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The MRDWC final battles

Day 3. Finals Day.

Australia vs Argentina in a knockout final, winner goes on to play for 5th, the other team packs their skates and becomes a spectator. The team was focused, but we knew those Argentinians has a lot of fight – they arrived in Birmingham with just 8 skaters, and had made it this far.

We hit the track at 9AM, and the crowd was clearly getting behind the little guys in the white and blue stripes.
It was such a close game every jam. The Argentinians play like they are on a soccer field, but their rules knowledge and strategy application are first rate. Agile and penalty-free jammers made them really hard to compete with. But compete we did, at the halftime the score was 151-144 in Australia's favour.

The penalty board was looking dire for Argentina - 3 of their 8 skaters on 6 penalties, with the second half not even underway. However the Wizards themselves had clocked up 24 mins in the box. Both teams had to get clean. The plucky guys from South America got clean, got tight, and really made the Wizards fight for every point. 

In a nail-biter finish, with just a last minute power jam clearing the way for the Wizards, the final score was 252-238 in Australia's favour.

In the race for the World Cup, Canada took on Team USA while England played France, with a battle royal setup for the grand final - it would be America vs England to decide the champions of the World. Meanwhile, Scotland were defeated by Wales to advance the men from the south-west to The Plate final with Australia.

The 14 to represent Australia for 5th in the world was announced, the team geared up, and at 2PM The Wizards of Aus took to the track for the final time at the 2014 Roller Derby World Cup.

The Wales team look like a bunch of rugby players, and block like them too. They came out firing, and pulled a lead and were hard to chase down. The Wizards kept our cool and made it to the half time basically level with the Welsh boys.

Sausarge Rolls and Skate Pilgrim were our primary jammers, with co-captains Mr Spew and Flaming Galah holding things strong and tight in the packs, all 4 ensuring their calm approach, clear communication and positive attitude spread to the whole team.
With smart calls and strong pack lines from the coaches, the score was AUS 148 to WAL 167 with just 2 mins to play.

Wizards took the lead, and with just a few seconds on the period clock, Sarge went for a hockey stop at the back of the pack and slid into a Wales blocker - to the box for a low block and the final jam starting as a power jam against Australia.

Fortune favours the brave, and the Wizards were able to force a no pass-no penalty on the Wales jammer, meaning no lead. Sarge burst out of the box, through the Welsh defenders with an assist by Justin Credible and through to get lead jammer - and call the game with Australia on 201, and Wales on 200.

A 1 point game. Wizards of Aus are #5 in the world.

The USA vs England grand final was not quite the edge-of-your seat excitement of the Wizards game, but the most amazing derby skills were on display.

Jonathan R lining up against Ballistic Whistle, Frank Not Sohatra vs Sully - while in the packs watching former Aussie Flat Track Bully blocking Quadzilla, it was like a wet dream of derby talent.

Half time saw the Argentina captain propose to his (now) fiancé - and the second half was more explosive, strategic and hard fought derby. The scoreboard told the story though, Team USA clearly in a class of their own, and now the holders of the World Cup.

Phew! What a journey. So proud to have worn the green and gold, skated with these men who are now like brothers, and shown the world what Australia is made of. The support from home has been nothing short of incredible.
Thank you everyone, its now time to celebrate, and then start the 11,000 mile journey home.

Skate! Skate! Skate!
KP #89

Photo by: Roaringstorm Photography

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