Dolphins prop Jarrod Wallace has played his best football under Wayne Bennett and says the NRL master coach gives him the love when he needs it and rockets when he deserves them.
The 31-year-old former Queensland forward had six seasons at Gold Coast after four Brisbane, where he played two outstanding years under Dolphins coach Bennett.
When Wallace saw Bennett's number flash up on his phone earlier this year he awoke from his slumber and it was a dream come true.
"I was laying in bed and I was going to ignore it because I'd been asleep but I looked over and saw it was Wayno. I thought I better answer it," Wallace said after Dolphins training on Monday.
"Our conversation went for three minutes. Wayne said, 'I want you to come up and play with me'. I said, 'OK, send through the contract'. That's about as long as all Wayne's conversations are.
"The day I saw the Dolphins come in (to the NRL) I sent a text to my manager Isaac (Moses) and said 'I want to go up there'. Then I saw Wayne became head coach and I said, 'if you don't get me up there, I'll fire you'. I am stoked to be here. It is a new start in life for me."
Wallace had good times and bad at the Titans but said he had no regrets at a club where he loved his time.
The opportunity at the Dolphins to be a foundation player, help build a culture and start an NRL team from the ground up was to good to ignore.
"It was time for me to move on and get a fresh start mentally and physically. I think this is the perfect place for me under Wayne."
Wallace made his NRL debut in 2012 but had a breakout season in 2015 under Bennett at the Broncos where he played 25 games, including a grand final.
The confidence Wallace got out of that season ignited his career.
"I remember Wayne coming to Brisbane (in 2015) ... and he gave me the opportunity to prove myself against Cronulla in round two.
"He pulled me into his office and said, 'you've got one game to prove yourself or you can find another club'. Wayne knows he can say that stuff to me. He knows I can handle it.
"He knows whether you need a rev or some tender loving care and a cuddle.
"Wayne has always got the best out of me. I don't know whether it is the respect I have for him or the respect he has for me. He has only got to say one thing and I make sure it happens."