RLWC2017 Game 18 – Australia v Lebanon – Match Review + More

Rugby League World Cup action continues with Australia v Lebanon We have both the preview and the review after the match.

rlwc australia v lebanon

Australia made it three from three in the pool stages with 34-0 win over Lebanon, that wasn’t as easy as the score line makes out.

We’re covering the game with the Who, What, Where, When and How of the Pool A match which should see both sides through to the knockout stages.

The 2017 Rugby League World Cup is a big deal for us, being huge rugby league fans and love a minnow or two, and we’ll be covering all of the games throughout. So visit our 2017 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP MATCH CENTRE

Now onto the Australia v Lebanon game.



RESULT – Who Won?

Tries: C. Munster (8), J. Maloney (25), C. Munster (50), B. Cordner (55), D. Gagai (76), T. Trbojevic (79)
Goals: C. Smith 1 Conv, J.Maloney 4 Conv



How Did They Win?

Once again the Kangaroos get a victory, and once again the score line flattered them a little. Not that Australia played badly, they were quite good mostly, but Lebanon provided a decent test and only a few moments of brilliance that come with a squad so talented and full of NRL stars really came between them.

The start was ominous as some quick thinking from winger Josh Mansour saw him earn Australia a penalty as Lebanon flirted too close to the sideline for the first kick off. Australia didn’t take full advantage however, and if anything Lebanon had the better of the opening minutes in attack. Lebanon were harshly treated with on 1 on 1 strip call going against them and they were made to pay as Cameron Munster scored his first try as James Maloney threw the ball on the last instead of kicking.

Maloney then went on to produce a few mistakes which left Lebanon with some ball and territory and they looked OK with it, but were unable to break through the Australian line. The Kangaroos had no such problem in the 25th as he crossed a few plays after a Cedars knock on. The lead of 10-0 remained until half time, giving Lebanon a sniff of an upset. If they could score some points.

They didn’t, despite their best efforts, with only Australia troubling the scorers in the second half adding four more tries. The first of which was a masteclass of what Cameron Munster will be serving up over the next decade, scoring from the first hit up after a penalty with awesome power and footwork on display. And playing in the unfamiliar centre position.

Boyd Cordner scored 5 minutes after Munster’s second, and a late pair of tries in the 76th and 79th minute gave Australia a decent headline score heading into the quarter finals, but not before getting a stern test from Lebanon. Had it not been for a rising injury toll for Lebanon, they could have made it a closer match.


What did we learn?

Australia are winning despite being at their very best, the rotation is annoying but doesn’t seem to be hurting their Rugby League World Cup chances.

The race for the number 6 jersey continues for the Kangaroos as James Maloney did a few good things, but also made a few mistakes. After seeing all the combinations so far, we say go with Cameron Munster and Cooper Cronk in the halves.

Australia will likely have to do without Aaron Woods next match as he is on report for a high shot that knocked out a Lebanese forward, and then followed that up with a nasty spear tackle. Thankfully for Australia Regan Campbell-Gillard is looking like a more than capable replacement in the starting line up.

The side isn’t quite the same without Billy Slater at the back.


What was the Moment of the Match?

Cameron Munster’s second try was the best of the four pointers from Australia, and showed the Aussies intentions early in the second half after Lebanon hung onto the Kangaroos up until half time.

Any other bits and pieces?

  • Finally a decent crowd and atmosphere for an Australian game. The 22,000+ was a good figure, and plenty of noise for the Lebanese made for a great soundtrack for those at home.
  • Josh Mansour and his Lebanon lookalike both had decent games on opposing wings.
  • Ref cam is great, but probably not with the mic on at a scrum as a few C-Bomb were delivered live on Channel 7. The most since the Adults Only Home and Away uncut.
  • Don’t see the point of Ben Hunt. Nothing against him as a player, but why not either have a specialist hooker as back up or another forward. Australia has enough halves so don’t need any cover there either.
  • What a play from Lebanese fullback Anthony Layoun to not only stop a runaway Dane Gagai but to strip the ball too. He has been very good for Lebanon so far in the Rugby League World Cup.



