Cedars’ agony and ec­stasy

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - MICHAEL CARAYANNIS

LE­BANON went from caus­ing one of rugby league’s big­gest up­sets to hav­ing play­ers banned in their fi­nal pool game and hav­ing com­pe­ti­tion points stripped.

Less than three hours af­ter shock­ing Eng­land 16-13 in their pool game, the Cedars were stopped from us­ing un­der-18 play­ers in their fi­nal pool match. They sub­se­quently lost to Wales, end­ing hopes of a fairy­tale semi-fi­nal spot.

It took the NRL un­til Le­banon’s third pool game to re­alise they had two un­der-18s in their squad — Cronulla’s Jor­dan Sam­rani and Cow­boys-bound Ja­cob Ki­raz.

The highly-fan­cied Ki­raz played on Fri­day in Le­banon’s win against France but Sam­rani was stopped from tak­ing on Wales dur­ing the team’s warm-up.

The NRL also scram­bled late yes­ter­day, ask­ing for a third player’s driver’s li­cence to prove his age.

Le­banon were sub­se­quently de­ducted two points from their 12-8 win against France on Fri­day night for field­ing an in­el­i­gi­ble player.

To fur­ther com­pli­cate, Ki­raz played for Le­banon in the mid-year Test against Fiji but that match was played un­der Rugby League In­ter­na­tional Fed­er­a­tion rules whereas the NRL run the Nines. No player un­der 18 can play in the NRL.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.