JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Dash of Bowen magic tames wasteful Broncos

Matt Bowen salutes the Cowboys' Brisbane fans after breaking through for a match-winning try in the dying moments against the Broncos.

Matt Bowen salutes the Cowboys' Brisbane fans after breaking through for a match-winning try in the dying moments against the Broncos. Photo: Getty Images

As far as presents go, vast expanses of defenderless real estate and an open try line in the 79th minute of a game on the edge isn’t too shoddy. Happy birthday, Matt Bowen.

North Queensland may not have woken up celebrating Bowen’s 30th but Cowboys fans would have gone to bed toasting the ageless fullback, who sucker-punched Brisbane in the final minute to give his side a 28-26 victory at Suncorp Stadium.

Gerard Beale’s mistake had given the Cowboys one last thrust in a match that lurched back and forth like an ocean tide all night. Bowen ensured the North Queenslanders were behind the most telling surge.

Dallas Johnson of the Cowboys celebrates after scoring a try in the fifth minute.

Dallas Johnson of the Cowboys celebrates after scoring a try in the fifth minute. Photo: Getty Images

With one minute to go, he packed into the back of a scrum 25m out, masquerading as a lock as he often does, picked up and the ball and was presented with the most generous of gifts.

With Corey Parker caught napping, Bowen simply dummied, ran and scored. He could hardly believe his luck and Brisbane’s coaching staff were left to curse a glaring defensive lapse that cost them dearly.

“It did (surprise me). I always pack into the back of the scrum. The last play opened right up. The only option for me was to run. It made my job a lot easier. He (Parker) slid off me,” Bowen said.

Bowen’s game was a microcosm of a match that entertained largely because of the opportunities both sides presented to the other. Great theatre glossed over poor ball control and worse discipline.

He scored a brilliant try in the 55th minute, backing up Johnathan Thurston, as well as the try that levelled the scores to allow his captain to convert the simple chance for victory.

But he also dropped some simple grabs, including one that resulted in Josh McGuire scoring two minutes after the break, a try which helped Brisbane rush back from a 16-8 halftime deficit to a 20-16 lead in just nine minutes.

“It was one of those nights. We just had to hang in there. I felt like we did that tonight. I dropped a few balls. But the icing on the cake was the last try. I’m just happy we got the two points,” Bowen said.

“If you make a mistake, you want to make up for the next one. I felt like I did that tonight. I made a few crucial errors, scored a few tries.”

A few errors, a few tries. Bowen has seen it and done it before but more remarkable was the reversal of form by the Cowboys, who played one of the worst statistical games in NRL history last week but managed to beat Brisbane at their home fortress.

Broncos coach Anthony Griffin was brutal in his appraisal. It’s going to be a long week at Red Hill.

“We were very poor defensively tonight,” he said. “Some bad decisions and lack of effort.”

Cowboys coach Neil Henry was as stunned as anyone with the simplicity of the fatal stroke from Bowen. There was no set play or subterfuge, just quick feet and slow defence.

“I think he owed us a couple really. A couple of uncharacteristic errors there but he came through with a couple of outstanding tries. He backs himself. That’s how he plays. We needed it. It’s crunch time and with a couple of minutes to go, he pulled out the play,” Henry said.

“We normally play him at the back of the scrum. Their backrower, Corey Parker, turned down and he just took the opportunity. That’s how he plays. He’s won plenty of games for this club over the years by backing his ability.

“It was a disappointing game in some respects but as I said to the boys at the end, we found a way to win. That’s special for the team.”

Brisbane paid the price for a lack of discipline in the first half, where they conceded seven penalties and wasted a promising start. On a night where Darren Lockyer was immortalised in bronze outside of the ground, they could have done with a dose of his poise, particularly at the end of sets.

Corey Norman improved in his second game at five-eighth, in particular when he sailed in on the short side to set up Ben Te’o in the second half. But his kicking game lacked touch and too often Peter Wallace was left with the lion’s share of the decision making.

The only downside to Bowen’s night was a knee to the ribs of Jharal Yow Yeh as he dived over for Brisbane in the first half. The incident may come under the glare of the review panel although no action was taken on the field.

