way for 15 minutes, With 12 minutes left in the half Fresno began its onslaught. Scoring 4 times before the halftime whistle sounded.
Fresno tacked on three more tries in the second half. But SJ scored once more again with 27 minutes remaining, seemed to be their lucky number.
Fresno State 92 – SJSU 0
Referee: Jury, Jeff
It was a long, hot (about 90’f) day for San Jose State in Fresno. The Bulldogs spread the field then just sliced and diced. The Spartans were game and got close, but in the end, it was for not. CSUF 92 SJSU 0.
The second game of 10s was closer with a few Bulldogs beefing up the vistors. CSUF B 32 SJSU 31.
Google 107 – South Valley 17
Referee: Bretz, William
SV played game with one man short at 14 players.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: I see that young Liam follows in his daddy’s footsteps when it comes to match reporting. It is nice to see skills passed on from father to son like that. )
Life West Women 125 – SFGG Women 0
Referee: Hinkin, James
What can you say about a scoreline like that? Well, it actually was closer than the score indicates as SFGG had structure and solid phase play, but the Gladiatrix are just lethal, especially in the open field. Their combination of speed and power is very difficult to stop once they break the line and they break the line often. SFGG battled the entire game but had no answer to their opponent.
Life West Gladiatrix B 67 – Santa Rosa Black Roses 26
Referee: Hinkin, James
After a try fest for the A side Life West’s B side took on the newly formed Black Roses from Santa Rosa. This is a team with some seriously good rugby athletes combined with a spate of brand new players and it showed. There was some good play both ways as Life West continued its domination of Nor Cal women’s rugby, running out to a 48-0 half time lead. The Black Roses never gave up and were rewarded for their efforts in the 2nd half as they actually outscored the Gladiatrix 26-19. The Roses’ scrum half was especially active, starting the scoring with a brilliant solo effort off the base of the scrum, going 50 meters and displaying a perfect in and out sidestep to beat the covering fullback. Well done to all.
CSU Monterey Bay 8 – Cal Maritime 41
Referee: Byrnes, Bryant
This was venued at CSUMB’s new field (at least new to me; it has been a while). And while not a close game, it was well played.
I last had CSMB several years ago. They were a cheerful bunch, but not very good. This gang is an marked upgrade. While offensively unorganized, their tackling was fierce; perhaps the best I have seen this year. At the half the score was 8-17.
But Maritime is going to the playoffs for a reason. Forward play stopped? No problem. Crashing centers stopped? No problem. In the second half they swung it out to the wing with frequency. Four tries in the corner, and Bob is your uncle.
Mendocino 55 – Reno 14
Referee: Bernstein, Bruce
Give Reno a lot of credit for driving 5 hours each way with 13 players, refusing to forfeit & accept 2 or more players to even up the sides–they gave it hell & we’re in the match until the last 10 minutes when Mendo’s speed started equally its superior size & #’s.
Also their 23 players put on another great party featuring Red Tail Ale & pulled pork sliders.
Both teams at full strength should make an impact in their playoff matches.
Also real nice soft, plush field with a nice crowd & perfect 68 degree Nor Cal sunny day; plus pretty drive!
Napa 24 – Sacramento Blackhawks 26
Referee: Bertolone, Cary
Both teams were undefeated, Sacramento going from Div. 1 down to Div 2 and Napa moving up from Div.3 to Division 2. Both teams were loaded with talent. We were in Napa at Kennedy Park, but on the smallest field.. only 50 meters wide, etc. It was a battle with the Blackhawks seemingly out playing Napa. but making a lot of knock-ons and penalties. Napa kicked a penalty kick and scored two tries before Sacramento could get on the board with a try of their own. Napa nailed one more penalty kick before the half and had the lead 18-7. In the second half, Napa picked up 3 more points, leading 21-7. Sacramento finally cleaned it up a little and scored two tries. making it close at 21-19. Napa scored another penalty kick at the 32 minute mark. Sacramento spent the next 5 minutes knocking on the door, with Napa making tackle after tackle. Finally, on the 37th minute of the second half, they scored a converted try to take the lead 26-24. Napa, still not done, advanced the ball to about the 20 meter line and with another penalty against Sac, had a very good chance to win the game with 30 seconds left. Their previous kicker had been subbed out and Elkin’s kick went wide, the game was over and the Blackhawks went crazy with joy, silencing the large Napa crowd and making me very unpopular as I got my gear and left. A lot of talking from the Sac team mandated more than one discussion, but I worked it out for the most part, even having to replace the touch judge at the half.
