London Rollergirls (#3) vs. Arch Rival Roller Derby (#3)
In a battle of #3-seeded teams, the London Rollergirls of London, England (Seed #3, WFTDA #8) and Arch Rival Roller Derby of St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. (Seed #3, WFTDA #7) faced off in the third game of the 2017 International WFTDA Championships Philadelphia. Though the game was fairly close early on, befitting two closely-ranked teams, Arch Rival went on a huge run midway through the first half that quickly put the game out of reach for the Londoners. Arch never took their collective foot off the gas en route to a commanding 224–82 victory.
The first two jams saw the two teams feeling each other out, eking out just a few points for each side. But in the third jam, with Bolt Action for Arch facing off against Rogue Runner, Arch Rival capitalized on a 4–2 pack advantage by nabbing lead jammer status and rattling off a 20 point jam. The next jam saw Harmony Killerbruise pick up another Arch lead jammer status and add another 10 points to Arch’s total, stretching out their lead to 31–3.
Arch Rival’s Reptar earned the next lead jam status, but London forced a track cut to give Jack Attack a power jam. London’s blockers Arocha, Onyeka Igwe, Gaz, and Katie “Hellvetica” Black pitched in with a coordinated offensive sweep to help Jack pick up points. Arocha greeted Reptar’s return from the penalty box with a big jammer takeout, and at the end of the jam not only had London taken a 8-5 jam win, but they’d forced another cut on Reptar to give Rogue Runner a power start. Thanks to the defensive efforts of Gotham transfer Vicious Van GoGo, however, Arch was able to limit the damage, holding Rogue to 4 points, bringing the score to 36–15.
This differential was about as close as London would get. Over the next 10 jams, Arch would grab lead 9 of 10 times, padding their lead to a comfortable (though still not insurmountable) 68–20 with just over 10 minutes left in the period. In jam 13, Arch’s Swanson put up a 14–0 over Rogue Runner as Arch’s blockers forced an outside track cut on the London jammer. The very next jam looked like it might go London’s way, as Delta Strike took lead and multiple scoring passes, but Delta took a track cut as Arch’s pivot-turned-jammer SheRa Powers put points on the board. It turned out to be a 13–9 jam win for London, but Arch was out to a big 91–33 lead. As the first period wound down, Arch continued to press their advantage, putting more points on the board and taking advantage of multiple penalties on London’s side. At the half, Arch had only committed seven penalties while London had 22, likely a significant factor in the 110–38 score in Arch’s favor.
The second half started with London’s Rogue Runner facing off against Arch’s Bricktator, a jam that was called scoreless for injury when Rogue Runner took a hard tumble. Happily, Rogue did return to the game later in the period. London began to mount a comeback, snatching lead jammer status in four of the next five jams and putting 20 points on the board, narrowing the score to 114–58. Arch Rival returned the favor by going on another tear of their own — taking lead for the next five jams while holding London scoreless, and stretching their lead out to 150–58 with 20 minutes left in the game.
As the period wore on, Arch Rival continued to protect points with their stingy defense. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the half, London won an official review that sent Arch’s jammer to the box. Rogue Runner was on the power start, but had to call the jam at 0–0 courtesy of the stalwart defense of Cupquake, Smarty McFly, Cloak N’Drag-her, and K. Woodward. London was able to reduce their penalties in the second half, cutting them down to 17, but still finished with 39 to Arch’s 19. Finishing strong, Arch Rival went on a 66–10 scoring run to end the period and came away with an impressive 225–82 victory.
Arch Rival advances to face the #1 seed, Rose City Rollers, Saturday at noon Eastern Standard Time. London will oppose the loser of Game 5 (Victorian Roller Derby League vs. Montréal Roller Derby) on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the consolation bracket.
Arch Rival Roller Derby (Seed #3, WFTDA #7) 225
London Rollergirls (Seed #3, WFTDA #8) 82