DALLAS, TX– The third day of games at the Roller Derby World Cup became the beginning of the end for the final eight bracket. While some of the closest, most exciting games played out on the consolation track, the largest crowds showed their allegiance on tracks 1 and 2 with roaring cheers for those final 16 teams who battled it to make the finals. The winning eight teams from tracks 1 and 2 were seeded into the final bracket by point differential, and after the quarter final games played out, todays final game match-ups will be USA vs Australia, and Canada vs England. Blood & Thunder did announce a third place game today, which alters the day’s schedule slightly.
During the first part of the day, 1st place finishers from each pool played a 2nd place finisher from another pool on tracks 1 and 2, while teams who finished 3rd or 4th in their pool had consolation games on track 3. The latter games meant nothing for the team’s respective standings, but were a way for teams who traveled all the way here to get another game in, and an actual full length game at that.
The day started on Track 1 with Brazil taking on Canada, who quickly scored over the century mark in the first 12 minutes. For Brazil, Nanda (aka Brazilian Nut) played the permanent pivot for Brazil, and rarely left the track. As a usual jammer, she showcased her strong blocking skills in this game, and only took the star when needed. Their jammers had some penalty problems, but their blockers did hold tight defense against the Canadians, until overwhelmed by their offense. Canada had plenty of jammer penalties themselves, but it didn’t cut down on their scoring, they finished 581-75.
On Track 2, Sweden soon overpowered Ireland, despite there being heavily penalty counts on both sides. For Ireland, Jemerald started the game picking up two penalties in a row, giving the Swedes 25 points off the bat. Sweden still gave up five power jams to Ireland’s eight, but dominated with constant swarming defense and impressive pack control, and moved on to the final bracket with a 303-133 victory.
Saturday, USA had possibly the highest scoring game in roller derby history, taking a 854-6 win over Team Norway. (Earlier this year Steel City scored 757-3 over Little Steel.) At the beginning of the game Norway found ways to get their jammers out of the pack with a combination of both great offense provided by number #77 Boyessen, and successful star passes. In the second half, jammer penalties against Team USA’s Atomatrix and Vanessa Sites provided an opportunity for Norway to get on the board, scoring 3 points in each resultant power jam. The Norwegians fought hard for the full 60 minutes and managed to escape the pack during the final jam to a standing ovation from the captivated crowd.
Whereas New Zealand played with tight walls, The Netherlands played more individually with big hits, and it showed in the score as they could only really score on power jams or late call offs by the Kiwis. New Zealand finally took that game, winning 356-91 against The Netherlands.
France versus Argentina was a highly watched game, with the stands nearly as full as they were for the USA expo bout the day before. Both sides had rowdy fans who stayed loud through the close first half which ended 94-90 in France’s favor. In the first ten minutes of the second half, however, Argentina started to pull away and built up about a 30 point cushion. France kept fighting regardless and Kozmic Bruise continued on with her ever-fancy footwork, but as the game continued they ran into penalty trouble and were ultimately knocked out of the weekend, 205-162.
Finland played strongly all weekend, and their game against Belgium was no different. Mia and Super Maria quickly ran up the score while Iiris Suominen did her part on defense, wreaking real havoc on jammers. Belgium did find success playing offense on the inside line, but routinely called off the jam too late, giving up points. Finland moved on with a score of 383-124, over Belgium.
For the initial part of Australia’s game against Scotland, Australia only scored with grand slams, repeatedly overtaking the Scotland jammers on passes. But then at the 15 minute mark Gow finally got out first for the Scots, though not with lead. When the Aussie jammer got out of the pack, she then had to wait a moment to call off the jam as her jam ref checked lead status, and called it just in time before Scotland could score. The Scottish team remained scoreless until the very last jam of the half, when on a full two-minute jam, Scotland got their first point with a lap point in the final second of play. Scotland then also started the second half with a power jam and five points, greatly improving their scoring and ending the game at 464-35, with the win to Australia.
The first jam often sets the tone for the game, but not this time in the game between England and West Indies. England got lead right away but a speedy West Indies jammer snuck in and stole 2 points to England’s 1, even without the lead in their favor. Team England then dominated every jam after that. Ultimately West Indies simply could not keep up with England’s fast and agile jammer lineup of Kami, Lexi Lightspeed, and Stefanie Mainey. Team West Indies were able to add to their points total, thanks to a power jam that allowed Kendal Brown to earn 4 points before Violet Attack’s lead gain off a power start. England chose to run most jams to their natural conclusion in order to run up the score which ended 708-31.
At the conclusion of these games, the final bracket was seeded based off of point differentials, and since England filled the #2 spot, the schedule was switched around by the event organizing staff so that the Team wouldn’t have to play back to back games.
On track 1, Argentina suffered heavy jammer penalties in the first half but made good use of star passes to minimize the number of scoring passes for Team USA. Argentina scored their first 4 points with 10:40 to go in the first period, following a forearm penalty against Scald Eagle. After an official review requested by the USA, Argentina’s Tropical Mecanica was expelled from the game for an egregious block. Argentina’s pivots began racking up penalties, which complicated their star pass strategy. The final jam of the game featured a double power jam in Argentina’s favor, courtesy of Jackie Daniels spending time in the penalty box, enabling Argentina to add a final 5 points to their score.
Then, in the second quarterfinal game, Finland started out with strong defense, making Canada work hard for every point. The Finns finally got on the board five minutes in with a four point addition, but gave up four as well. Canada began to pull away with the score, especially thanks to multiple 30-point jams by Sarah Hipel, and Finland struggled with penalties. At the half, Canada lead 191-36, but Finland regrouped at the break and came back strong, more than quadrupling their score in the second half. Canada found themselves going to the box more and more and Finland’s Pygmi used fancy footwork to put up the points. After an impressive weekend, Finland got knocked out of the final rounds of play, with a score of 290-145.
New Zealand had a rocky start to their game against Australia, picking up two back-to-back penalties in the first jam, handing Mad Mel Arena a long power jam. She could only pick up eight points though, as NZ’s solid defensive teamwork compensated for their jamming loss. Four jams in, New Zealand finally picked up points while Mel was in the box. Australia’s strong pack play continued thoughout the game, making it hard for Kiwi jammers to break out of the pack to complete passes. New Zealand were able to force Aussie jammers into penalties, though, and as Tank-U’s quick recycling sent Giles to the box on a forearm, New Zealand added again to their total. Eventually, however, Australia moved on with a 284-56 final score.
In the last quarter final game, Curly Haar kicked things off for Sweden by flying out of the pack on the initial jam but unfortunately she quickly received a penalty, leaving England with a lead of 8-0 after the first jam. England’s fierce walls successfully shut out Sweden for a handful of jams before Curly Haar earned lead and put up 1 point. This began a mini run for Sweden and added 3 more points to the board for the team. Sweden was penalty heavy in play throughout the game, while England was quick to take advantage of power jams and blocker deficits. Sweden’s Eriksson was then seen to foul out with only 1:25 left to go in the game. Sweden fought hard throughout but it was not enough to conquer England who won 278-72.
The world champion will be decided on the fourth and final day of the Roller Derby World Cup, with three different continents represented. A single day pass can be purchased on for only $25, and we will have full game recaps of the final day.