Briars Rugby Report – Saturday, 1st August 2020

Briars Rugby VS. Old Ignatians

Colts:

In the first of 2 top of the table clashes for the day, the Briars colts went up against a true rugby playing team. Iggie’s started quickly using the width of the field to run us from left to right then up the sides.

Going well ahead in the game, the Briars started to find their feet and started to throw punches with strong ball curries up the guts. Realising that we, perhaps where the fitter team , gaps started to open and the Briars started to claw back in an entertain final 20min of rugby.

Running in 2 tries to close it within 7 it was to little to late as the final whistle went, another 5min and who knows as we matched them on the try sheet but got outscored off the boot.

Going a bonus point loss against the top team is something the boys are proud of and will give them confidence going into round 4.

24-17 to Iggie’s

Points:

  1. Ned Churchyard
  2. Peter Kosmas
  3. Lachlan Koziollek

3rd Grade:

It was a tough outing for the 3’s, going up against a team that would walk into most clubs 2nd grade outfits.

Iggie’s hit the ground running and that’s all they did, quick hands to the left and right of the field running into the corners at any chance given.

One thing about the Briars, across the club is our attitude, it doesn’t matter what the score says we will fight until the whistle blows and that’s exactly what our three’s did. A game that if anything made us stronger and made us realise the true level of Div 3.

71-0 to Iggie’s

  1. Will Wan
  2. Matt Carew
  3. Miles Parhash

2nd Grade:

The Briars 2nd grade knew by Iggie’s first two rounds that they are a team of youth, skill and attacking brilliance…. They did not disappoint.

Briars started well, pressuring Iggie’s and forcing mistakes from them to go ahead. This, however opened up 40min of one-way traffic, playing away from our large forward back and having us at ones and twos out wide always making it a difficult task.

Still in it at half time and keeping the confidence that victories have come from greater deficits it was not to be. The Briars picked up the ante after some rather poor chat from Iggie’s at the bottom of a ruck. Physically we won in the collisions but in a game played out wide it was a tough outing.

Better for it and willing to sharpen up for this coming weekend, the Briars two’s are not done!

45-3 to Iggie’s

  1. Greg Chisholm
  2. Dan Shalala
  3. Michael Ly

1st Grade:

The final game of the day had Briars throwing the dice to salvage a victory out of a tough weekend away.

Table topping Iggie’s, at home, in front of a great crowed ( socially distancing) came out just like we expected them based on the previous three games, quick and wide.

In a brutal 40min of attacking rugby with the bounce of the ball favouring the home team it was Iggie’s who took a 15-0 lead at the break.

The second half was one for the ages. Briars rugby pushing to new heights. Ticking over the score bored it was soon 20-15 to the Briars. Both teams trading attacking blow to try close out the game in the last 5 minutes. What will become the longest final moments in subbies history it was Iggie’s who but together an 80m attack off the back of an unbelievable close out effort from the Briars.

Iggie’s running in a try off the final play to take the game but not the crowed in a game that saw the losing team win , not on the scoreboard but in the eyes of the Briars rugby faithful.

Looking at the faces of our players, our spectators and our members, we could see that this season was no longer one of trying to just compete but one of laying down a marker to show Div 3 that we have arrived. A game that every player can be proud of and if anything has motived us as a club to keep pushing and going into dark places until we get that victory.

22-20 to Iggie’s

  1. Luey Rawalai
  2. Jason Khoury
  3. Alex McCrystal

We now have 4 fixtures reaming of this shortened season as the shootout for top 4 continues.

Briars Rugby Report – Saturday, 25th July

Briars Rugby VS. Blacktown Rugby Club

Colts:

In yet another David Vs. Goliath battle our Briars colts got off to a quick start against a large Blacktown team.

The first was a full on attach of the Blacktown try line with our boys throwing everything at them and at speed. With some missed opportunity came opportunities as they crossed over the line slowly building onto a solid lead.

Just before half time the Briars 10 suffered a severe injury, thus the team needed to adjust the play around a new 10 and find a way back into the attacking style of the first 30min.

In an all-out solid display of clean running rugby the Briars colts picked up another full house of points with a much more consistent performance than the previous week. Acknowledgement must go too all the gents who stepped in out of position on the day.

