The 5th of April, 2014 saw New Zealand's first ever WFTDA sanctioned game between the Richter City Derby League All-Stars (Wellington) and Pirate City Rollers All-Scars (Auckland). Currently we only have the two WFTDA certified teams in New Zealand though Auckland Roller Derby League have been accepted as a WFTDA apprentice league and are working their way towards full membership.
Unfortunately I have no photos to show. While Pirate City Rollers have given me permission to use photos of the game, I haven't been able to get permission from any of the individual photographers for any photos. Funnily enough, with PCR being really supportive, I'm finding myself wanting to take the writing a little more seriously and so have spent the day watching bouts on the Internet.
I realise that not a lot has been written about roller derby in New Zealand here and so this is an opportunity to go through a little bit of the history.
Modern Roller Derby made its way to New Zealand in 2006, brought by a player named "Black Dahlia". She established the Pirate City Rollers which played an interleague competition, named the "Black Dahlia Cup" from 2007 (I believe it's on hiatus this year). They started to participate in tournaments from 2009. Their first game against a league from another city was against Richter City Rollers.
This gives the Pirate City Rollers the distinction of being the first league established outside of North America.
Leading up to this game, the Richter City Rollers had beaten Pirate City Rollers on the last 2 occasions they'd played. The teams are fairly well matched. Auckland is New Zealand's most populated city whereas Wellington is New Zealand's capital. There was never going to be anything left on the bench for this game.
This is a fan's ultimate game. I was surrounded by ref's from other parts of the country while frantically taking notes. They were giving me all sorts of information about what was going on (Or rather, I spent a great deal of time eavesdropping). Truth be told, there was only one part of the game where I found myself completely lost. I was set for a hell of a writing task (I've been having a go at writing game write-ups on Facebook) and I was feeling intimidated by the prospect. I mean, remembering I'm a fan boy who's only just getting into the derby scene... This is my first game write-up in an avenue outside of Facebook. In anticipation of writing this, I did a post which you can find here
explaining where I'm at... which is to say, while I'm getting into the game in a big way, I have a long way to go. There's absolutely no way that I can convey the excitement I felt from this game. I was shaking afterwards like a little boy whose G.I. Joes have just come to life and beaten up said little boy's bullies.
Everyone knew this was going to be a good game. The question was more around who was going to win.
The Pirate City Rollers came out strong, gaining a lead of 21 to 0 by the 5th jam. By the 10th jam they'd lost that lead and it was Richter City's half there on in. PCR did keep that lead marginal but did appear to be struggling, at one stage adopting a moderately successful 2 jammer rotation.
An injury occurred around 6 minutes to half time. Myrtle Kombat (PCR) went down and was stretchered off. Fortunately she suffered no breaks and although she had to spend a few days on crutches, she seems to be, by all accounts I've seen, recovering well.
The half time score was 91:79 to Richter City Rollers. I had put a message on Facebook about there only being a power jam in it and I was proved right. Lady Trample came out after half time like a bat out of hell changing the score 91:93 to the Pirate City Rollers by the end of the 1st jam of the 2nd half.
While The Richter City Rollers fought an incredible fight, it was was The Pirate City Roller's game from there on in to finish the game with a score of 230:164.
From a fan boys perspective - for the new rules:
30 second penalties are absolutely awesome! While the penalty means something, the game doesn't revolve exclusively around power jams though it opens up the game to more time management i.e. a jammer blocking another jammer is more likely to occur in order to wait out the clock for players to get out of penalty.
There's another write up of the game here