Northern California Rugby Football Union Referee Society | CHOW DOWN
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Our society meeting will be this coming Wednesday, February 27, at the usual time and place: 7 – 9 PM at the SFGG clubhouse at the southeast corner of Treasure Island.


We’ve been asked to help compile a national database of referees. If you are a referee, please reply with the following information:

Email address
# of games referred in 2012

Which of the following courses have you had?

Level One – fifteens
Level Two –fifteens
Level Three
Level One – 7s
Level Two – 7s
Coaching Match Officials One
Coaching Match Officials Two
Evaluator One

Thank you.


Pete’s trying to assign March, and only a dozen or so Pelicans have let him know whether they are available.

Plan ahead! Let Pete know which weekends you are ready to run. The season is solid right up through April 20, and then we have various playoff events.

Volunteer now:


Matt Eason will be offering the IRB course in Sacramento over two evenings, Tuesday and Thursday, February 26 and 28, 2013, from 6:00 until approximately 9:30 each evening.

Attendance at both sessions will be mandatory for completion of the course.

The location of the course will be:

Kennedy High School
6715 Gloria Drive
Sacramento, CA 95831

Class size is limited to 20, the cost is $50.00 if pre-registered with USA Rugby.

Matt Eason:

By Donagh O’Mahoney

Friday, February 15, 7 PM:
MARITIME ACADEMY 29 – Sonoma State 19 Referee: Donagh O’Mahoney

Pleasure to Ref a game on the pitch at Maritime. The weather conditions were again perfect for rugby with no wind and cool enough.

Both teams were very evenly matched which was played out in the stats for the match. 26 Penalties (14 against Sonoma, 12 against Maritime), 103 Rucks and 45 set pieces evenly split between both teams. (Stats courtesy of Match DVD and Maritime Coach Steve Hiatt, just in case you think that I had time to capture all of this information)

The story of this game was between 30 to 40 mins of the first half where Maritime were stronger and Sonoma began to get tired. Maritime ran in 3 tries for 19 points in the space of 10 mins.

Sonoma opened the scoring after 3 mins with a well worked try and duly converted, Maritime tied the game after 17 mins and then hit their purple patch just before half time.

The second half saw Sonoma score 2 tries with no reply from Maritime but they had done enough in the first half.

Saturday, Feb. 16, 1 PM:
CHICO STATE 73 – Nevada 0 Ref: O’Mahoney
All one way traffic here with Chico state scoring 11 tries to no reply.

Seconds: CHICO STATE 50 – Nevada 33 Ref: O’Mahoney
More of a contest with Chico ending up with the spoils.

All in all, a full week of rugby.

3 Games refereed at the weekend, 1 High School midweek

400 miles covered, 204 points scored with 29 tries

Sore muscles and tied body, but enjoyable.


Fri, Feb. 15
Seconds: Maritime Academy 10 – SONOMA STATE 34 Referee: Scott Griffin

I particularly enjoyed the match on Friday night 2/15 between Sonoma State and Cal Maritime Seconds. Game was played on new, synthetic field, a surface in which this referee is completely unfamiliar. The field doesn’t have the “crown” effect of most grass fields, but enjoyable to run on, and no potholes. Nice!

Sat, Feb 16
Olympic Club 13 – SFGG 58 Referee: Aruna Ranaweera
Assistant Referees: John Coppinger, Dave Pescetti

SFGG lead 27-10 at the half and pulled away to win by 10 tries to 1. Overall play was fast and physical, but also sloppy and undisciplined. Forwards were well-matched, but the SFGG backs’ ability to counter-attack from anywhere was the difference. Thanks to John and Dave for their help as AR’s.

Seconds: OLYMPIC CLUB 45 – SF/Golden Gate 27 Coppinger

SF/GG scored quickly to take a fast 7-0 lead, but then the tide turned and O Club started controlling play and went on to a 45-27 win in a pretty competitive game. The players were great — cooperative, and in good spirits. It was markedly different from the A side match.

