Fort Smashleys have again become the team to beat, with two straight wins in 2019 as they defending their back-to-back titles. This weekend, the Harbour Hellcats are looking to deliver them their first loss. Image via Paul Smith.

This Saturday evening, Newcastle Roller Derby gathers for its fourth bout of the year. It’s the second time the Harbour Hellcats have faced off against back-to-back defending champions Fort Smashleys, and a chance to cut short their undefeated run.

The Hellcats may have fallen on the wrong side of a 186-141 scoreline last time out against the Smashleys, but this time Harbour bout captain Zoe ‘Moxie Monoxide’ Hennessy believes they can “knock them over” when they meet against at the Newcastle Showground Exhibition Centre this weekend.

“We’ve got a very strong team heading into this bout, Smashleys have a very strong roster and they’ve proven they’re a strong team in their last few bouts, but they’re certainly not infallible by any measure” Hennessy said of the Saturday evening bout.

“The Smashleys are the reigning champions, they’ve been at the top of the table for the last two years running, so they’re quite a tough team of course, but the Hellcats came second last year as runners-up and we always give them a run for their money.

“This game hopefully we’ll be a really good one, we’re quite positive that this time we can get the win over the Smashleys and make sure they don’t just get to the top again.”

After the Hellcats fell by 45 points to the Smashleys, they bounced back a month later with a 175-142 win over the Bogey Rollers in the second bout of the year. While the Hellcats moved to a 1-1 record, the Smashleys recorded a second win in the third round and moved to a 2-0 record after a 197-106 victory against the Rollers.

The Smashleys have won both their bouts in 2019, and are gunning for a third straight NRDL title. Image via Paul Smith.

As the Hellcats head into their evening bout with the undefeated Smashleys, it’s clear they’re eager to cut down the defending champions’ winning streak. While both teams are full of stars on the Newcastle scene, Hennessy said the upcoming bout may come down to the impact of a few “major players” in both team’s lineups.

“Smashleys have a few key stars, Godjilla is a crowd favourite for them and she’s always fun to watch,” the Hellcats captain said. “They’ll also be looking to use their really amazing jammer Rubylicious who will clock up points for them.

“On our side we have a few impact players too, Marilyn Tantrum is our amazing blocker, and Vanilla Bean will be a key jammer for us on Saturday evening. We also have one of our Sydney guest stars in comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, who is a Hellcat regular.”

Raskopoulos travels from Sydney, and her attendance at the bouts shows off best what the Newcastle Roller Derby competition has attempted to do with “guest stars” in each of the bouts over the past few years.

“We’re one of the first leagues to have this format where we have ‘home bouts’ that are a little more for fun and spectacle than stuff like the Dockyard Dames,” Monoxide explained. “We’ve got our core of Newcastle skaters of course, and they make up the core of every bout that we hold, but we have these star guest skaters come in as well that make the league games fun and a little different every time.”

The Smashleys vs Hellcats battle will be held this Saturday evening, on June 1, at the Newcastle Showground Exhibition Centre in Broadmeadow. Event doors open at 6pm, and the bout is set for a 6.30pm start.

Tickets are already on sale online, or can be purchased at the door. Ticket prices are set at $12 for adults, $8 for child. Family passes (two adults, two child) are also available for $35. Childern under seven can attend the bout for free.

  • Fort Smashleys team list: DomestiKT, GODJILLA, MadNess, Rubylicious, Isla Fist’e, Howlin, AbSolute, Desley Snipes; bench: Beaver Destruction, McShovin, Wolfy, Bambi Bangarang.
  • Harbour Hellcasts team list: Marilyn Tantrum, Anaconda, Moxie Monoxide, Vanilla Bean, Ruthless, CD Rascal, Betty Boom, Tumpelina, Tickle Me, Kelvetica Bold.

If you are interested in joining or volunteering with the Newcastle Roller Derby league, or sponsoring the competition, you can contact the event organisers at publicrelations@newcastlerollerderby.org.au.