In the first few jams, the Hearses quickly reminded the 2011 champions, the Salties, that this was not 2011. They tore away to a quick lead, which soon became 22 points in front. But then the Salties capitalised on a powerjam, in an almighty 28 point jam to Bam Bam Belial, and the lead changed. The Salties held onto a slight lead over the Hearses during the ensuing battle of strategic pack control, but the Hearses managed to switch the lead back a few jams out from half time, heading into the break SD 63 to WH 70. Throughout this bout, the Hearses looked like they might have been studying up on strategy over the pre-season, as they persistently broke up Salty walls and worked closely together to control the front of the pack and the overall pack speed. The second half saw two Salty ejections, while the Hearses maintained control of the track. Despite some great Salty moments, the bout slid steadily further away from the Salties throughout the second half, as the Hearses showed everyone that they were going to be a serious contender in 2012. Final score: WH 161 to SD 95.