A flurry of super tackles by Puneri Paltan in the first half were the brave moments of the match. Deepak Niwas Hooda was the fittest player of the mat as he produced a solid all round performance for Jaipur.
A record-equalling six super tackles laid the foundation of a close-fought win for Puneri Paltan as they beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 29-25. In front of a packed stadium of home crowd over 2,500 fans, Puneri Paltan’s defence led by Ravi Kumar (6 points) came up with crucial super tackles to thwart Jaipur’s raiders. Overall Puneri Paltan scored 18 tackle points to ensure they remain top of the table in Zone A. For Jaipur Pink Panthers, it was the second defeat of the season as they remain rooted at the bottom Zone A table.
Jaipur Pink Panthers led 3-1 after three minutes as their defence started off swiftly. Akshay Jadhav made a two-point raid in the sixth minute as Puneri Paltan tied the match at 4-4. Both teams traded tackle and raid points in the next couple of minutes as it was 6-5 in Jaipur’s favour after nine minutes. Jaipur Pink Panther led 10-5 after 14 minutes and it was then when Pune started their flurry of super tackles.
It was an evenly contested first half were defenders played a bigger role than raiders. Puneri Paltan forced three super tackles in the first half. The most surprising fact of the first half was that Nitin Tomar couldn’t score a single raid. It was a testament to Jaipur’s defence who kept one of the best raiders in the league quiet. At the end of the first half it was 13-12 in the favour of Puneri Paltan.
Puneri Paltan forced another super tackle in the 22nd minute to lead 15-13. The fifth super tackle for Puneri Paltan came in the 25th minute as they led 17-15.
Nitin Tomar’s first point came in the form of a tackle with Puneri Paltan leading 20-15 after 32 minutes. It was a low-scoring affair as both teams played on the do-or-die strategy. After 34 minutes, Jaipur Pink Panthers trailed 18-21 as they sent Tomar to the bench again.
Puneri Paltan equaled the record of most super tackles in a match in the 35th minute to lead 23-18.
Deepak Hooda scored two crucial raid points as Jaipur Pink Panthers inflicted the first all out of the match in 38th minute as they cut the lead to just one point.
Puneri Paltan had their defence to thank for as they managed to pick important tackle points throughout the match.
In tomorrow’s matches, Puneri Paltan will play U Mumba whereas UP Yoddha will take on Bengal Warriors.