Brisbane veteran Sam Thaiday believes a Kangaroos jumper is still within reach for an out-of-sorts Corey Oates if he can rediscover his NRL mojo before the finals.
Oates is Brisbane’s leading tryscorer with 12 in 16 games but has been well down on his usual output in recent weeks, seemingly hitting a wall after starting the season as one of the competition’s most dangerous players.
The 21-year-old was again shaky in possession and lacking poise under the high ball in Thursday’s win at St George Illawarra, a shadow of the player who rocketed into the State of Origin arena earlier this year to become one of Queensland’s chief strike weapons.
Thaiday conceded his teammate is in a rut.
“He has had a tough couple of weeks,” Thaiday told AAP.
“People still forget how young he is and the success he’s had so far has been outstanding, but he’s only going to get better.
“If he gets his head right, the rest will go from there.
“We’ve just got to get him across that white line a few times and he’ll be unstoppable.
“I’m sure if he can play some great footy over the next four plus weeks, he might even be getting a call-up to play in the (Four Nations) tour at the end of the year.”
Oates looks set to go face-to-face with one of his competitors for a wing spot in the Australian side, with Parramatta star Semi Radradra tipped to return from injury in Friday night’s clash at Suncorp Stadium.
The Broncos have three of their next four games at home, and Thaiday senses it the next month is an ideal platform to get their stuttering season back on track.
“We have played some really good games at home this year,” he said.
“The boys can be a lot more settled in their routines, at home, can go about their business as they would normally.
“Hopefully we can get a couple more wins on the board and who knows, we could leapfrog a few people on the ladder.”