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Ruggers fight off mud

Players from Wild Rovers, left, and the Connecticut Grey battle for possession of the ball on a line-out play during Sunday’s over-35 division championship match on a muddy Wilson Raymond Field at the 47th Annual Can-Am Rugby Tournament held in Saranac Lake. (Provided photo — Lou Reuter)

SARANAC LAKE –Pouring rain caused what could easily be described as a giant mud field at the Wilson Raymond Field on Sunday. But that didn’t stop the ruggers.

“Even with the weather today, it was a successful weekend,” Can-Am Rugby President Cameron Moody said. “It was a lot of work, and a lot of build up to get this accomplished after COVID-19 and everything going on. It was great to have rugby back here in the Adirondacks.”

The 47th annual Can-Am Rugby Tournament capped off on Sunday in Saranac Lake. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament had not been held since 2019.

With many obstacles comes many changes, as the the Can-Am Rugby tournament had to adjust its tournament from previous years.

“Normally, we are in two different counties,” Moody said. “That would have been a whole other process so we decided to keep it all in Saranac Lake, New York, this year, which is the way it started.”

An East Side Hyenas member stiff-arms a member of the Kraken on Sunday. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

The tournament had previously been held in both Lake Placid and Saranac Lake and held around 100 teams, but due to safety precautions, the tournament was held to just 50 teams. The tournament utilized the fields at Petrova Elementary and the Saranac Lake High School as well as Schroeder Field.

“It was nice. A lot of people were really happy to see it all back in Saranac Lake. You have all these people in town spending money, enjoying the weekend,” Moody said.

As many came in to Saranac Lake in hopes of winning the tournament, only four were able to win a title in their respective divisions.

The Wild Rovers defeated CT Grey, 18-0 in the over-35 division. While in the over-50 division, CT Grey defeated the Schenectady Reds, 24-18.

The East Side Hyenas A were crowned the champions of the the men’s division beating the Kraken, 17-0. In the women’s division, Beantown defeated Olde Girls, 27-7.

A member of East Side Hyenas A kicks the rugby ball against the Kraken on Sunday during the Men’s Division Championship game in Saranac Lake. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

As the tournament ended, registration for the 48th annual Can-Am Rugby tournament opened.

“We are looking at probably going back to the 100 teams next year, if it all works out,” Moody said. “We’re gonna take a couple days here to clean the fields and regroup for next year. Registration is open today, so people are already spending money getting back in for next year.”

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