Matt Pritchard reviews New Zealand’s first up win over Lebanon at the Rugby League World Cup.
New Zealand 34
Tries: Kenny Bromwich (5), Nelson Asofa-Solomona (24), Peta Hiku (29), Dylan Brown (54), Joseph Manu (56), Jordan Rapana (60)
Goals: Jordan Rapana 5 (6, 25, 31, 55, 58)
Tries: Josh Mansour (1), Abbas Miski (45)
Goals: Mitch Moses 2 (1, 47)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
New Zealand have run in six tries to two on their way to defeating Lebanon 34-12 in their opening game at the World Cup.
A surprise short kick-off from the Cedars to start proceedings finished with a try at the end of the set to Josh Mansour, giving the Kiwis an early fright at Halliwell Jones Stadium.
It didn’t take long for New Zealand to hit back with Joseph Manu’s offload leading to Kenny Bromwich scoring after five minutes. They were in full command after thirty minutes with Brandon Smith’s offload sending Nelson Asofa-Solomona over, and Peta Hiku scoring from dummy half after Manu stepped his way through the defence on the previous tackle.
Lebanon fought their way back to 18-12 early in the second half thanks to Adam Doueihi’s 40/20 and subsequent four-pointer to Abbas Miski.
But the Kiwis extended their lead fourteen minutes into the half with another superb run from Manu sending Dylan Brown over under the posts. Manu then scored one of his own after a chip and chase over the top of the Cedars defensive line to extend the lead to 30-12.
The Cedars night went from bad, to worse when Doueihi’s frustration got the better of him and was sent off for dissent by referee Grant Atkins.
Jordan Rapana scored on the overlap straight after the Doueihi dismissal to give New Zealand their final score of 34-12.
The Kiwis may not have been at their best, but they were without Jahrome Hughes who was missing through injury. Lebanon now awaits the Match Review decision on Doueihi ahead of their clash with first up winners Ireland on Sunday (Australian time).
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