Canada missed a chance to play its final Rugby World Cup match Sunday in Japan because of Typhoon Hagibis, a storm that has now claimed the lives of at least 50 people.
A victory against Namibia would have been the Canadians’ first of the tournament.
Instead, about 15 players and officials occupied themselves is another fashion.
Gathering shovels, the Canadians helped residents in the city of Kamaishi get a start of the massive cleanup they face by clearing mud from driveways and cleaning up a house that had been flooded from the typhoon’s rains.
“I think they would have done the same thing if they were in Canada, so it’s something we probably felt that we can help and we’ve got a day off and no game,” team captain Tyler Ardron explained.
“We were just disappointed that we couldn’t play. We’ve really targeted this game and wanted a good game out of it, but unfortunately we couldn’t.
“But we’ve made the most of it. We’ve come out in the community.”
The Canadian men have not won a game at the world Cup since a 25-20 victory over Tonga at the 2011 competition and have lost their last eight tournament matches, outscored 387-87 in the process.
Still, as most athletes will tell you: “Sometimes you just have to throw away the stats.”
With files from CBC, CNN, Canoe, The Japan Times.