The ‘real blow’ behind Eels weapon’s domination

Triple Dally M medallist Andrew Johns has renewed calls for NRL recruiters to target Fijian athletes more heavily, during Maika Sivo’s glittering performance in the Eels’ thumping of the Knights.

The Fijian bull bagged two tries, set up another and racked up 153 metres as Parramatta soured Newcastle’s old boys day and 2001 NRL premiership celebrations, surging to a 40-4 victory.

Both tries came in trademark Sivo fashion, the 59-game Eels winger driving his burly frame through Brodie Jones for his first try and Starford To’a for his second.

The second four-pointer prompted former 18-Test Kangaroo Peter Sterling to praise the Eels over their signing of Sivo in 2018.

“It’s great recruitment from Parramatta, when you consider Semi Radradra was doing similar work on the wing for them not that long ago,” Sterling said on Nine’s coverage.

“They lost him, which was a real blow, but they’ve discovered this young man.”

Johns said the domination of Sivo and other Fijians in the NRL should entice recruiters.

St George Illawarra flyer Mikaele Ravalawa is among the several Fijians thriving in the NRL this season, while the likes of Suliasi Vunivalu, Marika Koroibete and Akuila Uate have electrified the competition, too.

“I keep saying it; there are wingers and outside backs in Fiji everywhere,” Johns said.

“If a team is prepared to put a lot of work into these outside backs (they can have a huge impact) … You’ve got to be patient.

“How athletic, their appetite for contact – they love it …

“What a player (Sivo is).”

NRL Highlights: Eels humiliate the Knights – Round 13

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