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TGSS Grand Final: Victoria 198, Sun State 115

In a rematch of the 2010 TGSS Grand Final, Sun State took on Victoria for the coveted Golden Thong (Yanks, it doesn’t mean what you think it means, but the word ‘flip-flop’ has no place in an Australian derby recap). In that last game, Victoria squeaked out a two-point win over the team in black and yellow, but this time around, the outcome rarely seemed in doubt.

Sun State held a two point lead for the first two jams, but Swish Cariboom put up a 4-0 jam in the third for the first and only lead change of the night. A couple of jams later, the jam clocked ticked down to zero without the jammers being released -- the only movement in the jam was Sun State jammer Polly Cracker skating lazy circles behind the jammer line and her teammate, Sculley, stepping out of position to view the blocker line-up, then stepping right back in.

The same players lined up in the next jam, with the Victorian squad taking a knee immediately on the fourth whistle of the previous jam. This time around, Kitty Decapitate got stuck behind a Sun State four-wall as Polly made it out of the pack, but without lead jammer status after an out-of-bounds pass on a downed skater. Kitty was designated lead jammer on completing her initial pass, but Polly had already completed a five-point pass when Kitty called the jam off.

The game stayed within about twenty points for most of the rest of the second half, but a power jam for Victoria with about seven minutes left in the period let them break the game open. Victoria’s G-Banger lined up against Sun State’s Cookie Cutter, motioning her blockers to a knee near the pivot line.

G-Banger made her initial pass quickly, with Cookie stuck behind BB Bombshell while G-Banger racked up her first and -- with a crowd-pleasing apex jump -- second grand slams. BB finally forced a major cut on Cookie and G-Banger’s next pass wasn’t as easy -- Sun State captain Muzzaratti nailed her to the infield and after one more apex jump, the jam was off. G-Banger’s 13-0 here brought the score to 71-31 in Victoria’s favour, with 4.19 to play.

The next jam started with Cookie standing in the box and Mad Mel Arena standing on the jammer line. This time, Cookie made a quick initial pass to pick up lead jammer status and then a grand slam as Mel was recycled to the back of the pack.

The next jam was the last of the half and Sun State’s Rose Ruin wound up in the penalty bin with the jammer star after a major track cut. Skate Bush added 15 points to her team’s score and Rose wasn’t able to make a scoring pass after returning from the box. At the conclusion of the full-length jam, and the half, the score stood at Victoria 94, Sun State 42.

Penalty trouble for Sun State in the first minutes of the second half saw Victoria, often holding a 4-2 pack advantage, stretch their lead to nearly 100 points, the biggest margin of the game, with the score standing at 148-50 with 19.30 on the clock. Most of these points were added with both jammers on the floor -- a power jam for Victoria in jam 2 saw them add just three points to their total.

Sun State outscored Victoria in the last twenty minutes of the game, closing the gap largely with the help of crowd favourite Chop Chop -- she’d been played as a blocker in the first half but was a go-to jammer in Sun State’s 2010 near-miss on the TGSS title. In her first time on the jammer line, in the eighth jam of the half, she put up 20-0 over a boxed Mad Mel Arena, leaving the score at 148-70 in Victoria’s favour, with just over 16 minutes remaining on the clock.

Chop Chop took the star in heavy rotation in the second half, along with Victoria’s Skate Bush, another veteran of the 2010 jammer lineup. However, after closing the gap between the two teams to around 60 points, Sun State were never able to make a serious run at Victoria’s score. For the last ten minutes of the game, the teams traded low-scoring jams; the only exception was a Victorian power jam with five minutes left to play.

In the jam immediately prior, Victoria’s Ruby Ribcrusher had fouled out and Sun State’s Muzzaratti had landed in the penalty box for a two-minute stint. G-Banger added 14 points to the Victorian total over a boxed Ladykiller, stretching Victoria’s lead to 186-109, with 3.19 remaining on the clock.

The rest of the game was punctuated with official time-outs -- one after each of the remaining four jams -- and when the last whistle blew, Victoria had taken out the title with a 198-115 win over Sun State.