Pro Kabaddi 2017 Season 5: Tamil Thalaivas 'crumbled totally', says Puneri Paltan skipper Deepak Niwas Hooda after win
The Tamil Thalaivas' Pro Kabaddi Season 5 homecoming was spoilt by the Puneri Paltan who rode to victory on the back of a 22-8 second-half display. The Thalaivas had actually opened really well, confidence clearly high after two successive wins coming into this match. But after leading 12-11 at half-time, they were able to score just seven in the second period to surrender the match.
The turning point of the match came in the 10th minute of the second half when Puneri skipper Deepak Hooda wiped out the Thalaivas with a five-point Super Raid, three touch points plus two points for the All Out, that swung the game in his side's favour. The Super Tackle opportunity was missed by the Thalaivas as an inadequate effort let the Paltan's skipper off.
Thalaivas coach K. Baskaran acknowledged as much, "One raid changed the match. Deepak Hooda came and took five points in that raid and after that neither our defence or offense was able to succeed."
Thalaivas captain Ajay Thakur, the star of their two recent wins, also touched upon it saying, "We could not recover after the All Out. "There was no opportunity today for late-game heroics from Ajay and the Thalaivas, but he remained hopeful that the side would come back. "We are disappointed that we lost, but now we have to focus on the upcoming matches. We have lot of matches this week to play and I think we can come back", said Ajay.
Deepak Hooda, speaking after the match went on to say that the Thalaivas 'crumbled totally, offensively and defensively' highlighting the importance of his 5-point raid in a match that he said was "so tight" until then.
He, and the other Paltan raiders, also won their battle against the Thalaivas' lead defender Amit Hooda who was unsuccessful with three of his four tackles. "Amit Hooda is their main defender. If we don't take him on, how can we win? Yes we had our plans and today we managed to get the better of him which was important", said Deepak.
After impressing in the first half, the Thalaivas' raiders came unstuck against a supremely good Paltan defence. Coach Baskaran attributed it to the raiders not getting into good positions. "The Pune defence realized that Ajay Thakur and Prapanjan are strong raiders that cannot be pushed out," he said.
So they went for their knees which didn't allow them any escape. Also, our raiders didn't get into some good positions and Pune took advantage", exclaimed Baskaran.
He also expressed disappointment that the team couldn't fulfill the expectations of the fans especially after the amazing support that the rapturous home crowd had shown them. Touching down for the first time in the city of Chennai, Pro Kabaddi has got an amazing response with the boisterous crowd only silenced by the home side's collapse in the second half.
The Thalaivas' fortunes were further compounded by the Paltan's excellent use of the review system. They were brilliant all night overturning crucial decisions that could have helped the Thalaivas come back into the match.
Team coach BC Ramesh spoke about how it was a conscious effort from his side saying, "We had decided that we will not take a review unless we are 100% sure. I told all the players on the mat as well as the bench to watch every play closely so that we could be successful."
The Thalaivas next play the Jaipur Pink Panthers tomorrow night while the Paltan are also in action kicking off the action tomorrow against the UP Yoddha.