Who’s the better Parramatta Eels winger: Semi Radradra or Maika Sivo?
That question was put to legendary coach Phil Gould … and a blow-up was the result.
Sivo’s incredible performances for Parramatta have eased the loss of Radradra to rugby union far better than any Eels fan would have dared to hope.
The giant Fijian scored four tries against the Cowboys on Friday night, simply unstoppable on the left edge. It was the first four-try haul from an Eels player since Radradra in 2017. Sivo now has eight tries for the season, including a highlight reel effort in which he demolished Dally M Medallist James Tedesco on his way to the line.
For debate’s sake, Nine NRL host James Bracey put the question to Gus on Wide World of Sports’ The Final Whistle: If you had to pick one of the pair in your team, just one, would you take Radradra or Sivo?
Only Gus wasn’t having it.
Gould: “If I can only have one? There’s two wingers in every team.”
Bracey: “Josh Mansour’s on the other wing.”
Gould: “This is a ridiculous question. Why do people come up with these questions? Why do you need to pick one, there are two wingers in every team? That’s just a ridiculous question. What’s the point of the question? It wasn’t a question.”
Bracey: “Who’s more valuable to the Eels? Old Semi or Maika Sivo?”
Gould: “Well Maika Sivo – he’s the one they’ve got. Radradra’s over in rugby, he’s not helping them at the moment.”
Gus then elaborated on the relative strengths of each winger.
“They’re different sorts of players but what it’s saying is that whoever plays on the left wing for the Parramatta Eels gets plenty of good service and plenty of opportunity,” Gould said.
“With these tries the other night, Maika Sivo only had to stroll in less than 10 metres on every one of them. They’re playing really good football inside of him and he’s a deadly finisher, he really is.
“He doesn’t score the length of the field tries that Radradra used to do, Radradra used to score tries from all over the field, doing it from anywhere on the field. He could make it on his own.
“This man (Sivo) is a wonderful finisher; big, strong body and he can find his way to the line and he can do it in the air.”
Gould said that the important thing was Sivo and Radradra had both found their way to the NRL from Fiji and become beloved stars. ‘Sivo’ chants boomed around Bankwest Stadium as the current Eels star completed his four-try haul on Friday night.
“These are the special things in our game,” Gould said.
“But who comes up with a question, one or the other? Why is that? What is it? What are you trying…?”
Bracey saw his opening, replying: “I did. That was just me … and I reckon you picked Semi. I reckon by you making that point that he can score a try from anywhere on the field … that’s what I’m reading into it.”
Gould: “I never said that.”
Bracey: “That’s what I’m reading into it, though.”
Gould: “Well, I’d play him (Radradra) on the right wing and Sivo on the left! Why have I got to pick one or the other? Who comes up with that question? That’s like saying, ‘Which of your children do you love the most?’ It’s a silly question.”
Bracey: “But you answered it. Semi Radradra.”
Gould: “Radradra on the right, Sivo can go on the left! There’s two wingers, you pick them both.”
Bracey: “Right, you’re done!”