A hat-trick of tries by winger Josh Mansour has propelled Lebanon to a massive 74-12 win against Jamaica in the final Group C preliminary round match at #RLWC2021.
The Cedars scored at nearly a point a minute in the victory Sunday at the Leigh Sports Village in Leigh. The win sets up their quarterfinal showdown against Group B winners Australia.
The Lebanese side ran in seven tries in the first half and followed up with six more in the second, putting the Reggae Warriors on the defensive for virtually the entire contest.
Lebanon scored their first four-pointer in the fifth minute when hooker Michael Tannous went in and from then on, the floodgates opened.
Winger Abbas Miski crossed the try line minutes later and the Cedars kept the pedal to the metal for the rest of the half with tries to second-rower Elie El-Zakhem, right centre Reece Robinson, five-eighth Khaled Rajab, loose forward Charbel Tasipale and Mansour with the first of his three.
Halfback and goalkicker Mitchell Moses converted all the tries to give Lebanon an unassailable 42-0 lead at the main break.
On a negative note for Lebanon, interchange forward Jaxson Rahme was sin-binned just before halftime for a late tackle that was put on report.
Four minutes after the break, the Cedars were in again when fullback Adam Doueihi, who was making his return from a suspension, dotted down in the try zone. He also took over the goal kicking duties from Moses, who was rested in the second half.
However, in the 49th minute, Jamaican winger Mo Agoro got boot to ball on a wayward Lebanese pass and ran 40 metres to score. That try was converted by James Woodburn-Hall.
The Lebanese quickly got back in their groove after that and piled on more tries by Tasipale with his second, forward Tony Maroun off the interchange bench, and Mansour’s second.
The Reggae Warriors were rewarded for their never-say-die efforts with interchange forward Jordan Andrade dotting down under the posts. Kieran Rush added the extras.
But the Cedars had the final say with the third try by Mansour and a second for Miski. Doueihi converted four of their second half scores.
Jamaica’s head coach Romeo Monteith said Lebanon should be congratulated on a good win.
“I thought we had a good dig at various points in the game,” he told Rugby League Planet. “We came out very positive and kept working hard, but we weren’t able to regularly get the defensive stops needed.
“It was pleasing putting 12 points on the board and that just comes from never giving up.
“We’ve enjoyed our debut at the World Cup and thank all our fans, sponsors and the well-wishers who have gotten behind the Reggae Warriors.”
From Lebanon’s standpoint, they feel they’ve been getting better with every game.
“I thought our first half was really clinical,” said Adam Doueihi.
“We knew if we started right and got into the arm-wrestle then points would come but full credit to Jamaica, they have turned up at this tournament.”
Lebanon’s final tally of 74 points is the most the Jamaicans have conceded in their 28 games since debuting on the international stage in 2009.
Tries: M. Tannous (6), A. Miski (9), E. El-Zakhem (12), R. Robinson (15), K. Rajab (23), C. Tasipale (27), J. Mansour (32), A. Doueihi (45), C. Tasipale (55), T. Maroun (59), J. Mansour (62), J. Mansour (71), A. Miski (80)
Goals: M. Moses (8), M. Moses (11), M. Moses (13), M. Moses (16), M. Moses (25), M. Moses (28), M. Moses (33), A. Doueihi (57), A. Doueihi (60), A. Doueihi (72), A. Doueihi (80)
Tries: M. Agoro (50), J. Andrade (67)
Goals: J. Woodburn-Hall (51), K. Rush (67)