A dogged defensive display from the Tamil Thalaivas helped them beat the Haryana Steelers 45-26. Manjeet was the Thalaivas’ top scorer with 10 points, while Sagar and Surjeet Singh combined for 15 tackle points in a terrific outing for their side.
The Steelers picked up a couple of points in the first raid of the game, courtesy of a bonus point and a self out by Surjeet Singh, but the Thalaivas dominated proceedings post that. Manjeet picked up three touch points, and Tamil’s defence pinned down Meetu and Vikash Kandola to leave Haryana with just a solitary man on the mat. Sagar pinned down the lone Steeler with a Double Thigh Hold to help the Thalaivas inflict an All Out and take a 9-2 lead.
The Thalaivas extended their lead to 11, courtesy of Sagar and Surjeet’s assured tackling. Manjeet induced an error from Surender Nada and left the Steelers with a solitary man on the mat, and Tamil’s defence tackled him in his subsequent raid to inflict another All Out and extend their lead to 14.
The Steelers conjured a strong response and scored four unanswered points to cut the deficit to 10. Meetu’s touch point on Sagar Krishna and Ankit stellar Double Thigh Hold on Bhavani Rajput left the Thalaivas with a solitary man. Surjeet offered no resistance to the raider and gave up a touch point that saw the Steelers inflict an All Out and cut their deficit to just five.
The Thalaivas finished the first half stronger, outscoring the Steelers 4-3 to go into the halftime break leading 24-18.
The Steelers started the second half with just three players on the mat but were quickly reduced to two, courtesy of a touch point by Manjeet. The raider then tagged the last two defenders in his subsequent raid before trotting across the midline to inflict a third All Out on the Steelers and extend his team’s lead to 11.
With momentum on their side, the Thalaivas continued to add to their advantage, outscoring the Steelers 6-2 to extend their advantage to 15. With their team staring at another All Out, the Steelers defence stepped their game up, and Super Tackled Ajinkya Pawar to add a couple of points to their team’s total.
But their resistance proved to be a momentary respite, as the Thalaivas scored three unanswered points to reduce the Steelers to a solitary man. The defender surrendered the point to concede an All Out, which pushed the Thalaivas’ lead to 18.
In the game’s final two minutes, the Thalaivas outscored the Steelers 4-3 to register a comfortable win.
Best Raider – Manjeet (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Surjeet Singh (8 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Vikash Kandola (8 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Jaideep (4 Tackle Points)