After a strong 268-71 victory in the opening bout of the 5×5 Roller Derby Championship earlier this year, the Dockyard Dames know a second win can put “one foot in the finals” for Newcastle’s representative side in 2019.
Their challenge now comes in the form of Canberra’s Rogue Scholars, who fell in a tight 212-177 bout to potential title favourites Inner West. If they can move to a 2-0 record in the four-team, three-bout series, only “a really unlucky series of events” would deny the Newcastle stars a spot in the Championship final this year.
“Rogue Scholars lost their first game to Inner West, if we don’t get a win against them it’s unlikely we can make the finals,” Dames captain Jillian “GodJilla” Mathieson told the Chronicle. “It makes every game very, very crucial and this one is very important if we want to play in August.”
With Hollie Funck and Kali Entay both ruled out for the upcoming clash, Mathieson said they’d be looking to Marilyn Tantrum to “play a few roles in the pack.”
“The key to our game at the moment revolves around her, she’s one of our key ‘mother hens’ in the side,” Mathieson said. “She’s one our oldest players, and the ones that have been around the longest in the side are always the ones we look to to fill the gaps.
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“I also think that Absolute and CDRascal in particular have been playing for a number of years, and we think they’ll absolutely have a flyer of the game and bring us home with their youth and enthusiasm in the side.
“It’s going to be a very physically challenging and difficult game against the Canberra side, especially considering we are missing those key critical players, but we have a strong confidence for the bout nonetheless. I think everyone is going to step up.”
Mathieson also revealed that with their two key absences the side would be lining up with a blocking pack made up of Marilyn Tantrum, GodJilla, Ali-tude, Raven Claw, Feki, and Ruthless. The team will also look to regular jammers Vanilla Bean and Isla Fist’er, as well as Rubylicious. Youngsters Absolute and CD Rascal will travel and play as part of the pack, while Bambi, Misty, Valfreya, and Punz will make up Dames’ bench staff.
The Dames will also be competing in the Royal Rumble 2019 on the June long weekend, hosted at the Mt Warren Indoor Centre.
The Newcastle Roller Derby will also host its home bout next weekend, with the Fort Smashleys and the Harbour Hellcats facing off in the fourth round. The two sides met earlier in the season, with the Smashleys coming out trimphant in a 186-141 battle.
The digital images by Sammi “Rubylicious” Jurd of the Dockyard Dames will also be on exhibit at a free event at the Newcastle ArtSpace in Tighes Hill on the June 15. For more information on the exhibit head to facebook.com/events/181506542795567.