Bengal Warriors ended up on the losing side in their Eliminator 2 match against Dabang Delhi K.C. at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Kochi on Sunday. Having performed admirably in the league stages to get to the Playoffs, Bengal Warriors coach Jagdish Kumble acknowledged in the post-match press conference that the second half of the season could have been better.

“We made quite a few mistakes in the second half,” accepted Kumble. “These affected us hard, especially the self out we conceded on the do-or-die raid while attempting a bonus.”

Kumble then reflected on what could have been, pointed out that Bengal Warriors had the capability to emerge as leaders of their zone, had the results of a few matches gone their way.

“Our season had its own share of ups and downs. All our players performed well over the course of our campaign,” he said. “A couple of losses like the ones against Haryana Steelers or Dabang Delhi K.C. made all the difference, else we would have finished top of our zone. We defeated Bengaluru Bulls, who topped the zone, in all our three league games.”

Despite falling short of qualifying for the finals for the second season in succession, Bengal Warriors had many solid individual performers over the course of the season. The coach however, acknowledged the need for reinforcements to make the team stronger going into the next season.

“We need to strengthen our defence to break our jinx of not qualifying for the finals,” he reckoned. “The Left Cover and Right-Corner positions can be better. We need to start working on the small mistakes we have been making.”

While Maninder Singh, their leading raider, finished the tournament in fourth place amongst the top raid points scorers, their leading defender was only 14th in the league in terms of tackle points.

“Our defence needs to be worked on,” reiterated Ran Singh. “The rest of our team is too dependent on Maninder Singh to score points and that is something we want to change.”