The forthcoming Saturday bout between the Black 'n' Blue Belles and the Red Bellied Black Hearts brings together the strongest teams of the Canberra Roller Derby League for a match that should showcase skill and tactics, and likely give a glimpse of the season finale.
The Belles and Black Hearts mauled their opponents in respective opening bouts of season 2012; the Belles defeated the Surly Griffins and the Black Hearts took down the Brindabelters. Both victors overcame similar tactics from their opponents, tactics focussed on stretching the pack to extreme while slowing its tempo. In the early parts of proceedings both losing teams also capitalised on referees who lacked focus in containing the packs or penalising bad play on the outskirts of the elongated rolling groups. But ultimately the efforts of both Surlys and Belters did not even manage to prevent crushing defeats, let alone bring victory, the Belles and the Black Hearts doubling the scores of their respective opponents.
The Belles versus the Surlys appeared the tougher of the two bouts, the Surlys testing the Belles far more than the Belters were able to wrack the Black Hearts. This indicates the Belles potentially holding advantage in the imminent match-up with the Black Hearts.
For this bout the Belles' jammers ShortStop and Prairie Scorn combined with the great blocking skills of The Cleaver supported by Dee Nature and Trixie Dynamite defence are going to be tough for the Black Hearts to overcome, especially if The Cleaver can avoid being ejected from the bout.
Where the Black Hearts may hold some advantage is with depth in jammers, Bambi von Smash’er, FaunaCat and Roulette Rouge have all turned on strong point scoring runs this season. The weak point for the Black Hearts is their defence, if no blockers are able to step up to Bohemeth Rhapsody’s level of blocking expect holes to be exploited by the Black 'n' Blue Belles.
The next bout should be a fast paced game, if either team attempts the tactics of slowing and stretching the packs, as the Belters and Surlys did, they are likely to get rolled right over, and expect the referees to face a tough job in keeping up.