WITH his last shot at claiming a domestic medal looming, Matty Bowen insists he isn’t worrying about the outcome of the Grand Final.
Having put his foot on the gas during the last few weeks to produce livewire performances, the departing star is confident Wigan can make the result look after itself.
The former Queensland and Kangaroos full-back has more than 300 games under his belt in a career spanning 14 years but has no medals to show for it – and says signing off with a winner’s ring will be the perfect way to say goodbye.
“To say goodbye to Wigan, finish on a high and finish with the ring on your finger is a dream,” he said.
“But saying that – Leeds won’t come here, lay down and offer it to us – we have to work hard for it.
“(I’m) not worrying about the outcome, just doing your job the best you can and this game is no different.”
My mum and dad were there for my first game all those years ago, and it’s great that they’re here for the last game, tooMatty Bowen
Tonight represents the last big push for the Warriors players to realise their Grand Final ambition, which started on icy hills in Haigh plantations during pre-season training.
But while the rest of the squad will return to training after their end of term break, Bowen’s next challenge will be away from the sweat and tears shed in a gym.
“I’ll wake up in the mornings and jump out of bed and not climb out of bed,” he joked.
“The reality kicks in and you have to work, but my time is up.
“I’ve got my mind around it – a nine-to-five job and I’ll enjoy it.”
Bowen will return to Queensland where he has a job lined up in a community role with former club North Queensland Cowboys, but he has shelved thinking about the future until after the Grand Final.
“I’m just concentrating on enjoying my time now, and being in the company of the boys and enjoying a bit more,” he said.
“I’ve been enjoying it for the last three or four weeks – maybe a bit longer.
“It’s been showing on the field.
“I had a job lined up (with the Cowboys) two years ago but I said I wasn’t done playing and wanted to try Super League.
“They kept the job for me so I’m looking forward to it.”
Bowen’s parents are in England to watch the game with his wife and their two children.
“My mum and dad were there for my first game all those years ago, and it’s great that they’re here for the last game, too,” said the full-back, who is being replaced by Sam Tomkins.
Bowen’s extended family in Australia will be up in the middle of the night to watch the full-back’s swansong match.
If Wigan win the match and set up a World Club Challenge tie against the Cowboys, he plans to return to these shores next February.
MATTY Bowen’s brother Dwayne and nephew McKenzie were involved in sporting battles of a different sort last weekend!
Last Saturday’s Wujal Wujal rodeo saw seven-year-old MacKenzie, Dwayne’s son, saddle up for his first ride on a steer, seeing out the allotted time.
Then later in the afternoon, Dwayne (above) engaged in bovine combat with a 900kg bull to take out third place.
Bowen said: “I used to do it when I was younger. I didn’t let the club hear about it but it was one of our passions growing up, and Dwayne still enjoys it. When I went professional I didn’t want to get hurt!”