MATTY Bowen is “excited” at the possibility of winning his first domestic trophy – in the final game of his stellar career.
The Australian No.1 was thrilled as his former club North Queensland won a dramatic NRL Grand Final on Sunday morning.
It’s been a long road and we’ve just one more game now, and hopefully the result is different to last yearMatty Bowen
And he is hoping the feel-good factor stretches until Saturday night, when Wigan face Leeds in the Super League title decider.
It will be the 33-year-old’s last game before he calls times on a playing career which has included Queensland and Australia honours.
He said: “We’ve been playing for this all year.
“It’s been a long road and we’ve just one more game now, and hopefully the result is different to last year.
“The boys shared a few things with each other before the Huddersfield game, and now we all know what we need to do.
“We’ve got a tough task ahead of us this Saturday, but we’ll be up for it.
“We know it’s going to be tough, but it’s a Grand Final – I can’t wait.”
His old team-mate Johnathan Thurston booted a golden point drop-goal to seal a 17-16 win against Brisbane, after the Cowboys had locked the scores in the final second of the match.
“I’m chuffed for them,” said Bowen. “I still speak to a few of the boys at the Cowboys, they’ve played well all year and deserved what they got.”
If Wigan win on Saturday, it will set-up their first meeting against North Queensland in next February’s World Club Challenge.
And Bowen admits he would have divided loyalties if his two clubs face off.
“I was only thinking of that the other night actually,” he smiled.
“If that happens, I may come back over to watch it. It’d be good to see Wigan and the Cowboys in the World Club, but we’ve got a tough week ahead of us first.”
Wigan and Leeds have won two each from their four meetings this season, and
Bowen – who kicked six
goals in the semi-final win against
Huddersfield – reckons they will head into the Old Trafford showdown in confident mood.
“We were a bit up and down at the start of the season, but at the back end of the Super 8s we’ve been playing well,” he said.
“The forwards have laid a good platform for Matty Smith, George and myself.”
His parents have been in England for the past few days, and will be among the expected 70,000-crowd at Old Trafford. “They’re loving it here,” he said. “Mum came over last year and good to have dad too. He loves the cold!
“They were there for the first game of my career, and they’ll be there for my last... hopefully we get the result.”
And he thanked Wigan’s supporters for helping to make his two years at the club so enjoyable.
“They’ve been great with me and my family,” said Bowen, who will be replaced by Sam Tomkins in 2016.
“I love it here. I’ve enjoyed the singing, they really get behind us and we need them this weekend to get us over the line, and get the payback they deserve.
“Hopefully we can get the win for them.”