Friday, 23 December 2011
The final countdown to Xmas has started and with that the mass exodus from London is well under way!
But fear not, there are are small but committed number of volunteers who are spending the festive break on or around the Isle of Dogs...
These volunteers may even venture to the club house at some point and open up for any ways and strays stuck in London! So keep referring back to the website and facebook for regular (and often last minute) updates and bar opening hours!
Have a brilliant Xmas and see you all soon.
Santa and his little helpers.
Monday, 19 December 2011
It will start from 7.30pm and go on until the early hours of New Year's day. We have a late licence.
It's a James Bond theme and we're encouraging you to come in your DJ/tux or a shirt and bow tie or simply "dress to impress".
Tickets are free, but you need to contact the team via firstname.lastname@example.org OR (preferably) accept the Facebook event to get you and your guests on our guest list.
Normal training kicks off again on Tuesday, 3rd January 2012.
Any questions; e-mail:
Men's Chair & Club Captain
Sunday, 18 December 2011
After their usual warm up session and warm up drills, it was time to get the game started.
However, the score could have been a lot worse if not for the many try-saving tackles by Millwall. Our defence right in front of our try line was good - which we proved many times. But against a well organised and well drilled opposition and constantly being under pressure there were moments where the opposition just managed to fight their way through it.
After a motivating talk from Dave Roberts at half time, the team went into the second half with a heightened spirit - and it showed on the pitch. However, Bancroft did not wait too long to put another try onto their scoreboard. But we were determined to not give Bancroft the satisfaction of beating us to nil. No way!
A kick from Millwall was caught by James Wakefield. He saw a gap and took off. It took several Bancroft players and tackles to finally bring him down just a few metres short of the try line. Before the opposition had the time to grab the ball, James offloaded it to Dave Ledger. Bancrofts' "zoom-in-on-the-target" eyes quickly shifted onto Dave. But unable to stop Millwall this time - not even with an an ankle tap - he managed to get the ball over the try line and scored Millwall's first (and unfortunately) only try in this game. Tom Clarke's successful conversion brought us up to 7 points.
A good starting point for scoring a try is to have the ball in one's possession. However, not having the ball to begin with is not that much of a problem if you have mean people in your team who just know how to steal the ball out of their opponent's arms. However, if you are successful, do not feel guilty afterwards. It is allowed and the legal implications that you might face off the pitch for "stealing" do not apply on the pitch. Therefore, if you steal the ball, you keep it. Be mean! Don't give it back!
I do understand that watching our side win is a lot more rewarding - but watching them putting in the effort and not giving up is still very enjoyable. So why exactely did Tim McDonagh feel the need to hide?
Playing Bancroft might have been one of the toughest and hardest games Millwall had to face - and playing against an opposition that is as organised as Bancroft is always difficult. However, from a supporter's (and complete lay(wo)man) point of view I thought we didn't play bad at all. Admittedly, there are always things we can improve on - and I am sure we will. When Bancroft comes to play at Millwall next year, we will be ready to break through their wall. So that next time we can reverse Saturday's final score of Bancroft 53 - Milllwall 7.
Because we can do it!
Thursday, 15 December 2011
In the run up to the Christmas and New Year festivities I and the rest of the Committee just wanted to update you on a few bits and pieces.
Firstly congratulations to Venus who won their first game of the season 37-12 on Sunday against Old Dunstonians, obviously all their hard work is paying off, with tries being scored by Ruth Hartley, Michelle Ryan, Louise Norris and Caroline Dielemen, who also added a successful conversion. Keep up the good work ladies.
Preceding the ladies’ victory, on Saturday the men also won their friendly game organised against East London on
We have 3 games scheduled for this weekend so if you haven't done so already please drop an email to email@example.com with your availability. It would be a great boost to the Club to get all three teams out before the Christmas break.
Youth Chair, as you may know we were very sorry to receive Matt Shorrock’s resignation a couple of weeks ago, as Matt had moved off the Island and was preparing for his family’s move to Australia next year, he felt he just couldn't commit to the role fully. We are all really sorry to see Matt step back, but I wanted to thank him for all his hard work and effort over the years! Our loss is definitely
On a brighter note the Committee and I are very pleased to announce that following a recommendation by the Youth section, on Monday night we unanimously co-opted Scott Vinnacombe to the Club Management Committee in the role of Youth Chair.
A couple of weeks ago Andrew Hesselden and I met with representatives of the Council and the RFU to talk about Millwall and
Here are a couple of the key points that were discussed:
- The importance of the Club in the local community and the health and social benefits we provide at no cost to the taxpayer.
