Northern California Rugby Football Union Referee Society | TOO MUCH GOOD RUGBY
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Pencil in a Sevens refereeing course for Saturday, June 8. We’ll try to confirm the date and then the location soon. Registration will not be open until we do.


Sonoma State will be hosting a Sevens tournament for college and high school teams on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 9 AM.

Last year we had about thirty sevens tournaments, and would anticipate more this year. It’s time to get going with Olympic Rugby!

Let Pete know if you’d like to ref a tournament that day.


The Eagle’s Plate win in Tokyo was not their best finish. Aruna Ranaweera reminds us:

FYI: USA’s best sevens finish was reaching the Cup Final at the Adelaide sevens in March 2010. Lost to Samoa 38-10 to finish 2nd place.


April 20 is down to a dozen or so games, and then playoffs continue for a while.

Let Pete know that you can ref:

If you don’t have a game, there is a lot going on this weekend for ARs/fourth officials and spectators including:

Women’s college playoffs at Stanford Saturday and Sunday
Men’s college playoffs at Chico State Saturday only
California hosting St. Mary’s
SF/Golden Gate hosting Glendale in the Elite Cup decider for their conference


Seconds: SF/GOLDEN GATE 48 – Olympic Club 7 Referee: Jordan Bruno
A great match on both sides of the ball saw a well contested match as Olympic Club took on San Francisco golden gates B side. The first half was well contested with strong running on both sides of the ball. San Francisco Golden gate had a much faster and determined back line, allowing them to string together a series of offensive possessions in the first half to run the score up 19-0. The second half saw much of the same, with Olympic club scoring halfway through the second on a well-structured series of phases up the middle of the field. Golden Gate’s speed, agility, and endurance allowed them to continue scoring well into the second half, allowing then to eventually put together a series of additional attacks to boost their score up to a final tally of 48-7. A great match to watch and referee. Thanks to golden gate or hosting and for Bryant Byrnes and Dave Williamson for their post-match commentary.

EPA BULLDOGS 40 – Bay Barbarians 7 Referee: Tony Levitan
AR: Dick Crouch, Roger
As is typical of these teams, we had a spirited, hard-fought and physical match on a beautiful day in East Palo Alto. By having the captains address some early chippiness from both teams, we settled down into 76 remaining minutes of aggressive play. The Bulldogs dominated the opening 25 minutes gaining overlaps on the Barbarians on a number of long runs, scoring 5 tries, one converted to lead 22-0. The remaining half saw us mostly familiarizing ourselves with the pastures between the 22s as play ranged back and forth, with neither team able to touch down for an additional score.

Picking up where they started the match, the Bulldogs added three converted tries before the Barbarians scored their only try of the day, a penalty try awarded after persistent Barbarian knocking on the goal line and repeated offenses by the Bulldogs. The Bulldog captain obviously took my strident warning to heart as he was the one who offended, triggering the penalty try award, 33-7. Loose and often sloppy play dominated the remaining minutes, the Bulldogs running the final tally to 40-7.

Special shout out to Los Gatos youth coach, Dick Crouch for his help as an AR. Always glad to have an extra set of certified eyes monitoring the pitch for me.

Seconds: EPA BULLDOGS 22 – Bay Barbarians 17 Referee: Peter Sandhill

SANTA ROSA 82 – Chico 5 Referee: Rich Anderson
This was a match that displayed a contrast in ability but not attitude.

Rosa showed why they are the class of the NorCal D2 with an overwhelming Pack that did most of the damage throughout.

Chico showed that they could be out-scrummed and outplayed, but not lose their enthusiasm.

My player of the match was the Chico forward who continually attempted to chase down the try conversions, of which there were many.

When I asked the player if he was going to continue charging, he said, “That’s how you play rugby, right?”

I agree.

Seconds: SANTA ROSA 33 – Redwood-Rosa Combined 29 Referee: Mike King
After Chico finished the first match, it was unable to field a second side. In preparation for the upcoming playoffs, Redwood Empire brought about 10 players who were ably assisted by extras from Santa Rosa who could not get their fill for the day. 65 minutes later (agreed due to numbers for Redwood), the match ended very near where it started. Definitely a game of 2 halves, with Rosa moving the ball very well in the first half, to put all its points on the board. 33-12 at half. After a see-saw first few minutes of the second half with several good attacks by each side, Redwood seemed to find the seams through which to run. It put 3 more tries and a kick on the board, before the whistle for the second half. Momentum was shifting back to Rosa, so who knows what the outcome might have been. Everyone had a good run.

