A thriller of a contest between U Mumba and Jaipur Pink Panthers at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex in Panchkula resulted in a 35-35 tie on Saturday. At the post-match press conference, U Mumba were represented by coach Gholamreza Mazandarani, captain Fazel Atrachali and Siddharth Desai while coach Srinivas Reddy and Deepak Niwas Hooda took questions for Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Q1. What are your thoughts on the match?
Gholamreza Mazandarani: I think it was a very hard match because Jaipur Pink Panthers played courageously like they didn’t have anything to lose. They played freely. Some of their players were new but even they tried really hard. There were some mistakes in our defence tonight. I think this result was more crucial for U Mumba because it showed us that in the future we may need to change a few things.
Q2. How was the experience of playing such a close game?
Fazel Atrachali: This was a good experience because we have already qualified for the Playoffs. This match was a positive for us because if we make mistakes like this in the Playoffs then we won’t get a second chance. It was a good match and a good learning experience that we should always have our guard up.
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Q1. Where do you think it went wrong for your team after having an initial lead?
Srinivas Reddy: We had a lead of seven points till the closing minutes. I think some of the newer players couldn’t take the pressure from that point on and the team fumbled a little because of which we had to settle for a tie. Otherwise, this could easily have been a victory for us.
Q2. What was the plan after you had the lead?
Deepak Niwas Hooda: The only thing I was stressing on towards the end of the match was that we shouldn’t give them the lead when they come in to raid. The plan was to keep five players on the mat so that they don’t get an easy bonus and have to try for a touch point. The situation became tense at that point and we gave up a few points. Even though we conceded some easy points, the game ended in a tie and I am happy that the team is playing with so much passion.
Q3. What advice did the coach give you during the time-out?
Deepak Niwas Hooda: During the time-outs, both, the coach and I, were stressing that we are five players on the mat so we should wait for the opponent to make a mistake instead of trying for an aggressive tackle. Another mistake we made was that we were giving up points early without waiting for the entire raid clock to run down. But we have a young squad and the more they play, the more they will learn.