Lebanon won a World Cup match for the first time ever as they beat France 29-18 at the Canberra Stadium on Sunday, causing a huge shock.
The closest they have come to winning was in the tournament back in 2000 when they drew 22-22 with Cook Islands.
Anthony Layoun put Lebanon ahead before France levelled the score with a try from Bastien Ader. Lebanon led 12-6 at the break though due to a try from Travis Robinson late in the first half.
France tied the score shortly after the restart but Lebanon and France both exchanged tries through Adam Douehi and Damien Cardace which saw the score at 18-18.
But Lebanon sprung to life in the last ten minutes, with Mitchell Moses adding a drop goal as well as scoring a try while Robinson grabbed his second late on as the Cedars won 29-18 and they are in line to make the quarter-finals now.
Toulouse Olympique star Mark Kheirallah started at full-back for France, with new Leigh Centurions signing Ilias Bergal on the wing. St Helens ace Theo Fages captained the team.
Robbie Farah skippered Lebanon in the halves alongside Parramatta Eels star Mitchell Moses. Tim Mannah also started while Michael Lichaa and Alex Twal came off the bench.
Lebanon started the stronger side and scored through and scored first through Anthony Layoun.
It didn’t take long for France to pull back into the game though, with Bastien Ader scoring just a couple of minutes later.
William Barthau added a penalty goal midway through the first half which made the score tied at 6-6.
It looked as though the game was going to be level at the break but Travis Robinson crossed the whitewash for Lebanon in the final few seconds of the half which saw the Cedars lead 12-6 at the interval.
HALF TIME: France 6–12 Lebanon.
France started the second half with a determined attitude and Ader scored his second on the back of a fine bomb which levelled the score once more.
Lebanon scored to put themselves back in front as Adam Douehi went over. The Cedars were in an 18-12 advantage but France hit back again through Damien Cardace and the score was now 18-18.
Both sides were going hell for leather in the last 15 minutes but it was Mitchell Moses who notched up a one-pointer with just five minutes remaining to edge his side into a narrow lead.
France’s confidence seemed to drop and Lebanon’s certainly become more and the Cedars scored two more tries before the end of the game thanks to a fantastic solo effort from Moses and Robinson getting his second of the game and seal a remarkable 29-18 victory.
FULL TIME: France 18–29 Lebanon.
France – 18
Tries: Ader (2), Cardace
Goals: Barthau (3/4)
Lebanon – 29
Tries: Layoun, Moses, Robinson (2), Doueihi
Goals: Moses 4/5
Drop Goals: Moses 1
France: 1. Mark Kheirallah, 2. Fouad Yaha, 3. Bastien Ader, 4. Damien Cardace, 5. Ilias Bergal, 6. Theo Fages, 7. William Barthau, 8. Antoni Maria, 9. Eloi Pelissier, 10. Julian Bousquet, 11. Benjamin Garcia, 12. Benjamin Jullien, 13. Jason Baitieri.
Interchange: 14. Clement Boyer, 15. Nabil Djalout, 16. Thibault Margalet, 17. Lucas Albert.
Lebanon: 1. Anthony Layoun, 2. Travis Robinson, 3. James Elias, 4. Jason Wehbe, 5. Abbas Miski, 6. Mitchell Moses, 7. Robbie Farah, 8. Tim Mannah, 17. Andrew Kazzi, 14. Mitch Mammary, 16. Jaleel Seve-Derbas, 12. Ahmad Ellaz, 13. Nick Kassis.
Interchange: 9. Michael Lichaa, 10. Alex Twal, 15. Elias Sukkar, 18. Adam Douehi.
Referee – Gerard Sutton