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Parramatta Eels rocked by brutal Maika Sivo blow on eve of NRL season

Maika Sivo has been hit with a grade-two careless high-tackle charge following the Eels' trial win over the Titans.

Pictured Maika Sivo left and Eels celebrate a try right
Parramatta are set to be without Maika Sivo to start the NRL season after the Eels winger was hit with a grade-two careless high-tackle charge. Image: Getty

The Parramatta Eels have been dealt a blow just days out from the start of the NRL season after Maika Sivo was charged for a high shot on Gold Coast star AJ Brimson. The Eels winger was hit with a grade-two careless high-tackle charge following the Eels' trial win over the Titans on Sunday.

Sivo jammed in off his left wing and struck Brimson high just after he had passed the ball. The tackle floored the Titans star and resulted in him being forced off the field.

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On the back of a 2023 season riddled with misdemeanours, Sivo's challenge on Brimson means he will face a three-game ban with an early guilty plea. If the Parramatta star opts to fight the charge at the judiciary and loses he will be handed an additional one-game suspension.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 12:  Maika Sivo of the Eels celebrates with Mitchell Moses of the Eels after scoring a try during the round 15 NRL match between Canterbury Bulldogs and Parramatta Eels at Accor Stadium on June 12, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Maika Sivo celebrates with Mitchell Moses after scoring a try during their round 15 NRL match against the Canterbury Bulldogs. (Matt King via Getty Images)

Sivo was charged six times in 2023 and was suspended for four matches for a similar tackle against the Titans in round 20 last year when he hit Jojo Fifita high. The Fijian took his chances at the judiciary but was unsuccessful.

Mitchell Moses confident of a better year in 2024

Sivo's charge soured the Eels' impressive 26-16 trial win over Gold Coast on Sunday, where the side showed glimpses of the form that saw them reach the grand final in 2022. Mitchell Moses' connection with Clint Gutherson and Dylan Brown was on full display and it gave the Eels halfback confidence that the side can begin better than last year, when they found themselves 14th after eight rounds.

"We definitely want to start the season well and not chase our tail like last year," Moses said. "If we can start well, we'll put ourselves in a good position to play at the back end of the year, but we need to take it week by week and see how we go."

While Sunday's victory was only a trial, Moses believes his connection with Gutherson and Brown is coming together nicely. "It's the first time that we've had a full pre-season under our belt from November together for probably five or six years," Moses said.

"We've linked up pretty well at training and it's a good headache for (coach) Brad Arthur to have going into round one - we've almost got everyone fit and ready to go. We came back that early and the pre-season was that long, that I got to do everything possible at training. We weren't happy with how we played last year and so we got away a bit and then we've been back for 16 weeks or so. It's been good to have that. If we're not fit and ready to go now, we're in some strife."

with AAP

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