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Home > News > Millwall stopped by a wall called Bancroft
Your News Millwall stopped by a wall called Bancroft

Having won their last two games, Millwall had gained on confidence and ready to face an opposition like Bancroft, who last season played in London 3; a division Millwall has yet to play in during its young history.

With an organised and well drilled team like Bancroft the slightest misjudgement can cost you dearly.

Early in the first half Bancroft successfully blocked a kick from Millwall, and the ball advantageously bounced into the hands of a Bancroft player who then managed to score the first try.

Millwall certainly paid the price as that was just the first of many tries Bancroft scored in the first half. By half time, the guest team was trailing the hosts by 33 to nil.

After an inspiring and course correcting talk during half time from Dave Roberts, First Team Manager and Coach, Millwall started the second half as a different team. In the first 20 minutes of the second half they played with a lot of heart and showed that despite their current position in the table, they have what it takes.

Not letting another try from Bancroft at the beginning of the second half shake their pride and belief in themselves, they were more determined than ever to get onto the scoreboard.

After a high kick, James Wakefield was at the right place at the right time. He caught the ball, quickly checked his options and when he spotted a gap he took off. It took several opponents and tackles to bring him down, just short of the try line. However, support was just behind him and he offloaded the ball to Dave Ledger, who finished the fantastic play with a try for Millwall. Tom Clarke’s successful conversion brought the score for Millwall to 7.

The guest team was playing well at the breakdowns and was able to steal a lot of balls from their opposition. However, unable to utilise the turnovers to their advantage Millwall failed to take the next steps necessary to score the much needed tries. A lot of passes went astray, and when they should have run with the ball they kicked it.

While Millwall was not taking advantage of the opportunities given, Bancroft used their opposition’s mistakes fully and that contributed a lot to the final score of Bancroft 53, Millwall 7.

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. But Millwall put everything into the game and fought really hard.

If it was not for some amazing and last minute try saving tackles by Jake Vinnicombe, Tim McDonagh and Tom Shiel, just to name a few, Bancroft’s score could have been a lot higher. But most of the time Millwall’s defence was strong when it counted the most.

Unfortunately some wrong decision from Millwall gave Bancroft enough opportunities to score the tries to win this game.

Reflecting on the game, First Team Manager Dave Roberts said: “We allowed Bancroft to dictate how the game is going to be played. We needed to disrupt our opposition a lot more and start taking control.” However, he sees a lot of potential in his current team: “We are building in the right direction and I know that January and the rest of the season will be better than the first half”.

This game was Millwall’s last for 2011, as the club takes a break for the holiday period. Anyone interested in joining the club and trying Rugby should come along to the club’s next training session on Tuesday, 3rd January. For more information please visit or e-mail

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