Lebanon head coach Michael Cheika admits there is still some uncertainty around Adam Doueihi’s red card in the defeat to New Zealand in Warrington.
The Wests Tigers star man was sent off in mysterious fashion inside the Halliwell Jones Stadium that left spectators confused at the situation.
Doueihi, 24, looked to have been sent off for dissent against the official following a short kick-off that went in the favour of New Zealand.
Lebanon fell to a 34-12 defeat to Michael Maguire’s side in their opening games of the tournament.
“The World Cup hasn’t given us any footage,” Cheika said after the game. “We’ve asked for it, but we’ve not had any. I’m not sure why. We’re a bit in the dark.
“The player was sent off because he said something to the referee. But those things, you’ve got to look at them; that’s an accumulation of frustration that comes from the back of the try previous where there’s no play the ball by Brandon Smith.
“And then continued blocks from the kick-offs. It’s a shame we lost a man because we were in the right in the tussle.”
Confusion reigned after Adam Doueihi was sent off in mysterious fashion
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) October 16, 2022
New Zealand 34-12 Lebanon: 5,435 crowd watch Kiwis get underway
Michael Cheika takes confidence from performance
An already confident coach in his team, Cheika took the positives from the defeat against the number #1 ranked team in the world.
Lebanon had opened the scoring through Josh Mansour, with another try from Abbas Miski that saw the score at 18-12 before New Zealand took control towards the end of the clash.
“I’m always a believer. You don’t get involved in a team if you don’t believe in what the possibilities are and what the capabilities are,” Cheika told Love Rugby League. “And then you try and get them to do a little bit more than that. I think that’s the key, trying to get them to learn a little bit more about themselves.
“We were right in the battle for good periods of time. It will help us in the next stage of the tournament which is really important.”
Lebanon face Ireland next Sunday at Leigh. Both sides will be looking to battle it out for the second spot of Group C.