3rd Grade: Third Grade put in their most dominant performance of the year on a day where the weather threatened to turn the style of rugby into a very physical encounter at a moment’s notice. The Briars scored early in the game off a quick backline break with the score going to the winger able to run it under the posts. The Briars quickly followed this up by gaining the ball on the HAC try line and some heavy work in tight by the forwards saw the second score of the day. As the weather made the ball slippery more scrums were formed but the Briars dominated in the pack winning every scrum except one all day, laying the attacking platform to score the third try of the day through the backs. At half time the Briars led 17-0. The Briars got off to a determined and quick start in the second half winning the ball at the kick off and scoring in one phase through the forwards to extend the lead to 22-0. They were quickly back into the HAC ‘22 after winning another scrum and broke the line to score under the posts. The forwards with more dirty work scored under the posts not long later and the Briars got their last try of the day with a silky cross field kick ensuring both our wingers scored in the game. HAC got the final try of the game after finally being able to use what little possession they had, breaking through in the backline. Third grade took out their biggest win of the season getting up 41-5.
2nd Grade: As the 2nd grade sides took to the field the rain began to get heavier and the mud started to appear. The game began physically as both teams relied on their forwards to get over the gain line. The Briars took the first score using the forwards close to the HAC try line to lead 5-0. Not long later the Briars took a chance out wide and kept hold of the slippery footy, charging through the centres and taking their second try of the game to lead 10-0. The remainder of the half was a back and forth affair with neither side getting close to the other’s try line, the Briars leading at half time 10-0. The weather worsened over the half time break and the second half became a messy affair with lots of tight plays in the centre of the ground but no scoring opportunities able to present themselves. The Briars eventually forced a score off a loose play to lead 15-0 after a HAC yellow card. HAC lifted late into the second half, using their possession well and finding gaps in the Briars defence, managing to close the gap to 15-12. Late in the match the Briars ran a slick backline move off the back of their own scrum, scoring under the posts to lead 20-12 to close the game out in style. Second grade were victorious 20-12.
1st Grade: With the weather relenting but the ground still wet, first grade took to the field with the day’s momentum behind them. Both teams struggled to adapt to the less than favourable conditions early in the game with the damp and muddy conditions slowing play down. However, the Briars found a way through, scoring the first two tries of the match through the backs with some great running rugby, getting a solid 14-0 lead. The Briars then kept it tight, driving their way up the field on several occasions and scoring twice through the forwards to lead 26-0 towards the close of the first half. The Briars got the final say of the first half scoring off a HAC dropped ball and kicking and chasing through to lead 31-0 at the break in a dominant first half for the men in gold. HAC were shown a red card just before half time giving the Briars a one man advantage for the remainder of the game.
HAC found some rhythm in the second half, gaining the upper hand physically and scoring their first try of the game and the first of the second half after a Briars yellow card. The Briars hit back soon after to lead 36-5 with a quarter of the game to go. HAC continued to show better form in the second half, running in two converted tries getting rewards on the scoreboard for their efforts. The Briars then lost a player for a second yellow card infringement with both sides playing the remaining 5 minutes with 14 men each. The game ended with first grade victorious 36-19.
A great day for Briars taking 3 wins on the day and an additional forfeit win, adding plenty of points to each team on their ladders and to our club championship effort. Next week we travel out to Hawkesbury Valley in a top of the table clash in first grade which will be an exciting affair, with promises of a fantastic New Zealand style cook up at the club afterwards.
The Briars Rugby Lunch has been postponed due to the latest COVID restrictions. The date for the rugby lunch will be confirmed soon. Tickets are still available for our rugby lunch on the 9th July featuring the Ella brothers. To purchase your ticket Click Here.
