19th February 2016, Patna: Patna Pirates were handed a lesson in winning as defending champions U Mumba completely dominated the host team, running out 34-28 winners to halt the Pirate juggernaut.
The intent of the men in orange and black was clear from the beginning when a series of perfect tackles saw U Mumba secure the first all out in the 5th minute itself with the score 9-2. A super raid from Rishank Devadiga stretched the lead further with the second all out coming in the 14th minute. Following the super raid, a superb tackle from Rakesh Kumar saw the score push towards 22-8. The host team trailed 9-24 to the defending champions at half time.
The second half saw the same determination displayed by U Mumba in the first half but a spirited fight back from Patna as well. The host team managed to secure an all-out despite a hopeful substitution sending Bhupender Singh in to try and prevent the all out. With the score 31-24 to U Mumba, Shabeer Bapu came in for Vishal Mane to try and increase the lead. But it was the defence that shone today for the defending champions with Fazel Atrachali and Vishal himself putting in two brilliant individual tackles. Neutralising the famed Patna raiders, U Mumba finally broke their winning streak, beating them 34-28.
After the match captain Anup Kumar, fresh from his gold-winning outing at the South Asian Games said "Patna were unbeaten and confident because of that. We knew we had to play our best to beat them. We decided that their raiders were their strong point which meant our defence had to be solid."
With Pardeep Narwal and Rajesh Mondal not performing as well, the plan seemed to work for U Mumba. "It was truly a team effort today with everyone putting in the hard work to get this win. Jeeva Kumar especially was the rock in the defence and rarely made a mistake. Vishal and Fazel also played brilliantly," he concluded,
The defending champions play Bengal Warriors next at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on the 23rd of February.