After losing to U Mumba on both the previous occasions this season, Haryana Steelers finally managed to get one back for their team by defeating the Mumbai outfit 41-30 on Wednesday. Captain Surender Nada was more than happy that his team was finally able to cross the U Mumba hurdle and was quick to reveal what he thought was the reason.

“The strategies we had made against U Mumba in the previous two matches did not prove to be successful so we switched up our strategy today. We had strategised for every individual raider, especially Kashiling Adake and I’m glad it paid off,” said the Haryana captain.

Assistant coach Srinivas Reddy also weighed in with his own opinion. “The reason we won against U Mumba today is that we rectified the mistakes we made in the previous matches against them,” said Reddy, “In the last match they got points via super tackles and bonuses but in this match we didn’t give them any super tackles. We gave them some bonus points but not that many. We had also told our defenders to go for diving tackles instead of ankle holds because the success ratio is high and the risk with the ankle hold is that if the raider slips from the hands of the defender then it might be possible for him to go for more points.”

Nada was also all praise for young Vikas Kandola who looked the most deadly Haryana raider in what was his first match in over a month due to injury. “It is because of Vikas’ raids that we won the game today. He and Deepak Kumar Dahiya performed really well,” said Nada before adding, “Right now our main aim is to do well in the Super Playoffs since those matches are really important. Vikas has a slight injury [which led to his substitution] but it is nothing serious. He will get the necessary rest before we play him again.”

U Mumba coach Bhaskaran Edacherry, meanwhile, recognised that Adake and Surinder Singh’s inability to perform led to their team’s first loss against Haryana. “Our defence made all the mistakes they possibly could. We expected Surinder and Kuldeep, our two covers, to do well but they are the ones who conceded the most touch points. I could feel the match slipping away from our hands at one point. We tried hard but we couldn’t recover from there,” said Edacherry, “Kashiling also got tackled in the same place three or four times and was carrying a knee injury so we decided to bring him out in favour of Shabeer Bappu.”