The Canberra Roller Derby League all star team – the Vice City Rollers – made history last weekend by competing in the world’s biggest ever roller derby tournament – the Great Southern Slam.
The Great Southern Slam brought together twenty leagues from across Australia and New Zealand to Adelaide, with 15 leagues hungry for the championship.
This review covers two bouts and tournament highlights. Just like a jam with no lead jammer it’ll need your attention for a full two minutes…
Vice City’s tour started with a match against home town favourites and unstoppable derby forces, the Adelaidies.
Strong strategy and team work saw Adelaide take control of almost every jam.
Canberra jammers Shaggle Frock, Cassatrophic, Dr Hell, Shortstop, and team captain Bambi von Smasher all worked hard as they flew around the track to meet a wall of Adelaidies intent on locking them out of the pack. Our first points came in the third and fourth jams, thanks to Cassatrophic and Shaggle putting a combined 5 points on the score board next to Adelaide’s 21.
Adelaide was the stronger team. Even so, Canberra pushed them hard and had moments of brilliance.
Our blocking heroes Ova Bearing, Trixie Dynamite, SueR Rat, Amykazzee Bambi von Smasher, and Roulette Rouge doubled up, working as teams to slow down Adelaide and assist Vice City jammers. Ova Bearing and Dee Nature beautifully can-opened Adelaide jammer Radical Edward, sending her flying into a roaring crowd. Assisting Cassatrophic through the pack, Bambi’s hold on the inside line defied gravity and assured Cassatrophic the lead.
Adelaide’s pivot controlled the bout from the back, with pairs of Adelaide blockers working to meet their jammer at the rear of the pack and travel with her through to the front. Using this strategy, Adelaide dominated the bout from beginning to end. The final count of 165 to 42 in Adelaide’s favour did not reflect how tough the game was on both teams.
Next up, Canberra played the Van Diemen Rollers, and our Vice City Rollers, hungry for a win, took charge of the game early on.
Jammer nymph Shortstop shone, grabbing the lead and 8 points straight up, thanks to flawless assistance by Canberra darling Bambi von Smasher. Dream runs for all our jammers continued, with Cassatrophic, Shortie and Bambi all pulling out massive jams, with an awe inspiring 19 point power jam the play of the game!
Vice City blockers assisted their jammers through the pack and pulled text-book shoulder blocks, which literally sent Van Diemen girls flying. Melicious Damage and Ova Bearing worked together, trapping the opposing jammer in the pack. King Cam’s perfect booty check took out two girls at once. Positional blocking by Beck Wise denied Tasmanian jammers lead status again and again. Aunty Aggro was creative and effective – at one point trapping a frustrated jammer in her thighs. The speed of Belle E. Up’s blocking power delivered the best stack of the game, taking out a ref and the entire penalty box area.
Almost every jam saw at least one Van Diemen blocker out of play. While strategically strong and working well as a team, their on-track awareness, skating skills and endurance couldn’t compete with Vice City. Tasmanian injury halted play more than once. At half time the board read 54 to 36 in favour of Canberra, and by game end Canberra had stretched their impressive lead to 137 – 63.
Canberra didn’t place high enough up the leader chart to progress through the final rounds of the tournament. Even so, this weekend was an awesome success and our Vice City Rollers stood out as one of the friendliest and most passionate roller derby teams in the southern hemisphere!
After some incredible play and nail-biting bouts, the Victorian Roller Derby League was crowned competition champions – but, in true roller derby spirit, this weekend was about much more than the championship. Other than Canberra’s bouts, highlights included the ‘Tiny But Mighty’s’ versus the ‘Massive Attacks’ bout; the ‘Boise Boise Boise’ team; the Pirate City jammer crew; the ‘Baby Dolls’ versus the ‘Battle-Axes’ bout; every joyous jam by Adelaide’s Barrelhouse Bessy; the amazing Hot Wheels; Adelaide fresh meat and bright star Dodgy Manoeuvres; and all the members of Sun State’s Beer Squad. I can’t wait for next year!