Gujarat Fortunegiants made light work of the Patna Pirates raiders when the two sides met in their inter zone wildcard match on Sunday and finished with a 33-29 victory to show for their efforts. The Fortunegiants looked like a team with a plan and they executed all their strategies to perfection giving the aggressive Patna team just 16 raid points on the night. It was Gujarat’s second win against Patna this season.  

Patna coach Ram Mehar Singh acknowledged the improvement his side had made in the defence department recently but rued the decline of their raiders. “Since the previous match our defence has been playing well but it is the raiders who have failed to deliver. In this match we were confident of victory but once again the raiders let us down, which is why things didn’t go according to plan,” he said at the post-match press conference.

The Patna coach also reserved some special words of praise for the Iranian corner combination of Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani saying that the Gujarat team depends on them a lot and their performance made the difference for them. ”They played well and it was a close game. Their defence was strong and the two Iranian corners got good support from the other players. Their defence was their main strength today. However, we have the league’s best raider [Pardeep Narwal] so we are confident we will do better going forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh was happy that his team finally booked their Super Playoffs spot with their win against Patna. “We have been in top gear so far and we are happy to have beaten two-time champions Patna to qualify for the Super Playoffs,” said Manpreet.

However, Manpreet insisted there were things the team still needed to work on going forward. “I can see all the matches in the league from here on being close, so we need to prepare ourselves beforehand. For instance, what is to be done in a match if the scores are level till the last minutes; how one can maintain one’s hold over a match and win in a pressure situation... These are the things we need to plan for,” he concluded.