Australia will look to move a step closer to defending their crown when they meet Lebanon in the first quarter-final of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield.
Mal Meninga’s champions cruised through Group B as anticipated, with little hassle, and their reward is arguably one of the plum ties of the last-eight against a gutsy Cedars side.
Michael Cheika, the former Wallabies coach who will pull double duty with Argentina this weekend in rugby union, will be looking to give the Kangaroos a scare in West Yorkshire.
But with an array of NRL superstar talent and the bit between their teeth, is anything going to stop the green and gold from marching through to the last four once again?
The Sporting News is following the match live, providing score updates and commentary below.
Australia vs. Lebanon live score
Tries: Addo-Carr (3), Mitchell, Murray (2)
Conversions: Cleary (3)
Australia vs. Lebanon live updates, highlights from Rugby League World Cup
33 mins: TRY: Australia 30-0 Lebanon! A disaster of a set for the Cedars – they put the kick-off out into touch – and from the subsequent penalty, it is all too easy for Murray to slide under defenders for a second. Cleary converts.
30 mins: TRY: Australia 24-0 Lebanon! The Kangaroos were always going to be eyeing another statement scoreline here, but few probably expected they’d be blowing away this fast. It’s Cameron Murray now, seizing a late offload, who crosses at the posts. Cleary converts.
24 mins: TRY: Australia 18-0 Lebanon! Mitchell gets in on the act now – and it is a barnstormer of a run, skittling opposition defenders as he crashes through on the left flank. Cleary misses the conversion.
? The Foxx is on fire!
Josh Addo-Carr has a first half hattrick, rounded off with this score set up by a cheeky strip tackle from Munster.#RLWC2021 | @BBCSport | @Kangaroos | #AUSLEB pic.twitter.com/jwu9OK64oj
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) November 4, 2022
19 mins: TRY: Australia 14-0 Lebanon! A 20-minute hat-trick for the Foxx! The Kangaroos enforce a one-on-one steal through Munster on the Cedars’ second tackle, and he puts the winger over at close-range. Cleary misses the conversion.
16 mins: TRY: Australia 10-0 Lebanon! Spoke too soon! A strong line-break puts the Kangaroos down the middle, and Addo-Carr takes the pass to sweep beyond the last man for a second next to the posts. Cleary converts.
14 mins: And now a fine defensive read sees Lebanon tip Latrell Mitchell into touch. The Cedars are keeping this one pleasantly tight in the opening act.
12 mins: It has been a spirited chase from the Cedars so far, running hard on the last to cut down the chance for a Australia breakaway. The Kangaroos look to release Addo-Carr again with a grubber, but the winger is told to stay back, having drifted offside. A missed chance there.
5 mins: TRY: Australia 4-0 Lebanon! The Foxx is in for the opener! It’s all too easy for the Kangaroos, who flick it wide fast to the left, and Josh Addo-Carr sees off Josh Mansour’s attentions to scrape in at the corner. Cleary misses the kick.
4 mins: Out on the full from Australia! That is an unusual one from the Kangaroos, who come up with a poor end to their first set in hand. Lebanon have a tidy foothold with which to work from, but their kick on the last is just too heavily weighted.
KO: Australia kick matters off, and we are underway in this first quarter-final at RLWC2021!
5 mins: Here come the teams! There may be a few less bodies than hoped for, but it’s a heck of a roar. The national anthems are belted out with some proper gusto too.
10 mins: If you’ve been following our coverage, you’ll know we’ve been mentioning attendance figures quite a bit. RLWC2021 organisers have set several targets to achieve over the tournament; while they should exceed the aggregate crowd for the 2017 edition, topping 2013 – which had less games – looks like it could prove a struggle by the large empty swathes in here tonight.
15 mins: It’s the day before November 5 for our non-British readers – Bonfire Night – which means fireworks are periodically casting the John Smith’s Stadium in an eerie red and gold glow, But for which colour will the lights on the pitch favour tonight?
30 mins: The teams are in and there’s an eye-catching trio in Australia’s squad. All three of their nominal halves make the cut – with Cameron Munster and Nathan Cleary paired up to start and Daly Cherry-Evans on the bench. That will add some creative depth.
45 mins: Michael Cheika will have different ideas however. The Lebanon boss has a busy weekend – he’s due to coach Argentina in rugby union in the next few days too – but the former Wallabies supremo will have a laser-guided focus on ensuring this is not an easy night for his home country.
60 mins: Of course, there is only one way this match will go on paper. Australia are two-time defending champions, littered with star talent and odds-on to defend their crown. There isn’t really any other result expected for Mal Meninga’s men other than a win.
75 mins: The group stages are in the bag – now, it is the business end of RLWC2021. Eight have gone home, eight remain – and by the end of this weekend, we’ll be down to just four. But will it be the Kangaroos who find themselves in the last four? Or can the Cedars chase down a semi-final surprise?
90 mins to KO: Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup quarter-finals as holders Australia take on Lebanon at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield!
Australia vs. Lebanon lineups
? Here are your line ups for the first men’s quarter final of RLWC2021!
Nathan Cleary and Mitchell Moses both start at scrum half in a repeat of the 2022 NRL Grand Final.#RLWC2021 | #AUSLEB | @Kangaroos | @LebanonRL pic.twitter.com/WtcqxJvAYV
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) November 4, 2022
How to watch Australia vs. Lebanon: TV channel, live stream
|TV channel||BBC Three||Fox League||Sky Sport NZ|
|Streaming||BBC iPlayer||Foxtel Go/Kayo||Spark Sport|