BEIRUT: The Lebanese under-18 rugby league team were given a lesson Saturday by England, who won a friendly by a landslide 40-0.
The friendly international was held at the Center Stadium at the American University of Beirut in front of an audience of around 1,000 spectators.The gap in quality between England’s professionals and Lebanon’s amateurs, many of whom have only taken the game up in the last few years, was noticeable from the off. Lebanon were able to make a few nice chances but were unable to register a point to show for their efforts.
It took just four minutes for England to get on the score sheet when Ben Garner ran in a try before Sam Forrester doubled England’s score seven minutes later. Marcus O’Brien scored after 22 minutes, three minutes before Tyler Craig turned the game into a rout. Adam Jefferson, Daniel Rodwell and Carl Dixon finished off the scoring for the English.
England are in Lebanon for 10 days, training daily on the fields of the American University of Beirut. The two teams will meet again Thursday, Aug. 2.
With victory against such a strong rugby league unlikely, if not near impossible, Lebanon will look to bring the scores closer next Thursday.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 30, 2012, on page 13.