MRDWC: Australia Stops Argentina, 252-238

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An eight-man Argentina lasted the full sixty minutes–but the six who remained at the death couldn’t quite hold on to their second-half lead. Australia took the win 252-238 after four heart-stopping final minutes, and progress to the 5th place Plate game.

Skate Pilgrim grabbed an early lead jammer call but horribly botched an apex jump on his scoring pass just as Sir Ar2 was escaping to get a low block–and that gave Argentina a 24-4 lead with two minutes gone.

Australia got lead in jam two as well–but Castillo’s speed and Argentina’s offence meant the gap stayed at 20 with a 4-4 jam against Sausarge Rolls. The teams traded 4-0 jams before a cut call at the death enraged Stephens, who was exceptionally fortunate not to get a second minute for insubordination after spending half a lap remonstrating the call with the officials.

That made the Argentinian lead 31 after eight minutes–but a cut on Sanchez during his first turn with the star handed the advantage back to the Australians. Good offensive clearing from the Austalians meant they swiftly put themselves in the lead for the first time in the bout. That lead didn’t last as Australia continued their tournament-long habit of sending jammers to the box with alarming regularity. A cut forced on Castillo meant the lead changed again when Sausarge emerged from the box.

A full Australian pack dominated against one or two Argentinians as Rogue N Josh made the lead 44 after a second cut on Castillo. Skate Pilgrim ensured Australia had doubled up on Argentina before he was boxed. Castillo passed the star to Sir Ar2 on his scoring pass before Pibe finished it off next jam; Argentina were still in a 126-77 hole, though, with ten minutes to go in the period.

Fuzz dished out a high block to let Sir A2 lap up points with Stephens the only defender for Australia totaly contained by the full Argentina pack. Fuzz then got penalised for an OOP block immediately upon his return and Argentina were back with 19 points, 138-119. Castillo cut the gap to 9 with Justin Credible the only Australian defender for the remainder of the powerjam and 2:45 left in the first period.

Josh ensured Argentina had another powerjam to close out the half too courtesy of a cut forced by Guevera practically off the line–and the Australian lead was 3 with 39 seconds left in the period. Sir Ar2 hit the box on a cut on his scoring pass, but Sanchez , Guevara, The Beast and Optimus Quad held strong on defence and ensured the half-time lead was in single digits. Unfortunatley for Argentina, The Beast, Guevera and Niño Acido all had six penalties against their name as the period ended and an early finish looked inevitable.

Stolen points by Pibe in the opening exchanges combined with two for Castillo to tie the game up at 151-151 inside three minutes. The Australians nudged ahead in the following jams before their lead hit 25 on a powerjam but The Beast landed a perfect last-ditch hit on Skate Pilgrim to hand the powerjam advantage back to Argentina.

Guevera was the first Argentinian skater to foul out during that powerjam as Sir Ar2 cut the lead to five and kept it there after Pilgrim returned to play. Ya Mum then cut and Pibe gave the seven remaining Argentinian skaters the lead with a 19-0 before freezing Ya Mum in the box. Argentina led 202-188 with 17:30 left to play.

Even a powerjam couldn’t restore the Australian lead thanks to brutal Argentinian defence; an 8-4 jam win despite a full minute of powerjam left them 206-196 behind. The lead hovered around ten into the final ten minutes without the Argentinian ranks being reduced further before a sliding tackle from Sausarge Rolls let Castillo push the lead to 19 as Argentina dialled back the offense in an effort to close out the game without further skaters being lost. Those efforts were in vain as The Beast fouled out after that jam; eight minutes remained, and Argentina were down to six.

A 4-0 for Sanchez made the lead 24 as Argentina dominated lead calls before a forearm on Sir Ar2 combined with desperate Australian offence to give the Wizards a sniff–but they lost the jam regardless with Sir Ar2 outscoring Sausarge Rolls on his return from the box. That left an 18-point lead to defend and less than four minutes to hold on.

But pack penalties hit an already short Argentian line-up before a cut on Castillo let Pilgrim give Australia a 245-238 lead with only Optimus Quad on the track for Argentina to defend the powerjam. Castillo passed the star through the Australian wall inside the final two minutes to let Pibe force the call. A 2-0 jam for Pilgrim took the game into its final jam with Australia leading 252-238; Pigrim got lead over Sir Ar2 despite heroic defense from the Argentinans, and sealed the win 252-238.

Argentina
10 Chispita // 28 Sanchez // 5 Optimus Quad // 666 The Beast // 8 El Pibe // 930 Guevara // 99 Niño Acido // D2 Sir Ar2

Australia
0 Skate Pilgrim // 11 Sausarge Rolls // 173 Copter // 1957 Spew // 27 Ya Mum // 404 HP Shovecraft // 47 Rogue n Josh // 505 Son of Skatin’ // 57 Ass n Junk (Stephens) // 75 Justin Credible // 80 Flamin’ Galah // 88 Monkey Nuts // E61 KANEAGE! // FE3C Fuzz

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