Brisbane Broncos star Corey Oates has revealed he was “pretty pissed off” and “bloody hurt” upon discovering he had been axed from the side on Tuesday.
The Broncos have been experimenting with their squad every week since the coronavirus epidemic, desperate to overturn their horrific form slump. The Queensland-based team recorded five consecutive losses for the first time in eight years, and have slipped to 15th on the NRL ladder.
In his latest squad shake-up, Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold relegated Oates to the reserves for their round eight clash against the New Zealand Warriors at Central Coast Stadium.
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The State of Origin star was ineffective during the Broncos’ embarrassing 30-12 loss to the Gold Coast Titans last weekend — the winger made 68 metres in ten runs, and was unable to muster a linebreak or offload.
Oates was also sin-binned in the 76th minute by referee Pete Gough for dissent, ending a forgettable evening.
Jamayne Isaako will replace Oates in the No. 2 jersey for Saturday evening’s match against the Warriors. However, the 25-year-old was recalled after prop Matt Lodge suffered a knee injury, and will therefore play his 150th NRL this weekend.
Corey Oates Broncos training at Red Hill. Pic Annette DewSource:News Corp Australia
Speaking to The Courier-Mail, Oates admitted he was “heartbroken” by the shock decision, but is eager to register a much-needed win against the struggling Warriors.
“To be honest, I didn‘t see it coming and I don’t think I deserved to be dropped,” Oates said.
“I was heartbroken when the coach dropped me. It bloody hurt. I didn’t take it lightly and I wasn’t happy, I was pretty pissed off for a couple of days and then I just thought there is no point kicking cans.
“It was a tough pill to swallow. I‘ve had a conversation with the coach and I said I will still be the same person around the team. I will just train and work hard to get my starting spot back.”
“I was a bit surprised that I was the only guy dropped and no-one else, but now I‘m back in the team with (Lodge) out so I guess I get another chance.
“I feel I‘ve been doing a pretty decent job on the wing. It is what it is. It’s my 150th game and I’m coming off the bench so I will just do what I can and hopefully we can finally get a win against the Warriors.”
Although his defensive record has come under question this season, Oates was not concerned. He has not managed an NRL try since July 2019, but Oates is determined to revive his form and overturn the public’s image of the club.
“I feel like my defence has been pretty good and it’s actually been better than other years,” Oates said.
“I don’t feel like I have stuffed up in a major way in games, but once a coach makes his decision, they don’t go back on them.
“People saying we don‘t care don’t understand how hard we try.
“When you lose five games in a row, everyone hurts, but as a team we need to be better across the board to beat the Warriors.”
Broncos second rower Alex Glenn was spotted pulling down Oates’ shorts in a lighthearted prank at training on Friday.
The moment Corey Oates was pantsed.Source:News Corp Australia
Brisbane lock Pat Carrigan sang Oates’ praises after the announcement, and was adamant the Queenslander would perform in whatever position he plays on Saturday.
“One thing with Oatsey is that he’s a team player and it’s been an up and down week for him but his training has been well,” Carrigan told Broncos.com.au.
“He could have dropped he bottom lip but he’s worked hard and has got another chance.
“I’m excited for him … he’s been a big part of the club and he’s one of those older guys who has shown us younger guys the ropes.
“A win is what he deserves. Whatever position he plays then he’ll get the job done.
“We’re standing side by side and we know that the only way to turn the critics away is to start winning and it needs to start this week for us.
“This group has heaps of potential but it’s time we stopped with lip service and started delivering on that.”
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