2019 Briars Rugby Presentation Night
7th September 2019

The 2019 Briars Presentation Evening was a night to behold, celebrating a dynamic and eventful season for a club which has gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months. With an array of speeches, songs and plenty of beer, the Briars celebrated in the only way they know: long, loud and into the morning. The celebrations were capped off with news from our Chairman and President John Slender that Briars Rugby would be moving into Division 3 of the Suburban Rugby championship, a marvellous indignation of the effort put in by countless individuals over the last few seasons.

Congratulations goes to the recipients of the awards on the night, particularly Daniel Simpson, Stacey Howcroft and Sean Toomey for being awarded the Toby Crisp Award, Clubman of the Year and Coach of the Year respectively. These awards are held in high esteem and reflect the values held by the Briars Rugby community. Additionally, special thanks must go to the Committee members for their organisation and running of the night – to produce such a special evening after a year of voluntary hard work is admirable and we as a club are very grateful for their efforts.

Briars Rugby vs Harlequins
Date: 31 August 2019

1st Grade VS Quins:

Seven months ago we ran out onto the training paddock in preparation for our 2019 season, during those months there was a culture and a belief created that we as a club where good enough to shake this competition up.

Seven months later our first grade ran out in a grand finale, with 6 wins on the trot it was always going to be a great game against an unbeaten Sydney Harlequins team.  Old Briars boys lined the wet Willis ground from far and wide across the globe, supporting and cheering on the great occasion.

The first half was a tick tok battle with both teams trading blow for blow. It was Harlequins who took the lead into half time at 10-12. Briars had an early chance at the start of the second half be failed to capitalise in what very well could have swung the game in there favoured, instead the Harlequins ran in a 80 meter try.

The  previous weeks monstrous performance from the Briars against Canterbury started to take its toll on the team as the fresh Harlequins team slowed the game down and picked up there second grand final win in as many years with an unbeaten season.

If you looked at the face of the Briars players you would know that they gave it their all in a great season.

A thank you to all the support from across the globe, we will be back next year and we will keep on fighting for that top spot.

Score: 31-10 to Harlequins

  1. A. Hogg
  2. T. Le Sueur-Hindermarsh
  3. R. Rawalai

Briars Rugby vs Canterbury
Date: 24 August 2019

3rd Grade VS Canterbury:

The Briars 3’s faced off in a top of the table clash against a powerful Canterbury team in the all to play for game for a spot in the grand finale. A strong start from both teams as they tested the waters, it was the Berries who got on the board first. Briars took no time to find their feet and when they did they showed some enterprising play and versatility between backs and forwards, this lead to a couple of great tries putting them within a score with 10 minutes remaining. Unfortunately the Berries came out stronger in the final 5 through some large forward runs in an exciting game of rugby.

It is the end of an outstanding season form the Briars third grade who were pinned bottom of the log 12 months ago to find themselves in grand final contention this year. Well done to the squad and coaches on a memorable season.

Score:

24-12 to Canterbury

Points:

  1. M. Warner
  2. R. Stanley
  3. A. Ananin

1st Grade VS Canterbury:

The final game of the day had the Briars team running out against the monstrous Berries. An energetic start by both teams as they felt each other out before Briars picked up the physicality in the rucks and tackles. It was blow for blow in the first half as the lead changed hands but it was Briars we snuck in just in front after the first 40 min.

The second half had the intensity lifted with the crowed on the edge of their seats. Both sides playing with a fire and desire for victory with huge tackles and powerful runs. The Briars set piece was the cornerstone of the game given them that small advantage. It was the Berries that would take the lead with 15 min to play.  Briars dug deep and threw a massive resurgence against the flustered candy stripes to gain the lead again before shutting the game out.

This game will go down as one of the greats as Briars beat there old foes for the first time in several years to claim a spot in the grand final this Saturday against and unbeaten Sydney Harlequins.

Score:

33-24 to Briars

Points:

  1. A. Nguyen
  2. A. Simpson
  3. T. Le Suer-Hindmarsh

A special mention to the Briars U12’s we won there maiden grand final for the club against a top Eastern Suburbs team. This has been years in the making so congratulations to the coaches and parents who have made it possible. Briars rugby is clearly in good hands.