- How vital to our short and long term survival access to good training and playing facilities is. The problems that we’ve had this year around securing those facilities.
- We also discussed some short and longer term options for the development / provision of facilities, including temporary/permanent lights on
, the feasibility of a 3G (IRB Approved astro turf) Pitch/Training area. Millwall Park
- The willingness of the RFU to invest in
Rugbyin Tower Hamlets by helping Millwall and LBTH to develop quality facilities.
I’m looking forward to providing more of an update in the New Year and will hopefully be able to provide some more tangible outcomes.
Men's Coaching - At the players' meeting on 26th November you told us you'd like to see Dave Roberts back involved with the club, in particular with the First XV.
Since then, Randall and Andrew H have been in touch with him to talk about whether he'd be interested in doing that. We are hoping to work something out for Dave to come in as our First XV Team Manager and as a Coach.
This would be within the new coaching development and coordination structure we put in place this summer ie. working with any replacement Director of Rugby/Head Coach as and when that may happen. Whilst we work out the details Dave R is going to be coming along to games and training to meet the players, and get stuck in. More on this to follow soon!
The Social Scene
Christmas Social in the Clubhouse - we have arranged a late licence for this weekend so please come and help celebrate the last games of 2011.
New Years eve in the Clubhouse - we have also arranged a late licence so if you feel like avoiding the crowds in Trafalgar square or trekking across London in the wee small hours feel free to pop in and celebrate the New Year.
More details to follow.
Six Nations -
Thanks to all of you who requested and paid for Six Nations tickets, as soon as we receive the Tickets from the RFU we will get in touch and let you know how to collect them.
A separate invite will be sent out but we’ve just received a letter from the RFU with details for the game scheduled on the 27th of May at Twickenham, the great news is that the RFU are doing a 2-For-1 offer and the Club will also receive £5 Cashback on any Category 1 tickets ordered by the 31st of January.
Category 1 after discount – £20 Adults / £10 Juniors
Category 2 after discount - £12.50 / £10 Juniors
More details to follow but if you’re interested in the meantime let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org
Also a big thank you to all the people who put their time and effort in to the Club. Without you we just wouldn’t survive!!
If anyone would like a virtuous start to the New Year, we are always looking for volunteers and or sponsors so please get in contact with me or any other members of the Committee with any help or suggestions. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time / effort or money every little bit helps.
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you around the Club in the coming weeks.
Millwall Rugby Club
Monday, 12 December 2011
The match on Saturday was supposed to be a friendly - however, the actions on the pitch did not always fit that description. And it started already with the warm up …
After a few practice passes along the line the ball was flung to Roberto Pescador on the outside. With a clear line ahead of him he decided to refine his “run-across-the-try-line-and-score-technique”. However, Chico also wanted to perfect his “take-the-player-out-fullstop” technique – and so he did. Just before our Spaniard was able to cross the try line – Chico came flying in from the left, smashed into Senor Bobfish and both took out the flag post and came smashing down to the ground. Good tackle – but my advice would be: “Save it for the opposition”.
El Senor was a bit more direct in voicing his opinion – and a lot of “beep beep beeps” (once again, and in English) came waterfalling out his mouth.
Let’s hope Chico can repeat that evil tackle on the pitch – but against the opposition please!!
Before the players could exhaust themselves during warm up (some more than others of course) the referee Sean McCann finally decided it was time for the kick off. Millwall started out really well. We dominated the field, kept marching forward and we used our chances to score a try early on. After receiving the ball from veteran player Stewart Perry (who luckily remembered how to pass), Mike Foulds outruns the oppositions and gets Millwall on the score board. Home Team five. East London nil.
However, a missed conversion from Dave Payton left the score at that.
Okay, one could say that it was his first – give the man time to get into the game … however 5 conversions later and only 2 of them kicked successfully, one might wonder where he learned to kick! Did he even know what he was supposed to do? Because everything he needed was there – the legs, the tee, the ball – the set-up was perfect.
Just the execution and the finish didn’t quite match up to that.
(Note to player: Practice, practice, practice …)
What we did practice and therefore were very good at were our scrums. A strong Millwall side pushed East London backwards, over and over again. But I am not sure whether everything was above board. You see, before the teams go into a scrum, the referee orders them to follow three simple steps:
Touch – Pause – Engage! Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Apparently it is not.
On several occasions, they followed Step 1, skipped number two and went straight into the engage mode! Not sure if that was our cleverly thought out tactic for a surprise attack on East London to push them back? If it was – not so clever after all if you set out to cheat in front of the referee …!?!
