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DIEHARD
21-03-18, 03:00 PM
Brennan tells Wallace it’s Titans first, Origin second
http://www.couriermail.com.au

TITANS coach Garth Brennan has urged Origin prop Jarrod Wallace to put the Gold Coast first and worry about retaining his Maroons jersey later.

Wallace will make his first appearance of the season in the Titans’ clash against the unbeaten Dragons in Toowoomba on Sunday.

The Queensland frontrower has finished serving a three-match suspension for a shoulder charge in the penultimate round of last season, which also led to him being banned from pre-season trials this year.

Wallace, 26, had a breakout season after moving to the Titans from Brisbane last year, earning a Maroons debut and playing the final two matches of the series.

He has been named to make his return off the bench at Clive Berghofer Stadium and Brennan said he wanted Wallace to focus on the Titans rather than Queensland.

“Last season is last season – there is no use talking about that or worrying about it,” Brennan (inset) said.

“He came back (to training) after having some off-season surgeries and didn’t keep himself in the best shape.

“He’s got himself in really good shape now. He needs to go out there and ease his way into the game.

“It’s important he’s there for the team and does what’s best for the team, not so much what’s best for Jarrod Wallace.

“He’s got to focus on the Gold Coast Titans. I’m sure he’ll do that and then the Origin rewards will come.”

Wallace proved to be an astute signing for the Titans last year, taking his game to another level following 73 games for the Broncos.

He started in all 21 NRL matches he played last season and Brennan said Wallace’s benching was to help him ease back into first grade.

“He hasn’t trialled and is probably a little underdone,” he said.

“Taking him out of those early exchanges might get us a few more minutes out of him.”

Halfback Ash Taylor has also been named to return from a hamstring injury in front of his home crowd.

Taylor’s return would be welcome given the Titans missed his direction in last Saturday’s loss to the Warriors and he would be facing off against fellow former Broncos halfback Ben Hunt.

Brennan said scans cleared Taylor of a hamstring tear but the 23-year-old had to pass a fitness test.

“He’s still not out of the woods yet,” he said.

“There was a scan and there was no tear – a hotspot (minor injury) came up on his hamstring.

“He ran (Monday) and will do a little more (today). We’ll see how he progresses.

“If he’s 100 per cent he will play. If he’s not, he won’t.”

Prop Max King (shoulder) will miss the Dragons game while forward Will Matthews (corked knee) is in doubt.

It’s important he’s there for the team and does what’s best for the team, not so much what’s best for Jarrod Wallace.

DIEHARD
14-04-18, 12:33 PM
Wallace embraces Civoniceva's Origin challenge
http://www.nrl.com

Jarrod Wallace never wants to give up his Queensland Maroons jersey and has taken on board the warning of his idol Petero Civoniceva that he must fight every week in clubland to keep it.

The 26-year-old Gold Coast Titans prop started in both Maroons wins in last year's Holden State of Origin Series and Civoniceva said it was a hard-earned reward.

''Jarrod, for a young guy, has been super-impressive with the way he's challenged himself and gone to a new club where he has proved to everyone his ability and quality,'' Civoniceva told NRL.com.

''He so rightly deserved his Origin opportunity last year but the challenge for him is to back that up this year because the Queensland selectors want to see him fight for his spot week in and week out.''

NRL.com took Civoniceva's advice to Wallace and he said the challenge was one he would embrace, especially with Matt Scott set to return for this year's series.

''Petero is 100 per cent right because every season there are always guys pushing to be better than the year before,'' Wallace said.

''Last year I played Origin but if I go into my shell there are guys like Jai Arrow playing outstanding footy and ready to step up.

''I don't want Kevvie [Walters] and the Queensland selectors to say 'he was here last year so we'll give him another chance'. I want to be picked because I am playing good footy in the number eight [jersey] here at the Titans.

''I want to wear the Maroons jersey until I retire. It means everything to me. I got a taste for it and I want it again.''

Wallace left the Broncos after the 2016 season to become a front-row leader with the Titans. He won his Origin jersey on the back of consistent barnstorming efforts for the Titans but said the round three 54-8 thrashing by St George Illawarra was cause for self-reflection.

''I had a bit of a slow off-season and I was disappointed in myself in the Dragons game where I didn't do as much as I would have liked,'' he said.

''After that I said to myself 'I won't do that again' because I want to be the guy who goes out every week who the boys can rely on to do the job and fill that leader role.''

It is a leadership role Civoniceva said all Queensland representatives should not take for granted.

''Any time you are recognised as a Maroons player it is all about how you come back the following year to earn the right to wear the jersey again,'' he said.

''That is the challenge and it is never a given. I had that mindset throughout my whole Origin career because so quickly it can be taken away from you.''

Wallace said he wanted to be remembered as a player who represented Queensland in the same manner as his idols.

''My favourite players - Matt Scott, Shane Webcke and Petero - have always stood up and that is what I want to do and that is the legacy I want to leave,'' he said.

''My mentality going into every game is 'I want to be the best on the field'. I may not get man of the match every week but I want to walk off the field knowing I gave 100 per cent and did the best for the team.''

DIEHARD
10-06-18, 04:05 PM
Wallace vows to hit back in Origin

TRAVIS MEYN / http:/www.couriermail.com.au

JARROD Wallace has guaranteed he will not buckle in Origin II as Titans coach Garth Brennan slammed the underfire Maroons prop’s critics as fantasy football fans.

Wallace responded from his Origin I flop with a sensational performance in the Gold Coast’s controversial 18-16 loss to South Sydney at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday night.

