Rugby League has been blessed with a number of incredible fullbacks over its history. None of them had the footwork and the ability to make an opposition defender look completely bamboozled quite like Matthew Bowen.
At just 85 kilos, Bowen wasn’t the biggest fullback in the game. His lack of size didn’t matter one bit.
With footwork and agility few players have ever possessed, Bowen left NRL defenders clutching at thin air over a 270 game career for the North Queensland Cowboys.
One of the games elite try scores, crossing the line for 130 tries, Bowen led the NRL in try scoring in both the 2005 and 2007 seasons. His combination of agility and explosive speed saw his represent Queensland on 10 occasions and earning a single test appearance for the Australian Rugby League team.
The 2007 Dally M fullback of the year, Bowen helped guide the North Queensland Cowboys to an NRL Grand Final appearance in 2005 where the team lost to the Wests Tigers.
A North Queensland Cowboys life member, Matthew Bowen is easily one of the 20 best players I have seen play the game ion my lifetime. His vision, the way he could read a defence and find its weakness, he hs a decent passing game, an underrated kicking game, and formed a deadly partnership with Johnathan Thurston who knew just how to make the most of Bowens skill and speed.
Bowen played two seasons in Super League playing for Wigan where he led the club to 2 Super League Grand Finals appearances.
He played for the Indigenous All Stars team in 2 occasions and the Prime Minister’s XIII team on 2 occasions.