Oates thrilled for 'rival' Mead
Broncos winger Corey Oates feared he would not regain his spot on Brisbane's wing after missing his side's comprehensive win over the Sydney Roosters in Round 6.
Oates was a last-minute withdrawal from that clash, succumbing to a niggling groin injury at the eleventh hour.
That left the door open for David Mead to play his first game in Broncos colours and the former Gold Coast Titan took his chance.
Mead ran for 174m and made five tackle breaks, breaking the line twice to score a try in an impressive performance.
Watching on from the sideline, Oates said he was 'stoked' to see Mead excel, but admitted it made him doubt his position in Wayne Bennett's side.
"I'll be honest; I thought I would be in a bit of trouble getting my spot back," Oates said.
"It's gold to see him do that. As much as people think that I might not like my competition doing well, that's not true.
"It's really good to see Mead go out there and kill it. He was pretty unbelievable I reckon."
Oates's worries were gone come Tuesday afternoon when he was named to start against the Gold Coast Titans on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.
Mead has been relegated to the bench and can count himself unlucky to lose his spot in the Broncos' starting 13 after one of the performances of the round.
He will fill the utility role, and Oates said Mead's demotion just proves how tough it is to earn a place in this Brisbane team.
"It just shows how hard it is to get a spot at the Broncos when you've got people like him struggling to crack the team," he said.
"It's always good to see the team playing that well.
"For me it doesn't matter if someone is playing in my position and has a great game. That doesn't bother me because all that matters is that the team is playing well... With or without me."
Despite Oates's modesty, there is no doubting that the Broncos look a better outfit with the Queensland Maroon in their side.
His inclusion may have prevented Mead from starting against his old side this weekend, but Mead's former coach still knows the talent the PNG international possesses.
And Neil Henry could have used him heading into the local derby, with injuries to John Olive, Jarryd Hayne and William Zillman creating an outside back crisis at the Titans.
But it's a story of what could have been and Henry holds no grudges towards Mead for leaving the club.
"David took an opportunity to go up the road. He tested the market first and then he decided to go up to the Broncos," Henry said.
"In hindsight we'd love to have him in the mix because we're short on outside backs.
"Meady's a solid player but he's not with us anymore."