Sunday morning of the 2016 International WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs Lansing pitted the Nidaros Roller Derby Allstars of Trondheim, Norway (seed #6, WFTDA #52) against the Grand Raggidy Roller Derby All Stars of Grand Rapids, MI USA (seed #10, WFTDA #61) in a battle for 9th place. Grand Raggidy was hoping to place higher than their #10 seeding, but Nidaros consistently held a tight lead and ultimately came out ahead, 168-137.
While Grand Raggidy was able to open up with a 7-0 jam, they couldn’t stop the advance of Nidaros, who marched ahead on a steady climb from the second jam onward.
Both teams showed moments of superb defensive work throughout the first half—they were most comfortable defaulting to braced box formations and they displayed smart pack awareness in bridging—but neither were able to maintain dominance for long. Even though Nidaros cut their total penalty count down to 43 from their 47 against Tri-City Roller Derby in game 7, Grand Raggidy still finished with fewer penalties, totalling 40.
“After yesterday, we wanted to just clean it up. Yesterday was so many penalties,” explained Nidaros Head Coach Varla Vendetta. “We had to play sharp and focused.”
The jammer rotation for Nidaros was able to put points on the board more consistently than the Michiganders. Nancy Nosebleed lead the charge—heading into the half with 37 points to her name and finishing with 88 for the Norwegians.
“She has really come into her own this year. It’s only her second with the Allstars,” said Varla Vendetta.
C stood out in the pack with strong efforts as the last line of defense at the front and an ability to move seamlessly back into the Grand Raggidy walls.
The game pace was fast with bursts of short jams. Jammers from both teams were quick to grab points and call, leading to a total of 24 jams in the first half, with Nidaros holding the advantage 84-57 over Grand Raggidy.
The second period saw a spike in jammer penalties from both teams, but the score didn’t tip heavily from the 27-point differential at the half. Grand Raggidy was able to keep the pressure on, but anytime they would score, Nidaros would respond by throwing points back on the board to maintain their margin. Nidaros held the lead straight through the half and to the last whistle. They finished 31-points ahead with a score of 168-137, which earned them 9th place and planted Grand Raggidy at 10th.
“It was really good to go out on a good note,” said Grand Raggidy jammer Ginja Ninja. “[We] played good derby.”
Grand Raggidy Roller Derby (#10) 137 (10th Place)
Nidaros Roller Derby (#6) 168 (9th Place)