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New Zealand take down Lebanon in World Cup opener, as Doueihi is sent off for dissent

Lebanon’s Adam Doueihi could face a Rugby League World Cup suspension after he was sent off for dissent as his side blew a promising start to fall to defeat at the hands of New Zealand.

The Kiwis were made to work for their 34-12 victory in Warrington, but the talking point will centre on Doueihi’s second-half dismissal.

Lebanon kicked off in the 60th minute after New Zealand’s pivotal fifth try and NRL referee Grant Atkins halted play after Kiwis fullback Joey Manu came down with the ball after some help from his teammates running interference.

It was not immediately clear what had happened, but Atkins quickly pointed to the sideline, ordering Doueihi off the field at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The Wests Tigers playmaker faces a possible ban from Lebanon’s remaining two group games against Ireland and Jamaica and, depending on the severity of what he said, a suspension could extend into the 2023 NRL season.

It was a sorry end to a game that, for a spell, looked like it could be the source of an unlikely upset.

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