Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan has taken a shot at the criticism aimed at Jarrod Wallace after the Maroons prop hit back from an underwhelming effort on Wednesday with an outstanding performance in the Titans' narrow loss to South Sydney at Cbus Super Stadium.
With interchange props Max King and Moeaki Fotuaika lasting just six minutes between them because of injury, Wallace put in an outstanding effort of pure will in front of Maroons coach Kevin Walters just 48 hours after playing for Queensland.
In 73 minutes of game time, Wallace ran for 163m and made 40 tackles while making just one error.
"How anyone can be questioning Jarrod Wallace's position in the Queensland Origin side has got me absolutely amazed," a passionate Brennan said.
"People who looked at his runs the other night are super coach fans. They look at how many metres people make; they don't look at what coaches look at.
"Kevvie is not that silly, he won't get caught up in all that rubbish that the media talk about, and other people.
"I thought his defence was good in Origin the other night, his support runs were there.
"What he showed tonight … if that doesn't shut the people up I don't know what will. What Jarrod did out there tonight was absolutely enormous. And Ryan [James] was outstanding too."
An exhausted Wallace said after the game he was determined to show his commitment to the Titans – and to himself – and put in a big performance despite being fatigued from Origin I. Jai Arrow also backed up and played 53 minutes.
"I wasn't thinking too much about it [criticism of his Origin performance], I just wanted to play good footy for my team," said Wallace.
"The only way to shut all that criticism down was to go out tonight and react to all that stuff in my own way and that's playing good footy for my team.
"I might have been a little hard on myself [on Wednesday's performance]. I didn't get the carries I would have liked, but that is Origin.
"I thought I was pretty good in D and worked hard and tried to do the best I could.
"I'm ready for the challenge [of being better up front for the Maroons]; I'm ready for it."