When his team needed him the most, Mitchell Moses stepped up to the plate and helped Lebanon overpower Ireland with a 34-12 win.
In what was a fiery clash at the Leigh Sports Village, many were worried pre-game that the Cedars would struggle without suspended 5/8 Adam Doueihi.
Not to worry, however, as Moses pulled the strings and called the shots, having a hand in most of the Lebanese tries.
After the five star performance by all, including debutant Khaled Rajeb, the only concerns for Lebanon are concussions to Jacob Kiraz and Kayne Kalache.
Kalache was taken to hospital as a precaution after he was caught high by Irish forward Jaimin Jolliffe who was put on report.
After a tense 16 minutes that saw both sides with some chances, the first points came via penalty goal for Lebanon with Moses slotting it over.
The penalty came after a cannonball tackle from Irish prop Liam Byrne who was put on report as a result.
The first try of the game went to Lebanon as Moses found Khalil Rahme who spun, offloaded to Moses, and the half found Reece Robinson outside to score.
Lebanon then had a quickfire double with Moses again involved, this time laying on a deft inside pass for Kiraz to stroll through the Irish defence.
It was seemingly one way traffic for Lebanon as Canberra Raiders youngster Brad Morkos got his name on the scoresheet.
Ireland opted for a short dropout but it backfired and Josh Mansour came down with it before finding Morkos who had an open lane to score.
Down but not out, a scrum play saw the Wolfhounds grab their first and it was key NRL half Luke Keary who was involved.
His looping pass over the Lebanese defence and a rushing Abbas Miski gave Louis Senior an easy passage to the line.
Both sides would then start the second half with just twelve men after a post-half biff saw Ireland’s Robbie Mulhern and Lebanon’s Jalal Bazzaz both sin-binned.
Ireland would score first in the second half to get themselves back in the game and it was Senior’s second, this time a cut-out by half Joe Keyes.
Moses and Rahme then combined again, as Moses wrapped around his forward to find Mansour who passed to Elie El-Zakhem to score.
Miski then got himself on the scorer’s sheet after he latched onto a cut-out pass from Rajeb.
With Super League players not familiar with the ability to strip the ball, Ireland coach Jed Corcoran believes it is something they need to look into.
“Fair play to Lebanon, they’d done their homework and they saw something in us that maybe I missed in terms of the ball steals,” said Corcoran.
Moses won man-of-the-match but gave his medal to a young Parramatta Eels fan in the crowd who called out his name.
“He had a Parramatta jersey on and was screaming my name out,” Moses said.
“It meant a lot to me to get man of the match in a game for Lebanon. I thought I’d give it to him and it meant the world to him.”
Lebanon 34 (Robinson, Kiraz, Miski, El-Zakhem, Morkos; G: Moses 6) def: Ireland 14 (Senior 2, Chamberlain; G: Chamberlain 1).
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Mitch Moses (LEB)
2. Jacob Kiraz (LEB)
1. Khaled Rajeb (LEB)