Millwall III XV v. King's Cross Steelers III XV
After benefitting from two forfeit matches, a well-rested 3rd XV Steelers side made the short journey from West Ham to the Isle of Dogs to face down Millwall III beneath the shadow of an enormous Oktoberfest beer tent.
The grey skies were not going to keep the locals away from the massive marquee erected to host Oktoberfest revelries in this unexpected new outpost of the land of Bier, Wurst, und Lederhosen, and nor were they going to deter captain James Brandon’s refreshed side kicking off against hosts Millwall at Millwall Park. The team boasted a number of 3rds debutantes and some returners for the season in Olavo Barragan, Alex Cordovil, Shyelle Prescad, Stewie Lee, Mike Yeldir, and Kedar Patel.
Strong rucking early on would not prevent early points on the board for Millwall, with Patel coming on for a concussed Alexis Caught fifteen minutes in and two tries down for the Steelers. An injury to the other side balanced things out on that score just over five minutes later but there was to be no balancing of the match score. Yet, before the first half was over with Millwall 39–0 up, there was some classy play from the Steelers including a fantastic mid-air pass intercept by Andrew Alaka, who stole the ball from the home side to put some momentum behind the visitors. A line out win a few minutes later gave the boys something to be pleased about going into the break with Dickie Laws taking over scrum-half duties from Danilo Acosta-Baig, and David Hughes coming on for Matt Carter on the wing.
Several minutes of hard physical and mental work for the Steelers opened the second half, with scrums in quick succession interspersed with Millwall tries. Eight minutes in, Prince Haastrup came on for workhorse Samy Latrèche, and the Steelers found new strength to push back down the field. Though the home side maintained a steady flow of tries to bring the final score to 89 nil, the Steelers showed the metal they are made of with tackles, strong rucking, and swift passes among the backs. But with the ground war going on between the two sides’ forwards, it wasn’t going to be a day full of opportunities for the attacking line to shine.
Shepherd Neame Essex Merit Tables Division 7: Millwall III v. King's Cross Steelers III, Saturday, 8 October 2016, Millwall Park, KO 2.00 p.m. Forwards: James Brandon (captain), Alexandre Cordovil, Olavo Barragan, Andrew Koch, Claudio Mazzetti, Alexis Caught, Shyelle Prescad, Stewart Lee Loong. Backs: Danilo Acosta-Baig, Chris Plummer, Tom Edgar, Samy Latrèche, Andrew Alaka, Matt Carter, Michael Yeldir. Reserves: Kedar Patel, Richard Laws, Prince Haastrup, David Hughes. Coach: Scott Marshall.
Report by George Baxter.