Bronco Oates targets title after 2015 disappointment

Corey Oates is the last Brisbane player standing from the heartbreaking 2015 grand-final loss and has set his sights on going one better this year.

Oates was left sprawled on the turf when North Queensland's Kyle Feldt scored a last-ditch try to take the decider into golden point, where Johnathan Thurston nailed a field goal to give the Cowboys a 17-16 win.

The Broncos will play Melbourne in the first week of the finals at Suncorp Stadium and are in the best position in eight years to win a title, despite not having beaten their bogey side at home since 2009.

"Everyone keeps saying the Storm have a hoodoo on us, but you have to turn up and put the performance in and if you do that on the night, you will win," he said after the 32-22 loss to Melbourne on Thursday night.

"The Storm are just a team. They are a great team no doubt and they have been a great team for a long time, but I feel we have a better team."

Playing in a premiership decider, and winning it, is driving Oates.

“It's been a long time since that (2015) grand final,” he said.

“You always look at that stuff and say, ‘what if?’ But you have to get back there to give yourself another chance.

“We have put ourselves in a great spot and we have another great opportunity. Hopefully we can get there and go all the way this time.

“I feel like we have another two gears to be honest with you. I really hope to put the clutch in and shift into them and see how we go.

"We have some exciting footy we can play and I hope we can show that in the coming weeks.”

Oates has been at the Broncos his entire career and experienced the highs of finals football and the lows of a wooden spoon in 2020 and a 14th-placed finish in 2021.

Those years made him stronger and smarter.

“All the years I have played footy I never learned so much about football in those two years,” Oates said.

“I was a part of the years when we were on a high, whereas some boys who came in didn't know that feeling. All they knew was losing and not making finals and finishing last. That hurts.

“The spot we were in those years (compared) to now - the feel of the club, how you feel about footy and the enjoyment - I have never seen a group so tight to be honest.

"Those years just brought everyone so much closer. I feel like we learnt so much from those years.”

Oates is off-contract and has a one-year extension on the table from the Broncos.

He will address that in coming weeks after what has been a tough season with two knee injuries and a broken jaw limiting him to nine games.

The lanky winger is yet to score a try this season after notching 20 last year and has made seven line breaks, while laying on two tries for teammates.

“I don't really care about the tries, as long as we are winning,” he said.

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