Corey Oates has compared Brisbane’s record NRL loss to Parramatta last year with their heartbreaking 2015 grand final defeat, saying the memory will “never disappear”.
The Broncos have been quick to shut down talk in the media about their humiliating 58-0 thumping from the Eels in the 2019 finals ahead of the teams’ return clash on Thursday night, saying it will not be discussed internally.
But Brisbane winger Oates admitted the embarrassing defeat was never far from their thoughts after being asked about it constantly in the lead-up to the NRL re-start.
And just like their gut-wrenching extra-time 2015 grand final loss to North Queensland, Oates said their capitulation against the Eels was something the club would forever have to live with.
“(The loss to Eels) is the topic whenever people are talking to us – it gets a bit old,” Oates told Brad Fittler on Wide World of Sports’ Freddy’s FaceTime.
“It was last year, but it happened and we have to live with that, like we have to live with the 2015 grand final.
“Those things never disappear.”
Queensland flyer Oates said Brisbane would be out to silence their critics not only in next week’s clash with the Eels but throughout the season.
“We were inconsistent last year and everyone questioned everything – our heart, whether we even cared,” he said.
“The desire to prove a lot of people wrong is driving our team this year. We want to be known as a different team.”
Meanwhile, Oates was uncertain whether giant prop Matt Lodge would cap a remarkable return from a serious knee injury and run out against Parramatta.
Lodge had been tipped to take on the Eels despite suffering a partial ACL tear in February but Oates was not so sure.
“He’s been training on and off. He’s been coming into skills training and doing his own running when we do full-on game (simulation). I am not going to make a call on that,” Oates said.