Bowen escapes punishment

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MATTY Bowen has escaped any further punishment for a high shot in Friday’s Super League opener.

The full-back’s debut was marred by a late challenge on Scott Grix, which was placed on report by Richard Silverwood.

The Huddersfield No.1 recovered and added the crowning glory to their 24-8 victory at the DW Stadium.

And it left Wigan sweating on Bowen’s availability for their trip Down Under. A one-match ban would have ruled him out of Wednesday’s friendly against NZ Warriors.

But after viewing the footage, the RFL’s match review panel ruled Bowen had no case to answer.

A spokesman said: “The video shows initial contact was with the shoulder. A penalty was sufficient.”

Wane said he planned to play “as many of his squad as possible” in Wednesday’s friendly against the Warriors, which kicks-off at 6.30am British time.

But he won’t risk Sean O’Loughlin, Josh Charnley or Mike McIlorum if there are any concerns over their injuries.

Presuming all three will be fit for the World Club Challenge, the coach has some big decisions to make elsewhere for the showdown against Sydney Roosters, not least who gets the left wing spot – Iain Thornley or teenager Joe Burgess.

Elsewhere, John Bateman was overlooked for Tony Clubb in last Friday’s opener – with Jack Hughes on the bench – Sam Powell got the nod ahead of Logan Tomkins, while Gil Dudson was only included when O’Loughlin withdrew before the match, forcing a reshuffle which saw Ben Flower cover the loose forward role.

Sam Rapira has been confirmed as captain of the Warriors side. “It’s a massive occasion having a glamour club like Wigan here in New Zealand,” he said.