The Orange Group belonged to underdogs and crowd favourites, Japan, even though it was won outright by a burly Canadian side with Scotland taking second place.
The Ninjapan Rollers came out to a rapturous welcome from the crowd with even the Scottish fans cheering them on throughout an opening game in which the Japanese struggled with an assured Scottish defence and, it seemed, the English penalty calls.
Canada then outclassed Belgium 255-20, a sure signal to the rest of the group that they were indeed the favourites. The Canadians’ ice hockey heritage particularly shone through as their nimble jammers simply shrugged off hits from the Belgians, who also really struggled with Canada’s walls.
The Belgians proved a stronger foe for the Power of Scotland though in a tight game that finished 98-82 to the Scots in a nervy affair that had the Scottish fans on the edge of their seats throughout.
The Canadians secured their passage to the quarter finals when they notched up a second, one-sided win against Japan, 349-11. The Ninjapan Rollers once again had the audience behind them all the way. Ryo Chin in particular earned the crowd’s appreciation with his solitary blocking of the Canadian jammer when his team mates were all sent to the box. U2 meanwhile showed some off some great jamming skills in pursuit of some rare points against the Canadian defence.
The Power of Scotland suffered a similar fate against the North American powerhouse as their Belgian brothers, losing out 220-18. By this stage though the Scots were already through to the quarter finals.
The Japanese grew stronger with each game and showed their best against last Orange Group game against the Belgians. Once again it was their jammers who suited the gameplay best, with their agile skating skills and some neat footwork on the boundary line, but their blockers also proved troublesome when they were able to take the back and stick together.
In the second half of the game some calm walling from the Belgian blockers took care of the Japanese jammers who began to pick up penalties, allowing the Belgian jammers to run riot and significantly increase their lead. Final score 241-88 to Belgium.