05/06/2021 – Briars Rugby Match Reports – Round 8 vs Beecroft (Away)
3rd Grade: The game got underway with some clumsy rugby with neither side able to hold onto the ball for long periods. Beecroft made the first breakthrough of the match after managing to hold onto possession long enough to take advantage of their proximity to the try line. Beecroft scored the second try of the match after the Briars spilled possession several times. The Briars hit back before half time, with the forwards leading the way with some hard runs, the 1st half closing at 14-5. Briars got the first score of the 2nd half with more great runs and hard yards made through the forwards to close the gap 14-10. Unfortunately, mistakes in their own 22 let in a third Beecroft try and the Briars struggled against a determined Beecroft defence and were unable to hit back. Beecroft closed the game with their fourth try of the match through some structured phases. The Briars went down 26-10.
Colts: The Colts went out to face the undefeated powerhouse Beecroft colts after a trying week. The first half was a silky display of phenomenal football from the Beecroft side and they led 45-5 at half time. A resurgent Briars however used their skills and size in the forwards to pepper the Beecroft tryline for much of the second half and it remained 0-0 until the final 10 minutes. Beecroft ran away with 3 further tries to finish the game at 66-5 but our colts certainly stepped up in that second half and we look forward to those performances over the final games of the season.
2nd Grade: Briars 2s got off to their best start of the season putting huge pressure on Beecroft in defence and catching them napping all over the park in the early stages of the match. The Briars cut through to take the first score of the match by turning the ball over on Beecroft’s 22 and muscling their way over the line from there. The Briars struck again by forcing mistakes on Beecroft in defence and sliding through to lead 14-0. Beecroft managed to salvage the 1st half by scoring right on the half time whistle. Beecroft scored the next 2 tries to lead 15-14 as the Briars struggled to carry on their momentum from the 1st half. Briars took a penalty goal to lead 17-15 with 15 minutes to go. Despite the best efforts of both sides neither could find a score until Beecroft managed to maintain pressure on attack and get the final score of the game. 2nd grade went down 22-17.
1st Grade: Briars 1st grade came up against the table topping 1st grade of Beecroft and played their best rugby of the season so far. The Briars were all over Beecroft in the first half. Pushing through the forwards with barnstorming runs the Briars scored first and followed it up with smart backs plays to score on the wing taking a quick 14-0 lead. Beecroft hit back with a try but that just made the Briars angry and they pushed over for their third try and followed it with a penalty goal to close a dominant first half 24-7. The second half began with the Briars picking up where they left off by not giving Beecroft an inch and scoring the first try of the second half by breaking through the line and keeping the momentum going. Down 31-7 Beecroft dug deep and took it to the Briars, scoring two unanswered converted tries to close the gap to 31-21. With the match looking like it may swing in Beecroft’s favour the Briars scored a surprise try by pressuring Beecroft in defense, forcing a knock on, picking up and running through to score under the posts and regaining the upper hand. The Briars didn’t let up there and got over for another converted try to lead 45-21. The match finished with Beecroft taking the final score. Briars 1st grade beating the ladder leaders 45-28.
We have a week off for the long weekend followed by our inaugural R U OK? Round against Hawkesbury Agricultural College at Rothwell on the 19th June. Tickets are still available for our rugby lunch on the 9th July featuring the Ella brothers. To purchase your ticket Click Here.
Briars Rugby Ladies Day Match Report
22/05/21 – Round 6 vs Sydney Harlequins (Home)
3rd Grade: The Briars opened the days’ scoring after several long periods of attack against a rock-solid Harlequins defence, managing to get over in the corner. Harlequins took the lead 7-5 not long after to close the first half. The Briars again struggled to break the Harlequins line with each attack being repelled and having to play long periods of defence. Eventually the Briars scored a converted try to lead 12-7 with a quarter of the match to go. Harlequins hit back more determined than ever, managing to score again to take the lead 14-12. The Briars rallied and kept the play in the opposition half and took a penalty goal to lead 15-14. Briars took another penalty goal from just under 40 metres out from the posts not long after to lead 18-14. The final play of the game was an unsuccessful kick off by Harlequins after the Briars’ penalty goal, with the ball not clearing the 10-metre line and the final whistle being blown. 3rd grade took the win 18-14 in one of their toughest encounters this season so far.
