As seen on https://www.nrl.com
Kiwis 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.
But New Zealand soon found their way back into the contest and led 18-6 at the break thanks to tries from Kenny Bromwich, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Peta Hiku, all of which were converted by Jordan Rapana.
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.
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.
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.