Sac Lions OPSB Rescheduled

Barbarians 16 – EPA BULLDOGS 47 Referee: Pete Smith

On a beautiful day in the Bay Area at a field in Hayward used primarily by gophers, these two met for a very hard-hitting spirited affair. The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead with two tries in the first 5 minutes. The game settled down some, but the Bulldogs added a penalty kick and a converted try to stretch the lead to 22-0. The Barbarians finally broke through with a converted try of their own and tacked on a penalty kick to make it 22-10. The Bulldogs added another try just before halftime to make it 27-10 at the break. The Barbarians tacked on two quick penalty kicks to bring the score to 27-16, but that was a close as it got. The Bulldogs did the rest of the scoring from there to make the final score 47-16. I will say the last 10-15minutes were probably the best of the day. The ball was being flung around with reckless abandon and the players were flying around showing their raw and natural talent…the crowd loved it as did the ref…really fun to be part of.

The Bulldogs immediately starting talking about next week’s game against in-town rivals the EPA Razorbacks. That game should be something special and I would anticipate a very large and vocal crowd. I assure you it is a game that every player on both teams has circled on their calendar. Good luck to both teams …and the ref!

Seconds: Barbarians 20 – EPA BULLDOGS 54 Referee: Bruce Ricard

We played two halves of 30 minutes, between the Barbarians and the Razordogs. Half of the Bulldogs team was filled with Razorbacks players who had a BYE week.

The away team dominated the first half, scoring six tries against one, leading 5 – 34 at the break. The second half was much more balanced, both teams scored three tries. The Bulldog fly half also scored an interesting penalty kick from the halfway and 5m lines, with a drop kick. Half a second of preparation, a big leg and precision are all you need.

Final score: 20 – 54

BERKELEY 77 – Sac Caps 22 Referee: Jordan Bruno

Berkeley showed speed off of the ball and took advantage of overlaps in the backline to run up the score on their opponents. Sacramento’s strong forward pack played well in the scrum and had powerful runners off of the ruck. Berkeley’s fitness and speed allowed them to secure a win.

Seconds: Berkeley 0 – SACRAMENTO CAPITALS 24 Ref: Bruno

Sacramento showed up for their B side match. Berkeley did not have the numbers or experience to have a competitive side play the next match. The Capitals played well and secured a solid win.

Marin 0 – FRESNO 48 Referee: Bruce Bernstein

Marin hung with Fresno for the 1st 20 minutes of the 1st half; 10 minutes of the 2nd & 2 hours of the 3rd.

It was only 17-0 at half & Marin missed a penalty kick & a few other scoring chances; & redeemed themselves at the Flatirion (classic old Victorian sports bar) with great spread for the rugby party which took over 2 pretty big rooms.

Seconds: Marin 0 – FRESNO 12 Ref: Bernstein

Seahawks 21 – SANTA ROSA 55 Referee: James Hinkin
AR: Ray Schwartz

With San Jose going back to their former home at Watson Park, I had an assignment 11 blocks from my house. What could make that better? The social was 4 blocks from my house… sometimes everything just goes your way. The day started out as a perfect California winter day: sunny and temps in the mid 60s. Both teams were geared up and warming up an hour before with selected individuals eager to show me their binders full of relevant details. Yes, Saturday’s a rugby day.

With such perfect conditions the game had to start fast and it did. Santa Rosa scored in the first minute with their first possession to take a 5-0 lead. Immediately following the restart San Jose capitalized on a dropped ball and the ageless survivor Orlando Federico Lopez toed ahead the loose ball and outran the cover to score. The try was converted for a short lived (and never seen again) San Jose lead. Santa Rosa’s next possession resulted in another try for a 12-7 lead after 5 minutes and I started mentally preparing my lawsuit against the NCRRS for attempted murder when the game started to slow down.

Not much, however, as Santa Rosa continued to dominate the first half as San Jose’s backs didn’t seem to be able to tackle and their forwards got pushed off the ball. Rosa took advantage of this situation to attack with precision and ferocity. The half ended with a score of 40-7 to Santa Rosa.