Colts: The Colts were up against it with some players out this week. They ran into a red-hot Easts team buoyed by the fact the Easts 3rd grade didn’t have a game and were able to support their team with some extra talent. The speed and execution of the Easts team were too much for our Briars, but the boys valiantly put up a fight and grabbed two tries through an intercept and consistent forwards pressure. Briars’ Colts going down 14-61.
2nd Grade: Harlequins made a quick start to the 2nd Grade match by scoring inside the first minute, surprising the players and the crowd with fast play through the forwards. The Briars scored next with a running backline move off their own lineout showing poise under pressure to get the ball through the hands and over the line. Not long after the Briars took the lead 10-5 with a penalty goal and again added to their score on the wing to lead 15-5. The Harlequins scored next with a converted try and again with another converted try after a Briars yellow card to lead 19-15. With ten minutes to go and unable to add to their score, Briars closed the gap to 1 point with a penalty goal to trail 19-18. A penalty just after the kick restart allowed Harlequins to take a simple penalty goal from in front, leading 22-18 with 2 minutes of the match left. The Briars retained the ball deep in the Harlequins half and though determined, were unable to break through the middle with the forwards. A yellow card to the Harlequins gave Briars the advantage they needed and they scored soon after giving 2nd Grade their first win of the year, victorious in the second close encounter of the day, 25-22.
1st Grade: Harlequins opened the scoring in 1st grade with an unconverted try off their own scrum to lead 5-0. Briars stayed in touch with a penalty goal and took the lead with a second penalty goal 6-5. The Briars got their first try of 1st grade with an opportune pick and go and extended their lead to 13-5. Harlequins closed the gap with a try from the halfway off a Briars knock-on putting the score at 13-10 at half time. Briars were the first score in the second half with a lovely inside running play by the backs, scoring under the posts to lead 20-10. Briars took a penalty goal opportunity late in the match with a solid 23-10 lead with not long to go. The Harlequins were able to score close to the end of the match by winning the ball on a Briars scrum feed, but unable to convert it left the score at 23-15. 1st Grade closed out the game to make it 3 wins from 3 against Sydney Harlequins.
A successful Ladies Day saw some great rugby, enjoyed by a bumper crowd which raised over a $1,000 for Breast Cancer Network Australia. We travel to newcomers and table toppers Western Raptors this coming week, part of two away games before the Queens Birthday weekend off.
15/05/21 – Round 5 vs Old Ignatians (Home)
The opening stages of the match saw Briars doggedly defending their line against Iggies who had the upper hand in the set piece but struggled to use it to score. Eventually, Iggies were able to score after several attempts from their maul, opening the scoring at 5-0. The Briars spent much of the remainder of the 1st half probing the Iggies defensive line and absorbing their attack. The Briars equalled the scoring after finding a gap in the Iggies line and rallying with some quick play to level it 5-5 at halftime. Early in the second half the Briars took a successful shot at goal and led for most of the half 8-5. With a tight contest so far the Briars again opted for a penalty goal and led 11-5 with not long to go. A penalized kick and chase saw Briars lose possession and field position with a few minutes to go and Iggies able to work their way down field. After several scrum resets Iggies scored under the posts and converted the try to win at the death. 3rd grade going down 11-12.
The Colts game promised to be a great contest with both teams holding each other off for the opening stages of the game with great defence on both sides. Iggies took the first score and converted to lead 7-0. The Briars didn’t wait long to hit back scoring an unconverted try closing the half 7-5 to Iggies. The tough back and forth continued into the second half and Iggies were able to score the first points in the second half. A scuffle after the try involving most players on the field saw an unacceptable two red cards shown to the Briars and one to Iggies. Old Ignatians scored again not long after and a long break in play due to an injury to a Briar almost saw the end of the match. In the remaining play Iggies scored again with their one man advantage. Briars’ Colts going down 5-28.
