Whites continue top form in Lahanis’ trials

Normal, Sports

The National – Wednesday, February 2, 2011

GOROKA Whites continued their supremacy following yet another 24-14 win over Kainantu in the Bintangor Goroka Lahanis selection trials held at the National Sports Institute in Goroka on Sunday.
The Whites accounted for Goroka Reds last Sunday and the weekend’s win had placed them as the superior side in the three-tier match format that was designed by the Lahanis board to identify potential Lahanis players and have them groomed and slotted into the Lahanis.
The Lahanis board had earlier made it clear that the team for this year will comprise Eastern Highlanders.
However, players from other provinces will have to meet strict criteria set by the board to be selected.
Most of the players and officials from the last year’s winning side had been retained for this year’s semi-professional challenge.
However, players selected from the trials will be considered as potential talents for call-up.
The match on Sunday was played in quarters and it was quite ordinary as players from both sides rallied to impress selectors.
The Goroka Whites led by skipper Kuta Lomutopa and hitmen Damien Bage and Limu Willie, who were assisted by Bernard Warlock, seemed to have the height, weight and strength up front with their constant barrages of attacks through their opponents’ territory.
However, Kainantu five-eighth Maya Siove, who was one of the standouts through his slick and cut out passes, as well as his punishing defence, had the support of his forwards in Danny Pou, Robert Smith, Junias Sambai, Dukma John and Micka Robert.
The Kainantu forwards were equal to the tasks against their opponents.
However, the Whites opened up with a try to inside centre George Wena, with another to Spirrow Mikaive to take early 8-0 lead in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Kainantu got on the scoreboard when Siove barged his way through three opponents before delivering a cut out pass to centre Andrew Poli to score. Halfback John Arumba converted the try to take the visitors to a two-point lead (10-8) to the break.
With the scores 16-14 in Whites’ favour, the game started to intensify and became more physical but Whites’ withstood the pressure from the visitors and went on to win 24-14.