Pyrrhic Vistory for MIT A in season opener

Teams:MIT vs Seacoast
Played:09/08/2012 @ MIT
Score: 19 - 12 MIT win

MIT opened their 2012 Fall season with a home tie against Seacoast. Having only narrowly defeated the same opposition in the previous season’s opener MIT knew they would face a stiff test.

The first period of the game began with both sides carrying a lot of first receiver ball and feeling each other out at the set piece and breakdown. Indeed some good work by the visitors at the breakdown was repelling the MIT attack with well executed turnovers.

The blustery conditions at lineout time led the referee to call many crooked throws which, when leading to scrum after scrum, interrupted the flow of the game. Despite all this the home side certainly had the better of the first half dominating possession and position but failing to convert. A missed penalty on the twenty minute mark and some timely interceptions from the Seacoast outside backs kept the game scoreless as the half time break approached.
MIT were not to be undone however as some one off runners close to the line stretched the visitors defense and forced a yellow card for repeat infringements. From the resulting penalty prop Zach made it two tries from two games pouncing on a loose ball in the in-goal area. John G added the two. Half time score MIT 7, Seacoast 0.

The home side began the second half as they had finished the first with centre Jon leB carving a hole in midfield before offloading to his centre partner Oggy who did very well to fend off two defenders and score to the right of the posts. The conversion was missed leaving the scores at 12-0, 55 minutes in.

Seacoast were not going to lay down and accept defeat however. They pressed forward using their large outside backs to make ground. Their pressure eventually yielded a score to reduce the defecit to five points. Their comeback continued on the 70th minute as a misjudged kick up the line was kept in play and an off the ball tackle allowed Seacoast recover the ball. Their scrumhalf sniped down the blindside and scored in the left corner.

Unfortunately for MIT our full back Mike seriously injured his leg trying to prevent the score and play was stopped for 25 minutes as he was treated and brought by ambulance to hospital for treatment. Mike has been a huge component in the clubs recent success both on and off the field. His aggressive attack and defense will be missed by the club in this fall season. We all wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to having him out on the pitch again soon.

Play resumed with the try conversion attempt that could have put Seacoast ahead. Despite the kicker addressing the ball and MIT number 8 Mick legally charging it, the referee allowed the Seacoast kicker to replace the ball. The second attempt dropped short and the sides remained level.

Set back by the try concession and the injury to Mike, MIT had to dig deep in the last ten minutes to turn a draw into a win. Substitute Matt capitalized on good line speed and pressure from the MIT backs to turnover the ball inside the Seacoast half. Matt fed winger Niall beautifully before Niall pinned back his ears and burned the Seacoast defense to score under the posts. Despite the lack of belly-flop the opportunistic nature of the finish was reminiscent of a Chris Ashton-like score. Out half John G ably added the conversion and MIT were 7 points up with 4 minutes remaining.

Seacoast tried hard to work a final score but were denied. Despite some early season rustiness MIT recorded a win on opening day and will face Saratoga in New York next weekend in another crucial game.

Tries: Zach, Oggy, Niall
Conversions: John G x 2
MVP: Mick O C