FP – Queensland great Matt Bowen has been given the chance to add a Super League title to his glittering list of achievements after Wigan booked a place in the grand final with a crushing 32-8 defeat of Huddersfield.
The 33-year-old North Queensland legend scored 12 points for the Warriors as his side cruised to a comfortable semi-final victory and a third-straight grand final appearance.
Bowen has not won a premiership during his 15-year career, losing the 2005 NRL grand final with the Cowboys and last year’s Super League decider with Wigan.
The Warriors arrived full of confidence having beaten Huddersfield in all three meetings this season and won every Super League game at the DW Stadium in 2015.
“We didn’t attack that good, I think we need to be smarter next Saturday but we had a good mentality,” Wigan coach Shaun Wane said.
“I’m a firm believer that the team that wants it most will generally get it and we showed a lot of desire.
Wales international Ben Flower got the ball rolling five minutes in, scoring a try under the post, with Bowen adding the extras.
And Wigan almost immediately added a second try but they were held up just short of the tryline by some stubborn Giants defending.
But, after Bowen had kicked a penalty, Wigan were celebrating a second try as a kick by Sam Powell was well collected by Dominic Manfredi who sent Bateman over in the corner.
Manfredi celebrated his 21st Super League try of the campaign as the wing squirmed over despite slipping.
Bowen converted again and soon afterwards Wigan had their fourth score, although they needed the help of the video referee.
A great ball over the top looked like it would fall for Bateman, but he wasn’t quite able to dot it down.
He was adjudged to have been tripped and the home side were awarded a penalty try, with Bowen making no mistake with the kick from right in front.
Just after the hour mark Huddersfield were celebrating a try of their own as Ferres burst through the middle to touch down, with Brough converting.
But Wigan would have the final say as Clubb went over to allow Bowen to end the game with the conversion as the Warriors await the winner of the second semi-final between Leeds and St Helens at Old Trafford on Friday.