Sivo brain snap sums up Eels’ woes in loss to Manly

Scott Bailey |

Daly Cherry-Evans was among the scorers as Manly beat fading Parramatta by 14 points.
Daly Cherry-Evans was among the scorers as Manly beat fading Parramatta by 14 points.

Brad Arthur has vented his frustration at his Parramatta side’s ill-discipline, after a “dumb” Maika Sivo brain snap condemned the Eels to a 32-18 loss to Manly.

One week after suffering a second-half capitulation at the hands of the Dolphins in Darwin, Parramatta again let a 14-6 lead slip on Friday night at Brookvale.

And while Manly’s attack were able to click into gear after the break, the Eels were their own worst enemies.

Sivo and Will Penisini both spent time in the sin bin, as the Eels were on the wrong end of an 8-1 second-half penalty count.

No penalty summed up Parramatta’s issues more than Sivo’s in the second half.

The Eels had crept back into the match at 20-18 down when Sivo completed a hat-trick with Penisini off the field for a professional foul.

But the winger went from hero to villain moments later, sin-binned for putting his forearm into Reuben Garrick’s face on the fourth tackle.

Manly capitalised immediately, with Haumole Olakau’atu providing an offload for Garrick to go over two plays later.

And when Garrick crossed again down Sivo’s side with the winger off the field, the contest was over.

“It’s dumb, isn’t it?” coach Arthur said. 

“It’s 20-18 We’re in front four tries to three. 11 minutes to go. Tackle four they put a kick up and hopefully we get the ball back.”

Reuben Garrick.
Reuben Garrick was key to Manly’s comeback with two second-half tries as the Eels capitulated. (Anthony Kourembanas/AAP PHOTOS)

Captain Clint Gutherson also couldn’t hide his frustration.

“It was just stupid,” he said. 

“We were in the game. It’s 10 minutes left, we just got Will back on. Last tackle, catch the ball. We give ourselves a chance. 

“Silly things at the moment are really hurting us. Just missed tackles, penalties against us. Can’t do that in NRL games, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”

Parramatta’s loss left them 14th on the ladder and with pressure growing on Arthur, after a 3-5 start to the season before next week’s bye.

Maika Sivo.
Maika Sivo shone with three tries but it was not enough to stop another Eels fade-out. (Grant Trouville/AAP PHOTOS)

In contrast, Manly are into the top four after their best start to a season in a decade.

The only concern for the Sea Eagles is the prospect of a suspension for Olakau’atu, who was sin-binned early for a dangerous throw on Shaun Lane.

At that point, the Eels looked very much in the game, offloading at will and with five-eighth Ethan Sanders standing up in defence on debut and running with confidence.

All three of Parramatta’s first-half tries came as they cut Manly apart on the edges, with Sivo scoring twice when rival winger Jason Saab was caught out of position.

But just as in Darwin last week, halftime stunted the Eels momentum.

Manly scored twice in the space of five minutes after the break to take the lead, with Cherry-Evans involved in both.

He first put Saab into space in the lead up to one try for Tom Trbojevic, before finishing another himself when Jake Trbojevic burst into clear air.

Manly’s right edge were as dangerous as they have been all season, with Olakau’atu, Garrick and Saab busting 15 tackles between them.

“We feel like we’ve got plenty of more improvement left in us,” Manly coach Anthony Seibold said.

“We’ve played some really good opposition, it’s been a battle every week

“We’ve scored over 30 points in a number of our games and put ourselves in a sound position to start our season.”