IT WAS only three days ago when an emotional Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen fronted the cameras to confirm he would not be at the club next year.
North Queensland officials made the painful decision to cut its most capped player and arguably its favourite son from the roster, with injuries plaguing the 31-year-old this year.
But Bowen proved he could still mix it with the best in his side's 31-18 win over Cronulla at Remondis Stadium yesterday.
The little custodian was at his brilliant best, setting up three tries and scoring one to ensure a fifth-straight win for his team and all but guaranteeing eighth place and a spot in the finals.
Bowen scored his team's first try, and the 128th of his career, to equalise at 6-all, with some quick feet near the line, then grubbered for Brent Tate to make it 12-6 on the half-hour mark.
Bowen showed he was human in the 43rd minute, fumbling a Jeff Robson grubber for Jayson
Bukuya to score for the Sharks, before setting up his side's next two tries to put the issue beyond doubt.