What was billed as Sam Thaiday's farewell became The Corey Oates Show as the off-contract winger crossed for a record-equalling four tries to help Brisbane seal a home final with a 48-16 win over Manly.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett admitted Oates had added some "more zeroes" to his next deal after becoming only the seventh Bronco to score four times in a match, cementing sixth spot and a home elimination final against St George Illawarra on Sunday.
All the pre-game hype centred on retirement-bound Thaiday in what was promoted as the ex-Test prop's final home game but he will return to Suncorp Stadium again next week after Oates' heroics sparked the eight tries to three romp.
"He has put some more zeros on the end of it (next contract) after tonight - I am not sure if we can pay them," Bennett laughed.
Broncos talks had stalled with Oates as the Queensland winger went through a change in management mid-season.
Oates' insistence on moving into the back row had also been a sticking point.
In what loomed as Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett's final game, Brisbane showed no mercy as Oates got off the mark in just the second minute thanks to an Anthony Milford grubber.
His second was arguably the most memorable, flying high in the 26th minute to intercept a Daly Cherry-Evans kick near his own line before galloping almost 100m to score.
He grabbed a hat-trick by the 50th after five-eighth Milford - in a stellar 100th game for Brisbane - collected a Manly kick near his own line and booted ahead for Oates to score in another near length-of-the-field effort.
When Oates crashed over again in the 58th minute, he joined Steve Renouf, Wendell Sailor, Karmichael Hunt, Justin Hodges, Denan Kemp and Israel Folau as the only Broncos to have bagged four in a game.
And he thought he had a record fifth in the 79th minute but it was disallowed for offside.
Oates wasn't the only one keeping the Broncos statisticians honest on Sunday.
Brisbane had to win by 24 to seal sixth but could have moved to fifth with a victory by 33 or more.
Bennett denied that his side were crunching the numbers to work out their finals fate.
"They would have known what was going on ... but no one talked about it," Bennett said.
Manly's woeful season is finally over, finishing second last with seven wins, and it appears Barrett's time at the helm is also at an end after a very public fallout with management.
Not much had gone right for the hapless Sea Eagles this year and the script didn't change on Sunday when fullback Tom Trbojevic left the field concussed in the 30th minute.
Meanwhile, Bennett expected back-rower Alex Glenn and hooker Andrew McCullough (concussion) to return against the Dragons.