Mumbai, November 16: U Mumba's defence put up another good show in their final home leg match as they took their team to a 36-22 victory against Tamil Thalaivas at the Dome@NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. Every U Mumba defender managed at least one tackle point on the night as their defence outscored Tamil Thalaivas' 17-5.
Siddharth Desai was sent to the bench early by Tamil Thalaivas after a tackle from Ponparthiban Subramanian. But U Mumba stayed in the game through Darshan Kadian in spite of their defence taking a while to open their tackle point account. However, Ajay Thakur's two-point raid followed by a Dash on Desai reduced U Mumba to 3 men on the mat.
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U Mumba, though, showed that their defence can never be discounted as a Rohit Rana Super Tackle in the 11th minute gave them a 3-point lead. Fazel Atrachali then managed his 50th successful tackle in the season with a hold on Athul MS and helped his side inflict an All-Out on Tamil Thalaivas soon after.
Facing a 16-9 deficit, Tamil Thalaivas struck back through a two-point raid by Athul MS. But Desai immediately answered with a two-point raid of his own to keep U Mumba in control. This helped U Mumba keep a 6-point lead going into halftime.
The second half saw Tamil Thalaivas start well by sending both Surender Singh and Desai to the bench. But it was Vinod Kumar who led his team in their absence, taking up the responsibility of staving off the All-Out. His tackle on Ajay Thakur was backed up by Darshan Kadian's successful raid and brought U Mumba back in a commanding position.
The home team then scored five of the next six points in the match to reduce Tamil Thalaivas to a solitary player on the mat. They allowed no more than a Bonus point in the next raid before tackling the raider to inflict another All-Out and take a 28-17 lead.
Once Tamil Thalaivas reassembled on the mat, the U Mumba defence kicked into overdrive and sent Thakur, Jasvir Singh and Surjeet Singh to the bench in quick succession. Thakur, in particular, was not allowed any easy points after a good start and got tackled 6 times in his 16 raid attempts.
Having opened up a 12-point lead, U Mumba looked to have the match in the bag. Abolfazl Maghsodlou and Darshan Kadian didn't give an inch though and took the team's lead to 14 points at the fulltime whistle. Kumar's fighting effort earned him a High 5 from the game.