Tamil Thalaivas slipped to their eighth straight loss after Haryana Steelers overshadowed them with a 43-35 scoreline in their match at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Balewadi in Pune on Saturday. While Rahul Chaudhari managed a Super 10 for Tamil Thalaivas, Vikash Kandola's 13 raid points and Haryana Steelers' incisive defending tilted the game in their favour.
It started with Vinay, who got Haryana Steelers rolling with his early two-point raid, but the game swung even soon after. Haryana Steelers slowly inched away into a slender lead before Mohit Chhillar's Super Tackle on Vikash Kandola brought the deficit to one at 6-7.
Haryana Steelers, though, swooped in as a unit with a combination of astute raiding and sharp defending that resulted in the first All Out of the game as Tamil Thalaivas trailed with a 7-13 scoreline.
When the two teams reassembled, Tamil Thalaivas hit back with a Rahul Chaudhari two-pointer, bringing the deficit down to 11-14. However, a Super Tackle from Sunil on V Ajith Kumar gave Haryana Steelers the edge again with a 16-12 lead.
Rahul Chaudhari brought up his 100th raid point of the season just before half time as Tamil Thalaivas went into the break trailing 14-16.
At the restart, Chaudhari inflicted the All Out with touch points on Chand Singh and Sunil and swung the momentum in Tamil Thalaivas' favour as the board read 18-17.
However, after the reset, Vikash Kandola matched the effort moments later after he got Manjeet Chhillar and Shabeer Bappu out and then Vikas Kale tackled Chaudhari to make it 21-all.
This swung the tide as Kandola continued his assault with three straight successful raids, that ensured his Super 10 as well boosting the score to 28-22 to Haryana Steelers' advantage.
Victor Obiero was subbed in by Tamil Thalaivas and he delivered immediately with a two-point raid and then a Super Tackle on the prolific Kandola to bring the gap down to two. Chaudhari then completed his own Super 10 but without too many men on the mat, Tamil Thalaivas eventually succumbed to another All Out at the hands of Kandola.
Facing a score of 27-34 at the reset with some six minutes left, Tamil Thalaivas had a steep hill to climb. It's here that raider V Ajith Kumar stepped up with a two-pointer and Vinay getting his 50th raid point of the season.
Haryana Steelers addressed the fight-back with a Super Raid from Vinay that accounted for Mohit Chhillar, Manjeet Chhillar and Shabeer Bappu that allowed a nine-point lead for his team.
Ajith Kumar persisted nevertheless as he landed three successive successful raids and brought the gap to five points. His run, however, ended after he got dashed by Vikas Kale and it was soon over as they slipped to an eight-point loss.
Best Raider – Vikash Kandola (13 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Vikas Kale (4 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Rahul Chaudhari (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Mohit Chhillar (4 Tackle Points)