In what has been nothing short of magic these past 2 seasons, our Giants experienced the harsh reality of losing 6 games on the trot. The worst run we have ever suffered. It was also a tough pill to swallow, especially given that we lost all our home matches in that horror run too.
Post the home leg disappointment, we had an extended break before we were due to face our arch rivals, the Patna Pirates. It would have been easy to sulk and complain during this break, however, our Giants made the most out of it, recuperating and training harder than ever.
Coach Manpreet and his trusted team of advisors worked closely with our raiders. They had been making silly errors, something he was keen to get rid off. The team worked hard and sweat it out on the mat, focusing on swift kicks and easy bonus points. Our raiders also paid attention to opponents advance tackles, and how to execute swift escapes as well.
It was also an important chance to work with our youngsters, especially Pankaj and Sonu Jaglan, both having already impressed us with individual performances in games this season. Manpreet has a lot of confidence in young Sonu, in particular with his height and ability to kick. With increasing trust been laid on Sonu as our third raider, this break was just what the young man needed.
It was not all smooth sailing for us, with the news that Sachin Tanwar, our star raider had sustained an injury. His diagnosis said he would be out for a week, ruling him out of the game against Patna. While it could have easily broken our team's morale, our players knew they would have to step up their game and give their 110% to ensure we would perform without him.
With our defence also found lacking at times, the game plan in training was to tackle the raiders whenever there was an opportunity, thus putting opposing raiders under pressure early on rather than letting them have the upper hand.
Fast forward one week, and we bore the fruits of our labor. Not only did our raiders excel, our defenders pulled of sensational tackles too. Even without Sachin Tanwar, our team overcame the challenge of Pardeep Narwal and his Patna forces.
In case you missed out on the match against Patna, you can catch the highlights here: https://bit.ly/30GBZ5q.
While the victory was sweet, we must now build upon it. We head to Delhi next, however the morals and takeaways from our training must be carried out through the remainder of the season. This break was much needed for our Giants, another shot to kick start their campaign, and we grabbed the opportunity with both hands.