The second half was a completely different affair as Santa Rosa seemed to take their foot off the pedal and San Jose started playing some rugby. Whatever was said in the Seahawk’s halftime huddle was effective as the game became a back and forth affair with both sides looking to attack from anywhere. Rosa got a couple of tries in early – almost against the run of play – but San Jose stiffened to claw back 2 more converted tries. Rosa got the last laugh with a try at full time to end a thoroughly entertaining match. Many thanks to Ray Schwartz for ARing before his match.

Seconds: Seahawks 22 – SANTA ROSA 48 Referee: Ray Schwartz

Similar score and results on the B Side match…

To clarify James’ report on the A game, the former Watson Bowl, is now Watson Park, a very different, much improved facility, and Jack’s Bar, just a few blocks away, good fun! But it was all of two hours away for me! It is that hard to find two full sides ready to fight it out! To further clarify James’ report, that was former Eagle-pool flanker Brad Hughes running touch in the 2nd half, giving me a break. Brad is a former Kansas City Blue (played briefly for the BATS in 1993), and recently has relocated to Campbell.

Rosa came out with both guns blaring, and the Seahawks had no answer. I ended the 1st half at 34-0 after 34 minutes. The Seahawks regrouped, and came out tougher, but Rosa also cleared the bench (had nearly three sides), and San Jose took the 2nd half. I did get 74 minutes out of them, and so felt pretty good about myself there. Big thanks to Pete Smith who let this weary traveler crash in the guest house…

DIABLO GAELS– Vacaville 17 Referee: Stephen Valerio

A tight match that was closer than the final score line appeared. The first half was a back and forth affair with the sides alternating tries, with 3 scores each. The difference at the half was conversions with Diablo leading 19-17. Diablo got an early try in the second half and the 2 sides locked down their defense for most of the half. A late converted try gave Diablo the comfortable margin at the end.

Seconds: Diablo 5 – VACAVILLE15 Ref: Valerio

A mirror image of the first game, just with less scoring. The half-time score was 5-5 with Vacaville scoring an early second half try and then a final one at the closing whistle.

Humboldt 7 – COLUSA 43 Referee: Sean Peters

REDWOOD 48 – Shasta 10 Referee: Cary Bertolone
Santa Rosa at For Pete’s Sake

The game started out very even as Shasta scored two tries towards the end of the half to bring the score 12-10 at the half. However, the second half belonged to Redwood and the score was indicative of the domination by Redwood in the second half with the final score of 48-10.

Blackhawks – Reno Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No report received.

Stanislaus 7 – SIERRA 48 Referee: JC Van Staden

Fog 29 – VALLEJO 62 Referee: Giles Wilson

SF Fog hosted Vallejo for a friendly at Treasure Island – Vallejo are a “classic” D3 club, no practices and just show up on Saturdays for a run out with a group of guys who (mostly) have plenty of rugby experience for fun. SF Fog are organized and have many members but their B side players often don’t get a run. This game suited everyone, Vallejo got a run and Fog played their A side for a half and then gave their B side guys a run.

In the first half organization and enough rugby experience won out over size and SF Fog finished the half with three tries (17) to a single try (5) for Vallejo. Good rugby in different ways from both sides, big hits and hard runs from Vallejo contrasted with good running lines and organized defense from Fog.

In the second period SF Fog introduced their B side players who had significantly less experience and size than the A side players and more significantly the Vallejo players. Vallejo were able to run at will and brush aside the much smaller defenders for 8 tries (57) to 2 tries (12).

Overall Vallejo 62 SF Fog 29, a full game between the A sides would be very interesting.

South Valley 36 – SFGG 52 Referee: Bruce Carter

When I saw that South Valley was going to be playing at a winery in Gilroy, I was thinking more along the lines of the one right by 101 that features garlic wine. But that one is not the Kirigin Winery.

Kirigin Winery’s home page invites you to stop by on a summer’s weekend to catch a cricket match. And sure enough, as you finish your drive through lovely rolling hills and pull into the parking lot, you see TWO well-groomed grass cricket ovals, the pitches in the center being artificial to lend a predictable bounce (ah – but the bowler can still spin the thing…).

And off beyond these, the lovely Pinot Noir Field, a rugby paddock with vines surrounding it on two sides.

