Round two of the Eastern Region Roller Derby (ERRD) tournament may have been a closed event, though the friends, families and members of the derby community helped to cheer on those teams who were on the track. The air was filled with friendly bantering between fans with skaters started up cheers from the track.
The event was held over two days Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of June. The first bout on Saturday saw the SRDL Assassins take on the WIRD Steel City Derby Dolls. Some great skating and strategy was seen in this game accompanied by loud cheers from the WIRD supporters. The Assassins held the lead the entire game with the final score being Steel City 60 and 179 to the Assassins.
The second bout on Saturday had Western Sydney Rollers (WSR) up against the Vice City Rollers (VCRs). After the first few jams the experience difference was clear to see. VCRs used this opportunity to play a strategic points game slowing down the WSR jammer and effectively blocking the other skaters enabling the VCR jammer to sail through racking up the points.
Roulette Rouge had a great time as jammer and carved her way through the pack lap after lap scoring a 30 point jam to push the Rollers well into the lead. In nearly every jam in the first half, the VCRs secured lead jammer status and they used this to their advantage, waiting until the WSR jammer was just about to enter the pack for a point scoring pass before calling the jam off. This strategy worked well and the half time score was 150 to VCRs and 0 to WSR.
The second half went in a similar vein to the first half, with VCRs keeping a slow pack so their jammers didn’t have to work so hard to reach the pack time and time again. Roulette Rouge again enjoying easy jams including a 24 point jam. During one jam, Dr Hell scored a 30 point jam, appearing to not even break her stride round the track, as the VCR blockers worked amazingly to open holes in the pack and for a moment there, the pack was almost at a standstill!
WSR jammers had been working hard all bout and the crowd acknowledged by cheering madly for them. Another jam later on saw King Cam in the bin giving WSR a power jam and they used this to their full potential scoring another 4 points. VCRs didn’t let them have the points easily though, forcing a fast pack so WSR had to work hard.
The final score was 309 to VCRs and 11 to WSR. After the team congratulation laps, WSR sang ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ which reflected how they played. Although up against a much more experienced team, WSR looked like they had great fun nonetheless.
Sunday was the third bout for the round and the second bout for the VCRs pitting them against the SRDL Assassins in what perhaps might have been the grudge match of the year. Of course the Assassins won the East Coast Smackdown last year and the VCRs replied with a resounding win at the AIS last December. So both teams were looking to reign supreme and the bout was super intense.
VCRs game plan seemed to be a case of every point counts and to stop the Assassins scoring anything. When calling a jam off, points are scored until the fourth and final whistle is blown and this turned into a strategy which was employed well by both teams. Jammers would be calling off the jam as they’d be passing the back of the pack in the hopes that they’d grab a sneaky point while ensuring the other jammer hot on their heels wouldn’t score at all.
This meant the score was quite low, though the VCRs maintained a lead throughout the game. The half time score was 43-27 to VCRs. There was a little bit of panic from the CRDL supporters when points scored by VCRs were wrongly attributed to the Assassins score on the board, but it was all fixed up and the Assassins started closing the gap in the second half. Both teams were controlling the packs well, slowing and speeding up depending on the strategy they were employing and it was edge-of-your-seat viewing. The Assassins scored more in the second half but VCRs held their lead resulting in a final score of 99-87.
With round two of the ERRD tournament over and four wins under their belt, the VCRs have secured a spot in the final for the East Coast Smackdown and will be enjoying a well earned bye for the third round. Stay tuned for details on when and where you can go support the VCRs at the Smackdown as the finals will be open for the public to go and cheer on their teams.