Kristian Woolf unhappy with pitch in first test against England

Thanks to tries from Wigan Warriors star and Warrington Wolves loanee Toby King, Man of the Match and Hull KR halfback Mikey Lewis and a brace from Tom Johnstone, England claimed the win in the opening Test against Kristian Woolf’s Tonga on Sunday.

Woolf’s side had to contend with being the away team and what Woolf felt was a “ridiculous” slow ruck speed.

But he was also unhappy with the pitch which Jon Wilkin described on BBC as a like a “cow field.”

Woolf noted the pitched after the game as he said: “I wasn’t unhappy with how we played and I wasn’t unhappy with how we played with the ball or without it. We still completed it well over 80% for a first run together in wet conditions and slippery conditions.

“I know the sun was out but you can see with the field that it’s still wet and it’s still boggy and that impacts on the footy as well.

“I was pretty happy with what we did there and a couple of times our execution let us down, just a pass or particularly when we had those good ball opportunities at the back end and.

“Again, that’s just something that we’re going to get better with and England will get better there as well. You get better by playing footy. So it’s going to be, we’re going to be better next week. I’m sure England will be better and it’s going to be a high quality test match next week.

“It was certainly high quality tonight, it was certainly intense, but you’d expect little improvements from both sides.”

With two more tests coming, Woolf also provided an injury update on his squad:

“Tyson Frizell came off with an ankle injury. Our physios are pretty positive about that right at the moment but he’s a tough bugger and the fact that he had to come off the field says that he’s got a problem there and with a short turnaround we’ll just have to see how it is.

“We’ve got plenty of depth there, we’ve brought 22 players over, we’ve got young Eli Katoa who’s been brilliant for Melbourne Storm and played 80 minutes every week and got better and better as the year’s gone on.

“We’ve got some other good young guys there, Siua Wong who I’ve been really impressed with, not back rowers but Junior Tupou, Latu Fainu , they’ve all been really good in camp and in training so we look forward to giving them a run at some stage as well.”