Former St Helens boss Kristian Woolf was unable to guide his Tonga team to success against England in the opening test match at his old stomping ground: The Totally Wicked Stadium.
Woolf’s side were unable to contain Hull KR star Mikey Lewis and the player he helped develop: Jack Welsby.
After the game, Woolf said this of the display: “Yeah look it was, it was exactly what we expected. It’s a good England side and they’re a tough England side. You can see that they want to win the series, they played with that sort of effort and they played that sort of game and we’re the same.
“I think our blokes showed plenty of courage, they showed that they’re here to play, they’re here to try and win and I was really proud of their efforts.
However, he was also left unhappy with the ruck speed from Liam Moore.
But he was quick to point out that he feels Moore is “the best referee in the country.”
He said: “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.
“The ruck was ridiculous tonight and it’s got to be fair in there as well. England are playing the ball at 3.25 seconds, we’re playing at a 4.35 seconds in the second half, that’s not a fair ruck.
“Guys being able to come in when they’re not involved in the tackle and flop in late, I get that we want to let things go a little bit in the test match, I do, and we all want to see that, but it’s got to be fair on the ruck and we’ve got to be allowed to play footy and that’s what people turn up to watch.”
Woolf has six days to turn the defeat into a win as they head over to the home of Huddersfield Giants: The John Smith’s Stadium.
A win there would set up a series decider at Leeds Rhinos’ AMT Headingley Stadium the week after.