Rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns has criticised the Brisbane Broncos for dropping winger Corey Oates amid their struggles on the field.
The Broncos are yet to win a match since returning to the field from the NRL’s COVID-19 shutdown.
All eyes this week were on Brisbane’s selection table with many pundits calling for a change in the halves combination with Anthony Milford yet to find his best form as a five-eighth.
However, Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold elected to drop Oates and continue on with his current halves combination of Milford and Brodie Croft in a decision which didn’t set well with Johns.
The Newcastle legend hit out at Milford’s form and challenged the Broncos to bring in young halfback Tom Dearden and also look at centre Darius Boyd’s position in the team.
“I’ve been very vocal about the form of Anthony Milford,” Johns told Wide World of Sports’ Immortal Behaviour.
“There’s one club that hasn’t played well out of COVID-19, and one player in Anthony Milford. He doesn’t look rock-hard fit.
“I believe they need to put Tom Dearden in because they’re treading water at the moment.
“I honestly think the Warriors will bear them this weekend.
“Darius isn’t a centre, so he (Seibold) needs to make a tough decision there. Whether he puts Darius back to fullback, or he’s just got to put him out of the team.
“It’s usually the solution when a team is struggling you drop the winger, but there’s more dramas up there.”
Oates who was listed as 18th man could still line-up for the Broncos as a backrower following a late withdrawal to prop Matt Lodge.
When asked why Milford and Croft haven’t been able to fire in Brisbane’s halves pairing, Johns said the duo are too similar to each other.
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“He’s (Croft) playing behind a forward pack not going forward. I don’t think they’re a good combination together,” he said.
“I see Brodie as more of a running halfback. To me, he’s not a game manager or a real organiser of his forwards and his outside men. He’s not that Johnathan Thurston sort of halfback.
“I don’t think they go well together.
“They’re too similar players but a halfback can’t do his stuff unless the forwards are rolling forward and you’re holding onto the ball.
“Once they start going a little bit better, you can judge him then.”
Johns then hit out at Brisbane’s recruitment over the past two decades following a “generation” of talent which has been missed out on.
The three-time Dally M Medal winner took particular aim at the club for not making the most of their nursery after Queensland legends Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk all played out their careers at different clubs.
“The recruiting is the area they really need to look at,” Johns added.
“Ben Walker who used to play for the Broncos and Queensland – his son Sam Walker has been signed by the Roosters.
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“I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Sam, but for me as a halfback, watching this young man play, he has the potential to be a 200-game player.
“He (Sam Walker) was in their nursery – he was from Brisbane and they didn’t pick him up for whatever reason.
“Brisbane have a missed a generation of players. They missed Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk. I know those players wanted to play for the Broncos.
“The questions have to be asked.”