Woolf questions referee after dramatic Tonga exit

Tonga coach Kristian Woolf questioned why the TMO was not consulted but was unsure whether his side were "robbed" one of the great comebacks in an incredible end to a 20-18 Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat to England.

The Pacific Islanders trailed 20-0 with only seven minutes remaining, but tries from Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolohea in quick succession made it a two-point game with time running out in Auckland.

Tonga produced one last attack with England on the ropes, but were denied a match-winning try when referee Matt Cecchin blew up for a knock-on against Andrew Fifita, who regathered the ball to go over after Elliott Whitehead appeared to strip it from his hands.

Cecchin opted against a review of the incident and that proved to be Tonga's last chance as England hung on by the skin of their teeth to set up a showdown with Australia in Brisbane next Saturday.

Woolf said: "I don't know if it's a try or not because I haven't seen it again.

"I don't know if we were robbed. I can't believe we don't look at it. The game's on the line.

"I thought for very, very long periods we were on top in this game. We just didn't quite get there tonight. England deserve some credit there, they defended extremely well there at times."

Gareth Widdop scored a try and eight points from the tee, with Jermaine McGillvary and John Bateman also going over in what looked set to be a comfortable win for England until Tonga'a late onslaught at Mount Smart Stadium.

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