A 12-point outing from Mohit Goyat and a stellar performance from the defence saw Puneri Paltan beat the Haryana Steelers 45-27. With this win, Pune closed the gap to fifth-placed U.P. Yoddha to five points with a game in hand.
The Steelers opened the scoring with an assured tackle on Aslam Inamdar, but it was all Puneri Paltan post that. They embarked on a 6-0 run, with Goyat scoring four, which reduced Haryana to just two players on the mat.
The Steelers ended the run with a successful bonus attempt, but Mohit managed to pressure one defender into stepping out of bounds before getting an easy touch on the other to inflict the game’s first All Out.
The Steelers responded well and managed to reduce the Paltan to just three players on the mat. But a Super Tackle from Sombir and quality raiding from Nitin Tomar and Goyat saw the Paltan take an 11-point lead.
Sombir and Mohit combined to reduce the Steelers to just two players on the mat and the latter took care of both defenders in the same raid to inflict a second All Out on the Steelers and help Pune take a 17-point lead. Tomar’s terrific tackle on Vikash yielded the last point of the half, as the two teams went into the break with Pune leading 25-7.
A 3-1 run at the start of the second half left the Steelers with a solitary man on the mat. The defender couldn’t do much, as the Paltan inflicted a third All Out and took a 25-point lead.
The Paltan’s relentless surge had seemingly no end in sight, as they embarked on a 6-2 run to push their lead up to 29 points. A two-point raid from Vinay and a Super Tackle from Ashish finally gave Haryana some momentum. Three more unanswered points from the Steelers saw the Paltan down to just two men, and Kandola tagged them both in the same raid before diving past the midline to inflict an All Out on Pune.
The Steelers finished the game on a 5-4 run, but in the end, it was a comfortable 18-point win for the Paltan.
Best Raider – Mohit Goyat (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sombir (7 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Ashish (5 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Ashish (3 Tackle Points)