Giltinis Shine in Front of Fans Against San Diego for Big Win

7 months ago

Luke Carty came of age in Major League Rugby as the ringmaster behind a 45-17 blitz from the LA Giltinis at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night.

The Giltinis’ high-octane attack had the San Diego Legion in full retreat at 21-0 with just over five minutes of play gone.

In perfect conditions, the Giltins ran in seven tries in all as a treat for the club’s most loyal fans who were allowed into the Coliseum for the first time in 2021.

The Giltinis lifted their unbeaten record to 5-0 atop the MLR standings after this convincing victory to open their SoCal rivalry against the Legion.

Carty had shared the time at No.10 with Wallabies superstar Matt Giteau in the previous four games but was on his own in this one with Giteau sidelined with knee trouble.

The Irish-born flyhalf stepped up to his heightened responsibilities with crisp passing, strong direction, key involvements in five tries and one of the plays of the game in his 60 minutes.

His display was both valuable for his team and any USA Eagles’ selector watching because he’s eligible for the national team through a grandmother born in New York.

The match was only 54-seconds old when muscular winger John Ryberg came off his wing to bulldoze over from 30m out in midfield. He took a perfect inside pass from Carty off a set play worked from a lineout and charged ahead like a train without a station.

From the kick-off, the Giltinis were rolling again through the porous Legion defence with a sharp interchange of passes down the left flank putting backrower Angus Cottrell over.

Winger DTH van Merwe’s salon makeover to turn blond might have fooled a few as to his identity but his strong run and a lovely backhanded flick pass in the lead-up was trademark stuff from the former Canadian Test star.

A Carty pass to van der Merwe was one of three inside balls in the next set-play try off a lineout which completely bamboozled the Legion defence. Flanker Christian Poidevin was the beneficiary.

“When you have ‘Moose’ (Nathan Den Hoedt) and Dave (Dennis) doing so well in the air with that clean lineout ball, the attack just flows from there,” said Poidevin, voted players’ player of the match.

“It was a big step up for Luke to take over from ‘Gits’ but he killed it out there.

“It was unreal to play in front of a crowd again, hear their noise and build off their energy.”

Carty’s big play on 20 minutes was superb. From a penalty, he noticed van der Merwe unmarked on the left wing and directed a perfect 50m kick-pass to his finisher who gratefully ran it in.

Scoring 36 tries in just five games has quickly established the “Giltinis Rugby” stamp as fast, precise running rugby with sure passing and support play.

It was 38-12 at half-time with Carty throwing the final pass to van der Merwe to finish a neat blindside switch play worked from a scrum.

Non-stop lock Den Hoedt was outstanding for his workrate and back-to-back lineout steals at one point. Scrumhalf Harrison Goddard was a shrewd kicker for field position, prop Charlie Abel was a scrum rock again and Poidevin popped up repeatedly in support.

The second half scoring from the Giltinis was done after 44 minutes when replacement hooker Sean McNulty finished off an excellent raid which included a typically classy one-handed offload from centre Adam Ashley-Cooper.

“We got some excellent results from the patterns we ran off the set pieces in the first half. Full credit to (assistant coach) Orene Ai’i for that scrum move variation with the switch to the shortside because he saw that chink in the way the Legion defend,” Giltinis head coach Darren Coleman said.

“’Poido’ was busy and linked well, ‘Moose’ had a strong game and a lot of our good rushing defence was started with Luke Burton.

“It was a very energetic stadium with the fans back and I think we delivered some of the good rugby they came to see.”

The Giltinis are back at home at the Coliseum next Saturday at 6pm (PT) to take on Old Glory DC.

LA GILTINIS 45

Tries: DTH van der Merwe 2 (20min, 39), John Ryberg (1), Angus Cottrell (2), Simon Poidevin (5), JP Smith (25), Sean McNulty (44)

Conversions: Luke Burton 4 (1, 2, 5, 20)

Penalty Goals: 0

SAN DIEGO LEGION 17

Tries: Dave Tameilau (13), Ryan Matyas (33), Bjorn Basson (67)

Conversions: Santiago Iglesias 1 (13)

Half-time: 38-12 Giltinis

Venue: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Crowd: 2854



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