Broncos winger Corey Oates.

Corey Oates' freakish finishing has seen him feature in countless highlight reels during the past five years but there's one pulsating package he'd prefer got far less air time.    

When the 24-year-old Broncos winger reflects on the final moments of regular time in the epic 2015 decider against the Cowboys, where his defensive lapse led to Kyle Feldt crossing to level the scores, it is with a deep sense of regret.

Minutes later Johnathan Thurston’s golden-point field goal sealed the Broncos' fate.

The Cowboys had a first premiership. The Broncos were left to second guess themselves.

"When they show the highlights I always look away. I hate it. I can’t watch it," Oates told NRL.com at Broncos HQ.

"As much as I say it doesn’t haunt me, I don’t like thinking about it.

Kyle Feldt evades Corey Oates' desperate lunge in the 2015 decider.
Kyle Feldt evades Corey Oates' desperate lunge in the 2015 decider. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

"Everything was going perfectly for us. It just proves … one little slip.

"It is tough. You don’t realise until after just how close you were. That is something I have learned, that in those big games you can’t let one second slip. In the end, that game was all about one second."

In the final play of regular time Michael Morgan was tackled by Anthony Milford and Jack Reed, but got a miracle ball away for Feldt to score. Oates also came in on Morgan. When he realised he'd got a ball away Oates made a desperate, but futile, lunge.

"A lot of people blame Hunty [Ben Hunt] for that loss but there is always that thing in my head that I missed that tackle on Feldt," Oates said.

"I thought Morgan had got through, but they had tackled his legs and he has offloaded to Feldt.

When they show the highlights I always look away. I hate it. I can’t watch it.

Corey Oates

"He poked his nose through and if he’d got through he would have scored but they ended up having him by the legs.

"He was always going to fall short, but to me I felt like he had got through. I went in for the tackle and he’s offloaded it to Feldt, but I was too far in."

It's the one second of despair that taught him a valuable lesson and lit a fire in his belly to get back on the biggest stage.

With three more years of experience under his belt, he says he now understands why "trust" and being of "one mind" is so important when a defensive read has to be made.

"It was a lack of judgement," Oates said.

"In that situation It is about how much you trust the players on the inside. I've learned a lot about trust, but it is also about making a decision and not being in two minds.

"I got stuck in two minds a lot that year, and that last play was a reflection of that.

"We were playing so well that year and it just felt so good, and we haven’t had that same feeling since. I’ve never felt that confident in a season since then. You just want to get back there."

As Oates prepares for Thursday's round one clash with Melbourne it is with a sense of optimism that new coach Anthony Seibold can take them all the way to the October 6 decider.

"I'd love to get back there and this team is 100 per cent good enough to do it," Oates said.

"It is just consistency and keeping everyone on the paddock as long as we can that are the keys. If all that stuff comes together then I think we have a great shot at it."