Millwall 1 XV vs Chelmsford 1 XV – Millwall Park, 22 September 2018
After a poor start to the season Millwall knew that they were in for a hard game against a strong Chelmsford side, so far undefeated in London Essex 3. The Millwall side featured a number of changes from the previous week and included the welcome return of club captain, Ronan Murray, and winger Matt Hopkins from long-term injury.
Millwall kicked off and started the game well, clearly surprising the Chelmsford side who were expecting an easy ride. Millwall retained the ball very well for the first 10 minutes of the game putting serious pressure on the Chelmsford defence that held out well. Millwall eventually found some space on the right wing with flanker Bruno Brodes finding space to feed back inside to fullback Luke Wilson to sprint clear under the posts for the first score of the game. Fly-half Simon Mason added the simple conversion.
Unfortunately, for Millwall this was as good as it got for them in the game. Chelmsford fought back strongly retaining the ball well. Millwall’s indiscipline cost them, as it had in the previous two games, and allowed Chelmsford the opportunity for a penalty attempt which their fly-halve duly converted.
As the first half progressed Chelmsford managed to press home their advantage and showed why they will be strong competitors this season with strong running from their forwards accompanied by a couple of breaks from their back line. With Millwall struggling to get onto the ball Chelmsford were awarded a penalty try from a 5m scrum to take the lead.
From the ensuing kick off, Millwall were again penalised with Alex Dola Lami going off feet at a ruck. With the ref loosing patience Dola Lami was sent to the sin-bin. Chelmsford took advantage of the numerical advantage to run in a couple of further tries through strong play from the back line taking advantage of the open space. Despite a half time score of 22-7, this was by far Millwall’s best display so far in the season.
Over the half-time break coach Matt was forced to make some changes with both Mason and James Dyer being forced to leave the field with head injuries.
Millwall were mainly on the back foot in the second half with Chelmsford dominating the ball. Millwall tackled well throughout never giving up however, Chelmsford’s superiority told as they ran in a further 4 tries in the second half. Millwall had a couple of chances in the second half with both Chris Prowse and Hopkins making breaks however they couldn’t quite finish them of and Chelmsford ran out deserved winners 46-7. Although another tough result for the men in black and red there are some positives to take for the next game against Ilford.
Captain Ronan Murray - ‘A tough result for the boys again today although I can’t fault our effort against a high quality Chelmsford side. It is clear that the standard of the league has improved this year and we are going to have to work really hard in training to up our standards and start picking up some wins.’