Wallace says, Gilbert, “we’ll support him”

Published 1:28pm 27 February 2024

Wallace says, Gilbert, “we’ll support him”
Words by Kylie Knight

Dolphins NRL prop Jarrod Wallace says the squad will rally around a shattered Tom Gilbert who suffered a season-ending knee injury during a trial game against the Warriors on the weekend.

“He’s such a big part of our team, he’s a big voice and the boys love playing with him,” Wallace said after training today.

While Gilbert was ‘pretty shattered’ after Saturday’s game, in which he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture in his right knee, Wallace is confident he will come back from the injury ‘bigger and stronger’, as he did from his shoulder injury last season.

“He’s one of the most mentally strong, hard-working players I’ve ever been with in a side. I know that coming back from something like this is … yes, it’s going to be soul-crushing for a week or so, but he’ll be back and he’ll be raring to go next year,” Wallace said.

“The boys will be keeping him up. Unfortunately, it’s the rough part of our game that we play in. It can happen to anyone … it just happened to Tommy.

“I think for us now the only way we can support him and help him through is to do well on the field. That’s what he wants us to do ... get out there and win, play hard and do everything that he would do if he was out there.”

He says whoever slots into Gilbert’s position will make sure they do the job.

“We’ll support him around the club and do everything on the field that makes him happy,” Wallace said.

Having more depth in the pack and, in most positions, puts the Dolphins in a better position to deal with injuries this season.

“The depth that we have is crazy, so to be honest, I’ve got no idea. I could be playing the centres for all I know,” he says laughing.

“Having the quality players that we’ve got, the depth that we’ve got, it’s fantastic. It’s definitely a hard decision to pick that 1-17 next week.”

He says Ray Stone, Kenny Bromwich, Tom Flegler, Josh Kerr are ready to step up and share the load, as is he.

Wallace says, Gilbert, “we’ll support him”

Scare for Herbie

Star signing Herbie Farnworth gave the coaching staff a scare at training today, appearing to jar his knee.

He was unable to run on it and had to miss the rest of the season, instead donning an ice pack.

Wallace didn’t see Farnworth come off the field and did not appear too worried the injury was serious.

“I’m sure he’ll be fine. He’s a bit of a princess after being named No.1 on the NRL’s hottest list or whatever it is. I’m sure he’ll put some ice on it and be back on Thursday at training,” he said.

For Wallace, his key focus and that of the squad is to tighten up their defence after the Warriors found weaknesses during Saturday’s trial game.

The clear message from Super Coach Wayne Bennett is to tighten it up.

“I thought the boys played really well in that first trial and we did some good things in the second, but I think our defence really lacked in the Warriors trial on the weekend,” Wallace said.

“We’ve still got a long way to go but that’s what trials are for. Obviously, we subbed a lot of guys in and out, we had two different teams and stuff like that.

“I just think we’ve just got to make sure our D’s right for round one or we’ll get found out against the Cows.”

The Pre-Season Challenge was a chance for players to show the coaching staff what they could do, as they weighed up their options in key positions ahead of round one.

The Dolphins beat the Titans 26-14 in the first week but went down to the Warriors in Auckland 34-22 in the second game.

The Dolphins NRL side’s season officially starts on March 10 when they take on the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium (3.05pm kick-off).

They play the Dragons at Redcliffe’s Kayo Stadium on March 17 (5.15pm kick-off) before a bye in round three and a clash against the Titans on the Gold Coast on March 30.

In round five, they will take on the Tigers at Suncorp Stadium on April 6 (6.35pm kick-off).

See photos from training

By Dominika Lis

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