30 mins: TRY: New Zealand 18-6 Lebanon! Manu's offload game is just ripping up the Cedars right now, to their frustration. His latest lays the platform for the Kiwis - and Hiku, who had an unhappy spell here with Warrington, darts over on the right to put some daylight on the boards. Rapana converts. 28 mins: Something of a let-off for Lebanon there - a kick foxes Miski and New Zealand look close to darting over in the right corner, but the referee flags the Kiwis for the error. Both sides get into a touch of handbags after Asofa-Solomona looks to put a swinging arm in - he escapes unpunished.
Lebanon are still sticking it in, even with one less body. They've been a credit to themselves. 61 mins: TRY: New Zealand 34-12 Lebanon! The Kiwis take prompt advantage of the extra body to add a sixth try of the night - and push this towards undeserved rout territory. On the basis of the first fifty minutes, the Cedars have not deserved this, but they cannot stop Rapana cruising over on the right. The winger misses the conversion. 60 mins: RED CARD: New Zealand 30-12 Lebanon! It's just gone from bad to worse for Lebanon - they are a man down! Doueihi has been given his marching order, and everyone seems a little foxed why.
New Zealand will hope to wrap this one up in the next twenty minutes if they can - but if Lebanon can channel that energy once more, this could be a cracker of a half. HT: New Zealand 18-6 Lebanon! It is the Kiwis on top in their Group C opener - but they've been tested by a Lebanon side who are refusing to go quietly into the night. The Cedars started brighter, if anything, in Warrington - and there might well be further gears for them to go through as much as their rivals.
That will have some interesting ramifications, given how strong a performer he was today for them before then. 71 mins: Here comes Mulitalo! The man named for Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo - by his first name, at least - tears down the middle of the park. Lebanon, somehow, scramble all their bodies back as New Zealand again break down at the end of their set.
New Zealand 34-12 Lebanon: Kiwis earn solid victory over 12-men Cedars in RLWC 2021 openerNew Zealand made a winning start to their 2021 Rugby League World Cup campaign with a healthy - if not always easy - 34-12 victory over a stubborn Lebanon in Group C at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington. The Kiwis, ranked number one in the world, overcame shaky starts in both halves following early concessions to emerge with the two points and move joint-top of the pile with Ireland following the latter's rout against Jamaica. But Michael Maguire will still have questions about his side following a clunky offensive performance lit up by a gradually dominant turn from Joseph Manu and built more on the strengths of a brutish pack than with the sharp creative poise he would have hoped for.
New Zealand 34 - 12 Lebanon - Match Report & Highlights
Former Lebanon man Robbie Farah - part of the coaching staff, running instructions on - also appeared to get a stern word from the official. The ultimate word is dissent. What a moment in this match! 57 mins: TRY: New Zealand 30-12 Lebanon! That will be game over, surely! In a flash, the Kiwis look to have put this one to bed. It's Manu with a wonderful bit of individual play - a superstar play! He spins out of dummy half, chips the Cedars defence, regathers his own kick and holds off another player to cruise in under the posts. Rapana converts.
Few would have given them a chance pre-match, though they may have been second favourites to progress from Group C. Here, they gave a cracking account of themselves. Ultimately, it was some individual brilliance and loose goal-line defence that did them in - and by and large, they were terrific in that department too. They'll be relishing the clash with Ireland next week. FT: Michael Maguire looks particularly nonplussed as he wanders down towards the pitch, chatting with punters as he goes. The Kiwis boss has seen his side claim a victory convincing on the scoreboard - but in reality, carved out more by a few sharply taken moments than a bravura team performance.
Lebanon vs New Zealand scores & predictions | SofaScore
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🇳🇿 The Kiwis are in the lead after an early scare#RLWC2021 | #NZLLEB pic. com/kIbhGDzJlf 40 mins: New Zealand go hunting a fourth to wrap up the day, but they whip it into touch as the hooter goes and that will be that for now! 37 mins: Play grinds to a halt now as Tapine takes a head to the chops when New Zealand get their tackling a little off. He seems to have a broken nose, and medics work to stem the blood. If it proves disruptive, he could have to head off - and he does. 32 mins: Further melee action now, and it is Asofa-Solomona in the middle of it, after he shoulders a Lebanon player off the ball, and then throws him to the ground when he tries to square up. If this was a regular season club match, that would be ten minutes in the bin, at least - instead, we'll have a play-the-ball, as you were.
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