The Match in a Tweet
The Giants went into the game with one change in their starting 7. A raider, Mahendra Rajput came in for the all-rounder Rohit Gulia. The change was possibly made to exploit Haryana’s depleted defence in the absence of the injured stalwart, Surender Nada.
The match couldn’t have had a more dramatic start! Sachin Tanwar went in for the first raid, and almost came back with the entire Haryana team! It was another case of ‘so close, yet so far’ as his hand touched the mid-line, but just couldn’t get over it. If not for those elusive couple of centimetres, it could have been one of the best raids ever!
The Giants Falter
Nothing went our way in the first six minutes, as the Steelers compiled point after point. We suffered our first all-out, and Haryana extended their lead to 8. After the all-out though, a rejuvenated squad came out. Two fierce tackles and a few raid points followed, and we cut the lead down to 5 points at the 9-minute mark.
Sachin Tanwar and K. Prapanjan were getting regular touch points. Sachin ended the half with 6 points to his name, and Prapanjan with 4. However, the defence was faltering with advance tackles and that meant we were down by 7 points going into the break at 13-20.
Kuldeep Keeps the Giants at Bay
Prapanjan started the half brilliantly, with points off successive raids. The defence too picked up their game. The skipper Sunil Kumar took the mantle upon himself and scored a brilliant High 5.
Alas, the lead proved to be out of reach as Haryana too kept piling on the points at the other end.
Coming into the game in place of Surender Nada, Kuldeep Singh had big shoes to fill. The debutant was impeccable, as he compiled 7 tackle points with a 100% success rate! In hindsight, that was probably our undoing in this game. Despite Nada’s absence, the left corner wasn’t exploitable after all.
The Giants will learn from this, though. They are a young squad, and they learn quickly. Undoubtedly, Manpreet Singh will be at the helm with a plan in place to bounce back from this tough loss.