Rugby League World Cup: Lebanon overcome Ireland with a 32-14 victory at Leigh Sports Village
Lebanon claimed their first win of the Rugby League World Cup as they produced a 32-14 victory over Ireland at Leigh Sports Village
Wigan Warriors’ Abbas Miski was among the scorers for the Cedars, who put in a solid display in their second outing of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Toby King and Liam Byrne were both in action for Ged Corcoran’s side, with the latter sin binned just before the final 10 minutes of play.
After a tightly contested opening 15 minutes, Lebanon took the lead through a Mitchell Moses penalty.
The first try of the afternoon quickly followed, with Reece Robinson going over on the left side to extend the Cedars advantage following a well-worked move.
Things continued to go against Ireland, as Lebanon went over for their second in the space of five minutes.
Some quick hands opened up a clear route to the try line for Jacob Kiraz, who made it 14-0.
Another one followed just after the half hour mark, with Brandon Morkos adding his name to the scoresheet in the right corner.
Ireland came close to getting one of their own through Robbie Mulhurn, but it was ruled out by the video ref for a knock on in the build-up.
A kick through from Harry Rushton had caused Lebanon all sorts of problems, with some serious pressure applied onto their line.
Ged Corcoran’s side didn’t have to wait too much longer to go over, as Louis Senior pulled one back just before the break with a great finish in the corner.
Both teams started the second half with a man down, after Jalal Bazzaz and Robbie Mulhern were sent to the sin bin after a brawl in the final seconds of the opening 40 minutes.
Ireland clearly dealt with being a man down better, as they made a bright start, which eventually resulted in Senior’s second try of the game.
With the teams back to their full numbers, Lebanon re-extended their lead.
A quick bit of passing gave Elie El-Zakhem the space to go over on the right side, with Moses successful with the boot again to make it 26-10.
Another quickly followed, with Miski diving over in the left corner to claim his second try of the tournament.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, Byrne was shown a yellow card for a late hit on Moses.
This came not long after the prop had returned to the field from the interchange bench.
In the final moments of the match, Ireland scored a late consolation, with Ed Chamberlain going over on the right side.
Corcoran’s side take on New Zealand at Leeds Rhinos’ Headingley Stadium in their final game of the group stages on Friday night (K.O. 7.30pm).
Meanwhile, Lebanon return to Leigh Sports Village next Sunday for a meeting with Jamaica (K.O. 12pm), who have been on the end of two heavy defeats so far in their opening World Cup games.
Both teams will need a win in order to secure their place in the quarter-finals.