After making only five runs in 36 minutes at the MCG in Queensland’s 22-12 loss, Wallace charged for 142m and made 34 tackles in a 73-minute hitout against the Rabbitohs.

If Maroons coach Kevin Walters recalls Cowboys veteran Matt Scott for Origin II, he will have to axe one of his Game One forwards, thrusting the likes of Wallace, Jai Arrow, Josh Papalii and Coen Hess into the firing line.

But a fired-up Brennan was mystified by criticism of Wallace and said he would be stunned if his prop was dropped for the June 24 clash at ANZ Stadium.

“How anyone can be questioning Jarrod Wallace’s position in the Queensland Origin side has got me absolutely amazed,” Brennan said after the Gold Coast’s seventh loss in eight games.

“People who looked at his runs the other night are Super-Coach fans who look at how many metres people make.

“They don’t look at what coaches look at. Kevvie is not that silly. He is a smart operator. He’s not getting caught up in all that rubbish.

“As a coach you look at what they do off the ball. Jarrod’s defence was really good, his support runs were there.

“He didn’t make the metres everyone seems to look at but coaches and players around them know the effort players put in. For Jarrod to be questioned on his performance the other night is absolutely ridiculous.

“What he showed (against the Rabbitohs), if that doesn’t shut some people up I don’t know what will.”

Wallace is facing a onematch suspension after being charged with dangerous contact out of Friday’s match but will be free to play Origin II.

Wallace, 26, is likely to retain a spot in the Maroons’ 17 and said he would not let Queensland down.

“I didn’t get as many carries as I would have liked but that’s Origin and our backs do a lot of carries,” he said.

“I thought I was pretty good in defence and worked hard in everything else.

“I’m my harshest critic.”

DIEHARD
11-03-20, 10:46 PM
Jarrod Wallace reveals difficult off-field battle behind 2019 on-field woes
https://www.couriermail.com.au/

Titans forward Jarrod Wallace is the first to admit he was below his best in 2019. But the former State of Origin enforcer’s on-field problems paled in comparison to those off it.

Titans forward Jarrod Wallace admits he was below his best in 2019 – but he wants people to understand why.

Wallace lost his Queensland State of Origin jersey during a tough 2019 campaign where the Gold Coast Titans collected the NRL’s wooden spoon.

The hardworking prop forward was nowhere near his best and doesn’t shy away from that.

But there were reasons for his dip in form and Wallace hopes jaded fans can understand why he battled on the field.

Wallace, 28, and wife Courtney Thorpe welcomed their first child together – Kennedy Grace – on August 14 last year.

Kennedy was born six weeks premature following a pregnancy with multiple complications.

For Wallace, football seemed insignificant as his wife battled the uncertainty of a turbulent pregnancy.

“It was a hard year for me in a sense that we weren’t up to par on the field, I took it a little bit personally and I wanted to do more for the team,” he said.

“Off-field was really hard for me too with my missus and the pregnancy. It was a hard year for me personally.

“It is hard (to play well), people don’t realise that. If our home life isn’t good, in the sense things are hard, then it shows on the field.

“I’ve always done really well to try and keep my family life out and play good footy, but it does catch up to you.

“We had a lot of issues from the get-go unfortunately. It was a very tough pregnancy for her.

“Last year, five minutes before warm-up, I was worried about my wife and texting her to check she was okay, then I’d go out and warm-up and play.

“For the last five or six games, I’d fly home straight after the game because I had to be home to look after her and be there in case anything happened.

“We ended up (having Kennedy delivered) six weeks early because of the complications we had.

“I missed a game because my head wasn’t there. I was more worried about my baby and wife.”

After spending two weeks in hospital, Kennedy returned home and is now a thriving seven-month-old.

The Titans have undergone a transformation under new coach Justin Holbrook and Wallace will begin the 2020 season against the Raiders in Canberra in a different headspace.

“This year there will be a real weight off my shoulders – I will be able to focus on the game,” he said.

“Everything is going really well. I’m fit and the body feels great. My family is doing great.

“The football can come off the back of that.

“I’m really excited. It’s going to be a big year for the team and myself.”

Wallace’s move from the Broncos to the Titans from the 2017 NRL season kickstarted his career.

He made his Origin debut for the Maroons that year and had six appearances next to his name before being dropped last year.

Wallace said his off-field concerns coupled with the Titans’ poor performances were behind his form dip and Origin axing.

And he hopes the impact of Holbrook on the Titans will help him back into the Origin arena this year.

“I was in a rough head space – my mind wasn’t in it,” he said.

“The standards we had at the Titans weren’t helping either. When I went into Origin it was a whole different level.

“In 2017 we were all at the same level, but last year it felt like a really big jump with the speed and fitness. That’s because the level we had at the Titans wasn’t up to that standard.

“When you try to go up to a higher standard you get found out.

“This year our standards are a lot higher. We won’t be letting that happen. Justin has got us to a high standard of training.

“He is going to be a really good thing for myself and the team.”

JunctionBlock
13-03-20, 06:04 PM
I wonder what his excuse is now.

Menoitios
14-03-20, 09:42 AM
I wonder what his excuse is now.

Colour vision deficiency? It was very hard to distinguish their green jerseys from the grass...so they seemed to spring up from nowhere in defence and were hard to identify when they ran the ball. LOL!!!

Just kidding...Wal will fire against Parra!

JunctionBlock
14-03-20, 10:59 AM
Colour vision deficiency? It was very hard to distinguish their green jerseys from the grass...so they seemed to spring up from nowhere in defence and were hard to identify when they ran the ball. LOL!!!

Just kidding...Wal will fire against Parra!

My hope is he isn’t given the opportunity to do so.