The National, Friday July 6th, 2012
By KEITH PUARIA
REIGNING champions Goroka Lahanis fly into Port Moresby without suspended forward Nicko Ubile for Sunday’s week 13 Digicel Cup rugby league match against Gulf Isapeas.
Ubile was suspended for six weeks for his part in last weekend’s brawl with Mt Hagen Eagles in Lae.
But Lahanis coach Peter Danga said yesterday there were many reserve forwards in stock in Goroka who could replace the banned prop.
Bench forward Micah Soboni would easily slot into the starting side.
“Yes, we will miss him (Ubile), especially in attack, but we have a bulk of forwards waiting for their opportunity,” Danga said.
“Micah (Soboni) will move in and start.”
Soboni’s move will see former Port Moresby Tarangau Supa Kokote take his place on the bench in the 17.
Danga rejected suggestions tjat the match against the Isapeas was a guaranteed two-pointer for the defending champions.
“Every game has been a battle for Lahanis and nothing is certain until the final whistle,” he said.
“We prepare with respect for all the teams that we will play, including Isapeas.
“We don’t underestimate our opposition because it might turn around and hurt us.
“The big aim for this Sunday is to be patient and play a more disciplined style of football.”
Returning from representative duties as coach on the Under-16 and Under-18 Queensland tour, Danga does not want to dwell on the past and has moved on from the weekend’s narrow 4-2 win in Lae. He is determined to get his side into a consistent mode to securing a finals berth.
Danga placed his confidence in skipper Glen Nami to lead this Sunday, with support from Wesley Mohokule and Gonzella Urakusie. He made special mention of Year 11 student and flyer Felix Tatsim.
“These boys are the key and will hold our team against Isapeas.”