Dabaris, Gurias primed

Sports
Luckless Mioks, Lahanis eye Digicel Cup boilover

By PARKER TAMBUA and ROBINSON LEKA
PERENNIAL Digicel Cup title contenders Rabaul Gurias will look to add more misery to the winless Enga Mioks when both sides meet at the Lae Rugby League Ground on Sunday (3.30pm kick-off).
Despite losing just one from four matches, Gurias coach Marcus Kaugla said they needed to improve on ball security in order to be more dominant against their opposition.
“We need to keep working on the basics like ball security and quick play-the-balls,” he said after the Gurias’ 36-14 win over the Kimbe Cutters in round four.
“I think our defence is all right but when fatigue creeps in, we lose a bit of concentration.
“But ball security is our main problem.”
Sharing the same concern, Gurias skipper Watson Boas pledged a collective improvement by the side.
“We made a lot of mistakes with dropped balls,” the Papua New Guinea Kumuls playmaker said.
“We still have a lot of work to do.
“We’ll be a more competitive side if me improve on ball security.”
For the seventh-placed Mioks, coach Roger Laka will be counting on SP Hunters pair Rhadley Brawa and Woods Kawage, and Kot Kerowa to lead the side as they look to make the top-six playoffs.
Mioks halves Maya Clarke and Junior Pokapen will have to step up and dictate play if they are to record a positive result against Kaugla’s men, who will be led by Boas and Wartovo Puara Jr.
Meanwhile, the Central Dabaris face the 2018 premiers Goroka Lahanis, who remain winless, in the other round-five fixture in Lae also on Sunday (1.15pm kick-off).
It will be the Dabaris’ first away match and franchise manager Hubert Warupi says they are looking forward to the challenge.
“As far as the Dabaris board is concerned, we are confident with the approach our coaching staff have taken towards preparations in these trying times,” he told The National.
“Covid-19 has presented a lot of challenges and we have learnt to adapt to ensure health and safety issues are paramount.
“We also appreciate sponsors Gas Resources Plant Site Limited, Central government and Goodman Fielder for their continued support.
“Aniani Corporation, a Central food company, is assisting us with food as well as Prima Smallgoods while Ilimo Dairy Farm provides vegetables and milk products, so we are grateful for their support.
“We hope Dabaris fans in Lae will come to the game to show their support.”
Fixtures: Sun, Aug 9 – Dabaris v Lahanis, Mioks v Gurias, Isou v Cutters, Vipers v Wigmen.

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