Perhaps they are just not good at following orders … (if not given by a woman!)
What the guys were following though were the line out calls (which then however negates my earlier theory … need to do some male brain research ... or was it brain wash?). Who comes up with the line out calls anyway? Some numbers have the sophistication of the Enigma code, some just cry out their phone numbers, while other players rattle trough their shopping list.
However, once the magic word is said – up they go, and hopefully grab the ball before a smaller (or heavier) opposition can reach it.
One of the main aims in Rugby is to also score a try – preferably more than just one!
(Just out of curiosity, why is it called a touchdown in American Football if they don’t actually have to touch it down – and in Rugby it is called a try, when a touchdown would be the more appropriate descriptive action of what actually needs to be done … decision of men I guess).
But whatever they decided to call it (with no logic behind it whatsoever) we scored five! Mike Foulds got us into the lead after an amazing run, his success quickly copied by James Wakefield (twice), and Randall Powell claims to have scored one as well. I say claim as it is quite hard to make out an individual player in a heap of players all lying upon another on, over and around the try line!
I was told by some supporters on the sideline (lets just call them AB and DG) that if a player misses a lot of tackles the only way to redeem himself is to score a lot of tries himself. As far as the bespoke player was concerned – redemption achieved (find out who they were talking about later on).
Millwall went into the second half leading 22 to 10 – which is a nice comfortable lead to take into the second half. But a lot can change in the game of Rugby – and it did. As mentioned earlier - a lot of missed (and sometimes late) tackles allowed East London to score 2 tries in a short period of time – and suddenly Millwall was trailing by 2 points. And not much time left on the clock (once again...).
When a player from the opposition has the ball, tackling is one way of stopping him to get close or even over our try line. However, to tackle legally, the person you are about to take down has to be in possession of the ball. (As correctly demonstrated by Mikka Paling). Mike Taylor on the other hand just had the “tackle the opposition” part on his mind – not concentrating too much on the important fact whether they had a ball or not.
(Note to Mike: The saying “Better late than never” does not apply to the game of Rugby, especially when tackling someone)
And so, on two occasions, an East London player made it past our line of defense and over our try line. Millwall 22 – East London 24.
With only a few more minutes to go, there was another substitution. My understanding always was: “Take off a player who is exhausted - bring on a player who is fresh and rested!” Apparently I was wrong!
While Martin Ward jogged off the pitch, Edward Williams slowly walked on. I was confused – even more so when I got a glimpse of that poor player.
Never mind, after another successful scrum (following all 3 steps this time) the ball came out and was thrown to Mike Foulds once again. He saw an open space on his right side and took off. Around and through East London players – who just saw him whizz past. Not even an ankle-tap could stop him – and so he ran and crossed the try line. (The player has redeemed himself :)
Millwall is back in the lead and Dave Payton got his 2nd conversion of the day (remember, only 2 out of 5). As the referee decided enough is enough, he ends the game and Millwall wins again! Final score: Millwall 29 - East London 24.
But what would a Rugby team be without its supporters who brave the cold to watch and cheer ... ... okay, this lot just watched then! Lot's more cheering next time please!
But never mind, as at the end of the game we brought home another WIN!
Congratulations to everyone on the team!
Friday, 9 December 2011
The club has now made payment for the tickets to the RFU and thy will be delivered to us by secure delivery during January.
As soon as we have received them we will make arrangements for you to collect them in person or will forward them to you by Special Delivery (by special arrangement and at extra cost).
If you find you do not require the tickets you have paid for there are special rules that enable you to return them to the box office in person but the club is not allowed to do this on your behalf.
The club is required to be in a position to show the RFU used ticket stubs after the game so please hold onto your ticket stubs in case this is required. It is not permitted under RFU rules to sell on your tickets to anyone other than a Millwall member and the price may be for no more than face value.
If the club is found to have breached these rules and tickets issued to us are found to have fallen into other people's hands we may not be allowed access to tickets in future years.
Sat 31st December - New Years' Eve - Likewise, we've got a late licence and Larry/Sarah, Andrew H, Ryan K and Andrea plus a few others are going to be trying to put on a great party night - perhaps a night to dust of your DJ and black-tie and for ladies to dress up in something sparkly. The plan is for entrance to be free of charge, but will be for members and their guests only - maybe with a guest list. We might ask you to bring a plate for a buffet. Please get in touch if you would like to help us organise this one.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
So as a guide players will be given the following priority for selection:
- Paid up playing members who have attended at least one training session in the week
- Paid up playing members who have not attended training
- Non-members* who have attended at least one training session in the week
- Non-members* who have not attended training
New players wanting priority in selection are, of course, welcome to pay their membership as soon as they wish – there is no requirement to wait until their free trial period is up nor any advantage gained in delaying; once paid, the membership is dated to run from the date of the first game.
