London Rollergirls

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #8 London takes down #9 Montréal, 231-152

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #8 London takes down #9 Montréal, 231-152 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – This was the third game for  #9-ranked Montréal this weekend after an exciting opening game against Crime City where the New Skids won by just four points, and then took a tough 253-99 loss against Victoria the same day. #8 London had a similar deficit against Arch Rival on Friday, losing to the St. Louis team 225-82.

Both London and Montréal were the first for their respective countries to make it to WFTDA Playoffs, and it was the New Skids who gave Brawling their first sanctioned game at Anarchy in the UK in 2011. That first meeting was the only time Montréal beat the Europeans, and, with today’s 231-152 win, London has beaten the team six times since then. Today was the 6th in that series, with a final score in favor of London, 231-152.

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #7 Arch Rival stymies #8 London, 225-82

2017 WFTDA D1 Champs: #7 Arch Rival stymies #8 London, 225-82 Photo credit: Derby With Recess. facebook.com/DerbyWithRecess

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Game 3 ended up a bit more lopsided than the rankings would have anticipated as #7 Arch Rival sought to avenge last year’s 197-94 Championship loss to now #8 London Brawling. ARCH’s 72.2 lead jammer percentage gave them a strong head start to lead 110-38 going into halftime. Both teams used up to five jammers but had to shorten their rotations due to different reasons.

Arch Rival got fewer penalties in the whole game than London did in the first half, which helped them maintain control of the game from start to finish. They did a good job taming Rogue Runner’s footwork, keeping her to just 14 points overall, eventually leading to a St. Louis victory, 225-82.

D1M: 3rd Place, #3 London claims bronze over #4 Crime City, 181-138

D1M: 3rd Place, #3 London claims bronze over  #4 Crime City, 181-138 Photo credit Marko Niemelä

MALMO, SWEDEN – The battle for bronze between the host league #4 Crime City Rollers and #3 London Roller Girls saw the momentum swing back and forth in the first half, including multiple lead changes.

The second half looked a bit different for both teams and, despite a valiant effort from Crime City, the team were not able to reclaim momentum for more than a few jams at a time. Whereas London was able to take charge of the second half and come away with the win, 181-138.

D1M: #2 Denver surpasses #3 London, 214-102

D1M: #2 Denver surpasses #3 London, 214-102 Photo Credit Marko Niemelä

MALMÖ, SWEDEN – #3 London Rollergirls had two of the most anticipated games of the weekend. Saturday morning, London barely edged past a hungry #6 Rainy City team, to earn their spot to play against #2 Denver Roller Derby that evening. Meanwhile, Denver handled #7 Stockholm Saturday morning to punch their ticket to Champs and get a shot at a number one seed in Philadelphia.

What eventuated was far closer and more of a battle than the final score of 214-102 might imply, with Scald Eagle taking on the most points jamming for her new Colorado team against the London slow grinding churning tripods of London. What some people have overlooked is that Scald Eagle is not the only Rose City transplant on the Denver team and that last year’s Champs MVP, Brawn Swanson, is a bonus to the Denver defensive line and was part of the closer for London’s fate.

2016 D1 WFTDA Champs: #2 Victoria wins the bronze over #5 London, 198-108

2016 D1 WFTDA Champs: #2 Victoria wins the bronze over #5 London, 198-108 Photo credit Quick'N'Derby

PORTLAND, OR – Victorian Roller Derby League and London Rollergirls have a shared championship history that goes back to 2014 in Nashville, TN, where London won 173-142. That game marked the first time two international teams faced off at a WFTDA Championship. Victoria and London also met during the 2015 WFTDA Championships, where they played for 3rd place, making today’s match up the second time that these two teams have competed for the bronze.

Last season, Victoria was ranked #4 in the WFTDA and London was ranked at #3. VRDL won that game, 122-99, claiming 3rd place at Champs. Victoria experienced some penalty trouble early on in that game and garnered 7 jammer penalties by game end, earning a total of 26 penalties overall. Despite this, VRDL’s lead jammer status sat at 51.4% to London’s 48.6%.

Since these teams first played each other at champs in 2014, their rankings have changed. And this is the first time that VRDL enters this match up with a higher ranking, #2 in the WFTDA, than London, who is currently ranked #5.

Both teams have similar styles of play, defined by strong bracing powerquads and tripods that are able to rotate quickly to catch opposing jammers even as they cut from the outside to the inside line, but both teams took a few minutes before they were able to maintain their respective formations despite meddling from opposing blockers. Victoria steadily collected points thanks to earning a majority of the lead calls (66.7%) added to their defense’s ability to hold London’s jammer apart from their pivot, often delaying and sometimes successfully preventing the star pass. Victoria ultimately defended their bronze medal, with a win over London of 198-108.