It’s been a great season so far for the Rothwell boys as we fight for the covered McLean Cup this Saturday 31 August 2019.

Kick Off 3:00PM at Wills Ground, Earlwood

Briars Rugby Semi Finals vs Macquarie Uni and Sydney Irish
Date: 17 August 2019

3rd Grade VS MacUni:

The Briars three’s went into the opening semi-final of the day against a strong uni team, with some highly rated players. Briars with a mix of experience and youth were also up for any challenge and prepared to throw everything at them.

It was the students who opened the scoring, getting off to a quick start, hammering it up the middle with the bug forwards.  Briars bounced back immediately with a score before the students regained the lead going into half time.

Briars realising their superior fitness, holes started to open up in the second half and the Rothwell boys bounced back into the lead with great back line plays. Unfortunately 10min into the second half, tragedy struck with one of our up and coming colts breaking his leg, putting his body on the line in defence for the team.

The game was called off early, but everything suggested the Briars would have run away with this one.

Score 14-12 to Briars

Points:

  1. NA
  2. NA
  3. G. Co

Cards:

NA

1st Grade VS SIRFC:

The day ended off with the much anticipated Irish VS. Briars game. The previous weekend both teams shared to spoils at 17 all. This weekend the charged up Briars charged up and put in a first 40min to be remembered.  Racing into a 22-7 lead by playing some great attacking rugby using all 15 players on the park.

Irish, a team that never goes away realised they had to change something and came out firing to get within a score of the dominant Briars. Cool heads prevailed as our boys chipped away at securing another week of rugby as they come one step closing to that grand final spot.

Score 33-19 to Briars

Points:

  1. A. Simpson
  2. T. Le Seuer- Hindmarsh
  3. E. Mills

Cards:

P. Kosmas (team offence)

The Briars playing group now heads into the last playoff spot, a win will see both teams in the grand finals.
Both games will be played at Canterbury (Wills Ground, Earlwood) and against old rivals Canterbury starting at 12:30PM.

Briars Rugby vs Sydney Irish
10th August 2019

3rd Grade VS SIRFC:

Forfeit to Briars

2nd Grade VS SIRFC:

It was do or die for both teams, going into the final round locked at 6 wins a piece and the previous game between the two teams ending 5 all; it was always going to be a big one. Both teams respecting the challenge and honouring the game (the temptation to win at all costs is often an issue in games like this) chose to go with pure second grade starting line ups. It was a physical start to the game with both teams trading blow for blow, Irish played smart rugby using the wind to push Briars back and get the first points of the day. Briars hit back at the close of the second half but still went in trailing. The second half saw the intensity lift another level as both team threw everything at winning that final playoff position, Briars playing the better rugby in the second half left it too late to overcome a traditional game plan from the Irish.

As the final whistle blew on the Briars second grade season, one can feel they put everything into it and can count themselves unlucky from not getting into the playoffs. Majority of these players will now back up for our 1st grade and 3rd grade team as we march on with our season.

Score 32-14 to Irish

Points:

  1. J. Elias
  2. M. Ly
  3. D. Bell-Simpson

Cards:

NA

1st Grade VS SIRFC:

To end off the day The Briars first grade team went up against a traditionally strong Irish 1st grade who were bristling with confidence.  With both teams having secured a playoff berth against each other next weekend; this was always going to be a preview before the all or nothing. Both teams got off to a decent start not giving much away. Irish opened the scoring through some tough forward plays, which sparked the Briars into running in a couple of tries before the half to take the lead. The second half had Irish doing all the playing and pinning Briars back into the corner playing for field position. Irish took the lead with 10min remaining.  Going down to 14 men and defending the line, the Briars forced a turnover and in the final seconds of the game pulled off a try in the far corner to lock the scores level.

The draw sets up for an intriguing playoff game next weekend between the two teams.

Score 17-17 to Draw

Points:

  1. R. King
  2. N. Churchyard
  3. J. Klump

Cards:

  • R. Rawalai (team offence)
  • E. Mills (team offence)

The Briars playing group now head into playoffs this coming weekend and we extend our season in the search for silverware.

