'Grabbed my b***s': Rugby League player's claim in ugly World Cup clash

James Bentley (pictured right) pointing to a Lebanon player and (pictured left) Bentley in pain after a tackle.
James Bentley (pictured right) accused a Lebanon player of foul play during their Rugby League World Cup match. (Images: Fox Sports)

Ireland player James Bentley appeared to accuse a Lebanon player of foul play during their heated Rugby League World Cup match.

Without Adam Doueihi due to suspension, Mitchell Moses steered the Lebanese side to victory in a game where passions frequently boiled over.

'RIDICULOUS': Fans erupt over Nathan Cleary act at World Cup

'SO SAD': Liam Hampson honoured at Rugby League World Cup

Tempers flared throughout the game, but at one stage Ireland player Bentley appeared to accuse an opponent of foul play.

Bentley was tackled by Kayne Kalache and Andrew Kazzie, before he emerged from the clash in pain.

"He grabbed my balls," Bentley said.

Bentley then told referee Adam Gee repeatedly he had been fouled, but it was unclear who he was accusing.

Gee stopped the game to review the situation, but no player was put on report.

"He is complaining of something, maybe the referee will put this on report," one commentator said.

"Or maybe Ashley Klein, the video referee, will help out."

However, after a short break in the play, the match continued.

This incident only added to the bad blood during the match.

Tempers flare between Ireland and Lebanon

The Cedars' 32-14 victory at Leigh Sports Village means the Irish now face a near-impossible task of getting out of group C given they must beat heavyweights New Zealand.

However, the match was marred after a number of incidents sparked tempers to flare at half-time.

NRL referee Adam Gee sent three players to the sin-bin, with Ireland prop Robbie Mulhern and Lebanon lock Jalal Bazzaz given their marching orders after a fight broke out after the half-time siren.

Reporter Gary Carter tweeted: "Tempers flare between Lebanon and Ireland as the half-time hooter sounds, with players almost ending up in the stands!"

Brandon Morkos celebrates with his teammates after a try.
Brandon Morkos celebrates their sides third against Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for RLWC)

Lebanon also lost fullback Jacob Kiraz to a concussion, while prop Kayne Kalache was sent to hospital after high contact from Ireland's Gold Coast prop Jaimin Jolliffe.

"I was highly disappointed about that whole thing, we got a player (Doueihi) sent off last week for supposedly saying something to the referee," Cheika said.

"Our guy (Kalache) takes a shot square to the head and nothing happens and he goes to hospital, so go figure."

Even without star playmaker Doueihi the Lebanese were a class above, frustrating the Irish with some tactics borrowed from rugby union with five ball-steals stifling Ireland's first-half rhythm.

"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 Ireland coach Ged Corcoran.

"I still believe in the people I've got in there and I go into Friday with the full belief that we can get a result."

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.