There's no 'quick' ball, but if you get enough forwards there quick enough so that the ruck bar speeds to your team's end then you can get it slightly quicker. I agree it's to stop loads of offsides and I think the game is good enough to overcome this slight 'problem'. All ball is pretty quick as the game is so fast paced.
If i remember correctly rucks were alot quicker in WCR. They are definaltely slow in this new game. It is pretty annoying. But I think your right about it being because of offsides. Players running back offside are not penalised. On the odd time when you do manage a quick play, bad things happen, for eg..I played the ball and an opposition player running back in an offside position intercepted the pass from my No 9 to my No 10. This is very frustrating as you get no reward for catching the other team off guard, they just play offside and dont get called.