Trainings match SG Berlin Bruisers / Grizzlies 24.10.2020

The friendliest friendly! Due to the current Covid-conditions, our match against SG Siemensstadt / Brandenburg on Saturday 24.10. got cancelled (possibly rescheduled, like several matches of the Bundesliga Nordost and the Regio Cup on 17.10. and 10.10.) so thanks to the efforts of our coaches and team managers, we got together with Grizzly-Bruiser players to play a friendly match amongst ourselves!

We are just short of a lockdown in Berlin, there are rules and limitations for people in public spaces (sport was not too widely effected yet), so we weren´t able to make this a big event with lots of friends and supporters, and, of course, it had to be done according to the hygiene-regulations.

Anyway, it turned out to be a fantastic `training-game´! Coach Mike set up 2 teams of 12 players consisting of a well-balanced mix of experienced players and newbies, one team in Grizzly- the other in Bruiser-colours.

A very dynamic match from the very beginning on a perfect, sunny autumn-day, lots of phases, lots of turnovers from one team to the other, lots of scrums and line-outs. A game which really did show the skills of some quality players, which revealed things that need to be worked on, but also granted the chance of real-match experience to new players in very friendly way (Eric in his first rugby-match ever)! 

The “Bruiser-colours”, led by captain Micha, received a pounding at first with a couple of quick tries from the “Grizzly-colours” (Mike, Ruvan, this team´s captain). But once they settled down their nervousness and quit discussing among themselves, they proved to be standing quite firm in the defence, and actually – in my impression – built their offence, coordination of phases and passing the ball in a more focused way than the “Grizzly-colours”. On the downside: not much momentum going forward, too much hesitating and waiting for the ball. A few fantastic runs from the backs in this “Bruisers”-team though, players who used the gaps and raced across the pitch to try (Jasper, John, Cruz)! 

The “Grizzly-colours” had a slight advantage of being heavier and more physical, it seemed to me, and they used that to frequently push the “Bruisers” into their half of the pitch. And they had Laurien, who was instoppable and scored 3 tries in the 2nd half! 

Still the “Bruiser-colours” never gave up, showed endurance and worked their way to more tries (Cruz 2, who has only played a couple of matches! Fred 2, Matty and Alex M. 1 each).

Some prime action here due to complementary players making experienced partnerships, John and Nick on one, and Alex and Ruvan on the other side (respectively playing 9 and 10), always in the centre of focus, with powerful runs, attacks on rucks and tackles!

The match maybe didn´t have the ambition and aggression of a `real´ league-match (with uncontested scrums due to the smaller number of experienced forwards), but it certainly was rugby at it´s best! There were no serious injuries, few penalties, BUT there was one yellow card: coach Mike, out of all players, who hug-tackled little Brent by the shoulders – I am sure they had the opportunity to discuss it in depth later! Everyone really enjoyed it! The result really didn´t matter here – but for the record: “Bruiser-colours” 57-41 “Grizzly-colours”.

There was no appointing of “man of the match”, but alternatively I would like to give it to everyone who made an effort and came out to play!

And a special thanks goes to Martin who supported as referee, and so made it feel `real´! 

The winter is coming and this might have been our last rugby-match for months to come! Our people in charge are trying to work out a training schedule for the weeks ahead (Indoor training? Social (tag-) training on Tempelhofer Feld on Sundays and there will be a fitness zoom meeting on several days – until further notice).

It was the strangest rugby season, but nevertheless a great experience with excellent effort from all the players with our new coach, and a rocking team spirit across the lines between the different levels and teams of the Berlin Grizzlies and the Berlin Bruisers!

Stay safe and healthy everyone and watch out for more to come! 

Erik Kenny

(The displayed article represents the opinion of the respective author / authors and does not necessarily represent the position of Berlin Bruisers e. V.)


RK03 II vs. SG Berlin Bruisers / Grizzlies II 26.09.2020

What conditions, what a battle… I feel overawed to actually comment on the match, impressed by the bravery of the Berlin Bruisers / Grizzlies team!

It wasn´t just a drizzle, it was a continuous, nasty and penetrating rain which never stopped during the entire match. Already after warm-up and initial exercises all players were soaking wet and cold.

The match started, everyone from our team as well as the opponents were extremely focused on the game. It was hard work, everyone could feel the concentration, the big effort, the spirit. And the Bruisers / Grizzlies proved to be a skilled and consistent team – very extraordinary regarding our recent history, players coming from different teams and backgrounds, shaped to play in a Spielgemeinschaft (combined club´s team) by our coaches Mike and Jed in a short period of joined trainings (plus in complicated conditions, always having to deal with hygiene-measures)!

The RK03 team proved to be younger, maybe more physical, and was working just as hard. Even though the SG was doing a fantastic job, especially in rucks, in line-outs, in the defence (lots of great tackles this time!), the opponents´s pressure was enourmous, the result being that their strong centers and wings overran our lines again and again and put the ball down in our try-zone.

It´s pathetic to – once again – observe that the opponent´s score, 6 tries plus one conversion, does not represent the quality of the match on our side. There are reasons, of course: despite the Bruisers / Grizzlies’ advanced capabilities, and despite the intensifying aggression from our boys, much of our offence was still happening on our side of the pitch, still needs much more drive forward!

The conditions took their toll, everything / everone was wet and slippery, and in the 2nd half the fit boys of the RK03 team got a bit sloppy, and often lost the ball too. But, as I said before, our boys defied the wet and the cold and the score not being in our favor with absolute stamina. And it felt just right that after a very long phase with rucks and hard runs directly into the RK´s defence just short of their try-zone, John succeeded, in a heap of Bruisers / Grizzlies players pushing, with the magic touch of Jed´s helping hand too, to bring the ball down for a try behind the RK´s line – a more than well-deserved try!

