Anzac round issue exposed amid ugly Maika Sivo truth: Good, bad, ugly of NRL round 8

Questions are being raised once again after a dramatic Anzac round in the NRL.

😃 The good: Anzac round tributes in full swing across the NRL

😔 The bad: Wests Tigers' bubble bursts after promising signs

😡 The ugly: Maika Sivo in hot water after latest brain snap at Eels

Let's get one thing straight from the get-go. The way the NRL goes about honouring Anzac Day and the men and women who served our country is brilliant. After the morning ceremonies where we pay our respect to those who defended – and are still defending - our country at times of war and conflict, the afternoon rolls into NRL games across New Zealand and Australia.

From left to right, Canberra's Anzac round clash against Cronulla and Maika Sivo playing for the Eels.
Canberra's Anzac round clash against Cronulla and Maika Sivo's ugly sin bin for the Eels were among the big talking points in round eight of the NRL. Pic: Getty

The respect shown by all is magnificent as the Ode, Last Post, minute's silence and wreath-laying ceremonies are conducted. There is complete buy-in from players, fans, broadcasters and the game as a whole. The day is given the reverence it deserves and long may it continue. But - and I say this only after taking a deep breath – are we pushing it too far by continuing the commemorations way past Anzac Day?

I know it’s labelled Anzac Round but by Sunday's Canberra-Cronulla game, three days had passed since April 25. Many fans feel it loses a bit of the passion and significance by stretching it that far. As someone who has no military background, I listened to others to gauge their thoughts on the subject.

Seen here, Anzac Day commemorations being observed in the NRL on Sunday.
Anzac Day commemorations were still being observed before NRL games on Sunday. Pic: Getty

One fan, who described himself as an ex-servicemen, wrote: "All relevance to Anzac Day is gone when it's the next day. Be like celebrating Xmas on Boxing Day. Anzac Day games should only be recognised on the day itself."

Nick Anderson is a Sea Eagles tragic and a member of the Royal Australian Navy. He told GBU: "I actually watched the Manly game (on Friday night) and although it was the 26th, I thought it was great they did the ceremony/acknowledgment. But I think anything more than two or three days loses a bit of impact."

There's been a lot of over-the-top stories written by the Wests Tigers and how Benji Marshall was going to wave his magic wand and fix all their ills. But after seven games, it's fair to say not a great deal has changed in Tigertown.

The joint venture club sits in 14th spot after a 2-5 start, their position artificially inflated by a first round bye. The Tigers were terrific in smashing then co-competition leaders Cronulla in round three and snuck home against struggling Parramatta via a last-minute field goal on Easter Monday.

They've had a fair dig in their five defeats but never really looked like winning any of them. The concern is they drift in and out of games, making dumb errors at crucial times.

It's been a familiar theme over the past few barren years and was again on show as they were thumped by Brisbane on Saturday night. Marshall was disappointed with the performance but claimed the loss – the Tigers' fourth straight - was not a step backwards. We’re not so sure.

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur labelled Maika Sivo's elbow to Reuben Garrick's face "dumb". Skipper Clint Gutherson went for "stupid" in trying to explain it.

We'd go a step further and call it idiotic, reprehensible and selfish. With your team behind by two with 10 minutes left, who in the hell thinks it’s a good idea to use the point of your elbow as a resting place on a rival's melon?

Sivo's act led to 10 minutes in the bin and Manly completely controlled things from there to ease away to a comfortable victory. It was a huge kick in the guts for an Eels side desperate to turn their season around.

Maika Sivo's late sin bin proved very costly for the Eels against Manly in round eight of the NRL. Pic: Getty
Maika Sivo's late sin bin proved very costly for the Eels against Manly in round eight of the NRL. Pic: Getty

Four-time premiership winner Cooper Cronk said: “That is stupid and silly from Maika Sivo. It’s cost his team an opportunity to win this game. Sivo will regret his actions, big time. Brad Arthur might have a stern talking to his winger." BA should be having more than a stern talk. Another stint in NSW Cup looks in order for Sivo, who can be a match winner on his day but seriously lacks discipline.

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.