Pelicanland has been having perfect weather. Cherry trees are in various stages of blossoming, and none have shed their pink petal carpets yet. The California lilacs offer a pleasant blue to set off the pinks, you’ll find butter-yellow daffodils if you look, and if you are a hiker or mountain-biker you will be aware that poison oak is also at its most lustrous and menacing green right about now.

Given this weather, there were lots of spectators alongside, plenty of dogs on leash, and a crew was setting up a cooking station for the pitch-side post-game picnic. This turned out to feature fried tacos with all the fixings, cooked to order. D3 rugby has come a long way!

SFGG seemed to have to come a long way as well, or perhaps it was the atypical noon kickoff, but they needed that last-minute car to pull up to have a full side.

South Valley started strong and surprised their guests with four first-half tries. They had some backs I remember refereeing from their Live Oak HS days who surprised Gate by slicing and dicing, while Gate was unable to get their own machine out of low gear. It was 29-17 at the half to the home XV, with Gate’s #12 doing most of the damage throughout the match.

Halftime found both teams’ leaders encouraging their lads: once more unto the breach and those a-bed in England, etc; and I was certain we’d have a good second half. SFGG hadn’t lost a game yet and didn’t seem keen to start today.

South Valley scored first, a forward try this time after lots of phases and several minutes knocking on the door. It was converted for 36-17, but alas they were not to score again.

Golden Gate started turning the corners and getting the bounce when they couldn’t find the corner and chipped ahead. From there it was five converted tries on the trot.

Golden Gate’s kicker, #12, perfect in the second half, and his holder are both Irish. They chatted as they got ready for conversions. On one that was centered, they were only about ten meters out.

One of the South Valley men, playing dumb, said, “You have funny accents. Where are you from? Missouri?”

The kicker said, “We’re Amish.”

There was the usual amount of belly-aching and such for a D3 game, which means quite a bit. I don’t hear most of this stuff – or at least it doesn’t register – but one comment bears repeating:

Knock-on. Whistle. Kevin Sullivan clenches fists, pounds his thighs and screams, “SIR! THAT WAS ONLY MARGINALLY FORWARD!”

At least two people were laughing, me and him.

I love this game.

CALIFORNIA 28 – U. of British Columbia 18 Referee: Phil Akroyd
A/Rs: Rob Hendrickson, Tom Wright
#4: Ron DeCausemaker
Coach: Dave Williamson

Cal conceded many early penalties, with several of them at the scrum based on a reluctance to bind. UBC had the majority of the possession and position in the first half, but could not turn it into points.

The home team scored a try and followed with a penalty goal and a drop goal to lead 13-0 at half. There was a sense that Cal may push on in the second half (and they did), but the visitors, while continuing to concede points, continued to play hard throughout the game.

Cal pulled out to a comfortable 28-3 lead, but UBC pressed the line throughput the final quarter, making the respectable scoreline of 28-18.

California seconds – Santa Rosa JC Referee: Helmer

Sac State 0 – ST. MARY’S 83 Referee: George O’Neil

Seconds: Sac State – ST. MARY’S Referee: Anthony Nguyen

It was quite a warmer day than usual and was quite noticeable late into the first half. St. Mary’s flawlessly moved the ball across the field and powered over Sac State’s valiant defenses. The First half ended with St. Mary’s leading substantially. The game progressed similarly in the second half, with St. Mary’s putting points on the board at every drive. It seemed that St Mary’s would completely shutout the Sac State offensive, until a breakthrough hole in the defense led to a victorious try by Sac State. St. Mary’s fought back and retained more points on the board, but Sac State yet again made a devastating run that resulted in another successful try. Overall, St. Mary’s overpowered the Sac State offensive, but Sac State fought valiantly throughout the whole match, resulting in successful points on the board and good spirits to leave the field with.

FRESNO STATE 43 – SF State 32 Referee: Jeff Jury

UC SANTA CRUZ 47 – Sierra College 42 Referee: Matt Hetterman

Best match for me in NorCal so far – I felt that I refereed well, great game, incredible pitch location on a beautiful day.

