U Mumba convincingly defeated Telugu Titans 41-20 in the Inter-Zone Challenge Week Match 29 at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Tuesday. In the post-match press conference, U Mumba were represented by captain Fazel Atrachali and star raider Siddharth Desai while representing Telugu Titans were skipper Vishal Bhardwaj, coach K Jag Mohan and Rahul Chaudhari.
Q: You have been performing consistently ever since U Mumba’s first match. How do you feel?
Siddharth Desai: I had never imagined I would be amongst the top raiders of the season. I will look to give more such performances for the team and look to finish the season as the top raider off the season. I am not keeping a track of my numbers, I just want the team to win games. As long as we win games, my milestones will follow.
Q: You are playing for U Mumba in your home city. How does it feel to be playing at home?
Siddharth Desai: I have received a lot of support from the people of Pune so it’s a very good feeling. Even when we played Puneri Paltan, I had a lot of people cheering for me and it never felt as if I’m playing for a rival team.
Q: How does it feel to get back to winning ways?
Fazel Atrachali: I am very happy for the team. We needed this victory. We were unlucky against Puneri Paltan in our last game. We covered our mistakes from the last game and came back well. Siddharth has performed terrifically for us all season and he proved what a quality player he is today as well. We are only focused on our next match now and will look to win that as well.
Q: Did Abozar Mohajermighani not playing this match help your performance?
Siddharth Desai: We had planned our strategies on the fact that we would play Abozar. Sombir played instead so we just transferred our strategies to him. I have played with Sombir before, so I knew how he would defend and that helped me to an extent.
Q: What do you think was your biggest mistake today? Did you not have plans against Siddharth Desai?
Rahul Chaudhari: We did have plans against him. We tried going for his ankle, but he got past us every time. We played a low line and that enabled him to get bonus and touch points. He played a very decisive role in today’s result game.
Q: Your defence has performed very well in previous matches. How would you assess it today?
Rahul Chaudhari: We had the right defensive combination today. I think they felt a lot of pressure today going up against one of the best raiding sides this season… We could not follow our strategy and became aggressive instead of being defensive.
Q: You didn’t have Abozar Mohajermighani today. Did that make a difference?
K Jag Mohan: The plan is for him to come back for our next match. Our defence couldn’t perform today as we wanted them to. They could not hold on to the tackles they went for. Had they held onto them, the result could have been different.