Image: Twitter/Intrust Super Premiership

The Parramatta Eels have signed Fijian high-flyer Maika Sivo on a two-year deal from the 2019 season.

The winger has impressed in the Penrith Panthers’ lower grades over the past few seasons, but now gets his chance for the Eels with the goal of playing first-grade football.

“I was just looking for an opportunity to play on the big stage. That’s why I’m moving to Parramatta, opportunity,” Sivo told the Daily Telegraph.

“It was hard telling my teammates that I’m going to another club but opportunities only come along once.”

Sivo came through the local rugby union ranks in Fiji as a junior and represented the country in Under 20s. He came to Australia in 2015 with Group 9 club Gundagai Tigers.

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After a dominant season for the bush where he topped the team’s tryscoring list, he moved to Sydney where he went on to make his NSW Cup debut for the Panthers in 2017.

And last year was where he really put himself on the map, playing in Penrith’s grand final and State Championship triumphs.

“Sometimes I sit back and I look back at where I started, it’s a crazy journey,” Sivo said.

“I leave home to play on the big stage. Here is the opportunity to show them, to play on the big stage, and it was always a goal for me.”

Sivo’s has drawn comparisons to former Fijian Eels recruit Semi Radradra, a story that he says has paved the pathway for success.

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“I don’t know what to say. He’s a good player and he’s set a good path for us to follow,” Sivo said.

“I feel inspired. He’s put a good standard for us. Hopefully I can do that too next year.”

Sivo’s manager Cameron Phelps admits his client received several other offers from rival clubs, but Radradra’s history at Parramatta proved a major selling point.

“Other clubs were interested, but Parramatta’s history with Semi was a big selling point,” Phelps told the Daily Telegraph.

“Maika has a big future in rugby league and Parramatta is a great fit for him moving forward.”

8 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve seen this guy play he’s a freak in attack.. big boy to 103kg 194cm exactly what parramatta need, good signing..
    He’s defence needs to improve though..

  2. 1: B French
    2: M Sivo
    3: M Jennings
    4: C Gutherson
    5: B Ferguson
    6: J Hayne
    7: M Moses
    8: D Alvaro
    9: R Mahoney
    10: Jr Paulo
    11: M Mau
    12: T Moeroa
    13: N Brown

    14: S Lane
    15: M Nuikore
    16: P Terepo
    17: T Mannah

    Still need another hooker: go for Seggy IMO

    Need some forwards: M Taupau would be good.

    Another big outside back maybe C Oates

    • No way will French be at fullback.
      I doubt he will even be in 1st grade next year.
      Guth is a way better fullback than French.
      Hayne and Jennings will be at centre and Ferguson and hopefully Sivo will be the other winger.
      Sivo posses the one trait that French has (speed), and all of the traits he doesn’t have (elusiveness, a step, a huge fend, size and strength).
      The only reason French will make 1st grade next year is because we have a clueless clown for a coach.

      • I agree with Kev’s comment that French won’t be FB (for Parra anyway) next year, and that Gutho is a better FB. On current form I’d have Gutho, Hayne, probably Smith ahead of French for FB in our current roster.

        With so many players off contract, and Norman and French allowed/encouraged to look elsewhere for 2019 its hard to pick our squad, but as it stands we do need an experienced hooker, maybe another half, if Norman goes, and a bit more muscle up front. Paulo will help, as long as we can keep his weight/fitness under control, but I think Lane just adds another average (at FG level) forward, and we have enough of them.

      • Agreed re French. I don’t have him in 1st grade next year, let alone at fullback.

        I look forward to seeing Sivo get a run next year. It will be a nice change to have a couple of big, powerful wingers. I still think George Jennings has a lot to offer too, so it will be good to have the competition for spots.

  3. I think many Penrith supporters would rather let Mansour go & keep Sivo. Sivo has size & pace. Been a good try scorer in the ISP .
    Not sure he is another Sami , but a good player any way.

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