May 30, 2017

RCRD Double Header: All Stars vs VRA and Convicts vs River City Rollers

Walking into the roller derby double-header last weekend (20th May), the first home games of the season for Richter City, I had a feeling both bouts were heading for a whitewash. Opening the handout, that feeling took further root in my brain once I saw the team lists. I shook my head and thought of how much the lesser experienced skaters were to get out of the night and sat hoping they took it all on board. As usual it was cold in Kilbirnie Centre but the gloom was soon brightened away by all the new Convicts hoodies (in vibrant orange) being worn by those running about helping keep the night on task. It did seem however that every volunteer dropped what they were doing when Grumpy Wendy Doughnuts turned up, but who blames them really!

First bout of the night saw the Richter City All Stars up against Vagine Regime Aotearoa (VRA). It was very much a Lower North island VRA team, with players pulled from the likes of Hutt Valley Vanguard, Whenua Fatales and Bay City Rollers, so a different dynamic than when the team gets to pull on the strong RCRD and ARDL skaters. They still brought enough to the track to not completely write the team off immediately, helped along by veterans E Venger (BCR), Missbhaven (Pirates) and Meat Train (HVV). The HVV skaters have worked hard since I last saw them skate, kudos to them and their coaching team as well. Richter didn’t pull back on the reigns at all, determined to give their opponents a run for their money, taking lead jammer most jams, forcing VRA to carry out a lot of star passing. Renegade Rita had some stunning jams as pivot and or jammer, but it was Meat Train who scored the first VRA points towards the end of the first half. Half time score was 239 All Stars to 16 VRA. The second half went much like the first, though with some extra loud cheering for Volcanic Ash in response to the news this is her last bout for a while. The final score showed both teams continued to rack up the points at almost the same ratio, ending the bout at 448 to 29 with All Stars the victors.

Game two was River City Rollers (RCR) from Wanganui facing up against Richter City Convicts, who I don’t believe I’d ever seen River City as a team of skaters in Wellington before. I recall fondly the first time I ever saw them skate, and I recognised at least one name from way back then along with a fair few of the ring ins from other teams so was still excited to see how this team would fare against the Vix. The home B team was largely unchanged from last year, with a couple out on injury or otherwise, a transfer from Pirates (Boo Hu) and a new addition from the ranks of Redrum. Tu High was the only skater to skate for both the All Stars and the Convicts, and she didn’t get much of a rest. It was soon clear that the home team again had the large advantage, but that didn’t stop the visitors fighting; unfortunately one skater (who, perhaps tellingly, goes by the name of Short Temper) was expelled from the game shortly into the first half for shoving. We saw a couple of invalid star passes from RCR, where the jammer tried passing after a penalty call, and quite a few jammer penalties were served. Half time score was 236 to 8 in the favour of Convicts, and after a locker room pep talk, RCR came out to score on a better ratio than the first, but just could not keep up with the Vix scoring rate. The full time result was 427 to 41.

With three injuries over the two games, we hope those effected are well on the way to mending what ails them.

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