Giltinis captain Dave Dennis feels he’s playing for more than a Championship on Sunday with the rise in recognition for rugby from fans in Los Angeles.
The impressive leader feels that the bold step to play home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has been one of the winning moves of the Major League Rugby season.
Taking on Rugby ATL from 1pm (PT) at the Coliseum puts MLR on its greatest stage in the four seasons of the competition.
"When the Giltinis entered MLR we wanted to show respect to the league but do things differently, including the way we play and engage more fans," Dennis said.
“Each time we play at the Coliseum I do sense more energy and more in the faces of the fans that are turning up to support us.
“Right now, I feel we’ve probably got the passionate rugby fans who know the game in the stands.
“If you win a Championship, the engagement with fringe followers goes up and you are starting to convince more Americans that rugby is the game to watch."
“LA loves a winner. If the city has the best rugby club in the country, you are really making that statement ‘come watch us’.”
The Giltinis have forged an impressive 7-1 record at the Coliseum in their inaugural season.
Dennis, the former Wallaby who played 18 Tests for Australia, has won trophies with two proud clubs, the NSW Waratahs in his homeland and England’s Exeter Chiefs.
It has shown him how special it is to play in Championship finals.
“Some people never get to play in one final. I’ll be telling my guys how important it is to enjoy this experience,” Dennis said.
“What I’ll say will come from the heart. There’s no point playing with fear.
“We’ll be having a real crack against an excellent opponent in Atlanta.”
The LA Giltinis face Rugby ATL in Sunday’s Championship final from 1pm (PT) at the Coliseum.
For your Finals tickets, head to:
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Tickets start at $10 + service fees.
The match will be broadcast live on CBS in USA and can be viewed live on The Rugby Network internationally.