Maika Sivo bags four, Clint Gutherson shines as Parramatta Eels run riot against North Queensland Cowboys


Playing his 100th NRL game, Gutherson supplied three beautiful passes for three tries, including a double for Sivo.

Maika Sivo celebrates a first-half try.

Maika Sivo celebrates a first-half try.Credit:Getty Images

He finished with 222m, six tackle busts and seven goals as regular goalkicker and halfback Mitchell Moses watched on from the sidelines with a calf injury.

Gutherson’s enthusiasm was infectious, he made plenty of gutsy runs and even revealed his funny side when he asked referee Ben Cummins ”can we challenge a captain’s challenge” when the Cowboys unsuccessfully appealed a stripping call.

The 25-year-old needed to make life easier for Dylan Brown and stand-in No. 7 Jai Field while Moses is out, and he did just that.

It’s a shame injuries meant Gutherson had to wait this long – seven years after his NRL debut – to reach this milestone.

At least the Manly junior is making up for lost time with the club he has grown to love and a coach who always saw something in him.

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Brad Arthur knows he has backed a winner with Gutherson, but will also concede he needs him to remain injury-free if the Eels are to end a 34-year premiership drought.

They will finish the weekend on top of the ladder – and there is no reason they will not stay there for a while yet.

The Cowboys started well and had plenty of possession but could not penetrate the blue-and-gold wall.

The visitors soon found themselves trailing when Gutherson found Michael Jennings to score. The evergreen Eel made it career try No. 152.

Brown’s right boot was working well early as he chose the right options and forced a couple of dropouts.

Gutherson then popped up again with a lovely pass for an unmarked Sivo to jag his first. The pass was perfect as the Cowboys defenders rushed up trying to stop earlier try-scorer Jennings.

When Brown’s kick came down for Waqa Blake to score and make it 16-0, the Cowboys looked ready for another horror night on the road. It was less than two weeks ago they trailed Wests Tigers 34-0 by half-time.

But they did well to stay in the game, especially once Parramatta powerhouses Junior Paulo and Reagan Campbell-Gillard were given spells.

They even had a try before the break when Tom Opacic was put into a gap by Scott Drinkwater, but things went downhill from there.

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Life will not get any easier for the Cowboys who host the Sydney Roosters next Thursday night. Penrith await them the following week.

While Sivo and Gutherson hogged the limelight, the Bankwest turf deserved a mention given the headlines it made just a week earlier when the surface was described by the Roosters as ”sticky” and gun duo Victor Radley and Sam Verrills suffered season-ending knee injuries.

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