We’ve decided that a tournament as big as the 2017 Rugby League World Cup needs a Player of the tournament, and who better than International relations specialists Kevin Tamati and Greg Dowling to name our award.

We award points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale every match, and the results for this game is below. For the running total from all of the games visit our 2017 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP MATCH CENTRE

5 POINTS – MITCHELL MOSES – Probably odd that a player from a beaten 34-0 side tops the count, but he tried his hardest to keep Lebanon in the contest. Finally went off after another late shot after passing/kicking.

4 POINTS – BOYD CORDNER – plenty of work in attack and scored himself a try with a great kick chase.

3 POINTS – CAMERON MUNSTER – offering plenty in every position, second try pure quality.

2 POINTS – JOSH MANSOUR – helped out with equal game high 15 carries, nice work on opening kick off.

1 POINT – TIM MANNAH – Plenty of hard yards and tackles from the big Eel forward.



Where and When: LIVE Saturday 11th Nov – Sydney
When is it on TV? Channel 7 @ 7pm

What’s the Story?

Australia are two from two so far in Pool A and should finish the group stages unbeaten and are using this game to complete the rotation of their squad.

They have been good so far without reaching any great heights, the game against England showed their ability to do the tough and last week against France saw a glimpse of their attacking might. Especially from Wade Graham who scored four tries himself. No doubt they are building to put it all together for the knockout stages.

Lebanon have looked ok so far in their two games. A good win against France first up was followed by a decent performance v England where they never threatened to win. That game was marred by a biting allegation from Robbie Farah, the second of the Rugby League World Cup.

It should be interesting viewing, and equally interesting will be the crowd that shows up. Sydney copped it from English media for the poor crowd last weekend, and another disappointing crowd will add fuel to the theory that Sydney siders are poor supporters of sport unless it is a premium event.

Who Will Win and Why?

The reason for Australia to win is obvious, they have a star studded NRL line up against a side made up of mainly local Sydney players with a handful of NRL big names.

Lebanon’s strength in the halves could be their one comparable head to head and James Maloney is hardly match ready. Anthony Layoun could also be a match for Valentine Holmes.

But on the whole The kangaroos should be way too good.

Australia by 26

Who to watch for?

Ben Hunt will be the first player in some years to play for the Ipswich Jets and Australia in the one season, and after being a peripheral part of the Rugby League World Cup so far he gets his first taste this Saturday. Although hard to see how big an impact he will have with Cronk and am smith starting.

Mitchell Moses continues to be the one to watch for Lebanon. If he can spark the Cedars early it matches unsettle the Aussies who are playing with yet another combination across the park.


Who’s in the Teams?


1.Valentine Holmes 2. Dane Gagai 3. Tom Trbojevic 4. Cameron Munster 5. Josh Mansour 6. James Maloney 7. Cooper Cronk 8. Aaron Woods 9. Cameron Smith (c) 10. David Klemmer 11. Boyd Cordner 12. Matt Gillett 13. Felise Kaufusi 14. Ben Hunt 15. Jordan McLean 16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 17. Wade Graham 18. Josh McGuire 19. Michael Morgan 20. Josh Dugan 21. Billy Slater


  1. Anthony Layoun 2. Travis Robinson 3. James Elias 4. Adam Doueihi 5. Abbas Miski 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Robbie Farah 8. Tim Mannah 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Alex Twal 11. Chris Saab 12. Ahmad Ellaz 13. Nick Kassis 14. Mitchell Mamary 15. Ray Moujalli 16. Jamie Clark 17. Andrew Kazzi 18. Jason Wehbe 19. Danny Barakat 20. Elias Sukkar 21. Daniel Abou-Sleiman



Coming soon.



We’ve decided that a tournament as big as the 2017 Rugby League World Cup needs a Player of the tournament, and who better than International relations specialists Kevin Tamati and Greg Dowling to name our award.

We award points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale every match, and the results for this game is below. For the running total from all of the games visit our 2017 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP MATCH CENTRE

Points coming after the match.



About Max Layne 282 Articles
Max has no time for long bios, he has only time for sport and then more sport. Each week he tries to sum up what sport has tickled the collective fancy of The Gurgler.

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