Oates hat-trick keeps Brisbane top-four hopes alive


Brisbane Broncos kept their slender hopes of earning a spot in the top four of the NRL ladder alive with a Corey Oates hat-trick helping secure a brilliant 38-16 win over Parramatta Eels.

Oates made his State of Origin debut this year and took his tally for the season to 15 with the treble, but defensive lapses took some of the shine off his individual display.

After Bevan French gave the Eels an early lead, debutant Jonus Pearson responded quickly by crossing over from the right wing.

Oates touched down from an Anthony Milford grubber for an excellent score but was unable to gather a kick in his own in-goal area as David Gower pulled Parramatta level.

Milford laid on a second try for Oates on the stroke of half-time before converting his own as the Broncos opened up a 10-point lead after 46 minutes.

Oates, who had another in-goal spill cleared away by team-mate Sam Thaiday, completed his hat-trick before the hour-mark, with Ben Hunt and Pearson's second widening the gap.

Danny Wicks got on the board for Parramatta three minutes from time but Tevita Pangai touched down the final score, benefiting from a sensational backwards step between two defenders from Milford, capping his starring display.