Matchday 9 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 at Nagpur’s Mankapur Indoor Stadium saw both Patna Pirates and Bengal Warriors cross the 40-point mark and record huge victories against their opponents. The Warriors won by 20 points in the first game of the day, beating U.P. Yoddha 40-20, and in the second game Dubki King Pardeep Narwal’s Pirates beat home side Bengaluru Bulls 46-32.

U.P. Yoddha looked a shadow of their former selves without their star raider Rishank Devadiga, who missed the match on account of an injury he picked up in Saturday’s tie against Bengaluru Bulls. Captain Nitin Tomar too was forced to sit out for most part of the match due to an ankle issue, and the team suffered greatly. Coach J Udaya Kumar seemed shocked at the post-match press conference.

“We missed our star raiders Rishank and Nitin but even without them we never thought we would lose by such a big margin,” he said.

“We will take this loss as a lesson. It will also serve as a warning against getting complacent due to our earlier wins,” he added.

Kumar also went on to say he would rather rest a player than run the risk of injuries. “It is a long season and not giving our key raiders enough time to recover could be problematic especially keeping in mind that we have our upcoming home leg as well to think of,” he said.

Bengal Warriors, meanwhile, were pleasantly surprised by the margin of their victory. “We were confident that we could win but had not expected such a big win. Our plan was to give our raider a free lease at the start to try and score as many points as possible and that worked for us,” said captain Surjeet Singh.

In the second game, Patna Pirates made short work of Bengaluru Bulls but coach Ram Mehar Singh wasn’t getting carried away. “We had chalked out plans for today’s match and they were executed well on the mat. It’s too early to say anything about winning or losing the league yet but we have a good bunch of players and our team has been performing well,” he said before himself pointing out their shortcomings as well. “We made some errors in defence which we will have to take care of going forward.”

Bengaluru Bulls, meanwhile, undeniably had a forgettable outing on Sunday and coach Randhir Singh insisted they had to quickly improve in the defence department. “In the first two matches we won, we were performing well but in the last two games, our defence has disappointed us. We have a rest day which will give us time to rework our defensive combination,” he said.