England beat Australia in the fastest game of the tournament so far
The opening shots saw both sides immediately adopt an offensive game – the “Be offensive!” chants from the crowd didn’t fall on deaf ears – which promised a fast and furious bout to come.
Many of the Wizards towered over the England roster and packed a hell of a lot more muscle, giving the host nation their toughest test yet. England perhaps didn’t quite expect the Aussies to start as strongly as they did and in the first five minutes it was level pegging. The blocking line ups soon got a grip on the situation though to calm it down, while the jammer rotation of Sully, Reaper, Ballistic and Rex found their stride.
The Aussies on the other hand seemed to try various options, with Oliver Sudden, Sausarge Rolls, Ass’n Junk and Skate Pilgrim looking most troublesome for the English blockers. Sausarge in particular showed great agility and strength to stay upright and in bounds, despite England’s best efforts.
In a reflection of the intensity and brutality Ass N Junk took a big hit from Giggity on the outside of turn four ten minutes into the period that required attention from the medics; fortunately he took to his feet again minutes later. Reaper likewise felt the Wizard’s presence with a whack to the ribs midway through the period but was able to carry on after a quick check.
Brilliant offensive work from Spectral, Sutton and Giggity opened up the pack like the Red Sea for Ballistic to sail through unimpeded, while StoneR multitasked with aplomb, recycling the Australian jammer and handling their offence at the same time. His Southern Discomfort team mate, Reaper, showed equally breathtaking skill to flit around the outside line and put the afterburners on to pull away from any Australian chase.
Ya Mum, resplendent with beard, was a constant pain in the backside of the English jammers. He also made some well timed offensive moves to help his teammates under the seven pointed star.
The intensity died down in the second period as England stretched to a lead of more than 200 points, a far cry from the first minutes of the game when the Wizards really threatened Team England.
All in all an impressive performance from England who progress to play France, while Australia will face Argentina in the plate bracket.