Northern California Rugby Football Union Referee Society | The Late January Report
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The Late January Report

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

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

February Society Meeting

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

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

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

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

New Kit

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

Las Vegas Invitational

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

Referees One and All !

The biggest rugby tournament in North America is looking for YOU! The Las Vegas Invitational needs you on March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to help volunteer and officiate 7’s (and a few 15’s) matches across youth, collegiate, and adult divisions in Sin City. As our tournament continues to grow, so does the number of referees needs to keep this event rolling! Come ref by day, and enjoy the most exciting city on earth by night!

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

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

Westgate Hotel link:

To register to ref at the LVI 2017:

Any questions about the event?:

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
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:

On To The Game Reports!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This left the final score at 3-91.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No report received

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

No report received

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No report received

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

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

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

Final score was Shasta 95 – Reno 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No report received

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

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

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

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

No report received

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

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

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

This Week’s Photo

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

Hail, Pelicus!
For the Senate
Pelicus Pedem Referre

James Hinkin
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