Parramatta Eels defeat Melbourne Storm, Maika Sivo stars with two tries
The Parramatta Eels have continued their perfect start to season 2021 with a 16-12 win over the Melbourne Storm in wet and slippery conditions at Bankwest Stadium.
Two spectacular high-flying tries from winger Maika Sivo stole the show, one of which was the match-winner when the Fijian international crossed over in the 76th minute to give the Eels the lead.
With less than three minutes remaining and scores locked, Eels halfback Mitch Moses put up a 30-metre bomb to his winger, who had no trouble leaping over the top of Storm winger George Jennings before bringing the ball down with him and crossing over in the corner for the try.
“He’s a hero at the stadium,” NRL great Billy Slater told Nine.
“They all chant ‘Sivo’. It’s such a spine-tingling feeling when you hear that chant.
“A big moment for Parramatta. They needed to get their season off to a good start.
“They won Round One, they’ve won Round Two. They’re not playing perfect football but their attitude is there.”
Jennings, who previously played with the Eels from 2018-2020, was heavily targeted all night with the high ball.
The Storm winger conceded two near-identical tries to Sivo, whose first try of the game was just like his match-winner when he took advantage of the high ball put on the head of Jennings during the first half for a try in the corner.
Moses after the match admitted it was the plan all along to put Sivo in a position to take advantage of the match-up with Jennings.
“We’ve had George in our system before and we wanted to put him under pressure,” Moses said.
“I thought we did that well. Big Maika on the wing was outstanding. He can score tries from anywhere and he showed that tonight.”
Eels fullback Clint Gutherson was awarded man of the match. He came up with a total of four try-savers and seemed to have the answer for Parramatta every time it looked like Melbourne would break through.
Unfortunately for the Eels, there are fresh concerns for forward Ryan Matterson, who was knocked out during the second half.
Storm’s Felise Kaufusi was placed on report after making contact with the head of Matterson as he fell to the ground during a tackle.