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Manu magnificent as Kiwis beat determined Lebanon

Roosters superstar Joey Manu stole the show with a magical performance for the Kiwis in a 34-12 victory over Lebanon, who showed true grit in the loss and played the final 20 minutes a man down after the sending off of Adam Doueihi.

Manu was at times untouchable in his second Test as New Zealand's fullback, scoring a try, setting another one up and burning the opposing defence with his powerful running.

New Zealand led 30-12 at the point of Doueihi's dismissal for dissent just before the hour mark, but the send off could have severe consequences for the rest of Lebanon's campaign, as they seek to to beat Ireland and Jamaica to the second spot - assuming the Kiwis win next week - out of Group C. 

After Lebanon stunned the Kiwis with a try inside the opening minute, after they went short on the kick off, New Zealand found their way back into the contest and scored through Kenny Bromwich, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Peta Hiku, to lead 18-6 at the half. 

Lebanon opened the scoring in the second half, but that was the end of it, as the Kiwis piled on 16 further points to finish comfortable winners, although Lebanon coach Michael Cheika will likely have plenty of positives to take from the defeat. 

Match snapshot

  • Adam Doueihi was sent off for dissent 20 minutes from full time.
  • New Zealand broke 57 tackles in the victory.
  • Lebanon shocked the Kiwis with the opening try through Josh Mansour, which came after they went short on the kick off.
  • Kenny Bromwich battled over minutes later, with Jordan Rapana converting to tie scores again. 
  • Nelson Asofa-Solomona powered over on 25 minutes to give New Zealand the lead, before Peta Hiku added another, with Jordan Rapana's three conversions giving the Kiwis a 18-6 lead at the break. 
  • Lebanon were first to score again in the second half, with one-time Sea Eagles winger Abbas Miski going over out wide. 
  • Joey Manu then caught fire, setting up Dylan Brown with a break down field before scoring a brilliant individual effort to help blow the scoreline out to 30-12.
  • Jordan Rapana scored on the hour, a minute after Doueihi was sent from the field, which concluded the New Zealand try-scoring. 

Play of the Game

Joey Manu entered an early contender for try of the tournament in the 57th minute. This one had a bit of everything, including a clever kick which he regathered, and a series of moves which included switching his ball-carrying arm a couple of times.

What's next

The Kiwis head to Leigh for their next game and will take on Jamaica, while Lebanon face a likely must-win match against first-up winners Ireland. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.