Seconds: UCSC 15 – Sierra College 10 Referee: Larry Freitas

The seconds match, which initially was supposed to go 80 minutes, only went for a half, as Sierra decided their players, along with leftovers from UCSC, had had enough of a run. It was 72F and another spectacular day in which you could see the sailboats out on the Monterey Bay below, a view one never gets tired of seeing (I wonder if there’s going to be snow on the Santa Cruz Mountain ridges in the background next week!). Spirited match, with the Slugs outscoring their opponents by one un-converted try. Sierra’s second side had some players who hadn’t much experience, and the same with UCSC. I did some “coaching” in trying to get players to stay on their feet and keep the ball moving. This was my first game as a referee since March of 2010. I had fun, and if I can remain healthy, I’m doing more games!

UOP 17 – Humboldt State 17 Referee: Scott Wood

Pacific Tigers 17 (3T 1C)
Humboldt St Lumberjacks 17 (3T 1C)

Humboldt capitalized off Pacific’s mistakes including a pass intercepted inside the 22 that turned into a try. They led 17-0 before Pacific was able to get on the board. Not wanting to be shown up, the Tigers intercepted a pass inside the 22 and ran all the way to center their second try between the posts. The conversion missed…Continuing their attack, Pacific put the Lumberjacks under pressure from a 5-meter attacking scrum. The scrum collapsed (for the second time) as the ball simultaneously emerged from the side. Pacific’s scrumhalf quickly scooped up the ball and dotted it down for the host’s third try.

With less than three minutes remaining and the Lumberjacks on attack, a Pacific player decided to forego good sportsmanship (intent was not weighed) to have a penalty awarded to the visitors on the right 22m x 15m. Humboldt wisely opted for a penalty goal attempt. The kicker asked for the score. “Tied at 17”, I replied. “Oh, no pressure here,” he stated. It’s tough being your worst critic. And prophetic. The ball sailed left of the posts and was collected by Pacific who attempted to run out the ball. The pass inside was either off mark or mishandled. Regardless, Pacific kicked it to touch before Humboldt could collect it.

As a demonstration of how evenly matched the teams were, both halves started with the kick offs going directly to touch.

STANFORD women 77 – Oregon State 14 Referee: John Pohlman

My assignment this week took me to the Stanford, for a full day of rugby. In the Bay Area we are spoiled with great venues and rugby tradition. Stanford is another of those both from a traditional point and a great venue.

I needed to arrive early to be micro-phoned up so that the announcer could share my refereeing pearls with the crowd. Not a weekend refereeing experience shared by many throughout the U.S.

Stanford woman’s Division 1 side was hosting the Oregon State Division 1 women in a conference game, with a noon kick-off. I dropped off my kit in the referee’s locker room and proceed to warm-up and chat with the players.

Ten minutes later, my pre-game out of the way. I had plenty of time to warm up, enjoy the crowd and discuss comments with the announcer, Bill Cosden.

Stanford was just much better on the day. The forwards were bigger, dominating scrums. The back row were all over the field. The backs were both fast and consistently attacking. The leadership by Captain #13 Jamie Lawrence and my player of the game #8 Ally Gleason were outstanding.

Oregon State I had referred in sevens this past fall. They were the cream of the 7’s tournament led by #9 Hannah Lockwood. But in 15’s they were outmatched.

Stanford scored 5 trys in the first half led by #12 Michelle Teo’s two trys. The second half had Stanford scoring 8 more trys. Jamie and Ally got two each. With about 20 minutes left Stanford emptied their bench of 8 subs. This evened out scrums and led to a more competitive game.

Good to see Stanford’s pack leading the way.

