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Cowboys shed tear over Bowen

Not even the prospect of his father arriving as a pumped up Wests Tigers' fan could upset North Queensland forward Ashton Sims ahead of their must-win NRL clash in Townsville on Saturday night.
Cowboys shed tear over Bowen
by AAP

By Laine Clark

BRISBANE, Sept 6 AAP - Not even the prospect of his father arriving as a pumped up Wests Tigers' fan could upset North Queensland forward Ashton Sims ahead of their must-win NRL clash in Townsville on Saturday night.

But the Cowboys' hardman admitted he had been reduced to tears as the club looked to send out departing veteran Matt Bowen a winner in the 13-season veteran's final home game.

Sims said he was not getting much love from home as the Cowboys looked to pull off one of the great NRL finals escapes.

North Queensland coach Neil Henry was told by the club board five weeks ago his services would not be required at season's end - and the Cowboys have not lost since.

A rabid home crowd is set to cheer on the Cowboys to what seemed like an improbable top-eight finish just a month ago, however Sims' dad will not be one of them.

"Dad's coming up and he is a massive Tigers' supporter so I am not going to speak to him until after the game," Sims said on Friday.

Still, Sims won't be lacking motivation after the Cowboys held a special club dinner for their favourite son Bowen on Thursday night.

Bowen, 31, will draw the curtain on his glittering North Queensland stint after the club sadly told the veteran fullback they would not re-sign him due to his troublesome knees.

He is yet to decide whether to play one more season in England before taking up a development officer role with the Cowboys.

Either way, it promises to be an emotional sendoff for Bowen - but Sims reckons the Cowboys have already shed some tears.

"There was a lot of emotion last night when we had his tribute dinner - it was a bit of tear jerker," Sims said.

"I don't really cry too much but the eyes were welling up a bit when he started talking about his family and what he has done for the community.

"He deserves to go out with a win."

Fellow top-eight aspirants, Gold Coast and the Warriors, would have completed their must-win matches before the Cowboys-Tigers showdown.

North Queensland will sneak into the eight even if the Titans or Warriors lose but Sims said they only had one goal on Saturday night.

"Even if we are assured of a semi-finals spot before the game, we want to win tomorrow night," he said.

"We want to build on what we have done the last five weeks and there is definitely room for improvement."

Sims said that was easier said than done with a Wests Tigers outfit hoping to send out Benji Marshall a winner before he links with rugby union.

"We know we are coming up against a real determined Tigers team who want to let Benji go out on a high," he said.




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