NEWS Oates: finals pain never leaves you


NRL Player
Sunshine Coast
Corey Oates on Brisbane’s finals hopes
and the enduring pain
of a grand final defeat

Corey Oates,
The Courier-Mail
September 11, 2019 4:15pm

big dance

One second. One play. That’s what finals football teaches you — that one moment can be the difference between winning a premiership and walking off with a broken heart. Every second, every play counts. For many of us at the Broncos, the hurt is still there. The hurt from the 2015 grand final, a gut-wrenching defeat that inflicted a pain that seems to deepen with every year that passes without us making it back to the big dance.

Corey Oates can’t forget the pain of 2015. Photo: Adam Head

Corey Oates can’t forget the pain of 2015. Photo: Adam Head


That grand final loss to the Cowboys was a lesson I will never forget. Of that team, there are seven survivors who will play in Sunday’s elimination final against the Eels — Anthony Milford, Darius Boyd, Joe Ofahengaue, Matt Gillett, Alex Glenn, Andrew McCullough and yours truly. That night of heartbreak should also be motivation for our younger guys when they run on to Bankwest Stadium. You can’t waste your chances in finals. I was in my third season with the Broncos in 2015. I thought, ‘Surely we will be back again’. Now I’m in my seventh year and we haven’t been back to the NRL grand final. I still don’t have a premiership ring.

Darius Boyd hits the deck in 2015. Photo: Brett Costello

Darius Boyd hits the deck in 2015. Photo: Brett Costello

harder and harder

With the competition being as a competitive as it is now, I feel it’s getting harder and harder just to make the finals, let alone win the premiership. At the time, I didn’t stew over our grand final loss so much, but now, four years on, the pain lingers. It really does hurt me. In fact, I think it hurts more now than it did in 2015. Every year is like more salt to the wound. It’s also like fuel to motivate you to want to fight back and play for a premiership. I still have vivid memories of that night. I thought we had it. I could picture us holding the premiership. Inside, you start daring to dream.

The moment that broke Brisbane’s hearts. Photo: Gregg Porteous

The moment that broke Brisbane’s hearts. Photo: Gregg Porteous

I could only watch him

Then I remember seeing Michael Morgan rushing towards our side. It happened so fast. One big blur. I thought he actually got through, so I started to rush infield thinking I had to stop him. That left Kyle Feldt open, unmarked on the wing, and when I saw him get the ball, time stood still. I wanted to hit the rewind button. Instead, I could only watch him score. Darius fell to the floor like he’d been shot. I couldn’t believe it was all happening.

every part of my body

When Johnathan Thurston kicked the winning field goal in extra-time, every part of my body caved in. I remember looking to the dark night sky and thinking how on earth did that just happen. All the weeks of work. The pre-season torture you go through. It all came to nothing. One second, one play.

the boys

The shed was just pure devastation. It was so quiet. Eerie. You could hear a pin drop. It was like shellshock. It took a while for the boys to start talking to one another. It showed just how much it hurt. That’s the memory, and motivation, the more senior guys will take into Sunday’s final against the Eels. Just the other day, our coach, Anthony Seibold, challenged the bigger names at the Broncos to lead the way. Blokes like myself, Darbs and Gillo. I agree with him. We know what the speed, intensity and aggression is like and we have to show the way and hope the rookies like Payne Haas come with us.


Our mood is fine. What we dished up against the Bulldogs last week in our 30-14 loss wasn’t up to our standards. We know our energy and intensity was below par. But I’m still very confident in the team and the players we have to take us beyond week one of the finals.

Despite a tough season, Oates is hopeful is making a dent in the finals. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Despite a tough season, Oates is hopeful is making a dent in the finals. Photo: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

under their belts

We know we have given ourselves a hard path. It’s a tough challenge playing from eighth spot but the young guys have a few games under their belt now and know what it’s like in the NRL. We have to realise what’s at stake — if we lose, we’re done, the season is over. We have a maximum of four games to go, so it’s not a massive ask to expect the group to lift for the last month. Expectation is always high at the Broncos, but you know that the minute you set foot in the club. Being at this club and the history that the Broncos have, the expectation is high with the facilities we have. The pressure is building. I am confident we can break the premiership drought, we have a really talented roster, but right now we need to get past Parramatta and hopefully pin our ears back for a finals charge.

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NRL Player
I'd also go so far as to say his multiple mentions of the younger guys in the team, "hoping they come with us", are way off the mark. Corey, I hope you realise that the young guys have been fucking carrying you older heads at the back end of this year. I don't like the tone of that article at all, even though it's just clickbait and cliches.


NRL Player
Strange I had the opposite feeling about the article. It actually gave me a glimmer of hope for Sunday and us going much further.

What I read was a guy who was burning to make amends for the losses in other finals and was now prepared to go flat out for the next month to win a GF. When he mentioned hoping that the young guys came with him I think he was referring to the experienced seven going full tilt at the speed they know that is required to win finals footy games and hoping the others started at that speed too so that the whole 17 were playing as a team.


International Captain
I'll be honest, I pretty much don't read any of these bullshit fluff articles.

They're not going to say, "oh yeah, look we slacked off in about 10 games, because really as long as you have a good game every 3rd week you'll still be picked and next week's 10k paycheque will be in the mail.

A bunch of them sure play that way. I may think Macca is one of the least talented 9's to ever wear a Broncos jersey but at least the dude gives every ounce of talent he has every time he's on the field, Glenn too, the 19 year old Haas, Staggs, etc. Definitely not guys like Oates, or Milford though. They regularly cruise around on auto pilot.

This is all a long way of saying, quit talking the talk Oates. You're on 500k+ a year, almost 25 with 150 games and you're still making the same dipshit mistakes you were making at 18. If you were truly a committed professional with a drive to be the best, you'd be the best winger in the game right now instead of rocks one week and diamonds the next.

Who noticed how good he was against the Rabbitohs? He was fired up and wanted to win at all costs. If he and the rest of the slackers in the team had that same attitude, we'd be challenging for a premiership in 4 weeks instead of scraping by on negative differential hoping results go our way.



NRL Player
Nobody will know how how switched on everyone is until the first 5 minutes are over and then the question will be 'who has the desire to sustain the effort'. I'm just hoping we give it all regardless of the result.
This is literally all I want to see. If we're not good enough, we're not good enough, I can cop being beater by a superior team. I can't cop not playing to potential though. It's finals now, this is what these guys are meant to live for. I want to see that it means something to them.

animal eater

QCup Player
First off, the chances that Oates wrote that article are nil. That's not his language. Secondly, and most important are the following points in that day of imfamy.

1. The person most at fault was none other than Bennett with his rediculous plan to have the team play safe with 15 to go and keep kicking into touch instead of doing exactly what they were doing to get the lead which was play football.
2. If Blair and McCoullough don't do a shit ass job of arm tackling Thurston, the ball never gets out wide in the first place.
3. Can we never bring this fucking day up again please. As you can probably tell, I don't want to talk, read or think about it. Still too fresh.

Thank you,
animal eater

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