After their win in their last league game, UP Yoddha skipper Nitesh Kumar has said that the team will gain confidence from their win against Bengaluru Bulls before they face them again in the first eliminator. He also talked about the defence strategy against Bengaluru’s lead raider Pawan Sehrawat.
UP Yoddha, despite having a shaky start, not only recovered well but won against Bengaluru Bulls with a scoreline of 45-33. After having given four points in a super raid to and getting all-out, they came back strong courtesy of the four-point raid by Surender Gill. They then went on to reduce the point difference and with the help of three all-out, they won the match by 12 points.
“Beating the champions is perfect preparation for the playoffs, I believe. The team will feel a lot better ahead of the eliminator against this very side. They will try to forget this game and will focus on the fact that they are the defending champions. It will be a completely different game,” skipper Nitesh Kumar said in the post-match press conference.
Yoddha’s defence in the second half helped them turn the game as in the second half, they didn’t let Pawan Sehrawat perform, which lead to them gaining the edge over the Bulls. Pawan, despite completing his super 10 in the first half, was only able to score three more points by the end and he was ousted seven times which is the most for him against any defence. The most successful defender for the UP side was local lad Ashu Singh, who was well supported by the skipper, as he finished the match with five tackle points.
“The defence was a bit tentative against him in the first half. We were trying to contain him by not letting him pick up touch points but given his quality, it was a doomed strategy to begin with. In the second half though we were much more aggressive in tackling him and circled around him quickly to trap him and pin him down. So, every time he tried to force the issue in the second half by coming in deep, we pounced on him without hesitation,” Nitesh said about curbing Pawan.