CupKick-offField#1
Mc Lean3.15 pmBriars v Sydney Irish
Grose1.45 pmOatley v Sydney Irish
Walker12.30 pmBriars v Mac Uni

Briars Rugby vs Oatley
3rd August 2019

3rd Grade VS Oatley:

Forfeit to Briars

2nd Grade VS Oatley:

With several injuries in the forward pack hampering training, it was a difficult week to build momentum and lock down combinations. Come Saturday and traveling to the formidable H.V Everett Park we always knew it would be a physical day on the paddock.  Oatley rolling out an extremely strong second grade team ( raising eyebrows off the back of the first grade score) played dominant rugby from the get go. It was a change in attitude that saw the game even up in the second half, unfortunately the damage was already done and Oatley walked away with the sheepish win.

Score 44-10 to Oatley

Points:

  1. M. Paish
  2. M. Ly
  3. L. Cameron

Cards:

NA

1st  Grade VS Oatley:

To end off the day The Briars first grade team went up against an understrength Oatley first grade. What followed was absolute carnage with Briars cutting the opposition apart at every touch of the ball. Scoring less tries at a training run it was a day best forgotten by the opposition. This win for Briars will boost there confidence going into the final pool rounds.

Score 107-12 to Briars

Points:

  1. T. Le Sueur-Hindmarsh
  2. T. Webber
  3. A. Nguyen

Cards:

NA

The Briars now head into the final weekend of regular season game against a tough Sydney Irish outfit. As it stands our 3rd grade have a chance to finish top two on the ladder before heading into the finals with our 1st grade set to clash with Irish first round of the playoffs making this weekend a tester for both teams. All eyes are however on the 2nd grade teams; winner of this game will secure themselves a playoff berth in the much anticipated do or die game.

Briars Rugby vs Macquarie Uni
27th July 2019

3rd Grade VS Uni:

The Briars 3’s where faced with some late changes and had to front up against arguably Uni’s strongest 15 on the day. The game was an arm wrestle from kick-off with nether team giving an inch to each other. The game battled to gain momentum with both teams defending well on the day. It was Briars who had to play all the rugby in the final 10 min to come from behind and secure a tough draw. Plenty of passion shown in this hard fort encounter as these teams are all but set to clash in the first round of play offs.

Score: 12-12 Draw

  1. R. Stanley
  2. D. Shalala
  3. T. Braithwait

Yellows: NA

2nd Grade VS Quins:

The Briars 2nd grade team where fired up for another must win encounter. From the kick off it was all out attack from the Briars running from every possible field position. Playing against a weakened Uni team the holes started to appear and the Briars took the opportunity that was in front of them. Some great exchange play between backs and forwards pushed the score up to where we wanted it to be as we chase down that last available playoff spot.

Score: 50-0 to Briars

  1. J. Elias
  2. C. Simpson
  3. T. Gorman

Yellows: NA

1st Grade VS Quins:

The final game of the day had the Briars team running out in front of an enthusiastic crowed ot the students ladies day. The away team put in an early surge racing to a formidable lead and pouncing on every mistake made by the Briars. However the Briars picked themselves up and fought back in the final 10min to secure a narrow victory over the feisty Uni team that almost pulled of an upset.

Score: 28-34 to Briars

  1. A. Simpson
  2. T. Le Sueur-Hindmarsh
  3. R. Rawalai

Yellows: NA

A massive congratulation for the Briars 1ns as they have now locked in playoffs with two weeks to go. That now secures 2 of our 3 teams in play offs as our second grade team fight it out for the final spot.

This weekend we will be traveling to old rivals Oatley.

Briars Rugby vs Macquarie Uni
27th July 2019

3rd Grade VS Uni:

The Briars 3’s where faced with some late changes and had to front up against arguably Uni’s strongest 15 on the day. The game was an arm wrestle from kick-off with nether team giving an inch to each other. The game battled to gain momentum with both teams defending well on the day. It was Briars who had to play all the rugby in the final 10 min to come from behind and secure a tough draw. Plenty of passion shown in this hard fort encounter as these teams are all but set to clash in the first round of play offs.

