Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Opération Tonnerre: PRG Vs. Go-Go Gent

I haven’t been writing much lately – I mean, actually I did write a lot, for work, which is why I couldn’t take care of this blog. Still I take the time to report on the match of last weekend Opération Tonnerre, featuring the Paris RollerGirls Vs. the Gent Go-Go RollerGirls.

We had managed to get the Bercy Venue just like for Goldfinger against Malmö last June, after weeks of pleading and harassing for them to give us a second chance. We were quite late on the schedule last time and they didn’t like it at all.

This time we had learned from our previous mistakes and the organization was close to perfection, so that the keeper of the gym even came to congratulate the Paris RollerGirls’ organization and confided that he wished that all the clubs using the gym were as squared as us. Epic Win! …And Epic Reward for the girls who spent sleepless night sweating on the event - Marion could tell you more about it than me.

The bout was preceded by a private scrimmage between the Parisians Rollergirls who had passed their Minimum Skills test but were not playing the game, and the Nantes Derby Girls. Unfortunately I couldn’t watch it 1) because I arrived late as I had to welcome my mum whose train was 1hr. late, and 2) because once in the gym I helped around. I heard the Parisians did pretty well, which is confirmed by the final score (86 to 36). Note: Let’s not forget that there were a couple of all-stars helping out the PRGs on the track.

Obviously, we chose the song "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" for the team's skate out... quite different from the Go-Gos' Beastie Boys stuff. Haha! Now let’s talk a bit about the bout. We lost 129 to 158… although we were leading something like ~100 to 30 (?) at the end of the first period! I’ve got a few clues about what happened, but no real answer as everything I am going to tell you is utterly subjective. Moreover, I only played two jams in the pack as a blocker, the rest of the time I was jamming, thus I saw everything from the outside and I don’t have this judgment from the inside of the pack. 

The thing that’s certain is that the Go-Go Gent, born in 2008, knew how to play defense with a 4-blocker wall in the back, which, as a jammer, I found quite annoying. They were also keeping the inside line efficiently enough to force us, PRG jammers, to take the outside – and skate the no-zone goddamnit! Despite their defense we managed to lead the whole first period, scoring 30 points before they managed to score 1, thanks to a couple of brilliant jams led by Joan Get 27.
I had a hard time and I didn’t manage to get the lead once in the game (or maybe once?!) but still, I was always on the heels of the opponent jammer who couldn’t but call it off – at least they didn’t score many points out of me!

We started the break with a minute of noise, kneeling down, in the memory of Velvet Bagheera, ending up with a lap of honor following the flag that we made especially for the occasion: a red flag (the color of her team) featuring a black panther walking solemnly.
We then had a team meeting, saying that we had to make room on the inside line and disturb their walls in the back for the second part of the game.

The first jam after the break, we were only three PRGs on the track: Bloody and Pooky as blockers and me as the jammer. We did an awesome job, we had the perfect timing: they were making room for me each time I needed and I was seizing the opportunities. This was the only jam when I felt good. I did a couple of nice actions during the game (I jumped the apex on the four whistle blows and blocked the girl who tried to hit me at the landing!!), but this was the only jam I was leading.
Then everything went very fast… let’s note that with the second period we had switched referent refs for the teams. I’m quoting Absolut Vermine for her mathematical summary of the situation:  “1st period: 17 GoGo Vs. 11 PRG in the Penalty Box. 2nd period: 11 Gogo Vs. 27 PRG!!!!” Some of us received unjustified Major penalties. A couple of rule points were problems as for their definitions and for their application, especially no-packs and out of plays. I think it pissed off most of us, which led to a more aggressive play and favored more penalties – deserved or not. Talking of what I’m sure, i.e. me, I know that I was more brutal as a jammer in the 2nd p. and I was accused twice of major back blocking whereas I was just arriving faster, stopping closer… and touching people more.
The second period was a whole mess. The track was all red, with spots of blue here and there from times to times. The Go-Gos remained focused and united, while we grew irritated and helpless: We had the feeling that we could be arbitrarily sent to the box anytime. The Go-Gos took the lead and we didn’t manage to get it back.
by Gosh || thegoshworld.blogspot.com
At least we offered a great show to the public
with an unexpected reversal of situation.

There were some issues with the reffing, true. Now we should all be indulgent as this sport is brand-new for everybody here in Europe. Players as well as Refs need to be trained, so that in a couple of years we are all ready for the real thing. Yes, we are frustrated and we feel that we’ve been unjustly abused, but let’s stand back and remember that the whole building up of the sport is still in progress, let’s also remember that disagreements are meant to be discussed and fixed for the improvement of us all… and let’s not forget that despite the final score, we still did great actions which we have to be proud of!

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