34-07 to Briars

Points:

  1. Alex Shalala
  2. Neilish Fernandes
  3. Dan Terry

3rd Grade:

The Briars 3’s kicked the day off with some key players out from the previous week.
This however did not stop them from playing an expansive game and attacking anything and everything from the kick-off.
The quick start put them in front though some great individual runs.  Going into the half ahead for the second week in a row was a massive confidence booster.

The learnings from the previous week to not let this one slip echoed through the team as they continued to apply pressure from the break. Blacktown, a never say die team ran in some consolation points to close out the game in a clean contest.

29-20 to Briars

  • Luey Rawalai
  • CJ Court
  • Adam Boumelhem

2nd Grade:

The Briars 2nd grade, still reeling from last weeks loss had one thing in mind, victory at all costs.

It was a defensive effort from the outset for the Briars 2’s, stopping anything and everything from crossing the line for most of the 1st half. Forcing Blacktown into mistake and running in points from those mistakes.

It wasn’t until the Briars went down to 13 men that the teams true character come out for one another and still pushed back Blacktowns attacking efforts.

The second half had the 2s finish up an all-round great performance with a bonus point try in arguably the defensive spectacle for the ages.

25-0 to Briars

  1. Nick Kieth
  2. Mike Ly
  3. Mat Syron

1st Grade:

The final game of the day had the Briars team running out to face a strong Blacktowns 1st team.

Massive tackles and physicality were the order of the day in this game with each team trading blows on the St. Lukes ground. It was the Briars again who kept composure and surged ahead in the first half.

The second half had the Blacktown picking themselves up as they tried to claw back into the game. Briars throwing away some crucial possession on attacked gave them (a team who needs no second invite) a chance to close the gap and that they did.

A mature approach from the Briars leadership had them change the pace of the game and retain the ball going into the final moments of the game.

Another victory for the ones as they build momentum into the season.

18-07 to Briars

  • Jolie Tuvitu
  • Alex McCrystal
  • Jason Khoury

Our first home game of the year saw the Briars run in a full house of victories of a talented Blacktown team and earn a cold keg back the club post matches.
After losing to Blacktown across all grades by over 200 points 4 years ago to clean sweeping them is a proud moment in the rebuilding of this club.
This weekend we travel to Ryde to face the table topping in all grade Old Ignatians, in a weekend that will show the Briars how far we have really come.

Briars Rugby Report – Saturday, 18th July

Briars Rugby VS Hawksbury Agriculture

Colts:

The Briars colts ran on against a massive HAC team to get their season underway. Being up in Division 3 they get to play alongside grade on the day, making it a much more inclusive division to be a part of.

The first half was clearly two teams feeling each other out and trying to run patterns in a very disjointed half. Both teams not making in roads due to a lack of rugby being played to date.

A incident before half time saw 3 red cards, this sparked our colts to lift a gear and run in some great tries in the second half to get the season going in a commendable effort.

29-14 to Briars

Points:

  1. Max Buist
  2. Neilish Fernandes
  3. George Kosmas

Red: L. Koziollek

3rd Grade:

The Briars 3’s was a complimentary mixture of youth and experience with some familiar names running on to get the game going.

A tight first half saw each team trading penalty blows, both teams looking for that killer blow during the game. Going into the half, both teams close to locked up in an even race.

Briars 3’s playing with 14 men during the entire game ( uncontested scrums leading us to drop a man) eventually started to feel the pressure with the HAC team coming out with fresh reserves to put some tries over the hard fighting Briars, however they did not just give up and ran in some late points to just fall short in a tough first up game of the season.

29-16 to HAC

  1. Tom Entwisle
  2. Luke Sinai
  3. Clay Viera

2nd Grade:

The Briars 2nd started well putting early pressure on HAC with neither team giving away much opportunity. It was the HAC however who pushed ahead through two long range penalties.

In a frustrating game the Briars 2’s spilt opportunities at crucial moments in the game that should have seen them run HAC off the park. However, it was not meant to be on the day with those 50/50 plays and rub of the green just not falling on the right side of the fence on this occasion. Some great new finds and players shone on the day in a rather uneventful fixture.

13-0 to HAC

  1. Dan Shalala
  2.  Mike Ly
  3. Mitch Warner

1st Grade:

The final game of the day had the Briars team running out to face a tiring HAC outfit. Once again it was a slow first half with both teams battling to shake off the rust from the long preseason and those 3rd phase plays just not sticking.