Score: 12-12 Draw

  1. R. Stanley
  2. D. Shalala
  3. T. Braithwait

Yellows: NA

2nd Grade VS Quins:

The Briars 2nd grade team where fired up for another must win encounter. From the kick off it was all out attack from the Briars running from every possible field position. Playing against a weakened Uni team the holes started to appear and the Briars took the opportunity that was in front of them. Some great exchange play between backs and forwards pushed the score up to where we wanted it to be as we chase down that last available playoff spot.

Score: 50-0 to Briars

  1. J. Elias
  2. C. Simpson
  3. T. Gorman

Yellows: NA

1st Grade VS Quins:

The final game of the day had the Briars team running out in front of an enthusiastic crowed ot the students ladies day. The away team put in an early surge racing to a formidable lead and pouncing on every mistake made by the Briars. However the Briars picked themselves up and fought back in the final 10min to secure a narrow victory over the feisty Uni team that almost pulled of an upset.

Score: 28-34 to Briars

  1. A. Simpson
  2. T. Le Sueur-Hindmarsh
  3. R. Rawalai

Yellows: NA

A massive congratulation for the Briars 1ns as they have now locked in playoffs with two weeks to go. That now secures 2 of our 3 teams in play offs as our second grade team fight it out for the final spot.

This weekend we will be traveling to old rivals Oatley.

Back to Briars Day
13th July 2019

3rd Grade VS Quins

The Briars 3’s where going into their final home game for the year against a strong Harlequins team. The game was an arm wrestle from kick-off with nether team giving an inch to each other. It was the away team that eventually cracked allowing one of the Briars up and coming talent to crash over for the first points. Harlequins got straight back at it with a score putting them in the lead by a score with 10min to go. Relentless attacked and resilience in the last 5min had the Briars cross over the white wash unfortunately only for the ball to be called lost forward in an epic battle at Rothwell.

Briars 3rd grade have officially (4 weeks of regular rounds remaining) locked in a top 4 spot and will be playing finals rugby this year, congratulations to all involved.

Score: 14-20 to Harlequins

  1. T. Pearce
  2. A. Kerle
  3. R. Jones

2nd Grade VS Quins

The Briars 2nd grade had some late changes due to call ups but with the current depth of the club this never is an issue.  In a must win game against the second placed Harlequins team it was the Briars who played all the rugby. Breaking the opposition down in defence and then attacking through some new and exciting combinations. Has this team found its form going into the final 4 weeks? It was a team effort winning the game and the day for the second graders who now find themselves a couple of wins away from finals.

Score: 19-0 to Briars

  1. C. Habijanec
  2. D. Simpson
  3. P. Kosmas

1st Grade VS Quins

The final game of the day had the Briars team running out in front of a boisterous crowd at our Back to Briars Day. The away team put in an early surge racing to a 10 point lead through forward domination. However the Briars picked themselves up and fought back to level the scores going into the break.  Key early injuries for the second time this year against Harlequins  made the game a difficult encounter in the second half. Harlequins running in some early tries to all but close out the match. In typical Briars fashion though they had the final say with a seven pointer to close off the day.

Score: 34-17 to Harlequins

  1. N. Churchyard
  2. A. Hogg
  3. R. King

It was another heart felt weekend against a tough opposition, Briars go into the final home game of the season against old rivals Merrylands. All teams fins themselves in top four contention as we fight for those grand final spots.


Briars Rugby Ladies Day

It was a great day of rugby at Rothwell Park this past weekend with more than 6 games taking place on our annual ladies day, including three Women’s 7s fixtures that Briars come out on top of the table from. Special thanks to all those who were involved in raising funds for Breast Cancer Network Australia, primarily Jules Boyter and Alex Dyer. They managed to raise over $1,400 to cap off a very successful day for the club. Please find below some match reports for each of the grades games.

Briars Halligans vs Harlequins Halligans:

The Briars halligans made their first appearance of the year on our annual ladies day. Made up mostly of young colts they took on the well-established Sydney Harlequins. Battling to get combinations going early one it was the Quins team who did most of the playing to start off with run in some tries that any first grade team would have battled with. In typical Briars fashion in it was the home team who came out firing in the second half running in four tries to bring the margin down. Unfortunately it was the away team who held onto victory this time in a great game of rugby.

