Injuries not holding Wallace down
Peter Wallace is from the no-nonsense old school era and a season riddled with injury isn't going to stop the veteran from doing everything he can to get the Penrith Panthers over the line on Saturday night.
In what he described as a "hectic" three weeks, the 31-year-old has spent enough time on the sidelines this year to let a broken hand and painful rib injury stand in his way.
Penrith teammates think he broke a couple of ribs but played out the 80 minutes with a 47-tackle effort against the Wests Tigers.
A week later he fronted up against the Cowboys and broke his hand, missing the clash with the Raiders the following round.
Trent Merrin labelled Wallace one of the toughest players he's come ever played with.
"I just got flung to the ground with my ribs and couldn't protect myself," Wallace said, as he played down Merrin's comments.
"If it was start of the year I might not have played last week, but just where we are and coming to the end the games are important.
"Playing through a bit of pain or injury doesn't worry me."
A broken hand can take up to eight weeks to heal, pending the severity.
Wallace credits a new addition to the family for helping with the recovery.
"It was a hectic couple of weeks," Wallace recalls.
"We had a baby on the Wednesday, played Saturday and broke my hand and had surgery the following Wednesday.
"It wasn't a bad break and was all in place which was a good thing, but they had to put a plate in otherwise it would've been six weeks before it heals.
"If they put a plate in it's pretty much good to go, but it's just whether you can play full range with a bit of pain.
"It got me out of [nappy changing] for a couple of days but was actually good because it forced me to use my hand a bit and get it moving.
"To be able to play the next week I had to keep it moving and get the range back as quick as I could."
Despite a healthy record against the Sea Eagles, Wallace had been around the game long enough to know it will account for nothing come Saturday.
Penrith will know more where they stand after the Cowboys-Broncos clash on Thursday night.
If North Queensland are defeated, the Panthers can afford to be beaten by a small margin, but are no doubt not interested in a loss.
Should the Cowboys win however, and Saturday's clash becomes all but a sudden-death fixture with the Dragons and Bulldogs scheduled to battle on Sunday.
"Obviously results have a bearing on us and especially tomorrow night's game, I'll be watching with interest but the fate is in our own hands," Wallace said.
"I don't look into records, you can't read too much into them. It's a different year and side.
"They're always good at home and a tough crowd.
"They've got a good pack of forwards and dangerous outside backs.
"We've got to win."
Thursday's all-Queensland local derby could also dictate the decision to either rush Matt Moylan back from a hamstring injury against the Sea Eagles or keep the Penrith skipper on ice heading into the finals.
"He hasn't run yet so they'll make a call," Wallace said.
"Having hammy issues myself before, you have to be wary.
"I'm sure he won't play if he doesn't think he would get through the game, either way."