Another tough beginning to a match saw neither side able to score early despite periods each with the ball. Iggies got the first breakthrough of the match to lead 7-0. The visiting side managed two more scores in the first half showing off some quick thinking attacking plays to lead 19-0. The Briars got the first score of the second half with a cheeky intercept, long pass and kick-chase to score in the corner. Old Ignatians took the final points of the match with an unconverted try. The Briars going down 5-24.
Our 1st Grade came up against the ladder toppers in a thrilling encounter to end the day. The Briars opened the scoring on the wing and converted to lead 7-0. A yellow card was a minor setback and Iggies managed to hit back with a try. The Briars forced their way up the field hitting all parts of the Iggies line with intent and scoring under the posts taking the lead again. Still on a roll and standing up to the top team the Briars put another try past the visitors to close the half 19-5 with all of the momentum. The second half saw both sides batter each other and neither side break. Iggies were awarded a penalty try ten minutes into the second half after a long phase of attack and a few infringements by the Briars. The home side took the advantage back and scored a penalty goal and quickly broke the Iggies line again with Max Fiorini scoring his hattrick in style off a great run down the wing and splitting defenders running in-field. The Briars took another penalty goal on their next visit to Iggies’ half to lead 32-12. The Old Ignatians showed they still had fuel in the tank and went on a determined attacking spree in the dying stages of the match. While able to score an unconverted and converted try they ran out of time following an unsuccessful penalty goal attempt trying to get within one score of the home side. Briars 1st Grade were victorious 32-24.
We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday for our Ladies Day, where we host old rivals Sydney Harlequins.
Colts: The colts took the field in a tough opening game of the day in which physicality dominated the style of play. Blacktown scored an unconverted try to open the scoring and the Briars struggled to return the favour but eventually scored on the wing towards the close of the first half. Blacktown scored another unconverted try but Briars followed soon after with a converted try to lead 14-10. Unfortunately, Blacktown were able to capitalise of a poor restart and take back the lead moments afterwards. The final stages of the half were an intense back and forth of determined defence on either side, with our boys unable to score that final try. Our Colts went down 14-15.
2nd Grade:The match began a one crazy seesaw which saw no one trouble the scorer until Blacktown scored in the final play of the first half to lead 7-0 at halftime. The second half saw many tough exchanges of play by both sides but the Briars eventually cracked the strong Blacktown defence with a cheeky kick and chase to score under the posts and level the scores 7-7. Blacktown were able to hit back with a converted try not long later after a Briars player received a yellow card. The Briars were unphased by this set back and forced their way into Blacktown’s 22 and after several penalties against the defensive side and were able to find a gap and convert the try to level it again at 14-14. In the dying minutes of the match Blacktown gained a penalty and took a shot at goal for the 3 points. They missed but the Briars desperate attempt to run the ball from behind the posts saw a messy exchange in which Blacktown regained possession and scored in the confusion. Our 2nd Grade went down 14-19.
1st Grade: The first half of the match was disappointing for the Briars who came up against a hard running and determined Blacktown attack who comprehensively won the first half with the scores at 21-0 at half time. Blacktown also took first blood in the second half to lead 28-0. The Briars managed to gain some composure and control their game better, being rewarded with a try from a great run by the backs to get their first score of the game. Blacktown hit back with an unconverted try but the Briars were able to respond this time with another great try on the wing. The Briars ran out of luck after that and were unable to break through a rock solid Blacktown defence and conceded two more tries to finish the game 12-43 beaten by a better side.
The Briars have a bye this coming weekend and will look to regroup and refresh for two consecutive rounds at home against frontrunners Old Ignatians and Harlequins (Ladies Day), respectively.
Briars Rugby Match Reports
24/04/21 – Round 3 vs Hawkesbury Valley (Home)
Congrats to our team of the week round 3! Great games all round from a formidable and tough opponent in our friends from Hawkesbury Valley.
