Telugu Titans got the better of Patna Pirates by a 35-31 score line in an enthralling encounter at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. Telugu Titans were represented at the post-match press conference by captain Vishal Bhardwaj, Rahul Chaudhari and coach K Jag Mohan. Patna Pirates were represented by captain Pardeep Narwal and coach Ram Mehar Singh.
Q: Telugu Titans are known for their defence. Do you think their defence in the second half changed the outcome of the game?
Ram Mehar Singh: They were successful in stopping Pardeep. He was made to take risks when he shouldn’t have. We should have used our backup raiders and saved Pardeep for later. He went in too deep into their half and hence couldn’t have the desired outcome. Pardeep is one of the world’s best raiders. If he gets Super Tackled, you have to laud the defence.
Q: You gave away 4 points off Super Tackles. Do you think there was a shortcoming in strategy then?
Pardeep Narwal: I should have done better in those two raids. I could have succeeded in both of them and returned two All-Outs. That would have made a difference as we would then have been in the lead by a greater margin.
Q: You made a brilliant comeback in the second half considering you were trailing at the end of the first. What are your thoughts?
Rahul Chaudhari: Our defence played very well today. The mistakes we made against Bengal Warriors weren’t repeated. The defence gave their 100%, they did not leave any stone unturned today. We played aggressively and it paid off.
Q: Before today’s game you were 14 points away from 700 raid points. What was going through your mind?
Rahul Chaudhari: There is no nervousness at all. Yes, there is pressure since it is being spoken about since before the start of the season. I’m happy I performed well today. I didn’t start as well in the first half but I came back well. Once the match starts, I play to win. I don’t look at milestones. I will get there at some point this season and it’ll feel nice to be the first to get there.
Q: Do you consider the match’s turning point to be the two Super Tackles on Pardeep Narwal?
Vishal Bhardwaj: That was one turning point. Another was when Mohsen Maghsoudlou got us a raid point on a Do-or-Die raid towards the end of the game. I feel that is where the game turned. Abozar Mighani’s Super Tackle on Pardeep Narwal was another one as we would have conceded a bigger lead if we got All-Out.
Q: What pep talk did you give your team to lift their spirits after the first half?
K Jag Mohan: We decided not to play with 7 on the mat. We decided to go maintain 4 or 5 players to take the bonus point out. With the bonus point out, they had to take more risks since they were playing on the Do-or-Die raid. The plan was to also play a high line against Pardeep Narwal. We wanted to eliminate the chances of him trying the ‘Dubki’.