San Jose Women 5 – All Blues 94
Referee: Turner, Jessica
Frumpy Old Codger Offering Advice: King, Mike
I had arrived a tad later than I would prefer and slightly over-hyped on coffee. I briefly discussed with Mike what my goals were for the match and got hooked up to my first radio experience, weeee! SJ had 11 girls so they forfeited and the All Blues loaned them a few to give them 14, since they still needed one for a sub. The 80 minute game went well overall aside from the All Blues scoring many, many tries. The discipline from the ABs was lacking as I had to hand out my first yellow to my old team. Womp womp…pretty confident those girls low key hated me after the match even though they won by 89 points. Repeated and accumulated infringements around the breakdown and offsides were the name of the game, of which I obviously was expecting, seeing that I was a recent co-perpetrator of said violations and then some recently myself with these girls. Post match I got good feedback from Mike overall, and my positioning improved greatly, in addition to increasing my comfort of doing the referee thing around the park.
SFSU 31 – UNR 38
Referee: McDougall, Grant
No report received
Shasta 0 – Chico 96
Referee: Godfrey, Mark
No report received
Silicon Valley 23 – Diablo 34
Referee: Bretz, Paul
Fun game on a postage-stamp sized field at Independence High school. Silicon Valley scored first and controlled the lead going into the 1st half intermission. That lead extended in the second half with a penalty try as a result of tackling the kicker late. However, Diablo maintained their composure and were able to exploit gaps on the edges of the exterior defense. @ 70 minutes Diablo scored to make it a one point game, 22-23 and continued to get the ball wide, scoring 2 more trys late to secure the win.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: How is it possible to have a postage stamp sized field at Independence High School? There is a massive amount of space out there – more than enough for 2 fields plus warmup areas. You could easily fit in 3 fields there. )
St. Mary’s College B 95 – American River College 17
Referee: Stockton, Andrew
For such a blowout, this was a well contested match. St. Mary’s had a massive advantage in the scrum, and won possession off of the scrum the vast majority of the time, despite who had the put in. They kicked off the scoring 2 minutes into the first half and tallied 45 before ARC got on the board with 6 minutes left in the first half. St. Mary’s scored 3 more times in quick succession and ended the half 66-5. I pulled both captains aside at half and told them that I was unhappy with the tackling toward the end of the first half. I told both teams to clean it up or there would be consequences. The half began and after one high tackle, I pulled both captains aside and told them the next tackle would be a yellow card. At 54 minutes, #20 on ARC came over the back of a St. Mary’s player and landed on his neck. I immediately blew for a penalty and gave the offending player a yellow card. The rest of the match was incident free, and St. Mary’s tacked on 29 more points while ARC added 12.
I was asked to play a 20 minute “garbage period” to give some of the ARC players who didn’t make it into the first match some playing time. Before the game started, I asked both captains if they would like to move to uncontested scrums because of the overwhelming advantage St. Mary’s had. They both agreed. I then reminded them, and cautioned them, that I had already sent a player off for a high tackle and that I was not going to stand for any more. I told them they would get a single warning and then I would eject players from the game for repeated offenses and for playing dangerously. Less than 2 minutes into the game, there was a high tackle from ARC and I brought both captains over and reminded them that the next tackle would be an ejection. At 8 minutes in, ARC made another high tackle, and I ejected the offending player. 10 minutes later, St. Mary’s committed the same offense, with an identical tackle, and I ejected him as well for dangerous play and a repeated offense. Garbage time ended 15 to 5 for St. Mary’s.
