Phew… taking a deep breath after this nerve-wrecking match – and a win, finally – 35:29 against our friends of the Berlin Irish RFC!

A big number of players attending, and coach Rodolfo trying to find the right mix of regular Bruisers / Grizzlies-players, new members of the team and supporting players. Despite the cold and grey November day in Oranienburg the air seemed to sizzle with excitement, everyone was so worked up to end this part of the season with a bang that the Bruisers / Grizzlies started very nervous and unorganized. They managed to receive 3 penalties for obstructing in the first few minutes, making the way for the Irish to score! The opponent was able to use this for their own advantage by pushing deep into Bruisers / Grizzlies territory and make points, most of them through penalty-kicks.

Then, after 30 minutes, the Bruisers / Grizzlies recaptured their focus, remembered their skills and game-plan. Before the end of the first half they showed that all the preparation, the joint trainings have a result, now there was some serious rugby-playing on our side! That combined with the hard-working, ground-dredging effort of our forwards lead to Alban scoring 2 tries digging through the Irish defence.

More tries by both teams in the second half, but the Irish always leading until shortly before the end of the match. Agitated atmosfere, passionate fights – some too passionate, 3 yellow cards for Irish players, 1 red for Tim, who obviously lost control of his feet kicking in the heat of a ruck – as the ref put it: too much talk and a tiny bit lack of discipline! Still, the more concentrated and organised play of the Bruisers / Grizzlies became more and more visible in this fast match, as well as better endurance. Lots of replacements of players, lots of good phases working the way into the opponent´s side of the pitch and some individual quality made the change. Five tries for the Bruisers / Grizzlies in this halftime, 5 minutes before the end they came ahead for the first time by 1 point, and in the last minute they were able to top that with the last try! Big relief, big cheers in the team and from the supporters, and what a great example of how you can turn around a rugby-match when you´re behind, but pull your commitment together and keep fighting until the end of the 80 minutes!

It had to happen at some point, a really deserved win, a real team-effort, which every single player can be very proud of! Instead of naming individual performances and qualities, here are the try scorers: Alban, Daniel, Patrick, Nick, Antonio, Ari, representing the entire team´s commitment.

Many thanks have to go to new players Antonio, Ben, Daniel and Ari, who showed experience and spiced up the Bruisers / Grizzlie´s play… 

Looking forward to celebrating this at the upcoming Bruisers Xmas-meeting! A relaxing and healthy winter-break to everyone! But remember, the fun doesn´t stop. Bruisers / Grizzlies will have beach-rugby for winter-training, so please be there. Hopefully seeing everyone again for an energetic, cheerful and gay (including all genders) spring season!!!