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RLWC Match Report: England v Lebanon

Wayne Bennett will be happy with the result but he’ll be after an improved showing again next week after Lebanon put up a fight right till the end despite the comfortable margin on the scoreboard.

After facing four repeat sets to start the match, Lebanon’s defence finally relented when Kallum Watkins found space on the right edge and opened the scoring in the 9th minute of play.

Soon after, the party got underway for Lebanon’s fans when lock Nick Kassis dived on a loose England ball putting his side on the scoreboard and levelling the scores 6-6 after 19 minutes.

Gaining the ascendancy after the try, Lebanon pressed close to England’s line and looked dangerous during a prolonged set of six, but soon marched upfield and Jermaine McGillvary quickly found himself in under the posts.

Tries to Ryan Hall and Ben Currie in 27th and 32nd minutes respectively pushed England’s lead out to 22-6 before the break.

Heading into the sheds with a 90 percent completion rate, England looked to be in an imposing position as Lebanon rued some of their missed opportunities.

Straight after the break a bizarre situation engulfed the two sides and led to Robbie Farrah accusing Jermaine McGillvary of biting. McGillvary was then placed on report by the officials.

With his twin brother George waving the English flag in the stands, Tom Burgess found a gap and ran over 30 metres to score a try in the 55th minute and move England’s lead out to 28-6 after the conversion.

Both sides struggled to make an impact towards the back end of the match but the tussle continued in some of the individual battles.  

Jason Wehbe managed to scuttle his way over the line for a late consolation try in the 74th minute, proving there was still life in the Cedars.

Gareth Widdop sealed the victory with a late field goal to give England their first win of the tournament with a dominant, but gritty 29-10 victory.