Controversy abounds as England secure first RLWC win

Despite England's strong 29-10 win over Lebanon in their second appearance of the Rugby League World Cup, their victory has been overshadowed by a biting allegation from Lebanon's captain Robbie Farah, with Ryan Hall's first half try adding to the controversial night.

Dominating possession in the first half, England were well on track for a huge win over their Pool A rivals, but just minutes after the half-time break, Farah approached the referee to make an official complaint against England winger Jermaine McGillvary. The complaint saw McGillvary placed on report and sparked a melee on the pitch.

Farah was overheard on the referee microphone during the incident exclaiming, "look at my arm. It doesn't matter, you don't bite people - look at my arm. I didn't bite myself, did I?"

While the Lebanon captain was clearly fired up following the incident on the pitch, he cut a subdued figure following the match, stating in the post-match presser, "It's up to the match review committee.

"Things happen in a split second on field and you react, it happened on the field I reacted to what happened and I'll leave it at that.

"It is pretty clear on the replays. That is all I will say."

England coach Wayne Bennett and captain Sean O'Loughlin said little more on the incident following their win.

"It's a bit hard to comment on it," Bennett told the media. "We've got as much information as you've got and from where I'm sitting I can't really comment on it."

The incident marred England's first win of the tournament and Sydney's first taste of the World Cup, with a 10,000 strong crowd making their voices heard during a sometimes monotonous test match.

Despite the large gaps in the stadium, the huge Cedars fan base made sure to fill the stadium with noise and turn a certain England win into a much more riveting spectacle with the crowd on their feet for most of the match, drumming, chanting, cheering and booing from the first whistle to the last.

The loudest jeer from the crowd came during the most controversial moment of the match, when England winger Ryan Hall appeared to have dropped the ball over the line as he crossed for a try, but much to the disappointment of Cedars supporters the video referee awarded the try.

"That try in the corner, I guess, the interpretation in the NRL is once you lose control you can't just have downward pressure on it," Farah said following the match. "You need to regain control of the footy before you put the ball down and I don't think he did that.

"But in the end, regardless of the ref, I think our effort was outstanding and the way that we dealt with those minor setbacks was impressive."

For England, Bennett believes they still have plenty of work to do after failing to capitalise on their strong opening half, scoring just one try and one drop goal in the second stanza.

"There was bit of both [good and bad experiences]. First half was pretty good, I was pretty pleased with our ball control and our field position, and we gave ourselves plenty of opportunities.

"I thought we just lost our way in the second half, defensively we stood up and I was really pleased with that, but I think we can do better than that.

"These games are difficult because you are expected to win but no one knows by how much, but part of our journey is to be more consistent and that is not good enough.

"We are not a good enough team to be able to turn it off and turn it back on again."