We don’t need anymore evidence that Maika Sivo is up there as one of the strongest players in the NRL.
If you have any doubts about how hard the Fijian star is to tackle just ask James Tedesco.
After the Eels lost Semi Radradra a couple of years back, fans at the club wondered if they’d ever find another talent on the wing as good as Radradra – well they now have their answer.
Sivo was a key factor behind the Eels’ remarkable rise from 2018 wooden spooners to 2019 semi-finalists, scoring a league leading 22 tries for the season.
Sivo sinks a flyer
And he’s continued his stellar form this season – but the Eels have had to put the brakes on Sivo’s physical development – because he’s simply getting too big.
Reports during the preseason spread about Sivo’s amazing power, with word going around he maxed out at squatting 285kg during a weights session. They tried to add more but couldn’t fit anymore plates on the bar.
Eels coach Brad Arthur told NRL 360 the story is true, however, the Fijian’s size has become a worry for training staff who have limited his weight training recently.
“We’ve had to really pull back on his weighs because he’s so big and strong, and he doesn’t carry any body fat,” Arthur said.
“He’s still running around at 110 (kilograms) or 111 each week at training as a winger, so that’s very imposing, very strong in the gym.
“When the boys were doing full weights sessions in the pre-season he was doing two or three, and a lot of extra conditioning.
“It’s a credit to him and Steve Murphy who’s done a lot of work with Maika, and I think his best football is still further down the track for him.”
Along with Sivo – Arthur has Blake Ferguson on the other wing adding plenty of experience and size as well.
He was asked whether Sivo or Ferguson was easier to coach.
“That’s an easy one… it’s Maika,” he laughed.
“Fergo needs a lot of energy. But he brings a lot.”