An inspired second half and stern words from Mick had the boys coming out firing, quickly running in 4 tries to seal a bonus point win for the day. Some great finishing by the backs and enterprising play in the forwards showing Div 3 that this team is not around by chance and are the business.

24-3 to Briars

  1. Hungyul Park
  2. Alex McCrystal
  3. Joe Tuvitu

It was a great start to Division 3 for Briars.  Turing up at Hawksbury with 60 players and coming home with 2 wins that could easily have been 4, I will take that. This club has gone from strength to strength in a season one could not predict.

This weekend we take on old Division 4 rivals Blacktown at our temporary home field “ St. Luke’s #3”

Briars Rugby & Covid-19 Diaries Update

After a gruelling 3 Months of off season / pre-season training the Briars were and are looking like a formidable squad going back into Division 3 this year.

With heaps of new faces across the board, young, older and of all skill levels the training kicked off, Mick Ellem putting us through our paces with old school blood, sweat and tears style training, loved by everyone.

Early March we decided to do a preseason tour and play at the Cowra 10’s tournament, a tournament that Briars has frequented for many years now. The squad comprised of a mixed bag of players for the weekend but one that ultimately gelled into an absolute steam train as the tournament went on.

Ending that tournament with wins over Division 2 clubs and runners up, we could not have asked for a better start to the season so far. The money won did not go to waste that evening either.

This set the tone as we moved into a 15s approach at training with an eye at retaining the Walker cup a couple of weeks later.

With Briars rugby being without a home ground for the 2020 season due to slow redevelopment of t Rothwell ground, the committee pulled out the big guns and had the game hosted at the 20,000-seater Concord oval.

The day was wet but the passion and excitement for the first hit out of the season was surmountable.

The Briars boys running away with victories in both the colts and grade games on that day with wet conditions holding us back from playing with the flare we wanted.

It was only one week after this that we had our last training session before the social distancing came into effect. Its been 6 weeks since we had the opportunity to get together as a club and get back at it.

The hard work already put in this year is not lost, with the hope still on the table for a shortened season we are and continue to motivate one another with anything possible come that kick off date.

The vibe within the club and amongst the players was and is at an ultimate high a group forged by friendship and willing to day anything for one another on and off the field of play.

On behalf of the Briars Rugby Club, we hope everyone remains safe and we are looking forward to seeing you down at one of our games later this year, in the mean time you can catch one of our classic games on the below link.
2006 Clark Cup Grand Final: Briars vs Hawksbury Valley

Date: 14 March 2020

Briars took on old rivals Northern Saints (formally St Ives Rugby Club) for the annual Walker Cup on Saturday 14th March. Both clubs steeped in history and with a mutual respect had a chance to show there hand early in the season with this trial match.

With Briars rugby club being without a home ground for the 2020 season due to slow redevelopment of there traditional Rothwell ground, the committee pulled out the big guns and had the game hosted at the 20,000-seater Concord oval.

The day was wet but the passion and excitement for the first hit out of the season was surmountable.

Briars Colts VS Northern Saints:

The Briars colts team started strong with plenty of attacking opportunities, the final execution was often hampered by the wet weather with silly 50/50 passes. With frustration kicking in the game was played off the back of who made the least mistakes, with the Briars eventually capitalising on there opponents’ mistakes and using the preseason conditioning to push themselves home and earn us one hand on the walker cup.

Score: 3 tries to 1

Briars Grade VS Northern Saints:

To end off the day the Briars grade team took the field against a confident Saints team. The Briars spent most of the first half attacking the Saints line but slipping up in final execution to put the points on the board.

It was a fortuitus bounce in the wet weather to close out the half that had the Saints leading at half time. With a full rotation of players, the Briars came out of the sheds with a hinger and stepped up the physicality on the pitch from the start of the second half.

Running in 3 unanswered tries the Briars had a second hand on the Walker cup and for the first time in its history they won it back to back.

Score: 3 tries to 1

The Briars playing group have been putting in a massive effort since November 2019 with the news that they will be playing in Division 3 this year. The Walker Cup was just the start to another hopeful season on and off the paddock. Credit must go to the Northern Saints who always give of there best and are a great club to host.

During these uncertain times the 2020 season start date has been pushed back unfortunately.

On behalf of the Briars Rugby Club we hope everyone stays safe during this time, we look forward to seeing you on the side line soon, when ever that maybe and where ever that may be.