Matt Bowen Forced To Contemplate Retirement

North Queensland - Matt BowenBy STEVE MASCORD

ICONIC North Queensland fullback Matt Bowen says he wants to make a decision on his future soon, admitting he is contemplating retirement even though it’s something he doesn’t want to do,

Bowen was a late inclusion in the Cowboys side for the 34-14 Monday Night Football loss to Manly, scoring a typically dashing try as the depleted NQ took the game to the Sea Eagles for 55 minutes before being over-run.

“Hopefully soon – I want to put things to bed ,” Bowen said on radio Triple M when asked when he would be deciding his future.

“If it means calling it quits, I’ll call it quits. But I want to play on. We’ll see what happens. I want to play some good footy first.”

The victory, Manly’s first away from home since round eight, leaves the Sea Eagles back in the top four while the Cowboys face a mountainous task qualifying for the play-offs. They can probably afford only one more loss.

North Queensland coach Neil Henry said he hoped Bowen, 31, was back for good.

“Mixed bag (from him) – nice dummy for a try and a couple of good kick returns,” he said.

“The last two sessions, we had the GPS on him and he was getting up to his speed and more importantly, he felt good about loading up his knee

“He was able to do a running session and back it up the next day and feel he was OK.”

Rival captain Jamie Lyon said it was good to see the mercurial international back on the park. “He’s good for the game … Geoff (Toovey) had a little bit of mail that he might play,” said Lyon

Henry was critical of his halves, Michael Morgan and Robert Lui.

“I thought we lacked an ability to run the ball in the halves tonight, on the back of some momentum at times, and even the ability to shift the ball at times,” he said.

“We need to be creative, we need to play footy, and you need your halves and fullback to do that.”

Coach Toovey said: “It’s very important to stay in the top four. There’re a lot of teams sniffing at our heals. I think there’ll be some challenges in the next four weeks of football.

“They were 95 per cent, completions, the first half. In the second half, we went roughly 95 per cent.”

Prop George Rose would probably be back from an ankle injury in a fortnight, while Tom Symonds (thumb) remained a long-term casualty.

Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

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