Puneri Paltan scored a 45-27 win against Haryana Steelers on Sunday to bounce back from their close defeat to Dabang Delhi K.C. earlier. Haryana Steelers were represented by captain Monu Goyat and coach Rambir Singh Khokhar at the post-match press conference while representing Puneri Paltan were captain Girish Maruti Ernak and coach Ashan Kumar.
Q. Following a loss in your previous game, can you call this a perfect win?
Ashan Kumar: After the previous game we had to change our strategy, which we did. We made new strategies and changed a few things in our team. One of them was to play our captain as a Cover and the new lad, Akshay Jadhav as a Corner. It worked very well today and I’m very proud of that.
Q. You brought Rajesh Mondal into the lineup today. He got you important points. How important is he to your plans?
Ashan Kumar: Rajesh Mondal is a very good player and a very important player for us. We used him to the fullest today. Our secondary raiders worked well today, and Nitin Tomar didn’t have to do all the work. I am also very proud of my defence. They stuck to our plans and executed them perfectly.
Q. Your defence is back in form. Tell us about your new find Akshay Jadhav.
Girish Maruti Ernak: Akshay is an all-rounder. He can play any position and will play whatever position you ask him to. Today we asked him to play Left Corner and he did an excellent job. Akshay had a big role to play in the game today according to our strategy and he performed to the best of his ability.
Q. How did you prepare to play Cover instead of your usual position of Corner?
Girish Maruti Ernak: There was preparation but I also had confidence. I have played Left Cover before. A kabaddi player doesn’t have a fixed position, he has to be versatile and play wherever he is asked to. Today I was required to play Left Cover and I did.
Q. What do you have to say about today’s match? You are up against Jaipur Pink Panthers tomorrow and a master tactician in Anup Kumar, so what will the strategy be?
Rambir Singh Khokhar: Today we were in the game until the last 5-6 minutes. We had a very good start but couldn’t capitalise. We couldn’t control the tempo of the game, be it our defence or our offence. This is a learning experience for the team and I’m pretty sure we will come back strong. We will try and plan differently for the game against Jaipur Pink Panthers tomorrow. We have a great captain in Monu Goyat as well.
Q. What aspects are you looking to improve on?
Rambir Singh Khokhar: Puneri Paltan have a very good Left Corner in Girish Maruti Ernak who played very well and was very versatile today. Monu Goyat is a right raider and so attacks the left side first. That is where we lost out as the Left Corner was always keeping him on his toes.
Q. You had 4 tackle points today and Puneri Paltan had 16. Do you think this was the main difference between the teams? What changes are you planning on making?
Rambir Singh Khokhar: Yes definitely, 12 points is a huge gap and hence our margin of defeat was also greater. Our defence played very well in our first game against Gujarat Fortunegiants. The defensive unit will take time to settle.
Q. What will your strategy be for the next 3 games?
Monu Goyat: We will have to keep the new boys encouraged. No one should write them off. We will prepare well for the next game, try to improve on the areas of concern and hope to do better.