Lahanis staying positive


DEFENDING Digicel Cup champions Bintangor Goroka Lahanis are yet to win a game after two rounds but coach Umba Peter says his side are confident they will get into the winners circle this weekend when they host the Kimbe Cutters at the Danny Leahy Oval.
The Lahanis were beaten by the returning Wamp Nga Mt Hagen Eagles 8-6 in the Western Highlands capital in the opening round and the Eastern Highlanders were upset 12-10 by the Gulf Isou in Port Moreaby on Sunday.
Despite the winless start which mirrored last season, Peter said the club was looking forward to its first home game.
“We are not worried. We’ll be back on Sunday at home. We just have to work on the areas that let us down in the first two rounds,” Peter said.
The first year Digicel Cup coach said the two losses had both been by two points with the result coming down to a lack of good execution and missed opportunities.
Peter added that the Lahanis squad was in a way like the SP PNG Hunters in that they too had lost most of their senior players over the off-season with club captain Gonzella Urakusie the only remaining player with more than more than five years in the semi-professional competition.
The club also lost coach Glen Nami to the Mendi Mrurks.
“We lost the majority of our premiership-winning squad but we have our leader Gonzella Urakusie and talented players like Jah Hogan and Norman Brown so we know we can play well and win games.
“It’s easy for people to say we’ve lost the first two games because we have a weaker side but that’s not how the players feel.
“Everyone here don’t want to use that excuse. We are a strong, talented squad and proved that because our losses were all close and we could have won those games.
Peter said the Lahanis were a different side at home and was confident they would give their fans a win on their home ground.
Their opponents the Cutters were beaten 36-2 by the Lae Tigers lin Kimbe and Sunday will be their first away game.
“It’s still early in the season so we’ll keep working on our attack and defence and if we do that we should win games.
Peter credited their first two opponents for their wins but said the results would only spur his side to do better the next time they faced them.
Urakusie agreed with his coach that the side needed to be better across the board but was confident that they would turn things around in Goroka on Sunday.
“We failed to execute the game plan so that’s something we will definitely be looking to fix this week,” he said.