Cowboys coach confirms Bowen omission - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cowboys coach confirms Bowen omission

By Laine Clark and Wayne Heming 27/08/2009 06:55:32 PM Comments (0)

Whispers that livewire fullback Matt Bowen will run out against Brisbane in Friday night's crunch NRL clash have been silenced by North Queensland coach Neil Henry.

Rumours emerged late on Thursday that Bowen had made a remarkable comeback from knee injuries and would play against the Broncos.

But Henry told AAP on Thursday: "He's not playing.

"He has not even trained this week.

"But his season isn't a write-off yet. If his knee improves he comes into contention for the Roosters (next weekend)."

Henry had been holding out hope that Bowen would play, even though the fullback had not been named in the team to play the Broncos after appearing to succumb to an aggravated left knee strain.

But it is his right knee that is the long-term concern.

Henry has conceded that Bowen's right knee may require the same radical procedure successfully completed on his left one in 2008, which would mean 10 months on the sidelines.

Henry said Bowen was scheduled to see an orthopaedic surgeon on Monday.

Cowboys boss Peter Parr said he would be surprised to see Bowen run out on Friday night.

"No one has indicated anything to me. All indications are that he won't play," he told AAP.

But Parr also added that Bowen was a "chance" of running out in their final regular season clash against the Sydney Roosters.

Sports Alive betting manager Gerard Daffy said Bowen's injection could prove the difference in the Cowboys-Broncos derby.

"If the whispers are correct, the Cowboys would firm up from $2.80 to $2.30 because Bowen's combination with (halfback) Johnathan Thurston gets them over the line so often," Daffy said.

North Queensland would certainly be sweating on Bowen's fitness.

They must win their final two regular season matches and rely on other results to go their way to scrape into the finals.

Henry said centre Ash Graham was an "outside chance" of overcoming a foot complaint and playing against Brisbane.

Ben Harris is on standby.

But Henry was not going to use injury as an excuse against the Broncos.

"We need to play some football. We can't go into our shell - we are not overawed playing the Broncos," he said.

Cowboys enforcer Carl Webb said his team did not have to be told that they faced a "do or die" game.

"We have got everything to lose, this is what it is all about," he said.

"Losing last week's game (against Newcastle) was disappointing but it also put us under the pump so it's do or die.

"The most frustrating thing for us is the way we have been playing so inconsistently.

"If you have a look at our team, the talent and depth, we have beaten ourselves sometimes.

"But our preparation has been good - we will definitely make a game of it.

"And if you can't get up for a game like this, you can't get up for anything."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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