Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Paris Vs. Toulouse: You say Revenge, we say Die!

Paris RollerGirls All-Stars (153-117) Nothing Toulouse
March 2nd, 2013 / Paris.

Paris, Bercy was the place to be on that Saturday, March 2nd. It held the long-awaited and not-to-be-missed French derby event of the 2013 season: The rematch of the Paris RollerGirls All Star and the Nothing Toulouse!

The first meeting dated from July 2011 and had witnessed a crushing double victory of the Parisians during the French Connection I tournament, gathering the three pioneer-leagues of Paris, Toulouse and Bordeaux.

But the French landscape has evolved a lot since then and, earlier this season, Paris was challenged by Toulouse to organize the meeting that would put back the French crown in play.

There is no official French cup (yet) and the so-called title comes from a general assessment only. Yet, it was a matter of honor and Paris took up the challenge to prove who the bosses are!
Our All Star game against Windsor two weeks before had been very welcome for us to experience a first bout under the new rules set and adapt to it. In between, we had the time to analyse and correct our main mistakes -- especially slow reformings of the pack, which irremediably led to out of plays or failures to reform... and to decimated packs and players waiting in line to serve their box sentences...

Once again, the event was sold out despite the fact that it was a single game, and not a double header as usual. For our home games, we usually have a first part during which we can concentrate in the changing room, and get into the swing of the game. The conditioning time was shorter, thus a bit unsettling -- but I will spare you the talk on sports preparation routines!

We did not know what to expect from Toulouse. We assumed that they had prepared for the meeting since they had challenged us. We had an overall idea of the main individuals because we had seen some of them in action during the Team France Bootcamp "Born to Reform" in early January, but no real hint of what their teamwork was worth. And we could not rely on their EuroDerby ranking (division 3) as they had played only a few games, and essentially against rising local leagues in their area...

I was quite okay with that because I am always in for surprises! But some of the Parisians were pretty nervous with the pressure, conveyed by our place of "favorites to be knocked down". The newest recruits were our mental strength: not having lived the French history from the very start, they took it more lightly, just as any other game. Not more -- but not less.

Hopefully, our B-Team treated us to the most perfect stress-relieving cheerleading act, a full choreography with pom-poms, group and solo parts and a final with portés! We were both amazed with rainbow sparkles in our eyes and comparatively very ashamed in anticipation of our own presentation run-up, which was desperately poor and unrefined.
We did our thing, then the kick-off was given.

A good third of our players was sick or just back from the dead after weakening sicknesses, which affected the cleanliness and reactivity of our game a bit, but we held on just enough to keep the lead from the first to the last jam. We had a little fright seeing Toulouse hot on our heels, hardly a dozen points behind us at the second period. Still, we did not break down under the pressure and managed to stay focused, which is a great victory over ourselves, us and our benches who channelled us with success.
To put things into full context, let's note that Toulouse had a couple of players that were in pretty bad shape too.

The forces were balanced on both teams and the game was close -- and fast, which was pretty tiring from the jammer's side. All in all we had the exact same number of leads!

The reffering team did a fair job and favored the gameplay.
• Advantage: It gave a very responsive character to the game.
• Drawback: We got a big shaken up. Sometimes, it was half-way between a pinball play and a washing machine cycle. An interesting experience, although a bit confusing when your head spins and you are on the verge of fainting each time you shout or get up too fast. Must have lacked vitamins that day (?) Unless I drank too much grenadine the previous evening at Watzé's... We'll never know...

Whatever, we won. And that is what is to be remembered.

Class photo gone wrong. Credit: didacte.creation


UP: Rose Hyène, Absolut Vermine, Oli Barback, Cherry Lielie (C), Roxy Bat Girl, Bully Bunker, High Wheels, Sailor Blood (Line-up), Millefeuille, Wheely Wonka (Bench).

DOWN: Hooligan, Kozmic Bruise, Meryl Strip-Her, Butch Shan, Cat Cholera, Joan Get.
(+Mouflette (Stats))

All together. Credit: didacte.creation

Slash Gordon (Coach), Mr. Furieux (Bench).

Nina Backdraft (C), Miss Lou Garou, Anxio Jen, Sweeny Odd, Dirty Bounty, Faust, Chakk Attakk, Cash Pistache, Mémé Castagne, Zaza Du Démon, Kemi Callgirl, Blonde Pression, L'ascleuse, Lolo Thérapie, Tuericultrice.

The MVP awards were attributed to blockers Blonde Pression (#0403, Toulouse) and Butch Shan (#3, Paris) and jammers Cash Pistache (#51, Toulouse) and Kozmic Bruise (#B612, yours truly :p, Paris).

The afterparty took place at the Bootlagger's like last time. I ate a huge chicken salad in company with our freshmeats and took leave. Same good old headache, remember?

Last but not least, let's note a giant step for our media committee: That game was the very first one of the Paris RollerGirls broadcasted LIVE on Rumble Roses's ustream channel. It was a very successful try despite the quality that is to be improved. But it worked perfectly and people at the other end of the planet could enjoy the show!


1 comment:

  1. Great summary Koz, having not been in the original tournament, and being one of the 'walking dead' I admit that I wasn't really bothered by the symbolic nature of meeting Toulouse again. I was so happy and proud of our everyone and basically glad got through without bringing up my lunch :)
    Cat Cholera