Farah confident of giant-killing run at Rugby League World Cup

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    His coach Brad Fittler may still need some convincing but Lebanon captain Robbie Farah says the Cedars are confident of a giant killing run at the looming Rugby League World Cup.

    Lebanon have only qualified for their first World Cup in 17 years and at No.21 are the lowest ranked team in the 14-strong tournament.

    However, South Sydney’s Farah is still backing the Cedars to at least make the quarter-finals after also snaring the likes of Parramatta duo Mitchell Moses and Tim Mannah and Bulldogs rake Michael Lichaa.

    But a refreshingly frank Fittler reckons the jury is still out.

    The NSW great said he was loving his time with the Cedars but did not want to make any bold predictions before their opening group clash with world No.6 France at Canberra on Sunday.

    Asked if Lebanon could go on a finals run, Fittler said: “Robbie and the boys believe they can – they are yet to convince me.

    “But the more we spend together, the more we are coming together.

    “The boys believe and that is the key thing.

    “Last time Lebanon played at the World Cup was 17 years ago.

    “None of these guys have really played together.

    “It’s a day at a time for us. We will just see what happens.”

    In Group A along with defending champions Australia and Wayne Bennett’s England, Lebanon’s opening game in Canberra is their best chance of recording a maiden Cup win and all but guarantee a quarter-final berth.

    One win is expected to secure a top three finish in Group A, ensuring a quarter-final spot.

    “This is a great opportunity to make our mark on the world stage,” Farah said.

    “At Lebanon’s first World Cup (in 2000) they had a draw and two losses so we have never won a game at a World Cup.

    “That’s the goal for us, to win a game in this group stage and hopefully that will put us in a quarter-final and who knows.”

    Fittler said his star NRL contingent had helped fast track the rest of the Lebanese squad’s World Cup crash course.

    “They are a lively bunch and want to learn. It’s good to have guys like Robbie, Mitchell and Timmy Mannah guide the way, show what standards we need at training,” he said.

    “It helps them take that step up to that next level.”

    Fittler admitted stepping into the Lebanon role had been an eye opener but had no complaints.

    “It’s a very different dynamic but the Lebanese people love our game,” he said.

    “It’s been thoroughly enjoyable but a bit different. Well, very different.

    “A bit like myself. That’s probably why it is such a good connection.”

    Asked how his grasp of Lebanese was going, Fittler said: “It’s getting there.

    “I eat the food really well. I am a bit nervous about putting on weight.”

    © AAP 2017