Corey Oates has reflected on a whirlwind 48 hours where he experienced the joy of the birth of a baby girl and the heartache of defeat after playing a self-confessed poor game against the Roosters.
The 24-year-old Brisbane winger’s wife Tegan gave birth on Tuesday three weeks earlier than expected and Oates, who played in the 36-4 loss to the Roosters on Thursday night, admitted to having his daughter on his mind when he took the field at the SCG.
"If I put myself in a position to play I am ready to play so I can’t have any excuses for how I played. I just had a really bad game and I have to fix that," he said
"I was really angry at myself. I’m my harshest critic and I will be doing everything I can this week at training."
Football aside, Oates said he was relishing being a young father.
"It has been great. She came a bit earlier than what we expected. We were a bit shocked but it is just so real when they eventually come … and they are very loud," he grinned.
Match Highlights: Roosters v Broncos
"I’m very happy and looking forward to starting that new part of our life. Hopefully I am a good dad."
The Maroons winger started the season in fine form with four tries in the opening two games on the back of strong individual performances. The last two weeks have been below par with errors and missed opportunities frustrating Oates.
He overran a pass from Darius Boyd that could have led to a try in the first half against the Roosters and then in the second he was out of the frame when the Brisbane captain threw one of his trademark long passes.
Boyd blew up when Oates failed to collect the latter pass, a reflection of the Broncos night.
"There were so many things that weren’t coming off for us. We are all mates after the game, but that happens," Oates said of his captain’s stern words.
"Everyone was getting frustrated. You could see it. That is not going to help but everyone has got to do their job and I didn’t do mine on that play so I probably deserved that spray."
Coach Anthony Seibold spoke in the pre-season about the “game model” he was inculcating into his side. He said it involved plenty of shifts of the football.
Against the Roosters the halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima switched play on several occasions but the players receiving the ball seemed to be caught unawares.
Oates said the game model was "great", when enacted, and added the halves were not to blame when it broke down.
Nikorima double pumps it to Gillett
"I still think they are great together. The first two weeks everyone said they were going pretty good and the last two weeks everyone is bagging them," Oates said.
"Everything has changed. We have a whole new structure. When we get it right they are going to be hard weapons to stop."
The Broncos must get their season rolling with a win against the Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night and Oates was confident the side would learn lessons from last Thursday's loss.
"The best thing about the start of the year is that there is plenty of time to learn from that and get better," Oates said.
"It was a bit of a wake-up call for the team and myself … but I’m really positive with everything that we are doing.
"Everyone knows we can fix it and everyone knows we can play a lot better."