3rd Grade: Making their debut on Cluch TV for season 2021, 3rd grade were determined to put on a show for their fans at home. The game opened with a long period of possession for Briars which they struggled to get near the Valley try line. After 15 minutes of back and forth play between both sides Briars opened the scoring with a try under the posts. The Briars’ second try followed closely after off of one of the greatest dummy pass ever thrown. A sneaky kick and chase saw Valley hit back with the first half closing at 12-5. Valley took first points of the second half to close the gap to 12-10 but our 3rd grade finally used their possession effectively and scored 3 unanswered tries through the backline to finish the game with a 31-10 win.
2nd Grade: The 2nd fixture of the day got underway with Valley taking the first points of the match. The Briars hit back with 2 converted tries which included a great conversion from the sideline. Valley were able to respond later in the match with two tries and the Briars took a penalty to close the gap to 17-19. Valley were able to round off the tight contest with a converted try late in the match to take the win 17-26.
1st Grade: Briars and Valley traded early penalty goals to keep the score at 3-3 for most of the first half. It was a tight contest with both teams throwing everything at each other for little reward except a few visits to each others’ 22s. Valley took the first try of the game to close the first half 3-8. The second half started poorly for the Briars with Valley scoring within 30 seconds from the kick off to lead 3-15. The Briars would spend the remainder of the game in an arm wrestle with the determined Valley defence. The Briars probed and punched the Valley defensive line and came close on several occasions but couldn’t cross the line. The match finished with the Briars going down 3-15.
Round-3 Match Highlights
17/04/21 – Round 2 vs Hawkesbury Ag College (Away)
3rd Grade: 3s got off to a quick start rushing to a 12-point lead with all the possession early in the game. HAC hit back with an unconverted try but 3s responded with a converted try to close the first half with a 19-5 lead.
The second half saw 3s almost entirely defending in their own half. Conceding 2 hard-fought unconverted tries forcing HAC to throw everything they had at our boys the match swung in the Briar’s after a red card to a HAC front rower during a scuffle in a scrum. Our 3s, finally with possession in the second half, fought down to the HAC try-line, scoring at the death to win 24-15 in a mighty defensive effort in the second half of the match.
Points: 3 – Simon Carew; 2 – Luke Sinai; 1 – Nick Keith.
Colts: Our colts were looking to bounce back from a disappointing start to the season and started the match in the right way with a quick try. HAC hit back with two unconverted tries but our Colts responded with 3 tries and then another after a HAC yellow card. HAC hit back with three converted tries of their own, one of which came after a Briars yellow card. The match swung both ways throughout the game but our Colts held on getting the final score with a penalty goal and winning 37-31 in an exciting encounter to take their first win of the season.
Points: 3 – Miles Parhash; 2 – Max Fiorini; 1 – Jack Rathborne
2nd Grade: 2s Endured a difficult and scrappy game where both sides struggled to use the possession they had for long periods. Our 2s opened the scoring with a penalty goal after playing the opening minutes in HAC’s half. HAC responded towards the end of the first half with a converted try, leading at the break 7-3. HAC would go on to score two unconverted tries in the second half having been able to hold onto the ball for longer than our 2s and showing great determination in the forwards. 2s went down 3-17 against a tough and formidable HAC 2nd grade.
1st Grade: Another exciting game played out by our top team saw HAC open the scoring with a converted try but our 1st grade hit back with three unanswered tries. HAC responded with three tries of their own to end the first half with a lead of 24-19. The Briars fought through the second half with grit and determination showing they were a side ready to perform another comeback similar to the previous week’s victory, and took the upper hand with two tries leading 31-24 towards the closing stages of the match. In an exciting and tough end to the game HAC hit back to score an unconverted try and with time up, scored a converted try at the death to take the win in a see-sawing and tense affair. The final result 31-36 to HAC. Our first grade secured the 4-try bonus point and a losing bonus point in what was a disappointing yet thrilling result.
Points: 3 – Ned Churchyard; 2 – June Aperila; 1 – Troy Le-Sueur Hindmarsh