The National, Friday, June 3rd 2011
By ZACHERY PER
THE real litmus test for how well the Bintangor Goroka Lahanis are going this season will take place on Sunday in Wabag.
The Digicel Cup competition leaders play their first away match of the year when they face the third placed Toyota Enga Mioks at Johnson Siki Oval which is an extremely tough proposition for any visiting team.
But if any side has the talent and confidence to go into the lion’s den and come back with the prize, then it’s the high-flying red and whites.
Lahanis have won four straight games at home so far, and in convincing fashion too, accounting for Gurias (22-6), Muruks (38-20) and Eagles (22-4) before seeing off Warriors (28-20) last week.
Although they will get a massive boost playing in front of their raucous fans, the truth is this is a Mioks line-up thin on experience and class but packed with determination and will not respect reputations.
The bulk of the Mioks have come from the local leagues and the Ipatas Cup concept with Kumul David Loko the only big name.
Former Lahanis Kevin Inagafa and Pasu Avani now with the Mioks will be heavily relied on to expose any chinks in the Lahanis armour.
Mioks are likely to retain the side that beat Hela Wigmen 28-20 in Wabag last Sunday.
Mioks coach Timothy Lepa has promised to lay out the welcome mat for the Lahanis but said the visitors would leave empty handed on Monday.
He said his young side had trained strongly through the week and would be at their best.
Lahanis’ stars Thompson Teteh, Adex Wera, Chris Hogi and boom forward Gonzella Urakusie can forge their reputations in the cauldron of JS oval while for Kumuls Glen Nami, Tony Dai, Nicko Ubile and Spiro Makaive its all about reinforcing theirs.