Photo Credit: Krista Planko
Saturday, May 6th: Saratoga Rugby’s Premier (Men’s League) walked away with the narrow 13-12 victory against last years defending National Champions, the Fairfield, CT Yankees.
From as early as January, Saratoga’s local men’s team took this playoff run very serious when they partnered up with Crossfit Soulshine owner Dave Blomquist. Dave would set a special time for the team and tailored the workouts to build strength, increase athletic efficiency, and manage the mental aspects of being an athlete in a chaotic environment. “CrossFit’s training methodology is perfect for rugby,” Dave said. “It teaches proper mechanics first and increases the intensity.”
Dave also talked about the specific advantages of having the team train at his gym. “As our team progressed through our off-season training program, you could see serious progress not only in familiarity with the workouts, but noticeable strength gains. The biggest benefit of Crossfit for our men is the physical recovery time. As we progressed we were recovering faster and were able to do more at a high level. When our men get to that 75th minute we are exhausted but still able to think, react, and play with physicality that most teams cannot. I think that’s what sets us apart, and what has fueled our to run to nationals.”
Both Saratoga and Fairfield were riding high on undefeated Fall 16 Season, with Fairfield taking yet another League Championship in the Empire Rugby Union, and Saratoga taking a 9-0 record to win take the NERFU Title.
Both teams would represent their respective league on Saturday, May 6th at Dick Green Field in Albany. The match posed to be rough with the muddy and wet conditions, which kept the match low scoring on both sides. The winner of this match would move on to represent the North Atlantic region in the “Elite 8” on May 20th and 21st in Pittsburgh, PA, in which the top 2 teams from that tournament will move on to the National Championship Finals in Glendale Colorado on June 3rd. Click here to view the current bracket standings
Saratoga will now move on to face South Pines (NC) Rugby Club on Saturday, May 20th at the “Elite 8” Round of the USA Rugby National Championship Club Series in Pittsburgh, PA.