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Revealed: Kristian Woolf questioned referees over ruck speed

Tonga Head Coach Kristian Woolf has explained a conversation his team had with referees on the ruck speed prior to today’s second test against England. 

Last week, the former Saints boss highlighted his belief that the speed of the ruck was different for both sides; however he detailed his side have been told by referee’s they need to

Speaking to the media following his side’s 14-4 loss to England today, Woolf said: “I thought it looked a lot more even. We spoke to the referees through the week and the question was ‘do England need to get off quicker or do we need to stay on longer and we were told that we need to stay on longer’.

He added: “At the end of the day it’s a little bit different over here than what it is in the NRL and it’s something that our blokes need to adjust to”.

He further exclaimed: “We’ve come over here and we were playing under English conditions and I thought we adjusted there a lot better today”.

Woolf also detailed how the ruck speed is part of the ‘challenge’ about playing in the UK, and that his players will be better again for that experience next week.

“When you talk about the ruck, the ruck is so fast and so squeaky clean in Australia that you get penalised there really quickly, he said. “It’s different over here”.

“When you’re playing 24 rounds in finals under one condition or under one set of rules and then they’re a little bit different, it is hard to change that automatically, he added.

“That’s part of the challenge and coming over here and playing in different conditions”.

He later said: “The challenge of that is what excites us about coming over here because you know it’s a challenge and you know you’ve got to find different ways to do things and different ways to win games and as I said it’s part of the challenge and it’s something we’ve still got a little way to go and we’ll be better at it next week again.”

The last test of the Autumn series takes place at AMT Headingley Stadium next week, and Woolf’s side travel there looking to avoid a series whitewash.

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