CALIFORNIA women 38 – U of Oregon 14 Referee: Preston Gordon

Stanford 20 – CAL POLY 53 Referee: Brian Zapp

Seconds: Stanford – Cal Poly Referee: Clock

Humboldt St women 15 – SF BATS 23 Referee: Sean Peters

Fresno State women 12 – UC SANTA CRUZ 43 Referee: Jeff Jury

UNR women 30 – Sac St 12 Referee: Lee Bryant

Sun, Feb 17
STANFORD women 45 – U of Oregon 34 Referee: Pete Smith

Stanford rolled out their A side to start the match against a depleted Oregon team that left 8 starters at home. Stanford has several All-American candidates again this year with Alley their #8 and kicker really standing out in the scoring column, but supported by at least 9 other potential All-American candidates. This is the youngest and most athletic Stanford team I can remember. They have the talent and athleticism to win it all, but most of these players are new to rugby with just a handful of players with more than a year or two of experience. It will come down to coaching and leadership if Stanford is to regain the title this year.

Stanford dominated the first half of this game and played almost entirely in the Oregon end of the field. The halftime score was 38-3. They added another quick try to open the second half and then Stanford starting making massive substitutions; perhaps the biggest was taking out their captain and team leader Jamie. Oregon dominated the rest of the game scoring 31 unanswered points to make the score a lot closer than it could have been. It is hard not to respect the effort put forth by Oregon, down by 42 points, they never quit, they never gave up and they played to the final whistle. The 8 freshmen that started in place of those left at home will likely never forget that comeback and it will be something they can build on for the future.

CALIFORNIA women 43 – Oregon St. 12 Referee: Bruce Ricard

Both teams had some experienced players, and some rookies. Thus, a lot of dropped balls. The teams were very disciplined, except for those two times where a penalty kick was called, and the opposing team players would just stand there and tackle the quick tap player after two meters. Cal dominated the game by scoring 7 tries against 2 for Oregon State.

Seconds: California – OREGON STATE Ref: Ricard

We played twelves rugby, for two halves of fifteen minutes. Almost only rookies in this game: the ball probably spent more time on the ground than held. The referee tried not to see all the knock-ons, and to let the players have some game time.

Oregon won by 3 tries to 1.

U. of San Francisco 5 – ST. MARY’S thirds 53 Referee: Preston Gordon

Varsity: DE LA SALLE 31 – Bishop O’Dowd 14 Referee: Edward Barfels

It was a cool clear morning & great for youth rugby. The varsity played first. DLS scored twice in the first 20 minutes to take a 12 point lead. BOD was close to scoring at the end of the first half. In the 34th minute, DLS committed two penalties in the red zone and the half could not end on a defensive penalty. On the last penalty, BOD was close to scoring when the DLS wing intercepted a pass and sprinted the length of the field for a score. Score at half DLS 19, BOD 0.

The second half saw BOD come back and score twice for 14 points. The momentum seemed to shifting to BOD. However, the DLS forwards took over the game and scored twice for a final score of DLS 31 : BOD 14.

Frosh/Soph: De La Salle 0 – BOD 40 Ref: Barfels

Oakland Warthogs 14 – PENINSULA GREEN 30 Referee: Preston Gordon
Merritt College, Oakland, 1100

There’s obviously been some work done at this facility since I was last up there for a rugby game ~12 years ago when I was playing for Olympic Club. It’s no longer a sloped mud pit, but now a really nice, flat, full-size grass pitch with proper markings, goal posts, sideline ropes, etc. There were plenty of folks on hand for this game, including a camera crew for the Way of the Warthogs film:

We got started on time, with plenty of scrums to follow knock-ons where advantage wasn’t possible. Both sides seemed very keen to play but perhaps a little over-exuberant. Once they settled down, Peninsula Green opened scoring with a penalty goal at 18′, followed by another one at 29′. 2 tries for them followed, at 33′ and 35′, with the last one converted to leave it at 18-0 to the visitors at the half.

In the second half Oakland used their size advantage to counterattack well, scoring converted tries at 7′ and 26′. PG also scored 2 further tries at 5′ and 15′, but could only convert 1. That was a fair reflection of that half, where Oakland played a lot better than they did in the first half. Other than the one yellow card to each side for dangerous tackling in the second half, it was a great 35 minutes of rugby. I understand that this was their first game, so both teams should do well this season.

