The National, Friday, 27th May 2011
By ZACHERY PER
DIGICEL Cup leaders Bintangor Goroka Lahanis are sure to be tested when they take on Kongo Coffee Simbu Warriors at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in Goroka on Sunday.
Although this will be Goroka’s fourth consecutive match at home, the Warriors are not expected to be all that intimidated.
Goroka is regarded as the second home to the people of Chimbu owing to its close proximity to Kundiawa and the fact that many people of Chimbu origins reside in Goroka.
With a large number of bi-partisan fans due to flock to NSI, Lahanis may have to dig deeper to get past their round four opposition.
Warriors scored their first win at home against Snax Lae Tigers last Sunday following two draws in the earlier rounds.
Warriors chairman Jerry Kapka has urged fans to come and support after the Tigers game.
Lahanis have turned NSI into a fortress this season scoring convincing wins against Gurias, Muruks and Wigmen.
Coach Peter Danga sees the Warriors as a dangerous game but expects his side to account for the Kundiawa outfit.
He said that the players would have to trust the patterns and back each other to rack up their fourth win on the trot.
Danga has named a mobile pack headed by skipper Glen Nami, Elvis Dick, Nicko Ubile, Gonzela Urakusie, Yapa Kapu, Tony Dai and Jackol Huako.
Halfback Walter Hasu and five-eighth Joseph Peter looked to be a little behind the pace last week but will be expected to direct the play for Lahanis impressive three-quarters.
Explosive Lahanis centres Chris Hogi and Thompson Tete will require good ball on the front foot to cause the kind of havoc they did against Muruks and Gurias while wingers Spiro Mikaive and Minaho Goso are proven finishers.
Former Lahanis coach and now Warriors mentor Hans Kaybing likewise will bank his name players in try-scoring ace Sonny Daing who will be given quality ball by playmaker Francis Paniu.
Former Lahanis Sigfred Gande will welcome the chance to play his former club while former Muruks rake Andrew Baine is one to watch.
The likely Warriors team: Joel Ambrose, Jerry Mongi, David Jones, Daing, Bal Bako, Paniu, Lomax Numapo, Paulus Mondo, Baine, Kevin Jonah, Otto Sam, Gande (c) and Andrew Sipil.
The bench: Olie Anton, Phil Uvovo, Kupsy Baikuru and Supa Takai.