Score: 22-44 to Harlequins

3rd Grade vs Northern Saints:

Forfeit to Briars. Briars 3rd grade now sit atop the table by five points with four official games remaining.

Score: 28-0 to Briars

2nd Grade vs Northern Saints:

The Briars team had a strong starting 15 and flew into Saints keeping them pegged back in their half. They produced a flawless first half, running in 38 unanswered points. Some white line fever crept in at the start of the second allowing Saints to open their account through some great ball running, however the Briars went back to basics and ran in several more tries of their own to bag a well-deserved 5 point victory.

Score: 64-14 to Briars

1st Grade VS Northern Saints:

To end off the day The Briars first grade team took the field with much confidence.  Saints being no pushover and trying to prove a point meant it would be a battle, however, the determination and a great defensive effort ultimately broke the Saints team through a strong forwards effort and big carriers through the middle. The Briars running a handful of tries to bag a full house of points on a great day of rugby. A total of 8 colts taking the field for the Briars first grade on the day, showing that the future is in great hands.

Score: 64-3 to Briars

The Briars playing group are upbeat about winning a couple of hard fought games against a good opposition. We now turn our attention to a top of the table clash against the physical Canterbury team away at Wills Ground in Earlwood.


Briars Rugby Ladies Day
Saturday, 22nd June 2019

Briars Rugby Match Report
Saturday, 16th  June 2019

Colts: Briars Rugby VS. Chatswood (Grand Final- Radford Cup)

Briars Colts VS Chatswood GRAND FINAL:

Reminiscent of the last grand final Briars Rugby played in, the rain was bucketing down, however this did not put a damper on the crowed with the Briars faithful dominating the numbers along the side line and showing massive support for our young colt’s team.

It was helter skelter rugby from the whistle, playing in the rain and under lights was always going to be a challenge in its self.  Chatswood, who were unbeaten for the year came out flying, playing with speed and hands as if it was a perfect day for the game. Rushing into a healthy lead and playing catch up rugby our boys never stopped trying and attached at every opportunity.  The pride and passion shown for the Briar Rose and the jersey is one that founding 14 would have been proud of.

Fighting until the end we crossed the white line, although it was too little too late. With the final whistle sounding Chatswood got crowned the Radford Cup champions for this year.

The emotions on all the players faces sums up what this journey has meant to them as a team and the sheer number of club support shown on the night is a testament to the Briars fraternity and rugby club.

Far too often a team is judged purely on talent and not by a combination of talent, passion, determination and heart. This team has represented the above traits time and time again. We look forward to welcoming them into the grade fold for the second half the grade season.

3rd Grade VS SIRFC:

Beaming with confidence, the passionate third grade team took the field with one thing in mind, victory at all costs. The Rothwell boys stormed into the lead cutting the Irish team apart and leaving them in ones and twos through some mature and well thought out plays. With the some old faithfuls back it was always going to be a great day on the field for the 3’s. They have all but secured a playoff spot at the end of the season and we have only just gone through the half way mark.

2nd Grade VS SIRFC:

In one of the more physical games of the year it was Briars twos seeking a much needed win. Sydney Irish being in the top four was always going to be a tough ask but the Briars two’s stepped up a gear in the physicality and backline assault. Going down to 14 men it was the Irish who opened there account first from then on was like a heavy weight boxing match with huge blows at every interaction. Late into the second half a break put the Briars in the corner to lock the scores level with 10 to go. Unfortunately this is how the game ended and a draw is something the Briars two’s are proud of.

1st Grade VS SIRFC:

To end off the day The Briars first grade team went up against a traditionally string Irish 1st grade who were bristling with confidence.  Attacking the line from the get go it was the home team who went in ahead at the break. Briars who came out the second half firing, building up a comfortable lead on the score board through some good forwards play. It was a well-controlled team effort from the Briars who never let the Irish into the game. Other 4 try bonus point win for this ever improving team as we hit the halfway mark of the season.

