September 6, 2016

Richter City 2016: Home Season #3 and NZ Top 10 vs Auckland

The Third and final of the Richter City intraleague pool play occurred this weekend just passed, Comic Slams vs Smash Malice. Though before it got to that, we saw the All Stars take on The Bolts, the A team from Auckland Roller Derby League (ARDL, or Arnold as Zam proudly announced she called them) as part of the pool play for the NZ Top 10 tournament.

Having not seen ARDL for a while, there were some new names to get to know, along with those recognised from previously, such as Arsenall, Baker, Mackenzie and the very well known Terror Satana. RCRD All Stars put forward a team of well recognised ol' faithfuls, with the delightful addition of Margaret Snatcher, giving a strong all around performance and looking like they've been an All Star for years.

The neck and neck and see-sawing lead changes of the first half saw some graceful and on point (and often backwards) jamming from J'Knee Dodgem, and multiple demonstrations on how ARDL jammer Mackenzie earned their slippery fish nickname. At one point it was a struggle of who to be more impressed with, the combined blocking power of Flirty Harry, Resident Evil and Terror Satana, or the Richter jammer up against them. Half time score was 108 to 85, in favour of RCRD. The second half brought more of the same impressive work with at least one foul out for each team, and an interesting display of no advantage no penalty, when Vicious Vegie made a false start but yielded, yet once allowed to skate again, still managed to get through the pack first. Unfortunately for ARDL, the score gap continued to grow, but that did not wipe the smiles off their faces, not even when the final whistle went to a score of 157 ARDL, 238 Richter City. This bout can be seen on Youtube.

After a relatively short break, seven of the All Stars took to the track yet again with their other team mates in Comic Slams and Smash Malice. For the most part, these seven didn't look like they'd just skated a fairly intense bout, and even when Volcanic Ash visited the Wellington Free Ambulance officers, she was still back for more after her mandatory stand-down, her earlier 30 point jam wasn't enough it seemed! A close half time score of 79 to 62 in the favour of Comic Slams. Relative new comers Frankenslide and Sweet Mama Mia continue to show improvement in jamming and blocking respectively - will be looking out for them both next year.

In another few weeks we get another double header, third place in pool play Brutal Pageant take on Whenua Fatales as a curtain raiser for the race for number one Wellington intraleague team for 2016, another Comic Slams vs Smash Malice on September 24th. Details on the Facebook event page.

If you can't wait that long, on Saturday 17th September, head out to Taita (it's not that scary, really!) to the Walter Nash Stadium to watch Hutt Valley Vanguard take on Otautahi Roller Derby League from Christchurch, a match up this reviewer is keen to see as Otautahi has held a special place in their derby heart for many years. Doors open 5pm, follow the Facebook event page here.

If you can't wait even that long, zip down to Christchurch to see Richter All Stars take on the other league from the Garden City, Dead End Derby, in both their final Top 10 pool play bout. That's this coming weekend (10th September), so if you can't make it, keep an eye on the respective Facebook pages for updates on the night. Convicts are also visiting Dunedin Derby that night also for their final Top 10 pool play appearance. After all this, October and the finals aren't too far away, so derby isn't near done for the season yet!

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