Lions fought strongly to come back in the second half after being down 5-16 at the break, but Lahanis maintained a strong defence to hold on to win at full time.
Rugby league supporters at the National Sport Institute in Goroka who watched the trial game gave applauded the Lions when they displayed fast movements in both defence and attack.
Three Lions tries were disallowed by match referee John Kerema, which could have given the visitors the winning edge.
Former Lahanis players Robert Gezare and Waisy Wesley led the Lions. Coached by former Lahanis coach Hans Kaybin, the Simbu boys displayed a classic show of footy that many hoped would enable the Simbu franchise to be strong contenders in this year’s Digicel Cup competition.
Notable absences in the Lions line up were Sonny Daing, Andrew Sipil, SupaTakai and Willie Guambo. They were participating in the finals of the Coca Cola Ipatas Cup in Lae over the weekend.
Another Lahanis player now with Lions is Alphonse Kapil. The former Lahanis winger is now the Lions trainer.
Former Kumul centre and Lions player Anton Kui returned to his home team Lahanis and teamed up well with Wesley Mokohule, BenardTatsim, Felix Tatsim Junior, Richard Hoffman, Leo Fred, Micah Siboni, SupaKokote, Robin Soga and a couple of other debutants.
Former Kumul halfback Balfinullai, the acting coach for Lahanis was happy at winning his first game. He will be looking for his second win at the return match with the Lions in Kundiawa town this Sunday.
Lahanis’ captain Nicko Hubile stood in as the trainer for Lahanis in the trial match.