Gujarat humbles Puneri Paltan on home soil
The win didn’t change any equations as both teams already qualified for the knock-out phase. However, Gujarat moved up to second placed with 82 points. Puneri Paltan is still in third place with 63 points.pune Updated: Oct 13, 2017 23:14 IST
Puneri Paltan, who went all the way to third place with consistent performances, once again went down to the mighty Gujarat Fortunegiants in their first home match of this season on Friday.
In front of small but vocal crowd at the Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex, Balewadi, Gujarat outshone the hosts in every aspect. A strong defence supported by piercing attacks saw them register a comfortable 44-20 win.
Sukesh Hedge was the wrecker-in-chief with 14 points, while Sunil Kumar was another major contributor with 7 points.
The win didn’t change any equations as both teams already qualified for the knock-out phase. However, Gujarat moved up to second placed with 82 points. Puneri Paltan is still in third place with 63 points.
In an action-packed game, Gujarat raced to a 6-3 lead and then imposed an all out attack on Pune to gain a 12-5 lead. Pune raiders failed to impress and the half time score read 17-7 in Gujarat’s favour.
After the breather, the story read the same as Gujarat defenders nullified every move by the Pune raiders. On the other hand, Sukesh Hedge’s super tackle turned out to be a big blow for the hosts. Hegde claimed 6 points in his raid, imposing another all -out on Pune. With a 29-10 lead, Gujarat players relaxed and that reflected in their game. Their Sunil Kumar was given a time penalty for grabbing Pune’s Akshay Jadhav’s jersey.
With less than five minutes for the final whistle, Pune faced another all out and were trailing 13-37. The game was virtually over for the hosts but they kept fighting and came up with some brilliant tackles. However, by then, it was too late and Gujarat walked away with an easy victory.
“Nothing worked for us today. Our raiders failed to impress and the defence was equally disappointing. It was a bad day and we would like to forget this and face the next team with a fresh mind,” said coach BC Ramesh.
“We have learnt few things from this game and will chalk out a new strategy against Gujarat, as we would be facing them again in the last match of the league. We have to beat them to get top in the table,” he added.