Thalaivas goes down to Steelers for first loss

Thalaivas, which was led by young right corner defender Sagar Rathee in the absence of the injured Pawan Sehrawat, had played out a tie against Gujarat Giants in its opening match.
Action from the Tamil Thalaivas-Haryana Steelers match
Action from the Tamil Thalaivas-Haryana Steelers match

CHENNAI: Tamil Thalaivas suffered its first defeat of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 as it went down 22-27 to Haryana Steelers at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Thalaivas, which was led by young right corner defender Sagar Rathee in the absence of the injured Pawan Sehrawat, had played out a tie against Gujarat Giants in its opening match. Meanwhile, Steelers made it two victories in as many games, thanks to match-winning contributions from former Thalaivas player Manjeet (8 points – 6 raid points and 2 tackle points) and cover defender Jaideep (5 tackle points) on Tuesday.

The Tamil Nadu team employed defensive tactics and played on the ‘Do or Die’ raids, but could effectively execute its plans only in the first 15 minutes. Haryana inflicted the first and only ‘All Out’ of the match in the 19th minute, with the clean sweep helping it secure a six-point (14-8) lead. A few minutes prior to the ‘All Out’, Steelers had been behind 7-8.

Courtesy of the sweep, Haryana led 15-10 at the conclusion of the first half, in which both teams were cautious. Thalaivas reduced the deficit to two points, but Meetu came up with a two-point raid to widen the gap.

Sagar (5 tackle points) and substitute V Visvanath (4 points – 2 raid points and 2 tackle points) kept Thalaivas in the hunt with a ‘Super Tackle’ each. However, the Haryana defence too was on top of its game as Thalaivas had to settle for just a solitary point from the match (since the difference was under seven points).

‘We will not rush Pawan back’

In the post-match press conference, Thalaivas head coach J Udaya Kumar gave an update on Pawan’s knee injury. “He will undergo rehabilitation. We will not rush him. He will be out for some time,” said Udaya Kumar although he did not reveal how long Pawan would be sidelined for. In the second match of the night, Telugu Titans defeated Patna Pirates 30-21

RESULTS: Haryana Steelers 27 bt Tamil Thalaivas 22; Patna Pirates 21 lost to Telugu Titans 30

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