Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
England were made to work very hard to secure their maiden win of the tournament against a determined Lebanon outfit who showed plenty of fight.
Lebanon genuinely matched England for the first twenty five minutes of the game, especially in defence, with the English attack unable to find a way through despite getting the lion's share of the fifty-fifty calls. After eight minutes England opened the scoring when Kallum Watkins got outside the Lebanon defence which had rushed up and in, and crashed over for a try. Widdop converted the try from out wide.
Ten minutes later Lebanon hit back when a deft grubber by Robbie Farah was fumbled by Gareth Widdop on his own line. Nick Kassis swooped through and planted the loose ball to score. Moses converted to level the s
In the 24th minute England scored after some fancy footwork by Watkins created some space for Jermaine McGillvray who put on a few steps of his own to dive over to score. Widdop converts from in front to lead by 6.
Just a few minutes later England scored again, this time down the other side when Ryan Hall dived over, despite replays showing what appeared to be a small bobble as he was attempting to ground the ball. Widdop failed to convert from out wide.
England scored their third try in seven minutes shortly after when Ben Currie strolled through a huge gap to claim an easy try which Widdop converted. England took a 22-6 lead to the break.
Lebanon again aimed up in the opening 15 minutes, at times frustrating England. A Tom Burgess step and 30 metre run saw him score a try in the 55th minute. Widdop again kicked an easy goal.
The Cedars spent the next twenty minutes mostly in defence yet not conceding any points in an impressive display. With 5 minutes left in the game, Jason Wehbe got outside his defender to force his way over for a try. Moses failed to convert.
The game ended with Gareth Widdop potting an easy field goal from almost in front to cap a 29-10 victory for the English.
England 29 - Lebanon 10
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Halftime Score: England 22 Lebanon 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Josh Hodgson
2 points - Luke Gale
1 points - James Graham
Tries: Kallum Watkins, Jermaine McGillvary, Ryan Hall, Ben Currie, Thomas Burgess
Field Goals: Gareth Widdop (1/1)
Conversions: Gareth Widdop (4/5)
Tries: Nick Kassis, Jason Wehbe
Conversions: Mitchell Moses (1/2)