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.)