venue: Berrechid, Morocco
2nd July 2011
Full Match Report
MENA CHAMPIONSHIP – GAME 2
The Cedars wrapped up their tour of Morocco with another impressive display, dismantling the hosts 78-0 to retain the MENA Championship. Stand-off Walid Yassine [pictured] broke Lebanon’s points-in-a-game record following his 11 goals and four try display. The 38-point haul was four-points better than Samer El Masri’s 15 goals and a try, registered against Serbia in the 2003 Mediterranean Cup.
Score-line notwithstanding, it was a stronger display from the home team, which made six changes from the first match, with the sin-binning of Lebanon’s Ghassan Dandach and Morocco XIII’s Mohamed Boukaira testimony to the physical edge on show.
Morocco XIII coach, Abed Wahed Souguini, a rugby league veteran who played in the 1995 Emerging Nations World Cup, was clear that Moroccan rugby league had a lot of improvement in it: “we played much better than the first game. We need to work on our techniques and have a better understanding of game-play. Hopefully next season with the aid of MENA Region [of the RLEF] working closely with our organisation we will have a stronger team.”
Despite breaking Lebanon’s line on several occasions, a much more aggressive Morocco XIII were unable to convert their chances into points, and trailed by 46-0 at the break. The Hachache brothers both scored hat-tricks while man-of-the-tour Yassine and his halfback partner Ali Kaarali pulled the strings in midfield.
Lebanon interim coach Thierry Dumaine was happy with his side’s application of their tactics: “we always played as a team and despite a few mistakes with the ball we never game Morocco a hope of scoring. From a coaching perpsective, I’m very satisfied with how we played; we secured a second win and the trophy. It’s been a great two weeks with all the players and staff and I hope to maintain my relationship with Lebanon until the world cup.”
Yellow Cards: Ghassan Dandach (Lebanon); Boukaira Mohamad, Ahmed Daghbor (Morocco XIII)
Rochdi Imad, Said Daif, Ayoub Akl, Ahmad Daghbor, Mohamad Hdyli, Chakib Bouhali, Boukira Mohamed, Noubi Hassan, El Mazriwi Hicham, Chani Mohamad, Sahim Yassine. Sadek el Houcine, Najib Douma, Rachid Amzaro, Badeddine Barradi, Kamal Slawi, El Mehdig Houbach
Pierre Nasr, Mike Elias, Youssef Helou, Rudy Hachache, Gaeton Osman, Walid Yassine, Hilal Kaarali, Allan Soultan, Samer Nehme, Ibrahim Ballout, Nemer Saliba, Ghassan Dandach, Robin Hachache. Subs: Ahmad El Masri, Raid Khoury, Kamal Ali, Jad Hachem.