Sixty-four reasons for Eels to build new Magic Round legacy
Parramatta will be looking to exorcise their Magic Round demons when they head to Suncorp Stadium to face the Warriors on the final day of the NRL's festival of rugby league in Brisbane.
Melbourne pulverised the Eels 64-10 in the corresponding round two years ago in an exhilarating display of attacking rugby league that left neutral fans in awe and Parramatta at their lowest point in years.
While they won't be facing the Storm this time, winger Maika Sivo says the Eels must learn from what happened in the last instalment of the Magic Round after last year's festival was cancelled due to COVID.
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The task will be made tougher for Parramatta without five-eighth Dylan Brown who will miss three games taking the early guilty plea for his tackle on Sydney Roosters' No.6 Drew Hutchison who was hospitalised with broken ribs and a punctured lung.
While centre Marata Niukore will miss two games after taking the early plea for his shoulder charge which collected James Tedesco high.
"We just didn't turn up with the right attitude and they got us, they got us all game. But we're ready," said Sivo.
"It'll be a good trip up there to Brissy. It's always good to play at Suncorp, it'll be a great week."
Sivo is sure to be a crowd favourite over the weekend - even a fan without blue and gold eyes can get swept up by his physical, spectacular finishes on the left wing.
Don't be surprised if the "SIVO" chant rings out around the famous ground once or twice and the hulking Fijian is hoping the crowd will sing loud and proud.
"It gives me confidence to go the extra step and do more work. It always makes me feel good," Sivo said.
"When those opportunities come, I take them."
The Eels are riding high in second on the ladder and are warm favourites to down the Warriors despite a large Kiwi contingent expected in the crowd.
The match will have special significance for new Parramatta pin-up Isaiah Papali'i, who will take on his former club for the first time.
Papali'i's physicality and aggression has helped take the Eels play to another level and, in just nine matches, he's become a mainstay of one of the best packs in the competition - the 22-year old will be looking to lead from the front once again at Suncorp.
"The engine room is all start. If you want to come out on top at the end of the game you have to start well," Papali'i said.
"Every team is going to fight back, but you put all that energy into the start and it can be too far gone to fight back."
Originally published as Sixty-four reasons for Eels to build new Magic Round legacy