Maika Sivo scores try of the year contender as Eels beat Roosters after dazzling first half blitz
A week after a disastrous defeat to the Bulldogs, Parramatta soared to a resounding win against the Roosters, producing scintillating football including a contender of the year.
The Eels defeated the Roosters 26-16 at CommBank Stadium on Saturday, scoring all of their five tries in a dazzling first half as they climbed back to sixth on the NRL ladder.
In an admittedly crowded field, Maika Sivo’s effort was arguably the perfect opportunity with the Parramatta cult hero crossing his side’s fourth score just after 30 minutes.
Maika Sivo (right) celebrates his stunning attempt against the Roosters on Saturday
As the Eels swarmed forward, Bailey Simonsson received the ball on the right wing, before slashing in and delivering it to Isaiah Papali’i.
The latter skipped one tackle, before attempting a daring offload to Ryan Mattherson, who picked up the ball without breaking a step after de Steeden touched the ground.
Mattherson was tackled, but successfully pushed the ball behind him to Mitchell Moses, who then delivered a looping cross-field pass as Parramatta moved to the left.
The halfback’s pass found the intended target in Eel’s five-eight Dylan Brown, who quickly pushed the ball past the approaching Shaun Lane.
The Parramatta flyer put the finishing touches to a stunning team move
The second rower wasted no time feeding Sivo, who crossed unquestionably to the delight of the Parramatta fans.
“You just don’t see a better attempt than that,” said NRL great Greg Alexander.
“We’ve seen some spectacular football this year, but I don’t think I’ve seen the kind of football from either of those two teams, it was absolutely brilliant.
“That’s brilliant football.”
Parramatta recovered from their shock loss to the Bulldogs and climbed to sixth on the ladder
Isaiah Papali’i crossed for the Eels’ second attempt and also had a hand in Sivo’s attempt
Michael Ennis proclaimed Sivo’s score ‘try of the year’.
Usually famous for their stoic defense under Robinson, the Roosters have now conceded 146 points in their last six games.
Granted, they lost brothers Egan and Nat Butcher to concussions and were without Luke Keary, Victor Radley and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, but the Roosters have only won once in their last five games.
On the eve of selections for State of Origin II in Perth, Parramatta duo Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Matterson gave some great stories about themselves in the battle to earn NSW recalls.
The Roosters have lost three games in a row and have cashed in 146 points in the last six
Joseph Suaalii scored twice for the Roosters, but it wasn’t enough for his team to avoid a defeat
Campbell-Gillard and Lindsay Collins of the Queensland roosters were placed on report.
Roosters winger Joseph Suallii grabbed a double to further cement his claim for a NSW berth, while back rower Angus Crichton put on a solid performance.
It was Suallii who kicked off one of the most chaotic opening halves of the season, dodging a tackle from Sivo and landing in front of 21,757 fans in the third minute at Commbank Stadium.
The Eels responded immediately with a late offload from Lane that allowed Brown to dive over.
The Roosters lost Nat Butcher to a concussion in the first half at CommBank Stadium
Before his brother Egan had to be carried in the second half of the field
Papali’i went next to the Eels and Lane arranged for Captain Clint Gutherson with another no-look pass.
Sitili Tupouniua hit back for the Roosters, but just before half time Parramatta stepped up a gear.
Approaching the break, Eels hooker Reed Mahoney started and finished a quick short side attack after a flawless play that involved Mitchell Moses, Bailey Simonsson and Gutherson.
Clint Gutherson (right) was one of the try-scorers for the Eels in a dazzling first half
Given the pace at which they played and led them 26-12 at halftime, it was hard to believe that this was the same side of Eels who had been won by Canterbury five days earlier.
Suaalii skimped on himself and recovered early in the second half and the Roosters seemed to be finding their way back into the game.
But when Egan Butcher was knocked out after getting his head on the wrong side while trying to tackle Matterson, the fizz went out of the game.
Butcher was taken off the field by a medic in the 54th minute and neither side scored after that.