Baracus 3 – DIABLO GAELS 48 Referee: Chad Douglas (PNW)
Evaluator: Mike Malone
Cloudy, cool day. Pitch was well marked but with patchy grass and sandy areas, footing in some areas was uneven.

This started out as a very even contest, but with BA giving away numerous tackle/ruck penalties early, hence after a third tackle penalty in the first 10 minutes the captain was spoken to and subsequently in the 15th minute a player was yellow carded for repeated tackle infringements. Players from both teams engaged in early push and shoves and plenty of verbal interaction, a deliberate foot-trip off the ball in the 16th minute by a Diablo player saw him also receive a yellow card. After these early indiscretions, players settled down and there was no more deliberate or cynical foul play.

The Gaels scored 2 tries in the first half to lead 12-0, and managed to continue their fast pace game in the second half to run in 6 more tries. Final score: BA Baracus 3, Diablo Gaels 48

Eric; thanks again for putting me up for the night, might see you again down in ‘sunny’ CA!

Seconds: BARACUS 19 – Diablo Gaels 17 Referee: Eric Rauscher
After a lop-sided win by the Gaels in the first game, Baracus gained a little glory by squeaking out a win in the second side match.

The game was played in one 40 minute period followed by a 30. The game was littered with spirited yet scrappy play. After 3 not back 10s, the fourth was committed by a rookie, but the next two meant that the Gaels were playing down two men for a while. Even then they were able to score a try.

The line-outs seemed to be never straight and both teams seemed to have problems with arithmetic. I had problems with the scrums the whole game. Many of the errors were more representative of beginning of the season play rather than this point. Did I enjoy the game? Any rugby is better than no rugby.

VACAVILLE 50 – Marin 19 Referee: Bruce Bernstein
Left San Francisco and drove most of the way under cloudy drizzly skies, which cleared as soon as I came into the valley for Vacaville–perfect sunny, a little humid day.

Vacaville dominated from start to finish scoring 4 tries each half. Marin was able to score the few times they had their rare possessions in striking distance. They came on strong at the party being outnumbered but came with assorted bathrobes.

Seahawks 15 – BERKELEY 17 Referee: Pete Smith
San Jose Seahawks hosted Berkeley in a Division 2 battle between two similar teams. Berkeley scored two tries in the first half with the first one converted after and intercepted pass. Halftime score as 12-0. The Seahawks bounced back to make it 12-5, then another try by Berkeley pushed the lead back to 12 making the score 17-5. The Seahawks scored again with 15 minutes left to make 17-10 and yet again with 2 minutes left to make it 17-15 with the conversion to come and it was wide right…alas there were players standing behind the kicker from Berkeley as the AR pointed out, so the San Jose kicker got another shot to tie the score and again he pushed it wide. Final score 17-15 with the difference the first conversion of the day!

Seconds: Seahawks – Berkeley Referee: James Hinkin
No report received.

SEAHAWKS women over St. Mary’s Referee: Matt Hetterman
Friendly fixture, St Mary’s Women at Seahawks

Played 10s with 3-player (7s style) scrums, 20 min halves.

They asked me not to keep score – it was something like 6 tries to nil.

Stuck around and AR’d for Pete afterward.

UC DAVIS 43 – Santa Clara 17 Referee: Phil Akroyd
A/Rs: Bruce Ricard & Scott Wood
A 4pm kick off at Russell field after the Ultimate Frisbee tournament had relinquished control of the pitch.

It was a very pleasant affair – responsive teams and very well disciplined. I think there were only about 7 or 8 penalties in the first half and about half as many in the second. Another of those games where in the second half, the winning team were always going to win, but the defeated team made it interesting throughout. There seem to be a lot of games like that this season.

Seconds: UC DAVIS 62 – Santa Clara 31 Referee: Bruce Ricard

Sac State – UC Santa Barbara Referee: Joe Androvich
Seconds: Sac State – UC Santa Barbara Referee: Jim Crenshaw
No reports received on these two games.


