Texas Rollergirls (Seed #1, WFTDA #6) vs. London Rollergirls (Seed #5, WFTDA #14)
The Texas Rollergirls of Austin, Texas, U.S. (Seed #1, WFTDA #6) is the first team of the 2018 International WFTDA Playoffs Atlanta to punch their ticket to the 2018 International WFTDA Championships New Orleans after flexing their higher seed and defeating the London Rollergirls of London, England (Seed #5, WFTDA #14) 144-80.
It’s BRAWLING BINGO TIME 💗🖤
Help calm your nerves people. Brawling takes on Texas in a mere matter of hours!! Look out for everybody’s favourite London athletes and some of their signature moves…#wftdATL #robydoby #talk2wftda pic.twitter.com/qm2mdIxchL
— London Rollergirls (@ldnrollergirls) September 22, 2018
This is a momentous outcome for Texas. Not only have they been rebuilding their team after losing star veterans such as Jackie Daniels, CC Boom, Trauma, Aja Gair, Polly Gone, and Smarty Pants, but entering this game, they had gone 0-3 against London the last three times these two teams had met.
I cannot wait to see what comes of Texas v. London today. The last 3 times they’ve played, the final score has been:
148-146 (2017, London)
146-135 (2016, London)
166-134 (2015, London)#talk2wftda
— Anna (@annachronous) September 22, 2018
The game started off with slow, grinding defense and low-scoring jams. Texas maintained control in the first half, earning 59% lead status and locking down the London jammers long enough to secure single digit points. Their advantage was in part due to a remarkably penalty-free game. With under five minutes remaining in the half, the Texecutioners had only gone to the box twice — once for a blocker penalty and once for a jammer penalty.
The four-jammer rotation for Texas was also effective against London, with Hauss the Boss securing 39 total points, followed by Gravy, Baby! with 24 and Grace Lighting with 18. Freight Train’s athleticism astounded the audience and left London reeling as she used a powerful combination of fluid, dynamic footwork on the lines and explosive attacks against legal target zones to earn a couple of the highest scoring jams and position herself as the top scoring jammer of the game, with 58 points and a 42% lead status.
— magical wheelism (@hugstrouble) September 22, 2018
This simmering dominance proved difficult for London to contend with, but they were earning lead status in 29% of the jams and staying within striking distance. At the half, Texas was holding onto a 68-27 advantage.
London was intent on shaking things up in the second half, and started by shifting around their jammer rotation in the hopes of finding more success with different matchups. But Texas was able to shrug off this adjustment, taking lead jammer status in the first five jams and putting up 29 unanswered points. But a 9-0 scoring run from Trisha Smackanawa in the following jam gave London the momentum they needed to start closing the spread. Though Texas would come back with a 24-0 scoring run over the course of three jams, London was able to capitalize on a more chaotic Texas defense, which was losing more players to the penalty box in the second half.
London actually earned lead jammer status at a higher percentage than Texas in the second half — 52% to Texas’s 43% — but they struggled to put up points on scoring passes against aggressive defense from heavy hitters, including Peacewar and DeBella Deball. London’s biggest jam was only nine points, earned by their top scoring jammer, Trisha Smackanawa, who grabbed a total of 36 points in the game, with a 55% lead status. Delta Strike followed with 25 points, Jack Attack with 10, AnDracula with 8, and Carley McAdam with 1.
— fr e sh avo ca do (@notgabymena) September 22, 2018
In the last 11 jams, London’s jammer rotation snatched lead nine times and seemed to be coming for their second upset of the tournament. But with the clock working against them and with low-scoring jams, it just wasn’t enough to close the point spread. Texas finished the game victorious for the first time in three years against London, and will move on to play Jacksonville Roller Derby (Seed #3, WFTDA #9) for the gold medal on Sunday. London gets another chance for a spot at WFTDA Champs when they play Montréal Roller Derby on Sunday.
Thank you @TXRollergirls you beauts!!! You brought Roller Derby back and gave it to the world and then you brought your strong and fierce game today. 💗🖤💗 so proud of our Brawling athletes and just can’t wait til tomorrow!!!! Who we playing??! #wftdATL #eurobydoby pic.twitter.com/EpAJaZ2nD5
— London Rollergirls (@ldnrollergirls) September 23, 2018
“All we wanted to do was make it to Champs,” beamed Hauss the Boss in a post-game interview with WFTDA.tv, “And now we’re like, ‘We’re bringing home that gold medal’.”