Saturday night the Victorian Roller Derby League (VRDL) hosted their Season Opener double-header at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
The league had a big mash up and redraft at the end of last year which saw the teams mixed up and the introduction of their fourth league team the brand new Rock Mobsters!
Being new to Melbourne I hadn’t seen all of the league skaters before (I got to watch the VRDL All Stars play Rat City at the end of last year though, which was EPIC to say the least) so I was definitely excited to see all the new rookies in their first bout and to watch the Vets bring it!
I’ve never reviewed a bout before and as I was too distracted by all awesome plays going on to give you a blow by blow account of the games, this is my short but sweet recap.
First bout was The Dead Ringer Rosies VS The Toxic Avengers. I was pleased to see Swish Cariboom and Kitty DeCapitate wearing the pink for the Rosies and Mad Mel Arena wearing the green and black for the Avengers. I got to meet these 3 awesome skaters when some friends and I attended a VRDL bootcamp back in January.
What I noticed in this first game was that it was indeed very technical and strategic in the way the Rosies defended themselves on the track. Their blockers seemed to work in unison bouncing all over the track to fill those spots to keep the Avenger jammer behind, then opening those channels for their own jammer to sneak through.
I do love a bit of jammer-on-jammer action and saw this quite a few times, specifically when Swish was up against Mad Mel on the line. Both teams also utilising the task of knocking the opposing jammer off the track then high-tailing it in the reverse direction to ensure she enters the track and starts from the back again.
It was a close game from the start with each team having the lead at some point (making it an exciting game to watch) but the Rosies ended up securing the win 168 V 145.
Dead Ringer Rosies gear check.
The Toxic Avengers taking a knee to force the jammer whistle.
Mad Mel Arena having a time-out boogie.
The second game saw the Dolls Au-Go-Go rebadged as The Dolls of Hazzard up against the new kids on the block The Rock Mobsters.
This game instantly felt like a much faster and harder hitting game. The Mobsters are taller and more solid blockers out of all 4 teams, and they bought all their A-game that night.
With an early couple of power jams for the Mobsters they had an impressive lead at half time of 131 V 41. Second half there seemed to be lots of majors dished out. G-Banger (for the Mobsters) notched up a few, with 2 instances of her re-entering the track to take one lap then be sent straight back to the box!
Dolls were working hard trying to keep a tight-pack, when the pack separated that’s when it seemed the point carnage was on for the Mobsters. At one point Alex in Chains took the lead jammer for the Dolls and the crowd exploded, her face said it all really! Pure joy!
Dolls were throwing all the could at the Mobsters. Last jam of the game saw Smashin’ Pop (Dolls) and Miss Chivas (Mobsters) on the line with Miss Chivas getting through the pack first then being sent to the box and Smashin’ Pop jamming the clock down to end with an awesome 20 point jam. Final score Mobsters win 166 V 111.
Ranga Fanga #H0 jamming for the Dolls
Axis of Evon jamming for the Mobsters
An ecstatic Alex in Chains
#100 Candy Rocks = Awesome!
Overall it was a great night of derby! Only bummer was the PA system, it was pretty bad, half the time I really had a hard time understanding what the commentators were saying… hopefully that’s something that might be worked out in the future.
But massive high-five VRDL! Awesome skaters, awesome bouting! LOVING it! If you had season tickets I would snap them up in a heart beat! One thing I am loving about Melbourne is that I’ll get to see more awesome bouting like that! High-five to that!!
PS: Matt’s favourite skater name for the night: Pony Slaystation #1UP – awesome name!!
*NB: All photos are by me. If you want to use any PLEASE credit me and link back to this site. Thanks.