Corey Oates is seen during a Brisbane Broncos training session in Brisbane, Monday, May 18, 2020. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING
Corey Oates is seen during a Brisbane Broncos training session in Brisbane, Monday, May 18, 2020. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING

Reborn Broncos divided no longer

STAR Broncos winger Corey Oates has conceded there was a feeling of division among the Brisbane playing group last year but is adamant they've come back in 2020 as a stronger, closer unit determined to "prove a point".

An inconsistent 2019 season left the powerhouse club in eighth place with 11 wins and 12 losses before their record 58-0 loss to Parramatta in the first week of the finals.

Despite being touted as possible grand finalists and possessing one of the most dangerous forward packs in the competition, the Broncos were unable to end their premiership-winning drought.

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Oates admitted the 2019 cohort felt separated at times but believed they were all a lot closer this season having survived that experience.

"To be honest, it feels a lot better (this year) - the team is a lot closer," Oates said.

"I feel like we're all just one big group, where it just felt like we were all in different groups last year because of what was happening.

"It felt like we were a separate team in parts and it wasn't really our fault, it was just the way it all panned out.

"It was just unfortunate for our team that it affected some of our performances.

"That was all last year now. We're a lot better team, a lot better group.

Oates believes the Broncos are closer than ever. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.
Oates believes the Broncos are closer than ever. AAP Image/Dave Hunt.

"It just feels a lot stronger culture as a team, as a club and it's really promising for us."

The Broncos will meet Parramatta to restart the NRL season next Thursday night, however the club is adamant they're not out for redemption.

Instead, Oates said their motivation was simply to prove a point to the critics by improving their performance in 2020.

"We've got a point to prove all year," he said.

"We did a good job of that for the first two rounds and us, as a team, are focusing on showing that was not just a fluke.

"(Last year) people doubted us with our age. People doubted us with our talent, with our desire. There's a lot of things that people doubted us about.

Brisbane are unbeaten so far in 2020. Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images.
Brisbane are unbeaten so far in 2020. Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images.

"We know we've got a very talented team.

"We know it's full of size, full of speed, full of talent, so we're all really confident with the players we've got.

"Last year, we were just disappointed with the whole year.

"This year we want to be known as a very consistent team and one that could show up every week."


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