Final result after this very long and steaming hard match: 32-5.

I am quoting coach Mike again: a powerful performance, the very best that our team could possibly achieve at this point!

Special mentions: Manuel plowing through the opponents like a work-horse, once again impressive fighting and running by Cruz, and “man of the match”, appointed by Mike: Julian for his relentless efforts at play!

Also, enourmous fighting spirit and a great number of fierce tackles by Micha, Tristan, Thomas and Pierre-Antoine (amongst others)!

Another result of the great strain: injuries! Luckily, nothing too serious, it appears now. Yet, Ronald and Philipp took heavy blows, Arturo received one into his waist. The ambulance took him to x-ray and it looks like it is `only´ 3 bruised ribs.

Good recovery everyone!

Postscript: Due to the rising numbers of Covid-19 infections in Berlin the city administration (Senat) will meet and possibly negotiate new restrictions and rules on Tuesday of this week. So, stay safe and healthy everyone and let´s hope we can keep training and playing!

Erik Kenny

(The displayed article represents the opinion of the respective author/authors
and does not necessarily represent the position of Berlin Bruisers e.V.)


Berlin Irish RFC vs. SG Berlin Bruisers / Grizzlies 20.09.2020

A VERY special Rugby day in so many ways: a sunny September day, brilliant Rugby conditions, the first Rugby match for the SG (Spielgemeinschaft Berlin Bruisers / Berlin Grizzlies) after a VERY LONG Corona break. And, on top of that, a kind of return match against the Berlin Irish (a “friendly” actually, before an improvised regional league will start next weekend!) 10 MONTHS after our last match against them in November of 2019, before the long break!

The excitement was in the air, there were lots of new faces in both teams (beside a few `old boys´, who already played last year: the legendary Kit for the Irish, John, Tristan, Keven in our team), and there were health and hygiene measures in place: no changing rooms and showers, no hugging and mingling with audience, personalised water-bottles…

Just as well the excitement was in the match, intense from the very beginning! The SG-team did great, they presented solid Rugby, great defence, good aggression in offence, scrums, pods and phases which worked very well according to the training plan (we don´t mention occasional dropped passes and knock-ons here 😉 and, as coach Mike put it, a very positive energy within the team! The result being 1 try by the Irish, who were able to escape from our line with fast backs (including the conversion), and 1 try for the SG (by Jed) in the 1st half as a result of the pressure and the good work by the forwards!

But (there´s always a but…) things slowed down a little bit in the 2nd half. There were still great efforts and opportunities, 2 almost-tries (an unbeatable run by Cruz, who was stopped by the ref´s whistle for some minor penalty), and in spite of their fantastic energy the SG was not able to push the match into the Irish half of the pitch often enough. At times the team was a bit too quiet and a bit too hesitant about running into and showing hunger for the ball, which resulted into not making any meters. Tackling was an issue…

And so it happened that the Irish, who seemed to be very nervous in the beginning, discussing a lot among themselves, woke up and showed more fitness in the last part of the match – once again with fast runners bursting through gaps on the sides and scoring another 2 tries – final result: 17-5.

Still, not only the SG, but also independent observers said: the result did not reflect the quality of the Bruisers / Grizzlies play, there should have been more points… In any case, a very good, hard fought, but very fair match (the Irish applying for being our favourite opponents 🙂 Not many penalties, no major injuries – coach and players can be extremely proud of what they achieved on Sunday!

We need to do a few special mentions here:

Many thanks to our new coaches Mike and Jed for great support by playing with the team themselves (Jed playing his 2nd match this weekend after the rough 1st Bundesliga-match against RK03 on Saturday)!

Great thanks to Jed again, and to John, Nick and Matti for being energetic, experienced and reliable, always in the right place in decisive moments!

Martin had some very powerful moments going into the rucks, and Julian some great runs forward!

Cruz and Gonzo: impressive newbies in their 1st Rugby match ever!!

More debuts: Dan, Welpe, Julian, Ronny and Manuel in their 1st match with the SG!

Please excuse if I can´t mention everyone else´s great efforts here…

On the side: each team appointed the “man of the match” of the opponent´s: the SG awarded it to Gordon, powerful Irish flanker (responsible – without intent – for the bruises on Jeds face)! And the Irish awarded it to John, playing 9 and 10 for the SG, who showed enourmous skill, energy and endurance!

Everyone who couldn’t make it missed a fantastic Rugby experience – and now knows what is expected from them in the future 😉 !

Nobody can tell what the next weeks will bring in this extraordinary situation. The SG will play the 1st match of the “inofficial” Regio Cup Pool II on the 26.09. It´s a challenge and we need to take it seriously. We want to train and we want to play, and we´re all hoping things will work out in a good and promissing way in the near future. Stay safe and healthy everyone and let´s make an effort to keep Rugby alive!!! 

Erik Kenny


[UPDATED] Trans Women in Rugby – Inclusion or Exclusion?

We stand together with the Trans Women Rugby Players against the new “rugby specific transgender guidelines” proposed by World Rugby. The new guidelines would exclude transgender women from playing Rugby Union based on the assumption that, due to their muscle mass and strength, transgender women would clearly present a risk of injury to other female players.

The planned new “rugby specific transgender guidelines” are a clear violation of the values of inclusion and diversity that are so important in rugby. We find particularly outrageous that even this discussion was held without the participation of rugby trans women.

Here (in Germanin English) you can find the letter that, together with more than other 30 German Rugby Clubs and Teams, we sent to the DRV (the German Rugby Association) to demand them to take a clear stand against the exclusion of trans women from Rugby Union Sport.

Pressemitteilung / Press Release (in German).


Match Report SG Berlin Bruisers / Grizzlies vs. Berlin Irish RFC

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!!!