Kristian Woolf insists he’s “not whinging” despite complaints after England defeat

Shaun Wane’s England side, littered with stars from Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves and St Helens, defeated Kristian Woolf’s Tonga side to open the Test Series.

It was a strange experience for Woolf who is used to winning at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

But this time he had to watch as his side came up short.

His side did lead 10-6 at one stage after two tries following the opener from Toby King, a player Woolf reportedly tried to sign for St Helens in 2021.

But tries from Man of the Match Mikey Lewis and a brace for Tom Johnstone would eventually seal a 22-18 win for England.

After the game former St Helens boss Woolf pointed out that “plenty of things” worked against the away side as he said:

“There’s plenty of things that went against us at different times, there’s plenty of things that put us under pressure and we handled that really well and we gave ourselves a chance to win the game there at the end.

“We’ll learn a lot and we’ll be a hell of a lot better next week and you got to remember a lot of these guys haven’t played footy for six or seven weeks, you can see at different times how that affected them, the heavy track affected them and the slow ruck affected them and we’re going to get better with all that.”

That being said, he noted that England deserved to win even though he questioned the ruck speed from Liam Moore in the game.

He said: “Yeah look, the first point I want to make there is that England deserve to win.

“Shaun Wane did a great job, they were well prepared, they played really well. Any of the tries that were scored against us had nothing to do with the ruck, it was things that we can clean up.

“I don’t want to come across like I’m whinging there at all. I also want to say I think Liam Moore is the best referee in the country. I’ve said that for a number of years and he’s a very good and very fair referee.”