World Cup 7th Place: (6) France Rejects (9) New Zealand, 180-129
TORONTO, ON -- In the Roller Derby World Cup's 7th place bout, New Zealand twice staged significant comebacks on France and were just 3 points behind with 17 minutes to play, but ran out of gas at the end. Once again led by some fantastic jamming from their standout Francey Pants, France pulled out a 180-129 victory.
The first jam went scoreless and France got on the board first on a power jam to Cash Pistache, as New Zealand had only Big Mack and Tuff Bikkies on the floor to deal with the situation -- Cash put up 10-0 and her teammate Francey Pants took the other side of the power jam with a 12-0. 5 minutes and three jams in, France led 22-0. They'd push that lead to 30-0 before New Zealand got on the board with a 5-0; there was an official timeout with exactly 20 minutes left in the half at 30-5 France.
New Zealand seemed to find their footing a bit after that timeout, and began to mount a comeback. A 14-0 to Miss Metal Militia at the 17 minute mark made it a one-jam game at 32-23, but France rebuffed New Zealand's next few attempts, extending their lead to 46-23 with about 12 minutes in the half. New Zealand got an opportunity there, though, as jammers Axl-Slash-Her and Francey Pants got out of the pack together but Francey was boxed in some jammer on jammer action. Hurricane Hori, Bad Jelly and Fia Fasi Oe bashed open some holes for Axl and got her a 15-0; when New Zealand added 4-0 on the flip, it was a one-pass game at 46-42 France with 9:28 on the clock.
The New Zealand rally continued on the back of another 4-0, this one to Skate the Muss; that knotted the game up at 46-46. However, Francey Pants made sure that the New Zealanders wouldn't take the lead just yet with a nimble-footed 15-0 on the next jam, making it 61-46 with about six minutes left in the half. After a 4-0 to New Zealand and a 0-0, France got a big frame from Dual Hitzen, who got help from Cherry Lielie, Bloody Vuitton and Butch Shan on a 25-0 power jam that gave France an 86-48 lead.
New Zealand rallied a bit in the final two jams of the half with a 10-0 and 4-0 to head into the break with the score France 88, New Zealand 62.
Miss Metal Militia got the second half off to a good start for New Zealand with a 4-0 frame, and some incredible footwork from Fia Fasi Oe got her lead and a 3-0 to make it 88-70. France's jammer Karla Karsher was boxed at the end, and New Zealand picked up 10 more unanswered points to close to within 88-80 with 25 minutes left in the game.
Two jams later, New Zealand momentarily took the lead during a power jam to Axl-Slash-Her, but the lead didn't survive the jam as Axl committed a major and Francey Pants came out of the box to make it 101-95 France with 19 minutes left to play in the game. However, at the very end of that jam Francey ended up returning to the box on a track cut, flipping the power jam advantage yet again to Axl-Slash-Her, who narrowed it to 101-98 with 17 minutes to go.
Once again, though, France managed to get some separation just when it looked like New Zealand was going to pull into the lead. Over the next few jams, they moved the tally to 130-106 France with 11:08 to play; New Zealand called their first timeout there, but a France 15-0 followed by 3-0 left New Zealand looking at a time crunch with the score 148-106 and 7:10 left to play.
Axl-Slash-Her was boxed as New Zealand jammer in the next one, and Francey Pants had a near-ideal situation when she was looking at a 4-2 France pack with New Zealand's two blockers unable to effectively work together -- that 20-0 was pretty much the nail in the coffin for New Zealand's chances. It was 168-106 with 5:11 to play, and although New Zealand narrowed it a bit in the remaining time, France took the win 180-129.