UCSC 65 – Fresno State 24 Referee: Neil MacDonald
Videographer: Bruce Carter
Men’s College D1-AA Quarter Final: UCSC 65 – Fresno State 24 (Half time 34-5):
The Slugs belied their name, receiving the kickoff and sending the ball wide to their live wire right winger for a score in the first minute. Fresno responded to close to 7-5, before UCSC cut loose, scoring four more, punctuated by a penalty goal after Fresno were pinged for side entry, to make it 34-5 at the half. UCSC’s backs were finishing clinically, but Fresno’s forwards were overpowering UCSC in the breakdown. Fresno scored in the early minutes of the first half, but Santa Cruz responded with two more, taking the match to 48-12, with almost half an hour remaining. Fresno scored next, with a well-worked quick tap after UCSC were penalized for diving over. UCSC scored, then Fresno’s wing earned ten minutes in the bin for taking a player out in the air on the restart, and UCSC profited from their man advantage with two scores while he was gone, to take their total to 65. Fresno had the last word with a try on full time, following a series of penalties conceded by a tiring UCSC team, but UCSC ran out worthy winners 65-24, and earned a trip to Chico for next weekend’s semis and finals of the Pacific Western Conference.

Thanks to Bruce Carter for sticking around to film my game, despite the lure of tri-trip on the barbecue back home in Salinas.

NEVADA 51 – San Jose State 22 (overtime) Referee: Kevin Donnelly
Good weather conditions on the artificial surface made for a fast game but the high cross wind caused some handling problems, forward passes, and problems with line out throws. There was quite a lot of scrumming.

Several lead changes, and a last minute come-back converted try by UNR tied the game at 22. In the overtime period UNR dominated and ran in an additional 29 unanswered points. The higher altitude and a couple of disciplined events (1 yellow and 1 red card) put SJSU at a disadvantage. Final score 51-22 but both teams and coaches satisfied with a very fair, enjoyable, and super-competitive match. UNR advances to finals next weekend in Chico.

SANTA ROSA JC 22 – Sierra College 5 Referee: Tom Zanarini
The rains stopped just in time for a beautiful, warm and sunny rugby day at For Pete’s Sake Field. The grass was long and firm, just waiting for a quality contest. The teams were evenly matched in size, pace and skill. The first half was a hard hitting and hard running. The score was 5-5 until SRJC ran a try in as the watch alarm sounded. So 10-5 to start the 2nd half. This ended up being where SRJC laid down the law with 12 unanswered points. Still, the contest was back and forth. SRJC just capitalized on some wide breaks and had maybe a bit more pace. One thing to note is the discipline was stellar on both sides. Much improved from a couple years ago. Cheers to the gentlemen on the sidelines who produce gentleman on the field.

Chico State BYE. The Wildcats finished first in the conference and will host the semi-finals this Saturday, which will be:

Chico State – Nevada Referee: Jim Crenshaw
UCSC – Santa Rosa Referee: Kevin Donnelly


UCSC WOMEN 20 – Univ. of Washington 15 Referee: Bruce Carter
It was a good day for the Slugs. This game preceded the men’s game, and the home teams came away unblemished.

End-of-season rugby is good to referee, and playoff rugby is even better. The players don’t just play better individually and as a team, they make the referee’s job easier by responding to the cues we give them to keep the penalty count down.

U Dub was worried about playing on ‘the hottest day of the year’, but the clouds lingered over the hillside pitch even while we could see sailboats racing in the sun on the bay below, and it was hot only by Seattle standards.

The visitors scored first, waking up the spectators of this morning match. With all of the conversions being missed (although the Slug kicker caromed a sideline effort off the crossbar), a tie score was always a possibility. But the Slugs’ defense came through with several sieges on their line withstood near the end.

ALL BLUES 51 – Sac Amazons 0 Referee: Bryant Byrnes
A Friday cancellation by a unnamed club with a clubhouse on TI resulted in a better Saturday match. The All Blues are the reigning Women’s Premier League National Champions, and showed why-fitness, support, and good ball handling. Except for an early case of knock-onitis, they would have scored more. The Amazons cheerfully soldiered on, putting on a nice sustained attack in the second half.


BISHOP O’DOWD 19 – Oakland Warthogs 5 – Referee: John Coppinger
O’Dowd claimed bragging rights in Oakland by downing the Warthogs 31-10 at O’Dowd on Saturday. Warthogs came out hard and physically challenged the Dragons, but the Dragons withstood the challenge and won the match by making better decisions with ball in hand. The half time score was 12-5 in favor of O’Dowd and O’Dowd scored a converted try at full time to make the win seem easier than it was.


For the Senate
Pelicus Scriptoris

James Hinkin
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