The returning Maika Sivo is vital to Parramatta’s chances of success

Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has revealed the work Maika Sivo has been doing behind the scenes to return from a cruciate ligament injury has not gone unnoticed by the team, while claiming his presence helped create the side’s deadly left edge to revive.

“He got a rap from the lads a few weeks ago about how he came back,” Arthur said ahead of the Eels taking on their bogey team South Sydney on Friday night.

Parramatta has had a dismal record against the Bunnies lately, having lost five straight games to Jason Demetriou’s men. However, Arthur was adamant his team could reverse their fortunes thanks to his in-form left wing.

Sivo has been a big part of that over the last month, scoring doubles in three straight games. In the past decade only three players have scored two or more tries in more consecutive games than the Fijian.

Tomorrow night’s opposing winger Alex Johnston holds the record for scoring multiple tries in six straight games, while another former Eels flier Semi Radradra managed a run of five.

Sivo only made his debut this season in Round 14 but has quickly improved to the point where he’s almost playing to his full potential, scoring many fours along the way.

“It’s hard to get over an injury like a cruciate ligament – it usually takes another good 12 months for these players to get back into shape,” said Arthur.

“But he’s been working really hard on his fitness. He’s a big man, so he has to carry a lot of weight.

“We all know what a good finisher he is but we’re really proud of how he’s kept his body in shape to handle the demands of weekly football.”

Sivo has an impressive goals record at CommBank Stadium and he needs to be at his best when the Eels host a South Sydney side looking to continue their climb up the ladder.

“At that point we lost him last year,” said the coach.

“So if he comes in halfway – I’d like to think that the more games he plays, the better he gets for us.”

A key reason for Sivo’s recent try-scoring run is the form of back rower Shaun Lane. The former Manly gun has been in the best form of his career lately, with his ability to offload in tackles causing all sorts of problems for opposing defences.

His blossoming partnership with fifth eighth Dylan Brown has resulted in Sivo being offered plenty of opportunities down the wing.

“He’s been really reliable for us for the last two months,” Arthur said in reference to Lane.

“He was probably a big difference and a help to Dylan on the left fringe.

“He’s sort of the captain of that edge, and when Laney plays well, Dylan usually plays well.”

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