PITS 65 – Danville 5 Ref: Gordon
St. Mary’s College, 1430

After a quick snack in Lafayette, I headed to SMC for my second game of the day. It’s a treat to do 2 games on rugby-only pitches around here, and this game didn’t lack for ball movement either. Danville’s fullback (I believe, though there were definitely some numbers we don’t usually see on a rugby field being worn) scored the first try in the right corner, just 6 minutes into the game.

A lot of back-and-forth followed with relatively few mistakes. Eventually PITS replied with a converted try at 21′. Things were looking good for a close match, even after PITS scored 2 more unconverted tries at 29′ and 35′ – 17-5 didn’t seem to be an unsurmountable lead.

Danville continued to threaten, but ultimately PITS came out well on top after scoring 8 additional tries in the second half (converting 4 of them). As before, this was apparently the first game of the season. Things are looking good for high school rugby this year and I’d encourage those of us who usually do senior matches to pick up a game when possible – it helps the teams by exposing them to a different refereeing style (the style they may see in the playoffs, for example) and it’s a great opportunity to focus on anything that might need improving as a ref.

Friday evening, U19 touring side match
SFGG 26 – Rockridge HS 26 (from the Vancouver area) Referee: Preston Gordon
ARs: Jen Tetler, Dave Newport

Islanders 17 – 48 GRANITE BAY Referee: Phil Akroyd

While there were some excellent displays of rugby, highlighting the good of local U19 rugby, we also got the negative. One sideline, with large numbers of players and support, roaming the touch and feeding unnecessary negative energy into the players on the field. Inevitably, the players lost focus on the positive rugby and instead concentrated on settling non-existent scores with opposition players.

Youth rugby has to figure out a way to deal with these sideline issues if we want to recruit refs, create a positive environment and show what rugby really is. Not a football/soccer hooligan approach.

Tuesday night February 19th, 2013 @ Cardinal Newman in Santa Rosa

Varsity: Rosa 17 – GOLDEN GATE 22 Referee: Cary Bertolone

We kicked off at 7:00 PM on a cold evening and the Rosa High School team scored first, eight minutes in to make it 7-0. Golden Gate had a larger pack and they began to dominate forward play as they scored three unconverted tries, making it 15-7 at the half. Santa Rosa had some fast backs and they scored two tries in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as Golden Gate won 22-17. Pretty evenly matched teams!! Good game with a lot of good runs and hard tackling.

JV: Rosa 12 – GOLDEN GATE 14 Referee: Chris Curtis

Chris Curtis reffed the second side game and everyone got a good run. A lot of fast players on the field. JV rugby never looked so good!!

SIERRA FOOTHILLS 50 – Mother Lode 14, Varsity Gold action, Friday night in Rocklin
Ref: Ray Schwartz
ARs: Mark & Marshall Godfrey

Sierra Foothills is reaping the benefits of some 5 years of continuous youth and middle school programs. The kids are coming through and club is deep. Mother Lode won NorCal High School championships a few years ago, but only recently has started their middle school and lower program. They have some catching up to do. Great coaches on both sides, great crowd, good scene overall, but to paraphrase from James Hinkin’s match report, Sierra would, “dominate the first half as the Mother Lode’s backs didn’t seem able to tackle and their forwards got pushed off the ball. Sierra took advantage of this situation to attack with precision and ferocity.” Mother Lode had a few moments, and overall this was fun stuff.

The real story was the B Side match (Junior Varsity) reffed by Marshall Godfrey (similar score and result). Marshall will take his Level 1 class this week from Matt Eason (!), is hoping to make the USA U-20 National side that travels to France in June, was the Mother Lode RFC’s middle school program when he started on the Varsity as a 7th grader… now a first year college student, and just 19 years of age. Marshall did marvelously well for reffing only his 2nd match. He’ll learn to blast his whistle (rather than blow into it) and will pick up the nuances of signals and positioning, but in many ways he is already reffing at a high level. His dad Mark couldn’t have been prouder!


Who remembers boiled hot dogs and cold spaghetti at rugby parties? How about sliced boiled hot dogs with ketchup for sauce over the cold spaghetti?

Those who play against South Valley at Kirigin Winery will remember tacos sizzling amidst the vines.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

James Hinkin
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