Telugu Titans beat Tamil Thalaivas 33-28 at the DOME@NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. Young Sombir was inspirational in defence for the Titans, scoring a game-high 10 points, which included crucial tackles at pivotal junctures of the encounter.
Chennai started better of the two sides and looked like inflicting an All-Out before back-to-back super tackles by Hyderabad made it all square at 5-5 eight minutes into the contest. Another successful tackle by the Titans three minutes later gave them a 7-6 lead.
Both defences seemed to be on top of their game in the opening period with the raiders finding it difficult going. In fact, Hyderabad’s Sombir even brought up his High 5 with a successful tackle two minutes before the break to further underline the dominant nature of both defences in the first half. The Titans ended the half leading 12-9 with the momentum on their side.
Raid Machine Rahul Chaudhari finally picked up his first touch point of the game early in the second half to help set up an All-Out on Chennai. The Thalaivas fought back valiantly but Hyderabad’s defence remained firm with Sombir in full control.
Mohsen Maghsoudlou, who had been the pick of the raiders for the Titans, helped them open up a seven-point lead in the 31st minute with a two-point raid. Just when it looked like Hyderabad were about to run away with the match, Chennai’s captain Ajay Thakur pulled off three successful raids in quick succession.
However, Sombir wasn’t ready to have any of that as he demonstrated with Hyderabad’s third super tackle moments later – this time on Thakur. Credit to Chennai though for refusing to give in and setting up a grandstand finish with three minutes to play after effecting an All-Out on Hyderabad and narrowing the deficit to 28-26.
The lead had been cut down to just one point heading into the final minute of the game but Sombir once again stood up and made himself counted with a crucial tackle to halt Chennai’s momentum. Chaudhari then followed it up with a successful raid and then played his part as Hyderabad defended astutely to see out the game and win 33-28.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.