New Zealand 34-12 Lebanon: Manu stars as Kiwis beat spirited Cedars

By Sports Desk October 16, 2022

New Zealand started their Rugby League World Cup campaign with a hard-fought 34-12 victory against Lebanon on Sunday.

The world's number one side were made to sweat on occasion at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington, and surprisingly fell behind to their Group C opponents inside the first minute when Josh Mansour raced onto a loose ball on the right to score.

The Kiwis were soon level when Kenneth Bromwich went over, before substitute Nelson Asofa-Solomona got his side ahead despite some excellent defensive work from Lebanon, with Peta Hiku adding another shortly after to give New Zealand an 18-6 lead at the break.

The Cedars would not go away, though, and scored their second try to halve the deficit shortly after the restart as Abbas Miski went over down the left side.

After a further scare, the Kiwis took charge as terrific work from Manu ended with Dylan Brown racing through to score, before Manu again showed his quality to get a try of his own before the hour.

Jordan Rapana then added another just after Lebanon's Adam Doueihi was sent off for dissent.

Related items

  • Scott Barrett named new All Blacks captain Scott Barrett named new All Blacks captain

    Scott Barrett has been named as New Zealand's new captain for their upcoming Tests against England and Fiji by new coach Scott Robertson.

    He takes over from Sam Cane, who is retiring from international rugby at the end of the year and was not considered for the role due to injury.

    Since making his international debut for the All Blacks against Ireland in November 2016, Barrett has earned 69 caps for his country.

    Barrett will have reigning Player of the Year Ardie Savea, and brother Jordie as his vice-captains.

    Speaking after the announcement was made, Barrett said: "When you think of the leaders who have gone before you, it's quite humbling to be asked to captain the All Blacks, so it's not something I took lightly," said Barrett.

    "It's a big responsibility, but I have two great leaders beside me in Ardie and Jordie."

    Robertson has named five uncapped players in his first squad, with Wallace Sititi earning his first call-up after an impressive season for Waikato Chiefs.

    Scrum-half Cortez Ratima, hooker George Bell, prop Pasilio Tosi and centre Billy Proctor are the other uncapped players named in the 32-man squad.

    Robertson, who took over after Ian Foster left the role following last year's World Cup final defeat to South Africa, coached Barrett for seven years at the Crusaders and is looking forward to regaining that connection.

    "There are some great leaders in our group, but having that existing connection to Scott was important," said Robertson.

    "He's tactically astute, he leads from the front, and he’s got the respect of the players and coaches.

    "As a coaching group, we are excited about the squad we've selected. We know it's a group that can play the style of rugby we want the All Blacks to play in 2024."

    The All Blacks will face England in Dunedin on July 6, and the following week in Auckland, before playing Fiji in San Diego on July 20.

    Full New Zealand squad: Asafo Aumua, Codie Taylor, George Bell, Ethan De Groot, Tyrel Lomax, Fletcher Newell, Pasilio Tosi, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Tamaiti Williams, Scott Barrett (c), Tupou Vaa’i, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ethan Blackadder, Samipeni Finau, Luke Jacobson, Dalton Papali'i, Ardie Savea, Wallace Sititi, Finlay Christie, TJ Perenara, Cortez Ratima, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown, Billy Proctor, Caleb Clarke, Emoni Narawa, Stephen Perofeta, Sevu Reece, Mark Tele'a.

  • Williamson steps down as New Zealand white-ball captain Williamson steps down as New Zealand white-ball captain

    Kane Williamson has stepped down as New Zealand's captain in both ODIs and T20Is, while also declining a central contract.

    New Zealand endured a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign, exiting at the end of the group stage after losing their opening two games against Afghanistan and Papua New Guinea.

    Williamson played his 100th Test earlier this year, leading New Zealand in 40 of those, and has 165 ODI caps and 93 T20I caps.

    As captain, he led them to the World Test Championship title in 2021, and two finals in the ODI World Cup in 2019, and the T20 World Cup in 2021, both of which they lost.

    With the hopes of prolonging his international career, the 33-year-old explained his decision to decline the contract for 2024-25.

    "Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I'm very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards," Williamson said in a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) release.

    "However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I'm unable to accept a central contract offer."

    Ahead of last season, Williamson had given up his Test captaincy, with Tim Southee appointed as his successor.

    Despite not taking the offer of a central contract, he has not written off signing one in the future if the timing is right.

    "Playing for New Zealand is something I treasure, and my desire to give back to the team remains undiminished.

    "My life outside cricket has changed, however. Spending more time with my family and enjoying experiences with them at home or abroad is something that's even more important to me."

  • Ferguson makes history as New Zealand end disappointing T20 World Cup campaign with a flourish Ferguson makes history as New Zealand end disappointing T20 World Cup campaign with a flourish

    New Zealand concluded their disappointing T20 World Cup campaign in style as they swept aside Papua New Guinea, emerging seven-wicket victors in Trinidad. 

    Lockie Ferguson starred for the Black Caps, becoming the first bowler at a men's T20 World Cup to bowl four maiden overs in a spell, claiming three wickets to dismiss their opponents for 78.

    Trent Boult ended with figures of 2-14 after taking out Hiri Hiri and Norman Vanua in what could be his T20I for his nation, after declaring this World Cup would be his last in this format.

    New Zealand started their chase shakily following the early loss of Finn Allen in the second ball of their reply, but Devon Conway's knock of 35 from 32 steadied the ship for Kane Williamson's side. 

    Conway hit three sixes before falling to Semo Kamea, with Williamson and Daryl Mitchell on hand to secure a Black Caps win and end the tournament on a high after they exited a World Cup before the last four for the first time since 2014.

     

    Data Debrief: Fantastic Ferguson dazzles 

    Ferguson's hugely impressive display saw him also become the second bowler in T20Is to record four maiden overs.

    The last to achieve that feat was Canada's Saad Bin Zafar, who took two wickets without conceding a run against Panama in a T20 World Cup Americas Region Qualifier in 2021.

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.