The Briars playing group had a great weekend of rugby, for the first time in four years they did not lose a game to the Irish. We now look forward to our annual ladies day and a festival of rugby with no less than six matched on the day.


Briars Rugby swim team take on the Coogee Island Challenge

Mitch Warner and Tim Entwisle from Briars Rugby participated in the Coogee Island Challenge, a 2.4 kilometre ocean swim around Wedding Cake Island on Sunday (14 April).

The swim is one of Sydney’s great ocean swims with the route taking the swimmers around the famous Wedding Cake Island. According to oceanswims.com, Sydney’s ocean swimming portal, the rock shelves at each end of the beach and the island itself make the water inside the island some of the bumpiest in Sydney as the swell and the chop bounces off all the hard surfaces and sucks back from the beach.

The Coogee Island Challenge is the first and last of Sydney’s ocean swim season.

The first race in November is known as the cold-water challenge (at the beginning of the season) and the April swim the cool water challenge in the Autumn.

Mitch and Tim are part of Briar’s Rugby unofficial swim club, that swims most Wednesday’s at Cabarita Pool to keep fit in the rugby off-season (the summer). Tim (who just turned 58), one of the Briars rugby coaches, has been aiming to do the Coogee swim for several years but has found the prospect a bit daunting on his own. Mitch, 26, an experienced ocean swimmer and veteran of the challenge offered to accompany Tim on his first swim this April.

They enrolled earlier in the year and on Sunday turned up to take on the challenge. The start is staggered with the elite swimmers taking off first and then by five-year age groups. Mitch accompanied Tim in the 55-59 age group that were the last to go, accompanying the 60s and over.

Tim got around the course in 1 hour and 29 minutes, Mitch in 58 minutes and the elite swimmers in just over 30 minutes. There were about 840 competitors. Tim finished 818th of the 830 that finished and Mitch 593rd. Tim was pretty happy just to have done the swim and is planning to do the swim next year if more of the rugby boys will take the challenge.


“Campo” swaps Wallaby gold for Briars gold in 2019

John Slender, Chairman of Briars Rugby, one of Sydney’s oldest suburban rugby clubs, announced today the appointment of David Campese as the club’s new Head of Coaching for 2019.

“It will be great to have David heading up our coaching team. His experience and great passion for rugby will be much appreciated by the players. We are also hoping that having him at Briars will attract more players to the club, although, unlike many other clubs, we have had plenty of players and strong turn-ups at training last season,” explained John.

David Campese (Campo) is a former Australian rugby union player and sporting icon, who entertained and thrilled fans around the world as one of the world’s most recognisable rugby players. He has also been an outspoken commentator of the game and the way it is run.

“David has a strong passion to support grass roots rugby. At Briars he intends to focus on developing fundamental skills with attention to technique, understanding and practice. He aims to help the players and teams to play with skill, speed and imagination—the way he used to play. What people also need to remember is, that for all his natural flair, Campo, was one of the hardest training players of his era, which started in the days before rugby was professional, and we want to bring back that discipline,” explained John.

Campo played his first game for the Wallabies at 19 years old against the All Blacks in Christchurch in 1982 and his last test against Wales in Cardiff in 1996. During his career Australia were the leading rugby nation in the world, winning the Rugby World Cup in 1991, the Bledisloe Cup in 1986, 1992, and 1994 (the Bledisloe Cup is awarded to the winner of the annual Australia versus New Zealand test series).

Campo played on the wing in what could be considered the best backline Australia has ever had, with Mark Ella at number 10. He was the first Australian to play 101 rugby tests and at the time was one of only five players in the world that had played over 100 games for their country. Now in the fully professional era there are a lot more matches.

Briars Rugby is part of Briars Sports, a multi-sport club based in Concord, in Sydney’s Inner West, that last year celebrated its centenary. Formed in 1918 by a group of teenage boys to play cricket, athletics and soon after rugby, by the 1920s it was a strong rugby club that had several of its players capped for the Wallabies. They play in the Sydney-based New South Wales Suburban Rugby Union competition.

Briars Rugby currently fields three senior sides, under 21’s, women’s sevens and six juniors sides.