Wallace expects to cop it from Raiders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallace expects to cop it from Raiders

By Wayne Heming 02/09/2010 05:02:50 PM Comments (0)

Painful memories of missing last year's preliminary final have spurred Brisbane halfback Peter Wallace to put his battered body on the line against Canberra's monster pack in Friday night's NRL miracle mission.

If Brisbane lose the Suncorp Stadium final round clash - or win by less than 15 points - their run of 18 successive finals series appearances will be over, also bringing down the curtain for Australian Rules-bound centre Israel Folau.

Wallace's return was revealed on Thursday only after he got the green light from his specialist as it was deemed he couldn't tear his shoulder joint much more.

"If we weren't a chance of making the finals, I wouldn't be playing," said Wallace, who will undergo a shoulder reconstruction when the Broncos' season ends.

"The team comes first, that's what it's about."

Wallace first approached coach Ivan Henjak on Monday about playing after it became clear champion five eighth Darren Lockyer would not be able to beat the odds and return despite his rib cartilage injury.

"I had my heart set on playing (Friday night) but it was looking pretty bleak on the weekend," admitted Wallace.

"I was really sore last Saturday but once I got some movement back in it on Monday I was really desperate to help the boys out."

The 24-year-old former Panther suffered the biggest disappointment of his career last year when an ankle injury kept him out of the qualifying final as Brisbane lost to Melbourne one game short of the grand final.

"I was gutted last year and I really want to play," said Wallace.

With inspirational leader Lockyer out, Wallace will provide some stability in the halves where youngster Ben Hunt faces his sternest test.

He fully expects Canberra's hulks, Tom Learoyd Lahrs, Dane Tilse, Scott Logan and Test prop Dave Shillington to give his right shoulder their own examination.

"I'm sure they'll be looking for me," smiled Wallace.

"It's something I'll have to deal with, you can't hide.

"The shoulder is pretty much wrecked so I can't do too much more damage.

"It's not even a pain thing, it's whether it holds up."

The Raiders went into lockdown with a closed training session late on Thursday afternoon.

Raiders coach Don Furner said there'd been talk all week about Wallace and Lockyer playing.

"I'm expecting Wallace to play," he said.

"I believe it's a shoulder injury and he can't sustain any more injury to (it). I'm pretty confident he will."

He said Canberra's mindset would be to win the game, even though they can lose by less than 15 points and still make the finals.

"My train of thought is we need to win," he said.

"You don't want to go up there and think about points, and you don't want to think about next week, you don't want to think about if we don't win.

"We're geared up to go up there and take the two points and that's what we need to do."

Brisbane fans will be hoping the sense of occasion will energise the players who have been flat in recent weeks.

"If that doesn't, nothing will," said Henjak.

"They're playing for their lives, a position in the semis, possibly their last home games in front of their fans, they've got a lot to play for.

"They would want to be able to walk off the field with their heads held high and their fans feeling really good about their team and their effort."

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