Josh Mansour scored a hat-trick of tries as Adam Doueihi steered Lebanon to a 74-12 defeat of Jamaica that sets up quarter-final clash with Australia and secures a place in the 2025 World Cup.
The Cedars play the Kangaroos at Huddersfield on Friday night after finishing second behind New Zealand in Pool C of the tournament and the 13 try effort was an ideal warm-up for playing the world champions.
With his side leading 44-0 at halftime, Lebanon coach Michael Cheika rested star halfback Mitchell Moses for the second term and Doueihi ensured that the intensity remained high in his absence.
The Reggae Warriors, playing in their first World Cup, scored two tries in the second half through winger Mo Agoro and forward Jordan Andrade.
Match: Lebanon v Jamaica
Round 3 -
Venue: Leigh Sports Village Stadium, Leigh
- Jamaica started strongly and were unlucky not to score an early try but it was Lebanon who scored first in the fifth minute after Mitchell Moses made a long range break and found Wests Tigers hookers Mikey Tannous in support.
- The Cedars were in again just four minutes later when rookie Bulldogs five-eighth Khaled Rajab sent Wigan winger Abbas Miski over to score on an angled run.
- A short ball from Moses to Adam Doueihi put the Tigers playmaker into space and Eels prop Elie El Zakham backed up to score in the 13th minute.
- Reece Robinson was the next to score after Rajab put Charbel Tasipale into space and backed up to receive the ball back before passing to the former Eels and Roosters centre.
- Rajab then got a try of his own after Doueihi stepped out of a tackle and found the Canterbury SG Ball captain in support.
- Tasipale scored in the 26th minute and Josh Mansour followed five minutes later but Jamaica did not concede another try before halftime.
- Rabbitohs prop Jaxson Rahme was sinbinned for a late shot on Jamaica playmaker Keiran Rush just before halftime but even with 12 men the Lebanon scoring did not slow.
- Doueihi was the tryscorer in the 44th minute, fending off an attempted Joel Farrell tackle, and the flood gates appeared set to re-open after the interval.
- However, Reggae Warriors winger Mo Agoro got just Jamaica's second World Cup try when he picked up a loose pass from Rajab to Tasipale and raced 60 metres to score.
- Tasipale and Mansour crossed for their second tries, while Tony Maroun scored his first World Cup try but Jamaica replied with arguably the try of the match by Jordan Andrade.
- The Reggae Warriors forward crossed in the 66th minute after Jamaica hooker Jy-mel Coleman grubbered and Farrell kicked it from the grasp of Doueihi before regathering to put Andrade over.
- Mansour scored his third try in the 70th minute when he dived over in spectacular fashion after receiving a long cut out pass from Doeuihi, who had moved into the halves after Moses was rested at halftime.
Lebanon's big win secures a quarter-final showdown for the Cedars against Australia on Friday and puts Michael Cheika in the unusual position of coaching two international teams on the same weekend.
After overeseeing the World Cup match at Huddersfield, Cheika will take charge of Argentina's preparation for their rugby union Test against England at Twickenham.
Bulldogs star Jacob Kiraz is expected to return for Lebanon, along with Newtown Jets prop Kayne Kalache, after the pair failed HIAs during last weekend's win against Ireland.
For Jamaica, the task of qualifying for France 2025 begins in next year's Americas Championship against USA, Canada and either Brazil or Chile, who meet in the 2022 South Americas Championship in Columbia.