In an absolute thriller of a contest, Puneri Paltan edged rivals U Mumba in the Maharashtra Derby by a solitary point and won their second home of the campaign by a scoreline of 33-32. In the post-match press conference raider Nitin Tomar, captain Girish Maruti Ernak and coach Ashan Kumar took questions for Puneri Paltan whereas U Mumba were represented by raider Siddharth Desai, captain Fazel Atrachali and coach Gholamreza Mahmoud Mazandarani.
Q: Do you think Siddharth Desai stepping onto the lobby illegally during a Do-or-Die raid had a big effect on today’s game?
Nitin Tomar: The same thing had happened during our first match of the season as well where Siddharth Desai made the same mistake. We could not win that match, but we won today. I guess our home crowd spurring us on made the difference in the end as it motivated the players to do well.
Q: Do you think More G B’s first raid of the match turned out to be the turning point?
Ashan Kumar: He did what he was supposed to do as a substitute. These are exactly the kind of game-changing plays we look for from our players and More produced that. I consider that to be the turning point of the game as he brought us back into the contest from where we could convert it into a win.
Q: A second successive High 5 for you. How are you feeling?
Girish Maruti Ernak: Siddharth Desai played really well. For a moment it looked like he would take the game away from us. Our team, though, played very well in all positions. Whenever we needed a point, someone put their hand up and got us one. I am very proud of the boys and I hope we continue this performance in our future matches.
Q: Siddharth, what happened in the final raid?
Siddharth Desai: I lost my balance for a moment and stepped into the lobby. These things happen. Luckily for them, they got the Super Tackle on account of me stepping out and they held on to win.
Q: What do have to say about your start to the campaign?
Siddharth Desai: It has been surreal. Sort of like a dream. But I want to keep pushing and improving.
Q: Thoughts on the defence today?
Fazel Atrachali: It’s normal to have days like these. We definitely could have done better and we’ll regroup and do exactly that in the next game. This game was 50-50. Sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don’t. It is normal.
Q: The fans will be proud of the fight back that the team showed. What are your thoughts on that?
Siddharth Desai: We want to continue our good work and keep making them proud. In the next game, we want to play even better for the fans.