1 comment so far

  • Happy Birthday Mattie. True champions come back from their mistakes. Loved the fancy stepping as you went to the line.

    Go the Cowboys!

    Commenter
    kitkat
    Location
    Bribie Island
    Date and time
    March 10, 2012, 8:38AM

    Make a comment

    You are logged in as [Logout]

    All information entered below may be published.

    Error: Please enter your screen name.

    Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Please enter your comment.

    Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

    Post to

    You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

    Thank you

    Your comment has been submitted for approval.

    Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

    Related Coverage

    NRL Season 2015

    Round 1
    Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
    BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
    Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
    Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
    GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
    NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
    Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
    CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
    Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
    STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
    CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
    CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
    Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
    MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
    NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
    Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
    CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
    Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
    WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
    MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
    BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
    Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
    CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
    MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
    Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
    GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
    Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
    SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
    PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
    WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
    Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
    CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Report Stats
    STG 12 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
    Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Report Stats
    SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Report Stats
    Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
    NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Report Stats
    GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Report Stats
    NEW vs STG 13 Report Stats
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
    SYD 12 vs CRO 20 Report Stats
    Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
    PAR 6 vs WST 22 Report Stats
    MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
    PEN 10 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Report Stats
    CRO 22 vs NEW 6 Report Stats
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Report Stats
    NZW 32 vs WST 22 Report Stats
    PEN 22 vs MAN 12 Report Stats
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Report Stats
    STG 31 vs CBY 6 Report Stats
    Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
    SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
    STG 12 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Report Stats
    NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Report Stats
    MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Report Stats
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    WST 22 vs CBR 30 Report Stats
    NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Report Stats
    Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
    CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Report Stats
    NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Report Stats
    SYD 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
    MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
    BRI 28 vs PAR 16 Stats
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
    SOU 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs PEN 19:35SUN
    SYD vs WST 19:35AS
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBR vs GCT 15:00GIO Stadium
    CRO vs NZW 17:30Remondis Stadium
    NQL vs CBY 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    MAN vs NEW 14:00BO
    PAR vs MEL 16:00Pirtek Stadium
    Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
    SOU vs STG 19:00ANZ
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBY vs SYD 19:35ANZ
    NQL vs BRI 19:351300 Smiles Stadium
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    PAR vs NZW 15:00Pirtek Stadium
    GCT vs CRO 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
    MEL vs SOU 19:30AAMI
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    STG vs CBR 14:00WIN
    NEW vs WST 16:00HS
    Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
    MAN vs PEN 19:00BO
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
    Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
    NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
    CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
    NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
    STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
    Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
    WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
    SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
    PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
    Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
    PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
    Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    MAN vs WST 19:45BO
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
    GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
    CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
    Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
    NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
    MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
    Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
    STG vs SYD 19:00AS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
    SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
    NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
    PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
    Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
    WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
    Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
    CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
    Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
    MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
    Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
    WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
    CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
    Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
    CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
    Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
    CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
    Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
    GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
    PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
    MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
    Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
    CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
    NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
    STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
    Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
    BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
    Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
    MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
    WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
    Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
    SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
    MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
    Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
    PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
    CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
    Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
    NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
    Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
    NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
    STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
    SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
    SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
    MAN vs BRI 00:00TBA
    WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
    GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 22
    Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
    Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
    NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
    CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
    MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
    CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
    MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
    PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
    View All Fixtures
    Round 23
    Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
    CBY vs GCT 00:00TBA
    NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
    PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
    CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
    SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
    CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
    WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 24
    Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
    NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
    Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
    STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
    SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
    SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
    MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
    CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
    MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
    GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 25
    Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
    PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
    NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
    SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
    CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
    MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
    MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
    WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
    GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 26
    Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
    CBY vs NZW 00:00ANZ
    NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
    STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
    PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
    PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
    SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
    CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    NRL Ladder 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D Pts
    St George-Illawarra Dragons 8 6 2 0 12
    Brisbane Broncos 8 6 2 0 12
    Melbourne Storm 8 5 3 0 10
    North Queensland Cowboys 8 5 3 0 10
    Wests Tigers 8 4 4 0 8
    South Sydney Rabbitohs 8 4 4 0 8
    Gold Coast Titans 8 4 4 0 8
    Penrith Panthers 8 4 4 0 8
    View all
     
    Featured advertisers