It turned out to be quite a tight game, as Millwall dominated the scrums extremely well in the first half of the game.
What both teams also dominated very well was their verbal outburst of some unrepeatable words and phrases better not to be captured in writing. Let’s just say sound editors on TV would have been quite busy to put a lot of “Beep!” Beeeeeeeeep!” Beep Beep!” in place.
I think you get the picture.
With all the bickering and bitching going on the referee finally had enough and pulled each captain and pack leader aside and told them to stop acting like a bitchy women’s university team! They better cool it down or else …!
And cooling down they did – only what their verbal activity was concerned. In terms of action it started to heat up.
Millwall first scored when a very powerful scrum pushed its way over the opposition’s try line and the ball was touched down by Matt Turner. TRY for Millwall!
And after successfully converting the kick Millwall found itself in the lead by 7 to nil!
Sadly, this score did not hold up for too long as the Writtle Wanderers got lucky and intercepted a pass which led to them scoring a try. Their successful conversion brought the score up to 7 all.
Not being too happy about having just lost the lead, Millwall was giving it all to get back on the score board. Being in their opposition’s half is a good starting point to achieve that – and when given a little help in terms of a penalty scrum, they took the advantage and just repeated their play that resulted in Try number one. And it worked well as Try number 2 was added to the scoreboard – again touched down by Matt Turner with all the help and pushing from the team.
The conversion however could not be repeated and so the score board gave Millwall an only 5 point lead.
Somehow Writtle Wanderers got a second try and conversion in – but when I asked the player for some more information on how they got that he did not remember. (That’s what one too many head knocks do to you I guess) But given that the referee agreed with the score I assumed the bespoke player must be right even when he lacks the so important information of details.)
(Note to myself: Next time speak to more than just one player to get the story right!)
Not to give the Wanderers the chance of some try-scoring momentum (or more like because 40 minutes were over) the referee blew his whistle and off the teams went into the well-deserved half time break.
The second half started with Millwall trailing Writtle Wanderers 12-14.
Quite early in the second half Josh Mason successfully run across the try line to bring Millwall in the lead – however the referee disallowed the try because he thought it was a forward pass.
(What does he know?)
So, Millwall was still trailing – but not for long!
After another penalty Randall Powell tapped the ball, passed it to Dan Hadden and he ran - and kept running. Through and over any opposition that were brave enough to stand in front of the “man on a mission” – until he saw and crossed the try line!
ANOTHER TRY FOR MILLWALL!
And with another converted kick from Billy Gray Millwall was back in the lead with the score being 19-14.
Writtle Wanderes were fighting to get another try on the score board and so they spend a lot more time than week nerves can endure (from a supporters point of view) in Millwall’s own half and very close (too close for everyone’s liking) to the try line.
Millwall however put up a great defence and they denied the opposition the so much sought after try over and over again.
Roughly 10 minutes before the end and after another period of where “a slowly forward moving heap of Writtle Wanderers” inches closer and closer to our try line but without great success – the referee (out of the blue) awards a try to them!!!
A very questionable one as to be awarded a try the ball actually has to cross the line and touch the ground – BEHIND that line.
(Note to the referee: Great effort and the will to score does not automatically entitle a team to a try)
Oh well, as the referee’s word is the law on the pitch a fiery mob of Millwall players watched the opposition’s kicker prepare to take the conversion. Everyone’s holding their breath (well, I am) – but after a missed conversion (phew) the score is 19 all.
Loaded with frustration and the desire for revenge Millwall gave it all to get back in the lead and bring home the win.
There were some good chances for another try – but somehow the opposition did not really agree with our plan to win this game and therefore weren’t co-operative at all! But Millwall’s will to win was stronger than a Writtle (or “little”) defence.
In the dying seconds of the game, Millwall won a turnover ball that found its way to Billy Gray. As a footie player, he did what he does best – and kicked it!
AND IT WENT OVER THE POSTS – DROP GOAL FOR MILLWALL!!!!!
Game over - Millwall wins 22:19!
Let’s hope there are more to come – less nerve racking perhaps but with the same outcome.
Match Report by Edna Schweizer