AAP Rugby

Oates’ stunner fires Broncos over Sharks

By AAP Newswire

A spectacular put-down by winger Corey Oates has helped Brisbane survive a furious comeback by Cronulla and deliver a tense 20-16 NRL victory.

With scores locked 16-16 with 10 minutes to go, Oates' entire body was over the sideline and facing backwards when he planted the ball just inside the corner post.

The Sharks were controversially denied a final shot at the tryline when the referees missed a Darius Boyd knock-on and the Broncos held on for a strong victory.

Brisbane were well in control midway through the second half when Jamayne Isaako kicked a penalty goal to give them a 12-point buffer with 23 minutes to go.

But James Segeyaro's injection off the bench dragged the Sharks back into the Saturday night contest, with the impact hooker breaking into the backfield moments before Ricky Leutele cut the lead to six points.

Segeyaro then took a Matt Prior offload and turned Wade Graham in to level the scores and bring the 14,587 Southern Cross Group Stadium crowd to life.

However the Broncos replied through Oates, who took a long cutout pass from Boyd and withstood a strong cover defending challenge to execute the clutch play.

The win lifts the Broncos equal on 18 points with Cronulla in the top eight.

In a stunning start to the clash, Broncos forward Tevita Pangai Junior charged down a Chad Townsend kick in the opening minute and received the perfect bounce for a 30-metre try.

Anthony Milford doubled the lead when he sliced through an open middle in the eighth minute, however momentum shifted when the Broncos' five-eighth was binned four minutes later for a professional foul.

The Sharks took advantage of the extra man in the next set to send Jesse Ramien over but the Broncos - who were near flawless with the ball in the first half - steadied for a 10-point lead at the break.

Sharks forward Jack Williams failed to finish the match after picking up a wrist injury midway through the second half.

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was left amazed by Oates' finish but declined to declare him the best winger he's seen.

"Let's not go down path. I've seen a lot of them," Bennett said.

"But for a guy his size, he's certainly very athletic. Really good wingers, they just know how to find the tryline, and he's got that quality about him.

"He knew he scored it, as soon as he got there and he wasn't second-guessing himself. Something went through his brain, which is unusual."

Sharks coach Shane Flanagan was upset with his team's first-half effort where they completed just 58 per cent of their sets but claimed Boyd's cutout pass for Oates was forward.

"Passes can travel forward but that travelled forward five metres. So, wow," he said.

"That's all I can say on that one. We measured it. Where he passed it, he's on the line. And where he received it, he's five metres in front of him. That's a long way."