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Last Updated: Friday, 2 November 2007, 23:15 GMT
Ireland draw seals World Cup spot
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Ireland narrowly booked their place in the 2008 World Cup with a 16-16 draw against Lebanon in their final European qualifying group one match.

The Irish head to the tournament in Australia after topping their group on points difference.

Lebanon, forced to play their home tie at Dewsbury because of the volatile situation in the Middle East, had led 16-14 with four minutes left.

But substitute Chris Bridge rescued a draw with his second penalty.

It was the second draw between the two sides as Lebanon were left to rue their failure to post enough points against Russia.

In terms of the game in Ireland, it's a massive step and gives us something to focus on in the year to come

Ireland coach Andy Kelly
But the Lebanese will have a opportunity to claim the 10th place in Australia by entering the repechage.

Meanwhile, Ireland join previous qualifiers Tonga and Fiji alongside automatic entries England, Australia, New Zealand, France and Papua New Guinea in the main draw of the World Cup.

"I've been involved with the Irish coaching set-up since 2000 and qualifying for the World Cup sits amongst the highest honours I've ever achieved in the game," said Ireland coach Andy Kelly.

"I'm immensely proud of what we've done and what we've achieved and I hope we can push on now.

"In terms of the game in Ireland, it's a massive step and gives us something to focus on in the year to come."



SEE ALSO
World Cup qualifying
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby League
Littler keen to realise Cup dream
01 Nov 07 |  Rugby League
Ireland 58-18 Russia
20 Oct 07 |  Rugby League
Ireland 18-18 Lebanon
05 Nov 06 |  International


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