Walters explains brutal Oates call

Broncos coach Kevin Walters has explained why he decided to leave veteran winger Corey Oates out of Friday’s qualifying final against the Storm, while he also rubbished claims that Melbourne has the psychological edge over their rivals.

Oates has played 11 finals matches for Brisbane, but the former State of Origin star was left out of the starting squad, with Jesse Arthars – who came through the Storm system – set to start on the left wing.

It’s a big call to leave out the experienced outside back, but Walters says the decision ultimately came down to match fitness, with Oates restricted to just nine matches this year.

“I just feel that Oatesy hasn’t played enough footy this year for us consistently for a match that’s going to be fast on Friday night,” the coach said.

“He’s got great experience at this level and Origin level, but I guess the only way to gain experience is to play in these games.

“Jesse has been really good for us whatever position he’s played. He’s been called in late a couple of times and he’s done a terrific job for us whenever he’s played, so he gets the jump tomorrow night on Oatesy.”

The Broncos will head into Friday’s game with a horrible record against the Storm.

They lost both meetings this season and haven’t beaten them at Suncorp Stadium since 2009, but Walters says history means nothing.

“I don’t believe in hoodoos. What’s a hoodoo?” he asked.

“I don’t believe that (they’ve got a psychological edge). This group of players hasn’t even spoken about it.

“We’ve been a really consistent team all year.

“The Broncos beat the Storm in 2006 (in the grand final). Do you reckon that’s relevant to what’s happening this year? I don’t think it is.”

The Broncos went down to Melbourne last week but both teams are set to welcome back a stack of stars, with Brisbane ready to unleash the experienced Adam Reynolds and the youthful exuberance of Reece Walsh.

This will be Walsh’s first finals game but don’t expect the occasion to get the better of the 21-year-old who thrived on the Origin stage and has set up 25 tries already this year.

“He tells me he has (another gear) so I have to believe ‘Walshy’,” Walters warned.

“He’s been fabulous for us this year, and tomorrow night I’m looking forward to seeing what he can bring.

“He’s been a special player for us in the premiership rounds, and we’ll see where he can take us now and into the future.”

Originally published as ‘I don’t believe in hoodoos’: Kevin Walters not interested in history as the Broncos look to snap horror losing streak

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