Maroon Oates still learning on the wing
It's hard to believe that one of the NRL's premier wingers is so new to the position, but that's the reality for Brisbane Bronco Corey Oates as he battles to maintain the scintillating form that saw him make his Queensland Origin debut this year.
Oates is only now just starting to see himself as a winger, with the rangy utility still learning to play in a position he had no history of starting in as he grew up.
Many people forget that Oates originally played as a second-row forward, and he was so effective there that he was selected in the 2013 NYC Team of the Year in the back row.
But those days are gone for now, and Oates must continue on his path to NRL stardom by developing his skill sets on the wing. It's a fact the 21-year-old is aware of, with Oates admitting he must work hard on his technique if he is to continue to succeed on Brisbane's wing.
"I'm pretty happy with my most recent performance," Oates said.
"I still have a few things to work on this week because I still dropped a couple of balls.
"I need to work on my technique and hopefully I'll get it right for Thursday.
"My confidence is still there so I just need to get the technique right. My technique is not where it was and I'm losing my concentration.
"I'm working hard on that this week so hopefully I can get everything right."
Everything may not have gone right in Oates's last outing, but plenty did, with the proud Queenslander scoring a hat-trick in the Broncos' 22-point win over the Parramatta Eels.
His three tries were superb, but he did still make two errors to take his tally to 13 from his last five games.
That number appears even larger when compared to Oates's stellar start to the season, with the youngster making just seven errors in the first 13 rounds to earn a call-up for Queensland's triumphant State of Origin campaign.
"I'm the type of person that sits on their mistakes. I let them get to me. But in the last couple of weeks I've been trying to not let these things get in my head," Oates said.
"I'm trying to move on from it quickly, and I'm doing that by getting in there and trying to help the boys out as much as I can.
"Obviously when I make a mistake I feel like I've let everyone down, but if I get out there and try and do something better then I feel a bit better about myself.
"I started this year very well so I feel like I've let myself down recently."