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Lahanis concluded 2023 season on a bittersweet note

The Runners-Up of the Digicel-ExxonMobil Cup 2023 Grand Final, the Bintangor Goroka Lahanis, have concluded their remarkable season bittersweetly note at the Santos Stadium in Port Moresby.

Lahanis showcased determination during yesterday's (Sunday, 3rd September) decider, hoping to repeat the 2018 feat, but fell short at the hands of the unbeatable Enga Mioks, losing 26-6.

With the hope of repeating the 2018 feat, the Bintangor-sponsored side made an exceptional run in the opening minutes of the decider. They made their presence felt, getting fans on their toes with a remarkable try through Amos Kafare on the left wing of the field.

Lahanis and Mioks were equally dominating the ball possession and field territory in the opening minutes of the first half. The match was intense as both teams fought aggressively for the sought-after title.

"In the first 25 minutes of the first half was really good with the performance but after that, the boys were undisciplined in defence and attack. Therefore, they (Mioks) capitalized on that and scored the tries," coach Charlie Wabo said.

Wabo is an inspirational coach. Under his guidance, the team won 8 games, one draw, and tasted seven losses. They made it to the Semi-Final, taking on the Agmark Gurias. They defeated the Gurias and secured a spot in the next stage, which saw them facing the Lae Snax Tigers, beating them by a golden point 19-18 in the extra time, and qualified for the championship battle against the Mioks.

Led by outstanding captain Charlie Buka, who was influential in the team's success, the men in tri-colours had a solid season. He played a significant role around the ruck with his impressive ball-handling skills. He is swift and intelligent. He also has a good goal-kicking ability.

"All the players played the same but among them, Charlie Buka and Thomson Teteh were leading the boys this year through the season to come this far. I really appreciate them for putting in their efforts," Wabo said.

Despite showcasing unwavering determination, minor errors and ill-discipline contributed to their loss. The Lahanis should hold their heads high and be proud of their incredible journey throughout the 2023 Digicel ExxonMobil Cup season.

Lahanis can take pride in their journey and use this experience as a motivation for future endeavors.

"Hopefully we will come back bigger, better, and stronger next year," Wabo said.

He congratulated the Mioks for their win and said: "This is the grand final, which means one has to win and one has to lose."

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