Patna Pirates edged out Tamil Thalaivas 24-23 in a low-scoring thriller at the DOME@NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. In a match which featured star raiders like Rahul ‘Showman’ Chaudhari, Ajay ‘Iceman’ Thakur and Pardeep ‘Record-Breaker’ Narwal, it was Patna Pirates' Left Corner Jaideep, who stole the show with 7 tackle points. At the post-match press conference, coach Ram Mehar Singh spoke to reporters from the Patna Pirates camp, while Tamil Thalaivas’ coach E Bhaskaran and captain Ajay Thakur addressed the media for the Tamil Nadu-based side.
Q. Coach, what do you feel was the turning point of the match?
Ram Mehar Singh: For me the turning point of the game came courtesy of our substitute Monu, who did well both while raiding and defending. He performed well in crucial situations. After we brought him on, he scored points at pivotal moments. So, bringing him on was crucial.
Q.Thoughts on Jaideep’s performance tonight?
Ram Mehar Singh: Jaideep is a very good Corner defender. He was carrying a few injuries from last season, so it will take time for him to be back to his best. He will get even better after playing a few more games. He’s played well for us in the past and I hope he can do well for us in the future.
Q.Your defence performed very well. Happy with that?
Ram Mehar Singh: Our defence is playing very well and if our Tiger (Pardeep Narwal) can also perform well, then I won’t have any tension. He’s been the best raider in the league for the last five seasons, but until he performs well, I’ll be a bit tensed irrespective of whether we’re winning or losing.
Q. Next leg is the Patna leg. What are your expectations from it?
Ram Mehar Singh: First and foremost, I’d like to say that Season 7 is shaping up to be the toughest season yet. There are no sides that are dominating at the moment. With the exception of maybe one or two games, the rest of the matches have all been tight. If our offence, in particular Pardeep, clicks and our defence keeps performing like they are, we should do well in our home leg.
Q. Your thoughts on the match?
E Bhaskaran: They executed quite a few Super Tackles in this match. There were situations where the score was tied and they had only three people on the mat. Instead of us capitalizing on it and enforcing an All-Out, their defenders kept tackling us in such situations and in the end, we lost by just one point.
Q. Your takeaways from the game?
E Bhaskaran: We have to look into the errors we are committing. Mistakes at crucial junctures are not helpful. We’ll look into them and I’ll try to ensure that such mistakes don’t happen in the next few matches.
Q. Ajay, thoughts on Tamil Thaliavas’ defence?
Ajay Thakur: The defence played well today. There was a point when they were down to just two players, but they got a Super Tackle. From then on, they took the advantage. We came under pressure and rushed their raiders after that because they were in a lead. But our defence played very well overall and that’s why it was such a close match.