Corey Oates

Accustomed to seeing their team win the first game of the season in recent years, Parramatta Eels fans suffered the opposite last night, after their side fell to the Brisbane Broncos.

In what was somewhat of a scrappy game overall, the Broncos were the more clinical of the two sides and came away with the points that mattered.

Both teams started the game well but late in the first half, Eels half Corey Norman fell head first into the ground and ultimately left the field.

Treated for concussion, he did not return and from then on, the Eels struggled in attack, unable to apply the pressure required to penetrate the Broncos defensive line.

It was a strong performance for Broncos winger Corey Oates especially, as he caused all sorts of problems on the Eels right edge, making several long breaks.

The start to the game was lively and uptempo, with both sides repelling some attacking raids through good defence.

In what was a largely disappointing second half overall by the two sides, the only points came via a penalty goal and a field goal, both from Anthony Milford.

Norman and Jordan Kahu both left the field injured, but are expected to play for their clubs next week in Rd 2.

With Oates one of the stand-outs for the Broncos, he drew praise from Broncos captain Corey Parker.

“I think we last year we saw what he could do as well,” Parker said.

“The challenge for himself individually is to do that consistently. For our sake and the Broncos, hopefully he does do that this year.”

As for the Eels, there was not too much that coach Brad Arthur was pleased with. But one aspect he did praise, was his side’s resolute defence.

“If we want to take a positive out of it, even though we were a bit loose at times through the middle with our defence we scrambled ok and kept them out in the second half,” Arthur said.

“The good aspects were even at the end we were completing at 50 per cent and were a bit all over the shop with our attack that could have got a lot worse for us and it has in the past.

“We got loose through the middle but we kept turning up and scrambling and our attitude was ok in defence. It wasn’t perfect in terms of our tackling but it could have got a lot worse.”

Players of the Game:

3. Corey Oates
2. Anthony Milford
1. Brad Takairangi

By ricky

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