Spectators happily expressed their excitement when the Rat City Rollergirls (RCRG) prepared to take on Queensland’s Top 2 roller derby teams in one epic evening November 26th. Hosted by the Northern Brisbane Rollers (NBR) and Sun State Roller Girls (SSRG), crowds began to line up outside the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre well before doors opened eager to grab seats to see Rat City play the Queensland teams.
RDAU spoke to Rat City’s Re-AnimateHer for Viva la Derby before the event to find out how the double header would work. We discovered that most players were ready to play both games. Although a first in Australia, ReAnimateHer told RDAU “I have played lots of double and triple games.” “Sorry about the second game, you’re going to get a beating.”
Victorian Roller Derby League‘s (VRDL) rivals: SSRG, took to the track to warm up before participating in the double header. Despite smiles all round, you could sense the girls were nervous after RCRG beat VRDL 226 – 87 November 19th. With a 139 point differential between Rat City and Victoria, Sun State were prepared to fight hard to beat the margin.
With moments to go, fans put the finishing touches on their skater posters and Johnny Pistol counted down the minutes until the first game would begin. He explained that Queensland jumped on the opportunity to play Rat City as soon as they heard the girls were heading to Australia.
When SSRG were introduced to the crowd their loyal Beer Squad drowned out the audience with cheers of support. Rat City received an amazing reception from the crowd before the first jam line up was ready to roll
The crowd got behind SSRG, but they could not deny the skill and agility of the Rat City girls. The game was played up against the jammer line, as we witnessed in Victoria, with tight packs and great force from possible lead jammers. The occasional slow – no start jams tired the crowd, but the teams were determined to have all their players on the track before the action began.
With Rat City securing the lead early on, the crowd never gave up screaming for SSRG with every thrill, spill and jammer that busted through before Rat City. The crowd became so involved in the game that they hadn’t even noticed that the first half had ended with the scores being Rat City 114 – 16.
The Convention Centre buzzed during half time as fan discussed the game. The teams had reserved areas for local leagues and they mingled with each other admiring the Rat City Roller Girls skill level.
When the second half began, the crowd weren’t alone in being hypnotised by Rat City’s ability. Commentator Nicky Knockout admitted that she was so caught up in the game that she had to remind herself that she was supposed to be entertaining the crowd.
With more slow – no start jams, the SSRG Beer Squad chanted: “skate, skate, skate!!!” And it was revealed that Sun State had set a target of only 20 points to score against Rat City. When their score was well and truly over 20, you could see the Sun State girls relax into their game as they had already achieved their goal.
Amazingly, not one Rat City jammer was sent to the penalty bin during the game. Rat City set up Sun State for a variety of major penalties, which obviously worked to Rat City’s advantage with Rat City winning 232 – 56.
Both teams played hard and although Sun State took a beating, the girls couldn’t contain the pride that they felt playing such an accomplished team. Rat City are currently ranked 4th in the WFTDA Western Regional Championships! The skills and tactics RCRG brought to Australia will no doubt change Aussie derby forever.
During half time we were reminded that for the very first time, one team would play back to back games. The crowd were excited about witnessing such an event and they wondered how the Northern Brisbane Rollers would fair against Rat City.
Last week Queensland held The Tropicarnage Cup and from the nine participating leagues, Sun State and Northern Brisbane faced each other in the grand final with Sun State taking out the tournament 253 to 44. Rat City joined Northern Brisbane on the track and the two teams chatted casually before Rat City completed their intimidating warm up for the last time.
The second game was played a little differently from the games we witness between Sun State and Victoria. Not all jams began at the jammer line with Northern Brisbane forming a wall on the pivot line and Rat City about two metres behind. It was obvious that NBR went into the game with a competitive attitude and the crowd was impressed that they held their packs together defending their positions every jam.
The feeling on the track was quite casual with both teams chatting before the first whistle then attempting to knock each other off the track with all their might. Rat City made no attempt to disguise that they were purposely tiring NBR’s jammers while their jammers skated round and round the track with ease.
The crowd quietened as they became involved in the action but cheered and clapped wildly when NBR gained lead jammer. Though struggling to gain points against Rat City, NBR took pride in every point they received. At half time Rat City lead 199 – 24.
The teams united on the track at half time and the skaters laughed, joked and even demonstrated some of the impressive moves we had witnessed during both games. Their spirits were high and you could see that the Rat City girls were more than happy to share their skills with Northern Brisbane. Watching the teams interact, they demonstrated what roller derby is all about: sharing the knowledge, supporting upcoming teams and encouraging other teams to learn new skills.
When the second half began, Mexican waves flooded the crowd cheering for Northern Brisbane as Kamikaze Kim went on another scoring frenzy. As the time on the clock ran out, the teams became emotional, hugging on the jammer line and posing for photographs during an official time out. Northern Brisbane could not hide that they were ecstatic with the opportunity to play Rat City. Right up to the end of the bout Northern Brisbane gave it their all. Rat City took their third Australian defeat with 336 – 71.
Stay tuned to for the after bout interviews featuring on Viva la Derby soon!
Words by doom bug
Special thanks to the RDAU Media Crew: Ann O’War, Coch Less Monster & SD for photographs, filming recording and general awesomeness!!!
Check out our sponsor: www.derbyskates.com.au