Jermaine McGillvary was put on report for an alleged bite of Robbie Farah's arm as England beat Lebanon 29-10 to register their first win at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Saturday's fixture at a sparsely populated Sydney Football Stadium offered Wayne Bennett's side the perfect opportunity to bounce back from their 18-4 defeat to reigning champions Australia in the opening game of the tournament.
England claimed victory with relative ease but lacked a cutting edge in an uneventful second period, having run in four tries before the break to seize control.
Their success was also soured somewhat by a controversial incident early in the second half, which saw Farah accuse McGillvary of biting his arm in a tackle. As tempers flared in the aftermath and the England wing protested his innocence, referee Ben Thaler put the incident on report, although both players appeared to share a friendly chat later in the game.
Although England dominated possession and territory early on, opening the scoring through Kallum Watkins, Lebanon were level at 6-6 when Gareth Widdop spilled a Farah grubber kick and Nick Kassis pounced for a try that Mitchell Moses converted.
McGillvary cut in off the right flank to restore his team's advantage and any hope of an upset quickly vanished as Ryan Hall and Ben Currie went over, the latter recording his first try for England on his maiden start.
Lebanon trailed 22-6 at the interval as a result, but dug in impressively thereafter as their opponents struggled to find fluency in attack.
Replacement prop Tom Burgess did provide an eye-catching moment, charging over from 45 metres with the aid of a side-step that left Lebanon's full-back on the ground and drew broad smiles from brothers Sam and George, who were watching on from the England bench and stand respectively.
It was Lebanon who scored the final try through Jason Wehbe, though, before Widdop landed a drop-goal with the last kick of the match.