Another huge challenge awaits Queensland State of Origin rookie winger Corey Oates this week – but it was news to him.
The Brisbane flyer claimed on Monday he knew little about the great form of Canberra’s lethal right edge combination of Joseph Leilua and Jordan Rapana going into Thursday’s NRL clash at Suncorp Stadium.
“I really don’t know. I don’t really watch much footy – I will play whoever pops up against me,” said Oates, who made his Origin debut in Queensland’s 6-4 game one win in Sydney.
“From what I hear they are a good combination but I seriously couldn’t tell you.
“I am sure we will get some video of them on Wednesday. I will tell you then.”
Oates will have plenty of highlights to scroll through.
Rapana is the NRL’s equal top try-scorer this season with 10 and has made the most line breaks (16).
Leilua has the competition’s most offloads (40).
But when told Canberra, who have won their last three games, were now fifth on the NRL ladder, Oates said: “Oh really?
“Are they coming off some wins?
“In that case they will probably come up thinking they are going to flog us but we won’t let it be an easy game for them.”
Oates and Queensland teammate Matt Gillett were rested from the weekend’s 36-18 loss to the Warriors – the heaviest defeat of the year for the former ladder leaders.
But they will return against the Raiders in a bid to spark a Brisbane side which has lost three straight games and dropped to fourth.
Oates may not watch much TV but he did catch the heavy loss to the Warriors.
“I am not a massive fan of watching footy so it was frustrating watching from home because you can’t do much about it,” he said.
Earning a maiden Queensland jumper did help lift Oates’ mood.
“It’s everything I thought it would be – it’s full on,” he said.
“There’s not too many rules on that field so you can get away with a lot. It’s a pretty tough game.”
Now he has a taste, Oates could not wait for a chance to play a second in front of a packed Suncorp Stadium on June 22.
“It would nice to see what it’s like with the crowd behind you,” he said.
Oates said he no longer experienced health issues, having worn a heart monitor the first day of Queensland Origin I camp following dizzy spells playing for Brisbane two weeks ago.