This previous weekend the East Haven Makos from Connecticut hosted the 16th edition of the North American Underwater Rugby Tournament. East Haven is a small city halfway between New Jersey and Boston two major hubs for underwater Rugby in the US and has serve several times as a meeting venue for US National team training (men, women and U-21 teams) East Haven was the host of the first attempt of a club tournament organized by Clubs teams rather than groups of random players back in 2006. The pool is kind of shallow but size in general resembles the European pools.
Nine teams met for the 2nd round of the 4 rounds scheduled for the 2016-17 Season of the North American league for UWR.
The defending Champion NUWR participated again with an A and B teams. The Boston Narwhals had most of their usual strong players and were prepared to give a good fight for the first place. Florida had their second participation in a row and were trying to improve their 3rd place from the previous round. The New Jersey Hammerheads despite of the closeness to this pool participated with only one team with the goal of getting a better place than the 4th place from the last tournament. The host Makos got to put together a second team and participated for the first time with two full teams on a tournament being later the biggest surprise of the tournament. The NAL league this time opened the tournament to the emerging USA women team allowing them to participate individually with their own clubs and also as a USA Women’s team in a similar way the NAL League helped the U-21 team as they were preparing for the 2016 Open European U-21 Championship, All the clubs in the US have several women, but not enough yet to participate as a club team, which is the reason to help the US women’s team to prepare for the upcoming CMAS tournaments. An early start much needed if we want to improve their 2015 WC participation.
The nine teams were divided in two groups based on the previous tournament position. Group A had the Boston narwhals, Camo from Canada, the NJ Hammerheads, East Haven Makos B and NUWR B. Group B had the defending champions NUWR A, Florida Krakens, East Haven Makos A and USA Women team.
Group A finalist were Boston Narwhals winning all their games and the runner up CAMO which qualified on a close victory over NJ Hammerheads 3-2. Group B had as their first qualified team NUWR A and with a big surprise the East Haven Makos A team defated the strong Florida Krakens and qualified for their first time to semifinals.
Camo played NUWR and lost dramatically and surprisingly 0-5 while Boston beat the Makos 2-0.
The game for the 3rd Place came to a dramatic and exciting end when both teams tied 2-2 on regular time and went to a series of penalty shots. The series of 3 penalty shots ended on a tie again and then series of single penalties decided the game. The final result favored the Canadian team with the score of CAMO 2(6)-2(5) EH Makos A.
The final game between NUWR A and Boston Narwhals was also dramatic. And early lead by NUWR 2-0 was soon tied by a strong and decided Boston team, 2-2 but not enough for the end of the second half that came to an end with the score of 4-2 for NUWR A.
On a highlight, the East Haven Makos have been active participants of the past and present of UW Rugby in the US and certainly the future as well. On Saturday noon the Makos had a presentation of two full U-15 teams on a game which everyone enjoyed.
Final positions of the 16th NAL UWR tournament – East Haven 2017
- NUWR A (USA)
- Boston Narwhals (USA)
- CAMO (Canada)
- East Haven Makos A (USA)
- New Jersey Hammerheads (USA)
- NUWR B (USA)
- Florida Krakens (USA)
- East Haven Makos (USA)
- USA Women (USA)
On the accumulated points for the North American League NUWR A leads with 8 points followed closely by Boston Narwhals with 6 points and Florida Krakens on the thirs place with 3 points.
The top scorer player accumulated has now a triple tie for the first place between Filip Mundt (Boston Narwhals), Juan Pablo Riomaña (New Jersey Hammerheads) and Brian Mosquera (NUWR A) with 18 goals each, followed by Cesar Florez (CAMO) with 16 and James Olin (East Haven Makos) 13
The following rounds for the North American League have been confirmed as follows
17th North American UW Rugby Tournament – Montreal 2017 (May27-28)
18th North American UW Rugby Tournament – Islamorada 2017 (September 9-10)
19th North American UW Rugby Tournament – Newark 2017 (October 21-22)