The man who exposed Corey Oates’ game under the biggest pressure possible – Michael Morgan – has backed his new Queensland teammate not to be a State of Origin defensive liability.
North Queensland pivot Morgan enticed Brisbane’s Oates off his line to set up a Kyle Feldt try and send the 2015 NRL grand final into extra-time, eventually won by the Cowboys.
Morgan believed Oates won’t repeat the mistake on his Origin debut on Wednesday but said he had experienced centre Greg Inglis on his inside as a safeguard.
“He’s got GI inside him who is very good defensively, he’s a good talker,” Queensland bench utility Morgan said of rookie winger Oates.
“But I haven’t seen Corey come off his line since (the grand final).”
Queensland fullback Darius Boyd also endorsed his Broncos teammate Oates, saying the towering winger was “made for Origin”.
Asked if he expected Oates to be nervous ahead of his Origin debut, Boyd said: “Oatesy doesn’t overthink things before a game.
“He just gets out there and does it.
“He is made for Origin.”
Boyd said the thought of Oates combining with Inglis on Queensland’s left edge was a daunting one for the Blues.
“You have to mirror your inside guy but Oatesy is a quick learner,” he said.
“He’s really come along in that position the last 18 months.
“It’s pretty scary seeing those two big guys out there.”
Boyd was confident there would be no more health dramas for Oates, who is wearing a heart monitor at their Gold Coast camp as a precaution.
Oates missed the second half of Brisbane’s last round loss to North Queensland due to dizzy spells and an irregular heartbeat.