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Auckland triumphant at first derby nationals

Auckland triumphant at first derby nationals

Auckland Roller Derby League (ARDL) has beaten out 13 teams to win New Zealand’s inaugural national roller derby tournament in Palmerston North on Saturday.

The Auckland side showed dominance in the morning’s pools and showed no signs of stopping as teams from Napier, Palmerston North, Dunedin and Christchurch all fell to the might of the women from the city of sails.

ARDL takes home the coveted golden skate.

One of the day’s most hotly contested games was the semi final, where ARDL came up against Wellington heavyweights Richter City Roller Derby. The capital city team put up a valiant fight, providing ARDL with uncompromising defence and fast, point-scoring jammers to stop. The Aucklanders were able to stay on top of Richter, however, winning 69-58.

After wiping out Dunedin Derby in the semi finals, hometown favourites Swamp City Roller Rats took on Auckland in the grand final. This was the third time the two teams had faced off this year and Auckland took an early lead. A string of penalties brought Swamp City closer to taking Auckland just after halftime, but it was Auckland who was able to capitalise errors made by the homeside, pulling away and taking the game 168-112.

ARDL captain Elicia Nisbet-Smith says her team’s focus on strong defence proved itself on the track to help take out the win.

“We work hard to move as a unit on the track to shut down opposition and allow our jammers the best chance to score points. I’m proud of the team for pulling together and playing a full day of strong, physical and tactical derby.

“After more than three hours of pool and knock out matches in one day, fatigue started to set in but we all pushed through and fought to the last whistle.”

Auckland’s next challenge is against a team of all-male, all star derby players at Auckland’s YMCA Pitt Street on 08 September. Visit www.aucklandrollerderby.com for more information.

ENDS

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