Wallace has the right stuff, says Henjak - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallace has the right stuff, says Henjak

By Wayne Heming 11/09/2009 05:31:16 PM Comments (0)

Maybe it is because he was a halfback himself but Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak has special admiration for gritty Broncos No.7 Peter Wallace.

Perhaps it's more to do with the character the former Penrith half has shown in coming out the other side of his Origin heartache, injuries, and a mid-season confidence crisis, that impresses Henjak so much.

Regardless, Wallace's 2009 character tests aren't over yet.

He faces a stern examination against scheming Titans halfback Scott Prince in Saturday night's NRL qualifying final showdown at Skilled Park, a clash which will have a significant impact on the result.

The classy Prince has promised Titans fans a masterful game in the club's first finals appearance putting the heat on Wallace to match his contribution.

Wallace heads to Skilled Park - where Brisbane are yet to win in three attempts - with his confidence restored and secure in the knowledge skipper Darren Lockyer is still the best in the business at the business end of the season.

If 23-year-old Wallace's confidence didn't hit rock bottom after being dumped from the NSW side for the third Origin game, it wasn't far from it.

He played in Origin II with cracked ribs but was hung out to dry for the loss which riled the usually mild-mannered Henjak.

"They were just into him the whole time," Henjak said at the time.

"He had no support, he just had to wear it all himself, it was grossly unfair.

"He is a tremendous guy, a tremendous player and he tried his heart out there in that Origin game.

"He has got more character than a lot of the other people that should have been supporting him."

The Broncos dropped seven of their next eight games as Wallace battled a hamstring injury.

Five wins on the trot has changed that for Wallace and his teammates who are now high on confidence.

"He's certainly come back over the last couple of weeks and he's getting close to his top," Henjak said.

Henjak, stepping out for his first finals appearance along with Titans coach John Cartwright, welcomed Lockyer's comments last week that his players felt "comfortable in the grind" on the eve of the finals where intensity levels go up a notch or two.

"I'm real comfortable when he (Lockyer) says that because he is the one who steers the ship," Henjak said.

"If he's over the line about getting into the grind then the rest of the team will follow him.

"With his kicking game and with his control of where we end up on the field, if he's on the ball with that, then we will definitely be in the grind."

Henjak distanced himself from comments by former Broncos great Gorden Tallis questioning the size of the Gold Coast forwards which they have quickly seized upon.

"We have nothing but respect for the players," Henjak said.

"They'll try and use whatever motivation they can, that's fair enough.

"We're certainly not going into that game thinking they're a small forward pack and that we're going to roll over the top of them."

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