Northland's premier roller derby team has secured its first win of the season, bringing home a whopping success from Hamilton on Saturday.
Hell's Wives, the senior team of the Northland Nightmares league, scored a huge 246-149 win over Hamilton's Raggedy Angst.
The Northland squad of 11 faced off at Fraser High School in Hamilton.
Northland's head coach Wendy Baird, who was named MVP Blocker on the day, said the northern team pulled ahead on the scoreboard because of their fitness, strategy, individual skater skill, mental preparation and endurance.
"We're also a very tight-knit team and that matters when you're in the game. To know your team members, their skills and abilities, and to trust they have your back - that's all a vital part of a successful squad."
She said the Northland team had developed new strategies and started the 2017 season training at the beginning of March.
"The game has changed. Strategies are tighter now and there's just no room for messy game play."
Northland pulled ahead on the scoreboard from the beginning and finished the first half with complete advantage.
However, it was the second half that really brought the game to life.
"I feel like the second half is where our fitness made a difference and our strategies, especially our defensive walls, they were strong. We just kept the pressure on."
She said Northland's preparation this year included more psychological training.
"For example, a standard jam is no more than two minutes long, but we often train for four-minute jams. We have also stepped up our strength and cardio training."
Tyana Hansen was named Northland's MVP jammer. The point scorer displayed a confident, fast and agile skating skill the opposing team was just unable to stop.
Baird said Hamilton had agile jammers, as well as strong defensive walls.
"They're also a great team to play, and fantastic hosts. We love playing them!"
It was a double success for Northland, as Northland's junior team (ages 9-17) secured their own win, with the Hell Razors triumphant 213-189 over Hamilton's Monstar Squad.
"The double win has been great. The juniors played hard and to be honest, they were mini Hell's Wives - they fought hard with strong defensive walls and agile jammers. We're so proud of them."
Northland will play Whakatane at ASB Stadium in Whangarei on June 17.