Mitch Moses may be out but the Parramatta Eels juggernaut claimed a new victim, a hapless North Queensland Cowboys outfit.
On the back of Clint Gutherson’s crafty play (who was playing his 100th game) and Maika Sivo, the Cowboys simply had no answer.
Surprisingly, it was the Cowboys who enjoyed the early weight of possession but yet they were unable to capitalise.
Some resolute Eels defence proved too tough to crack and once they scored the first try, the Eels would not look back.
That first try would come on the back of Gutherson, throwing a lovely cut-out pass for Michael Jennings.
A near carbon copy saw the Eels score a second; the only difference being, it was Sivo who would score the first of his four tries.
Waqa Blake then got in on the action. A Dylan Brown bomb went up and Blake was there to pluck the ball from the air and score.
Complacency or laziness, whatever you want to call it, saw the Eels allow a Cowboys try right before the break.
You may have thought that the Cowboys would mount a comeback of sorts or get back into the game but it was not to be.
That was ended prematurely when, on one of the first plays of the second half, the Eels scored.
Blake turned provider, batting the ball back for Jai Field who exploded with blistering pace to score in the corner.
Two rapid fire tries to Sivo would then put the icing on the impressive cake that was the Eels performance.
Sivo’s second off the back of a break and lovely pass from Gutherson, shining in his 100th game.
The hat-trick produced by Dylan Brown and a lovely cut-out ball that saw Sivo with an open line in front of him.
Sivo’s fourth try came soon after as quick hands down the left saw him score easily.
A final penalty goal slotted by Gutherson and that was all she wrote. Dominance by the Eels and an insipid Cowboys performance.
Cowboys coach Paul Green lamented his side’s right edge defence.
“It took them well into that second half before they started getting it right,” he said.
“Some of those guys are learning in the NRL when the game comes your way you have to be ready to do what you have to do.”
Brad Arthur praised Sivo for the work he has done to become an effective winger and destructive force.
“He’s going well, he just had to work on some of his timing and depth there and put himself in a better position to give some of those guys inside him an opportunity to make those passes to him,” Arthur said.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Junior Paulo
2. Clint Gutherson
1. Maika Sivo