The 12th and 13th of September 2015, Nidaros Allstars (ranked 106) were in England with 12 players and a line-up manager to play closely ranked Rainy City Allstars (107) and the best team in Europe (soon the best in the world?), London Brawling (4).
The Rainy City game was held in The Thunderdome, Rainy City’s very own venue in Oldham, Manchester. The game started out with the first points given to Sassy KickAssy of Nidaros, and both teams showed some tough defence. Rainy City started to collect lead jammer rapidly, much because the offence played by RCRG’s blockers was well timed and communicated with their jammers. Nidaros kept their walls strong, and got their jammers some power jams where they were able to pick points. In the beginning of the second half, Nidaros started out hard, with explosive jammers and a slow and tricky defence, but still the Rainy defence/offence continued running like clockwork, which secured them a safe win in the end of the game. The final score was 203-94 for Rainy City. The MVP awards were given to Nancy Nosebleed (best jammer), Pooky (best blocker) and Yoshibitchu (MVP).
After the Rainy game, the team debriefed and went home to their hosts to get some sleep before taking the train from Manchester to London Sunday morning. London Brawling, the giants of European roller derby had offered to host Nidaros for one last game before London is off to the international playoffs in the US, and the Allstars were pumped to meet their hardest opponent yet. Knowing that Helsinki, ranked 25, were able to score 33 points on London in July, the pressure for scoring points was real.
The game started off with the Brawling jammers exploding through the Nidaros walls, and in the beginning of the first half most jams were 2-minute jams. After warming up to the tough play from London, Nidaros made some successful starpasses and offence moves which forced London jammers to call off the jam several times. The Brawling defence often shut down starpass attempts by sending either jammer or pivot to the penalty box, but one pass to pivot Yoshibitchu, followed by a London jammer in the box, secured Nidaros five points on the board. This remained the score for Nidaros throughout the rest of the game, but the jammers kept on fighting through the walls, as well as the blockers maintaining a strong defence. The game was tough, strategic and fun, with generous applause being sent from the Nidaros bench area towards the London jammers as they spun, jumped and twirled through the walls. It all ended with a final score of 597-5 to London, which was close to the goal NRD had going into the game.
Massive thanks to Rainy City and London Rollergirls for having us, the Allstars can now dive head first into the 2015/2016 season with clear goals to work towards!