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Star turn not altering Bowen's mind

Matt Bowen produced his best performance of the year on Sunday, then promptly admitted he should have made the decision to pull the pin on is NRL career months ago.
Star turn not altering Bowen's mind
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, Sept 1 AAP - Matt Bowen produced his best performance of the year on Sunday, then promptly admitted he should have made the decision to pull the pin on is NRL career months ago.

North Queensland fullback Bowen dismantled Cronulla with a vintage playmaking performance on Sunday - the veteran scoring one try and setting up three others in the 31-18 win.

It kept the Cowboys on track for a finals appearance, and came just days after Bowen announced he would either retire or head to Super League for a final fling with Wigan - having been told there would be no deal for him with North Queensland.

Had the performance against the Cowboys given him any second thoughts?

"It was a decision I should have made a long time ago," Bowen told AAP.

"The pressure's off now, I just want to concentrate on my footy.

"You want to play the game forever but it's just the pre-seasons and different things like that."

The Cowboys need to beat Wests Tigers on Saturday night to book a finals berth, but the match will also be a chance for Bowen to farewell his Townsville fans.

"I'm just enjoying everything at the moment - just being with the boys, training for the last time," Bowen said.

"I'm sure I will get a little bit emotional but next week will be no different than the last couple of years."

Coach Neil Henry - who will be in charge at home for the last time on the weekend - praised Bowen for making the call to go out while still performing at a high level.

"I think probably the greatest accolade you can get when you retire is that people ask you that exact question: 'Why aren't you playing?'" Henry said.

"Darren Lockyer did that, Princey's (Scott Prince) doing it when he's still playing good footy at the back-end of his career.

"...we know that he'll be leaving our club and next week will be his last home game and it'll be a tremendous send off for him for a fantastic North Queensland legend."


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