Lebanon beat Ireland in Rugby League World Cup upset
Free-flowing play from Mitchell Moses, Jacob Kiraz and Abbas Miski put the game beyond the Celtic side.
While both teams now have two points apiece from their first two games, Ireland must beat a formidable New Zealand team to advance to the knockout stages, while Lebanon may find softer opposition in Jamaica, who are already out of the running.
Ireland to receive. 🇮🇪🤝🇱🇧 pic.twitter.com/7EM8gEdszb— Lebanon Rugby League (@LebanonRL) October 23, 2022
This is not the first time the two sides have clashed in a high-tempo encounter - which started off in good spirits, as captains swapped gifts of a bottle of Lebanese Arak and an Irish drum called a bodhran.
They met 15 years ago in the English town of Dewsbury for a fiercely-fought match where tempers frayed on both sides and no victor emerged, with the game ending 16-16.
Sunday’s rematch also threatened to boil over, as Lebanon's Jalal Bazzaz for Lebanon, and Ireland's Robbie Mulhern were sent to the sin bin for fighting at the end of the first half.
Despite murmurs of an Irish comeback in the second half, the Cedars stood firm, adding stylish second-half tries to seal victory.
While Lebanon’s global rugby brand is still in its infancy, bragging rights against Ireland will build their confidence as they look forward to the quarter-finals of this year’s World Cup.