Stanford B 17 – UCSC B 20
Referee: McKenzie, Jonathan
Conditions: warm, sunny
UCSC built a 15-0 lead by halftime with three unconverted tries.
Stanford stormed back briefly taking the lead at 17-15.
UCSC scored a fourth, unconverted try to wrestle victory from the clutches of defeat.
I still need a lot of work. I could probably use a day reviewing hand signals alone. On the positive note, i did keep up with the action which was a feat considering I’m a prop and these were college kids. I noticed I don’t see all penalties or infractions. I would see the aftermath and know something occurred, but did not blow the whistle. I explained as much to the captains. It would have helped having line judges. I’m going to need to purchase some flags. I’m going to need to review the offense infraction vs. penalty list again too. I’ll plan on watching games on tv and brushing up.
Vacaville 24 – Berkeley 19
Referee: Wood, Scott
No whistle for first five minutes. Three penalties and one scrum in first 20 minutes. Berkeley scored first. HT Berkeley ahead 7-5. In the second half, Vacaville scored three unanswered tries. With under five minutes remaining in the match, Berkeley scored a converted try. Restart at 77th minute. Vacaville loses a player to the sin bin. Berkeley scores a try, full time sounds as kicker is setting the ball for the conversion. Valiant effort by both teams. Another exciting match. Social with the Mooses.
Lamorinda 19 – Mother Lode Varsity 40
Referee: Gordon, Preston
It was a great day to be at Wilder Fields, where the sun burned through the fog just as this match kicked off at 1345. The field below us must have had 200 kids doing various youth rugby things, which was also great to see.
Mother Lode had the upper hand in this match, and the score is a fair reflection of that. In the first half, Mother Lode scored first (9′) and got 2 more tries (18′ and 36′ running time), converting all three, whereas Lamorinda got only one try at 34′ (converted) for a halftime score of 21-7 to the visitors.
Lamorinda kicked off to start the second half, and their #7 was sent off for a dangerous tackle as that kickoff returned to earth. Mother Lode soon took advantage of the missing Lamo player by scoring another converted try 4′ into the half. At 13′, Lamorinda lost a backline player to the sin bin for a late charge on a kicker. Mother Lode again quickly capitalized on their 15-13 advantage with 2 more tries at 15′ (converted) and 18′ (unconverted), effectively putting the game out of reach at 40-7. To their credit, Lamorinda didn’t give up, and managed to stop any further Mother Lode scoring while 2 players down. After their yellow card expired, they scored the last 2 tries of the match at 24′ (converted) and 31′ (unconverted) to bring it to 40-19, which is respectable given that they went half the match missing one player.
Thanks to both Touch Judges who did a good job.
San Jose State Women 26 – CSU Monterey Bay WR 27
Referee: Pescetti, David
Much to my surprise, when I arrived I was told we were going to play 10s. I had to brush out the old law book to refresh myself on the variations, But enough about me.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: There is never enough about the referee. That is what the people pay for! )
SJ started off by scoring the first try of the match and was able to convert. There was a stalemate for the next 10 minutes. When the stalemate broke down Monterey burst through for 3 tries, only converting once. At the half Monterey Bay lead 17 to SJSU 7. The second half began much like the ending of the 1st, Monterey put up two more tries but wasnt able to convert any. Gassed Monterey’s defense became porous. SJ took advantage with 6 minutes to go, but they missed a crucial conversion. With 5 minutes to go down 15 it looked out of reach. They did not let that score lessen their determination. with 2 minutes to go they scored again, and this time converted. In the last seconds of the game, SJ punched the ball through one last time and converted. Unfortunately for them the bell tolled and the match ended with the momentum in their favor, but a point short after 40 minutes.
They decided to play a game of 7s to settle things. San Jose left too much out on the pitch after the 10, and Monterey took the 7s match 15 – 0.
Overall an enjoyable, rare, Sunday of rugby.
This Week’s Photo
Pelicus Byrnest hamming it up with Santa Rosa High School boys rugby after a recent match.
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre