Wallace: ‘I went as hard as I could’

Jarrod Wallace did everything he could, everything he thought he should. But the debacle in Perth means fringe players like the Titans prop are in the firing line for the must-win Origin decider. SUBSCRIBE NOW TO READ MORE.

Recalled to the side after his axing for Origin I, Wallace rarely had a platform to impress off the interchange after Queensland staggered out of the blocks, running for just 47 metres in the 38-6 rout at Optus Stadium.

While Wallace and Tim Glasby tried to provide some defensive attitude off the bench, contributing a combined 45 tackles in the wet, it was the Titans prop's late hit on James Maloney in the 50th minute that typified Queensland's ill-discipline.

 

Wallace’s Maloney hit hurt Queensland even more. Image: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
Wallace’s Maloney hit hurt Queensland even more. Image: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

 

Wallace escaped any sanctions from the NRL match-review committee, although teammate Josh McGuire faces a one-week ban for his last-minute late shot on the Blues five-eighth.

Wallace was replaced within minutes of crunching Maloney, suggesting Kevin Walters had hooked him, but it is understood the Maroons coach always had the intention of replacing him at that stage of the contest.

Either way, the gravity of the defeat puts fringe players like Wallace in the firing line.

Broncos rival Joe Ofahengaue, who cut his knee badly in Game One, will come back into the selection frame for Origin III, but Wallace is itching for another crack in the Homebush decider on July 10.

 

Jarrod Wallace could be in the firing line. Image: Adam Head
Jarrod Wallace could be in the firing line. Image: Adam Head

 

"Absolutely, I love wearing this jersey and I want to make sure I can wear this jumper as much as I can," Wallace said.

"Every time I got that chance to run the ball I did. I tried to run as hard as I could and tackle as hard I could. That's all I can do.

"Just as I was about to come on, me and 'Glaz' (Glasby) looked at each other and it started pouring and I thought, 'of course, just as we get on (it rains)', but that's footy sometimes.

"You have to play to the conditions and I thought the field was slippery. You have to deal with that.

"I feel like I can definitely be better, but I was trying to get in and do as much as I could for the team.

"I felt like I had as many carries as I could and I made some tackles, I was definitely feeling the pinch out there.

"I will be better for the run going into Game Three. Hopefully I am there, we will go back and watch where we need to be better."

Wallace dismissed suggestions his tackle on Maloney, which gave NSW a fifth consecutive penalty for a 22-6 lead, was an act of foul play.

"I just went as hard as I could to try and get the kick pressure on," he said.

"I felt like I hit him around the hips and I felt like I was hard done by.

"There was no malice in it. I was just trying to put pressure on the kicker and that's what the big boys do."