2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: Kabaddi gets added to Australia-England sporting rivalry - News

Kabaddi gets added to Australia-England sporting rivalry

11 October 2016

Barely five days into the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup and the excitement is only increasing with each passing game. When Australia faced England, it was a meeting of two of the greatest sporting rivals and on Monday, another sport was added to that list. Although England got the better of their opponents on the mat recording an emphatic 69-25 victory, the match was still an interesting affair.

Aussie captain Campbell Brown acknowledged the mistakes committed by his team on the mat, particularly zeroing in on the slow start by them. “We are working a lot on defence; we probably need to focus a bit more on offence as we didn’t score too many points in the first half and England got a bit of a jump on us. And then we were just trying to chase points.”

It wasn’t all downhill though as Brown was thankful for the exposure he and his team have received so far. “The experience has been fantastic; we are learning every time we get on court.”

Despite the history of sporting rivalry between the two nations, Brown was gracious about England’s thumping performance. “England broke our rhythm and we were just chasing the match after that. They jumped us early on and they played very well tonight,” the skipper said.

England, on the other hand, were all smiles after their victory. After a tough first game against Bangladesh, captain Someshwar Kalia knew that victory against Australia was vital for their progression in the tournament, and pointed to his team’s readiness to deliver.

“I think we won today because of our mascot (a teddy bear in England colours). He was our lucky charm and he did the trick today. We are very pleased with the win after a much improved performance from the team,” Kalia said with a laugh at the post-match presser.

The English skipper also revealed that after their loss to Bangladesh, they were a 100% focussed on winning and were thrilled with the result, and more so because it came against traditional rivals Australia.

“As you know, England and Australia share a good rivalry in sport, hence we were determined to win and the boys performed very well. We won by a big margin. I’m very proud (of that). We’ve made history today,” he stated.

Kalia also heaped praise on Temi Tope Adewalure for his super performance of 20 raid points, which was also the highest by a single player in the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup so far. “Temi Tope Adewalure was on top of his game today; he was on a roll and I gave him the extra opportunities also to keep that momentum going.”

England next have Argentina on the cards, and they can be an unpredictable side too. “We don’t know how well they play. We are going to play just like we did today and we’ll improve in the departments that need some attention. We’re going to keep talking through our strategies and keep pushing on from here,” Kalia promised as he signed off.