03 December 2011

World Cup Day 1 Recap

Okay, whinge session finished, let's get to the derby. We decided to get our money's worth out of these weekend passes and arrive on Thursday night when the seed bouts started. We didn't take rush hour traffic into account, so we arrived a little late, and once we got to the Bunker we waited in line for the better part of an hour to get in, but once we were in? Derby heaven. Hundreds of derby girls, bunches of derby vendors, and two glorious tracks of wicked derby action.

Our first bout was Germany vs. Australia. We quickly fell in love with Australia jammer Shortstop, who has a magical way of finding holes in packs and helped her team take an early lead. They then widened the gap in the second half, and despite a great final jam for Germany, the Aussies came out ahead, 136-53.

While we were watching that bout, we caught a minute or two of Canada's bout against France, which ended at 244-17. Because of the way the seed round groups worked out, there were several such slaughters Thursday and Friday, and even a few on Saturday, too... but we'll get to those later.

Our second and final bout of the evening was USA vs. New Zealand. We didn't get to see NZ perform the Haka, but we heard it, and it was very impressive. Unfortunately, this was another of those slaughter bouts, and the yanks walked away with a 377-8 win over the kiwis, but the crowd's reaction to NZ's 8 points (scored in two 4-point jams) was so loud that folks on the other track couldn't hear their own whistles for a minute.

That's been the best thing about the crowd here in Toronto: no matter which team you're rooting for, everyone roots for the underdog, and everyone cheers like mad when that underdog gets points, gets lead jammer, or even just makes it out of the pack. It's really amazing to see that kind of unconditional support at a sporting event that could just as easily foster intense rivalry.

Time to have some food and crash for the night, but while we're doing that, check out this clip from CTV News. We're the ones who drove eight hours to get here!