The Cumberland Throw

Team List Tuesday – Sivo Returns Edition

I apologise for a lack of the usual TLT write ups for each grade today but due to a scheduling conflict they will have to come early tomorrow morning. For now though with the long awaited return of Maika Sivo, make sure you all bask in the glow of a FULL STRENGTH NRL TEAM. I know I will because it feels like it has been forever since I have been able to use those four words in a positive manner. Of course a full strength roster means that NSW Blues trio Junior Paulo, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson have all been named to backup and we will have a clear idea after tomorrow night how each of those three men pull up after Origin I.

NRL Team List


Forget the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the real celebration this long weekend will be the fact that the Parramatta Eels have come out of their Round 13 bye with a NRL squad at full fitness. Proceeds to very firmly knock on wood. Indeed, the return of Maika Sivo this week caps a triumphant battle through one of the most insane and demanding positional injury tolls I can recall for any team in recent years.

Sivo will take his customary place on the left wing for Brad Arthur. In turn Waqa Blake, who has shown plenty of chop as a winger, returns to his favoured role as a centre and will partner Sivo down the left edge. The desperately unlucky man in all of this is Tom Opacic who continues to be an absolute professional for the Blue & Gold with his work in the centres. He takes over the role of 18th man for the game against the Canterbury Bulldogs.

Otherwise this is the same team that has been building nicely over the last few weeks. Three NSW Origin representatives put a punctuation mark on the forward pack in Junior Paulo, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Ryan Matterson but that doesn’t mean the rest of the engine room is to be slept on. Ditto for the halves where we have the red hot hand of Dylan Brown contrasting with the ice cold shot calling of Mitchell Moses. 

With their recent form and clean bill of health, the Eels are perfectly positioned to make a massive push in the second half of the season. Attention to details matter significantly now though and that all starts on Monday as they look to knock over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs have been running hot and cold of late in the post Trent Barrett world. The were solidly defeated by a second string Penrith Panthers outfit and roundly beaten by the Wests Tigers but proved to be highly competitive against the St George Illawarra Dragons.

In spite of all that I am almost certain they will produce some of their most ferocious and dogged footy of the year against the Eels – as they have been wont to in recent years. Still, even if the score lines haven’t always been dominant, the Eels have dominated the head-to-head as they enter this week with a 4 game win streak over the Bulldogs having also taken 10 of the last 12 games. I am tipping Parramatta to extend that record but would not be surprised in the least if we have to fight ugly for it.

The Parramatta Eels take on the Canterbury Bulldogs at 4:00PM at Accor Stadium on Monday.


1. Clinton Gutherson (c)
2. Maika Sivo
3. Will Penisini
4. Waqa Blake
5. Bailey Simonsson
6. Dylan Brown
7. Mitchell Moses
8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
9. Reed Mahoney
10. Junior Paulo (c)
11. Shaun Lane
12. Marata Niukore
13. Isaiah Papali’i

14. Makahesi Makatoa
15. Ryan Matterson
16. Oregon Kaufusi
17. Nathan Brown

18. Tom Opacic
19. Jake Arthur
20. Mitch Rein
21. Bryce Cartwright
22. Ky Rodwell
23. Sean Russell

NSW Cup Team List


A ridiculously overloaded NSW Cup lineup pulled off a 38-0 demolition job of the Mounties in Round 13. That team loses some serious strike power with Maika Sivo, Makahesi Makatoa and Oregon Kaufusi all returning to NRL duties this week but their replacements aren’t half bad either. Ofahiki Ogden gets the start in the front row where he partners recent try scoring phenom Wiremu Greig. On the bench the Eels are boosted by the returns of Luca Moretti and Samuel Loizou to round out a squad that is still very much imposing on both paper and the field.

Monday shapes up as massive contest with the Eels (3rd) and the Bulldogs (4th) only separated by points differential. Both teams are within striking distance of the competition leaders in the Panther Panthers and a win on Monday seriously consolidates the victor’s grasp on a Top 4 berth.

The Parramatta Eels take on the Canterbury Bulldogs at 1:40PM at Accor Stadium on Monday.


1. Jordan Rankin (c)
2. Solomone Naiduki
3. Zac Cini
4. Hayze Perham
5. Sean Russell
6. Jack A Williams
7. Jake Arthur
8. Ofahiki Ogden
9. Mitch Rein
10. Wiremu Greig
11. Elie El-Zakhem
12. Bryce Cartwright
13. Ky Rodwell

14. Luca Moretti
15. Tevita Taumoepenu
16. Samuel Loizou
17. Brendan Hands


Jersey Flegg Team List


The Eels were unable to backup their tremendous win over the Canberra Raiders in Round 12 as they fell to the Victoria Thunderbolts amidst a slew of costly errors. The narrow loss also cost the Blue & Gold their starting dummy half with Kruz Niutili-Schmidt picking up a knee or ankle injury during the contest .David Tui takes over the starting rake responsibilities in his absence with Nicholas Lenaz providing relief from the bench. The other notable team news includes Josh Tuipulotu slotting back into the centres and while the Eels have only named 16 of their 17 game day players, SG Ball standout Saxon Pryke holds down the 18th man role as he builds towards a Jersey Flegg debut.

The Parramatta Eels take on the Canterbury Bulldogs at 12:00pm at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday.

1. Dantoray Lui
2. Arthur Miller-Stephen
3. Josh Tuipulotu
4. Lachlan Blackburn
5. Matthew Komolafe
6. Jabriel Kalache
7. Ethan Sanders
8. Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa
9. David Tui
10. David Hollis
11. Ryan Jones
12. Felix Niutili-Schmidt
13. Peter Taateo
14. Nicholas Lenaz
15. Nikau Wrathall
16. Brock Parker
17. TBA

18. Saxon Pryke


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8 thoughts on “Team List Tuesday – Sivo Returns Edition

  1. BDon

    Strong looking team,cranking up the power and pace.Let’s see if we can put it to good use in the first 20 minutes.

  2. DDay

    That’s a powerful looking team!
    Obviously late changes wouldn’t surprise.
    Disappointing for opacic who had a gr8 game v the Raiders – some quality now on the fringe.

    Looking forward to seeing Sivo – a couple of games in Reggie’s might sharpen his want to put in on kick return & give him the ball 10m out he’ll be a weapon.

  3. John Eel

    I think that this is a good team. This is probably as strong as we get this season. Origin players backing up notwithstanding.

    I think there is plenty of cover on the bench to enable BA to give the Origin players a bit of a rest as required.

  4. pete

    Great read Forty20.
    It’s only taken to round 14 to get this squad on the park… Hopefully we can get through without any more injury for the year.
    Would love to have Dunster thrown into the squad. But I’m happy we are getting back to a regular first grade squad. That will also help The other grades with consistent combinations going forward.
    Go Eels!!

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