Broncos Coach Benches Veteran Corey Oates for Crucial Storm Final

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In an unanticipated turn, Broncos’ coach Kevin Walters has justified his choice to omit veteran player Corey Oates from Friday’s qualifying final against the Storm, while simultaneously dismissing any notion of Melbourne having an upper hand on a psychological level.

Oates boasts a record of 11 finals in the Brisbane line-up. However, the erstwhile State of Origin luminary will be absent in the upcoming match with Jesse Arthars- a product of the Storm’s training structure- expected to seize Oates’ habitual left-wing position.

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This daring move to sideline an accomplished veteran is not taken lightly. Yet, according to Walters, the decision hinges primarily on match fitness. Oates’ physical trial in 2021 has been limited to merely nine matches.

Walters rationalised his move, stating, “I have this sense that Oates hasn’t had sufficient game time this year, especially with the demanding velocity expected of Friday’s match.”

Undoubtedly, Oates brings with him an abundance of experience at this competitive tier and the Origin level. However, Walters argues that experience is only truly amassed through active participation in games.

He continued, “Jesse has consistently performed well, regardless of the position he is assigned. He has proven his worth during last-minute inclusions and has always done right by us when he gets a chance to play. Thus, he earns his place tomorrow night over Oates.”

With a dreadful track record confronting the Storm, the Broncos take on Friday’s pivotal match with some trepidation. It is important to note that this season, they have yet to register a victory against the Storm and haven’t won at Suncorp Stadium since 2009. Walters, however, remains unfazed by this historical disadvantage.

“I don’t subscribe to the idea of hoodoos. What even is a hoodoo?” he inquired candidly.

He added, challenging the idea of their opponent’s psychological advantage, “Our players haven’t even broached this subject. We have shown ourselves to be steadfast and stable throughout the season.”

In the aftermath of last week’s loss to Melbourne, both teams are gearing up for an impactful comeback with a heap of their star players. Brisbane is ready to spring the seasoned Adam Reynolds and the youthful dynamism of Reece Walsh.

In what will be Walsh’s debut in a finals game, predictions hint at Walsh’s resilient temperament, cultivated on the Origin turf, to guide him. Possessing an impressive tally of 25 tries already this year, Walters expressed his confidence in Walsh, “He has hinted to me of an additional gear, and I have to place my faith in Walsh. He has been exceptional for us this year and I am eager to witness what he brings to the table tomorrow. His impact both now and in the future remains to be seen.”