MIT scrummage their way to victory vs Burlington

Teams:MIT vs Burlington
Played:09/22/2018 @ MIT
Score: 31 - 14 MIT win

A welcome return to Briggs Field saw MIT build on last week's dramatics with a solid win against Burlington. Some patient work from the forwards set up an early opportunity on the blind side where centre Tom attacked the gain line hard before popping off to Alex S, who beat two defenders in acrobatic fashion to score the first try of the day.

Burlington were not discouraged by the quick score, and moved the ball well to their loose forwards in midfield, forcing MIT into some sloppy high tackling. The subsequent penalties allowed Burlington to use their lineout as a platform to launch an attack on the MIT line. The Burlington captain punched in a try from close distance to bring the score to Burlington 7-MIT 5.

Not to be outdone by the Burlington captain, or by other Alex's on his own team, Alex A scored off a close range effort to put MIT up by a try 15 minutes into the first half. A high tackle on the ensuing kickoff resulted in a yellow card for Burlington, and a golden opportunity to press the advantage for MIT. A series of turnovers and penalties, and general foot-shooting, hindered this effort, and MIT found themselves defending their own line despite the one man advantage. In a last ditch effort to prevent a try, Michael put in a huge hit, but just failed to demonstrate a sufficient wrap on the effort, and found himself in the bin. With the numerical advantage wiped out, Burlington managed to arm wrestle the ball over the line, again by virtue of their captain. Burlington 14 - MIT 12.

With club elder statesmen Frank and Martin out with matching thumb injuries, understudy Andrew grabbed his opportunity, and put in an impressive performance on his debut, showing off his try scoring ability, and superior bone density, coming away with two tries and two unbroken thumbs. The first of these tries came off a sustained period of MIT pressure before half time, with the rangy second row somehow getting underneath the Burlington defence to put MIT ahead at the break 19-14.

The second half saw MIT control possession for long periods of time, but fail to demonstrate a sufficient cutting edge on attack. This was however balanced by excellent defence from all 15 players on the field, with key tackles up front from Kenniel and Nick, complemented by excellent cover tackling from Paul, Eric and Tom in the backs. A seemingly endless period of pressure on the Burlington line had MIT appear to get the ball down on several occasions off the back of a dominant scrum, only to be obscured by a pile, with Caleb, John G, and Nick all going close. Alex A, keen to continue the reversal of his terrible winning record as MIT captain, finally powered his way over in enough daylight for the try to be awarded.

A 12 point advantage in hand, and playing deep in Burlington territory, MIT began to breathe a little easier. With the backs pushing hard on defence, a loose pass made it's way to Ike on the wing, who outran the cover to dot the ball down in the corner, only to be called back for a knock-on. Late in the second half, Andrew added a second try, with an impressive charge down and recovery to make the final score 31-14.

Not a day for the spectators, but a solid performance on defence, and strong debuts from Teddy, Andrew and Brian in the pack. MIT travels to Connecticut next weekend to take on old foes New London, before returning home October 6th against Upper Valley.
MoTM: Zach (forwards), Eric (backs)
Tries: Alex S, Alex A x2, Andrew x2
Conversions: John G x3