The Los Angeles Giltinis have continued their unbeaten run through Major League Rugby, dispatching Old Glory DC 47-17 at the Memorial Coliseum to record their sixth straight win.
The international flavour of the Giltinis overpowered the visiting East Coasters with six of seven tries falling to overseas-born players.
Among them was former Australian Wallabies playmaker Matt Giteau, who enjoyed a successful 50 minute return to play with a try and five conversions after sitting out last week’s win over San Diego with a knee complaint.
The Giltinis free-wheeling attack has now produced 43 tries in six matches but just as impressive this week was the suffocating defence that starved Old Glory of possession and held the visitors tryless until the 71st minute.
Giltinis head coach Darren Coleman was pleased with his side’s performance against a team he believed had the potential to challenge them.
“We thought the Old Glory would be the toughest team we played this year,” Coleman said.
“They had a lot of ball and ascendency in the first 10 minutes so I was impressed with our ability to stay composed and stay in the fight.
“Our first 60 minutes I was pretty pleased with. We’re trying to find that cohesion when the reserves come on, how we can close out games and continue the momentum we had, but that said we showed good defensive resilience.
“We’re off to New York next week and we know they’re a great team with good, high quality players.
“We’re excited to get up to the Big Apple.”
Old Glory opened the scoring for the match with a penalty goal to flyhalf Jason Robertson in the sixth minute but could only watch as the Giltinis responded with 33 unanswered points to establish the match-winning lead at the half-time break.
USA Eagles No.8 Langilangi Haupeakui began the Giltinis run of points in the 12th minute before Australian Wallabies centurion Adam Ashley-Cooper joined him on the scoreboard just four minutes later.
The highlight-reel moments continued at a rapid pace as a kick from prop JP Smith unlocked the defence for Canadian international winger DTH van der Merwe to lead 19-3 in the 26th minute.
Flyhalf Giteau was the next to cross the line for the Giltinis after fielding an offload from his former Wallabies teammate Dave Dennis and spinning across the chalk in the 31st minute.
With two try assists to his name already, new father JP Smith capped off his memorable week and man of the match performance by powering his way over the line to extend the Giltini lead to 30 points at half-time.
The Giltinis kept their foot on the throat of the Washingtonians in the second half as another procession of offloads in the 47th minute set 35-year-old van der Merwe loose for his second try of the match; his seventh in six games.
Former Melbourne Rebels flanker Angus Cottrell made his impact felt off the substitute’s bench, crossing quickly between the posts to lead 47-3 in the 59th minute.
Old Glory found their first try with less than 10 minutes to play as Fijian Olympic hero Osea Kolinisau took a quick tap from close range and found the corner for a converted try.
The visitors were in for their second try a moment later when a dropped ball in the Giltinis backfield bounced perfectly for replacement winger D’Montae Noble to race away untouched, a 14-point swing that flattered Old Glory on the scoreboard.
LOS ANGELES GILTINIS 47 (L Haupeakui, A Ashley-Cooper, DTH van der Merwe (2), M Giteau, JP Smith, A Cottrell tries; M Giteau (5) conversions)
defeated OLD GLORY DC 17 (O Kolinisau, D Noble tries; J Robertson (2) conversions; J Robertson penalty)