Saturday night saw round 2 of the 5x5 derby tournament with my league hosting the double header this round. A few of us got there earlier to help set up and it all went pretty much like clockwork that we had some free time before doors opened.
I missed most of the opening bout between Inner West and Blue Mountains as I was hanging around the 'kazi's while they prepared for their bout. It's been an absolute pleasure working with them the last few weeks as they tried to bounce back from the bout against Blue Mountains. They've worked hard at training and it's been great seeing them employ different tactics. When they did their off skate warm up for the bout even us benchies joined in, yep we train as one at HARD :)
I wasn't benching that night but I wasn't doing any write up's that night so I could actually watch the bout and see what was working and what wasn't. We only had 10 players that bout and we were actually leading at one stage. The guys executed their pre-determined strategies extremely well and it was a tight bout in the first bout before CCRG scored a 30-0 power jam in the last jam of the half. The 'kazi's ended up scoring in the first half what the scored for the entire bout against bout. Plus in that bout they were already over 200 points behind at half time. Their defence was a massive improvement which was awesome to see.
In the second half it got a little sloppy and a couple of power jams took the bout out of their reach but they still kept battling to the end. In one jam they completely knackered out CCRG jammer Hazy Demon who was skating so slowly behind the pack that I initially thought she was injured but she was knackered from trying to get through our wall! There was lots of encouraging signs from their display and I can't wait to see the further improvements they make in their next bout.
At the bout I chatted to Babycakes, Danger and Jilla. I had a pretty good chat with them. Jilla laid the marker down that night :) It all started when I asked them if they had any interstate bouts planned this year (they're the only league besides HARD that I'd travel interstate to watch bout). I told them the bout I was looking forward to the most was HARD vs NRDL surprise, surprise! Danger said name the month and it'll happen, yep straight from the source! I said most of my team mates think I'll go all fan girly coming up against Jilla in a bout but I won't. Jilla basically responded with that she'd be standing over me on the track when she knocked me down haha. Yeah well you didn't exactly knock me down in the two weeks I trained with you guys ;) I'm looking forward to that battle, it'll be an arse whooping but it'll be a load of fun :)
One cool thing about Jilla is that she'll pretty much help any skaters or leagues out. She told me that my guys were welcome to go up and scrimmage with NRDL which I passed onto them. I've always improved bucket loads whenever I've trained with them so I was debating whether I should ask them if I could scrimmage with them before I got tested for my Sergeant's test. Problem is I started to doubt myself because I haven't scrimmaged as long as most of them and I know they train 100% so I wasn't sure if I'd do a good job or be so crap that whichever team I got put on would effectively be skating with 4 skaters.
This arvo all hell broke loose for me. The training committee announced that next weekend the 19th to 21st will be testing weekend so I've got just a week until I attempt my Sergeant's test. Holy crap that is so close, am I even ready? I don't know. Then again it took me two years and countless injuries to get to scrimmage level so anything less than that feels fast to me!
It's amazing how fear of failing testing can change your thought process. Those of us getting tested don't have much training opportunities between now and Friday so I'll take any chance to train that I can get. I e-mailed my training committee to see whether they'd give me permission to ask NRDL if I could scrimmage with them. I really want to pass that I'd happily get pulverised by NRDL on the track if it helps me for the scrimmage part of my assessment.
So between now and next week whatever free time I have will be spent on skates or working on skills and strengthening. No idea how it'll pan out for testing but I do now I'm going to give it everything I've got to try and pass.