The first half of this post will probably go down as the shortest non RDAU bout write up I'll ever do but I couldn't not mention the Newy bout :) It was the first time in over a year that I was watching a Newy bout and not doing a write up for the RDAU site. I brought along one of my sister's to her first Newy bout and she had an absolute ball. In the bout program there was a survey to fill out about NRDL and their bouts. I couldn't help it on some of the answers instead of just ticking yes or no I added my own 2c especially on bout suggestions. It won't take long whoever is reading it to work out which one was mine hehe.
With no writing resposibilities it didn't take long to get into rabid fan mode :) I was on my best behaviour so it was nowhere near as bad as what I'm like watching Liverpool play (the last time I went overseas to watch them play at Anfield I almost fell over the concrete barrier and onto the field celebrating when we scored hehe) All the personnel changes messed with my head, Danger as a Hellcat was the hardest one to get my head around. On the plus side GodJilla and Brigand Strong were both Smashleys :D
Although the teams have gone through some massive changes it was almost the same old. Close at the beginning, then the Hellcats took a commanding lead so that the Smashleys were forced to play catch up. One change I noticed was with the Smashleys Hippy High Rola. Most bouts I've seen her play she tends to favour going along the outside line when she tries to get lead jammer but at this bout she mixed it up and went along the inside line and managed to still get lead jammer. No idea if it was intentional or not.
The bout was an absolute roller coaster I was either pulling my hair, biting my nails or just cheering on the Smashleys. At one stage Joe Brown (one of Newy's biggest fans) and I were cheering on the Smashleys in tandem, it was lots of fun! I loved Quirky's never say die attitude as she'd launch herself often getting airborne at a Hellcats jammer as the last line of defence. Jilla surprised me a little. In the last few Smashley bouts I watched most of Jilla's blocking was backwards blocking which we all know she's boss at. In this bout she went back to the more traditional blocking during the night. In the end it didn't matter in which direction she blocked she still kicked arse. One of the funniest things was seeing some Hellcats blockers try and push Jilla out of the way or carve her. The only impact they made was causing Jilla to smile at their attempts before she sent them flying hehe.
Brigand Strong = BOSS! She put in another amazing performance which highlighted why she's one of my favourite skaters. In the final jam for the first half she scored a 15-0 jam which brought the Smashleys back into the game to leave them just trailing 46-40. There aren't enough superlatives to describe how she played that night. She jammed so effortlessly and could withstand any hits the Hellcats sent her way. When it came to blocking she was marshalling her troops to where they needed to be, she laid off some cracking hits but when she wasn't putting on a massive hit she was positional blocking to perfection. Her efforts were rightly awarded with the Smashleys MVP of the bout.
I admit I was probably paying more attention to the Smashleys but there were some Hellcats players that stood out. Rum n Rola played a blinder and she's improving with each bout. Ohhh Dangerass, another amazing all rounder up in Newy and now a Hellcat. She didn't jam as much as usual but she punished the Smashleys with her blocking. She pretty much played the pivot role even when she didn't have the pivot stripe on her helmet. She stuck to the Smashleys jammers like glue that the only way to get around her would have been committing a major and getting yourself sent to the box but considering how awesome she was playing in stopping the jammers she probably would have positional blocked them all the way to the penalty box to stop them getting ahead of her. I was simultaneously yelling 'Far out Danger' while applauding her. She was unplayable that night even though it was to the detrimental to the Smashleys but I still applauded her.
I've got to mention Cass. She had her serious face on jam timing and did her job really well. I don't envy her especially the end to the bout. With the bout literally going down to the wire the Smashleys only needed a few more seconds to win it but time ran out and Cass had to blow the whistle and she did which allowed the Hellcats to win it by three points. I'd hate to be in that position but she handled it cool as a cucumber.
One of my goals for the night was to meet Brigand Strong one of my favourite skaters. It was a switch flicked inside me because as soon as the bout finished I went from the intensity of the bout to starstruck, shy fan mode. My sister had enough of me putting off going up to Brig and ended up introducing the both of us to Brig. To make matters worse she spoke to Brig more than I did. Bloody shyness. It wasn't as bad as meeting Jilla for the first time but it wasn't a great performance from me either. It wasn't all bad though I ended up getting a pic with Brig :)
The tendon in my ankle is getting better but I wasn't confident enough to train on it last week. I'll be back at training this week all strapped up and ready to go. I went along to training to see what my team mates were working on and to jam time for scrimmage. I'm loving Jeremy's enthusiasm for merby and wanting to train. It's contageous. I can't wait to cheers him on when he bouts. Some of my fellow C1's past and got promoted to C2 so they're allowed to scrimmage. A massive congrats to Lara, Dee and Te'res :D After seeing Lara get unfortunately annihalated by Jac and then Apple in quick succession I'm somewhat shitting bricks for when I eventually move up to C2 one of these decades.
There's quite a few bouts coming up to look forward to. First up the SRDL finals this weekend. The Unicorns vs BSK bout should be interesting. On paper the Unicorns have the better team but they haven't managed to beat BSK who I think play better as a team. It's surprising that Torture doesn't jam anymore since she made the switch from BSK to Unicorns because she's a beast of a jammer along with her destructive blocking.
I'll be committing blasphamy on the 8th September when the Hellcats bout WSR's travel team the Boutlaws by cheering on the Hellcats. I know some people from WSR but the Hellcats are an NRDL team so that wins out plus there's some awesome players in the Hellcats with some of them ex-Smashleys.
The following week my HARDies bout against the Blue Mountains guys which will be awesome sauce. If our guys play like they did in their last two bouts I reckon we're in with a good chance. I'm looking forward to the workout I'll get on the sidelines jumping up and down cheering them on :)
The 27th October will be a massive night. HARD is hosting its first ever home out. We're bouting against S2D2 another fellow new kid on the derby block. There's also going to be a merby bout to start the night which will be lots of fun. I've dubbed it the 'Team Media' bout because I'm part of Roller Derby AU and the guys from S2D2 (Noms, Big Kahuna, and Ann O'War) are all Viva La Derby so that's added some bragging rights to the bout hehe. On the same night Newcastle are bouting against Auckland up in Newy so it's finally happened HARD and NRDL clashing on the same night. I joked on Facebook it was like picking your favourite child but the truth is there was never any decision to make. It was always going to be HARD and always will be because they're my league, doesn't mean I'm not slightly bummed out to be missing on the Dames bout.