Henjak touts Wallace's Origin credential - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak touts Wallace's Origin credential

By Wayne Heming 23/04/2009 06:14:51 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak has stamped Peter Wallace's representative passport declaring the gritty Broncos halfback tailor-made for the rigours of State of Origin battle.

Bookmakers rate Wallace a strong chance to reclaim the NSW No.7 jumper from Mitchell Pearce for the June 3 series opener in Melbourne.

A bolter selection last year, Wallace played in the first game win in Sydney but lost his spot to Pearce after suffering a ruptured testicle in the game two loss in Brisbane.

Henjak endorsed his halfback for an Origin return on the eve of Brisbane's danger game against a smarting Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium.

"I said when Peter got selected last year he was a good mix for Origin," said Henjak who could lose up to a half a dozen Broncos players to this year's interstate series.

"He's got a good kicking game, there's not many errors around him and he's pretty cool.

"My opinion is that he's suited to that type of footy but I'm not a (NSW) coach or a selector.

"I know he'll do a good job if they pick him."

Henjak is extremely wary of slumping Parramatta, who promised to adopt a siege mentality and "shove it up some people" after copping fierce criticism following their thrashing by the Bulldogs last weekend.

He is keenly aware the Eels have performed well against Brisbane in recent times.

Two years ago Parramatta handed the six-time premiers their worst defeat, smashing them 68-22.

Last year it took some Darren Lockyer magic and lightning speed by winger Denan Kemp to get Brisbane home in an extra time thriller.

"We're well aware of Parramatta's ability, we've watched some footage of them and they quite a dangerous attacking team," said Henjak.

"With the stinging criticism they've had through the week, I'm sure they'll be motivated to try and lift their performance."

Eels coach Daniel Anderson, who prompted halfback Brett Finch's surprise departure, has dumped Kiwi international Krisnan Inu and called up Taulima Tautai into the centres following the embarrassment against the Bulldogs. Injured winger Eric Grothe has been replaced by Etu Uaisele.

Eels legends Brett Kenny and Ray Price joined coach Anderson in questioning the players' pride and commitment in that loss.

"I guess how they react depends of the character of the player," Henjak said on Thursday.

"It can either flatten them and they can lose their confidence completely or, if they've got good character, they're going to lift.

"If they've got good pride in their club and their jersey then they're going to be really tough opposition for us.

"It's a great opportunity for them, in a good atmosphere up here to try and turn their season around."

While Parramatta have been stirred up, Brisbane skipper Darren Lockyer has also been the subject of Origin speculation.

"I don't think the criticism will motivate Locky, I just think he's got some high standards of his own and he's always trying to improve," said Henjak.

"He knows he hasn't been at his best but he's not far off it either."

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