Oates reveals Seibold’s savage appraisal
QUEENSLAND Origin star Corey Oates has pledged to lift his game in 2020 after being told by Broncos coach Anthony Seibold that he had produced the worst season of his NRL career last season.
Oates was among 16 NRL players who appeared in Brisbane on Tuesday to launch next year's Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium, but the hulking winger admits there was nothing magical about his 2019 campaign with the Broncos.
While the 25-year-old featured in all three Origin games for the Maroons, Oates' club form went off the rails at the back end of the season, culminating in his role in Brisbane's 58-0 finals debacle at Bankwest Stadium.
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Seibold gave Brisbane's senior core some stinging home truths during their end-of-season player reviews and Oates says he agreed with every word of the coach's sombre appraisal.
"I don't know what everyone else copped but it was pretty honest stuff for me," Oates said.
"He (Seibold) basically said it was my worst year - it was terrible.
"I don't think many guys in the team can say they had their best year. If you took everything to heart ... I know myself I had one of my worst years and it wasn't great for me.
"Everything 'Seibs' told me at our meeting was true and I probably deserved it.
"I started the year off great but then I finished the year terribly. I said I wanted to be a consistent player and this year I did nothing like that. Seibs told me what I already knew. I wasn't surprised, I will cop it and move on.
"I have to work hard now and fix up all the little areas where I came unstuck."
Oates is on the cusp of some memorable milestones next season.
He needs a further eight games to reach 150 career matches for the Broncos and with another eight more tries, he will become just the sixth player in Brisbane's history to chalk up 100 career four-pointers.
Those numbers have franked Oates as Brisbane's premier winger of the past five years, but suddenly there are fresh threats.
The Broncos have enormous wraps on rookie flyers Herbie Farnworth and Xavier Coates, both of whom made their NRL debut last season, and Oates concedes he cannot afford to be complacent.
"If those blokes take my job, I have to get out," Oates said with a wry grin.
"Herbie and Xavier are great young fellas and they will be putting pressure on me.
"As a young fella, you want to stamp your authority and let the older guys know you are there.
"They showed last season what they can do. They will push me to be the best version of me and what I can bring. It will make me play better next year."