Ruck and Roll: A Giltinis-Olympics Double Act

4 months ago

Popular Giltinis scrum coach Alex Corbisiero will have one eye on Tokyo as the Major League Rugby season builds to a climax.

Fiancee Abby Gustaitis is in the final countdown for the Tokyo Olympics as co-captain of the USA’s medal-chasing rugby sevens team.

The women’s tournament is scheduled for July 29-31 in the week of the MLR Championship Final which is locked in for August 1.

“I’m gutted I can’t be in Tokyo for Abby because of the COVID restrictions (on overseas fans). It’s just another part of that emotional rollercoaster because tournaments were called off last year and no one really know what this Olympics will really be like,” Corbisiero said.

“Getting to Tokyo and competing for a medal will hopefully trump all of that.”

The rugby-loving couple have been there for each other through highs and lows.

Corbisiero is delighted the MLR is highlighting the fight against cancer with Saturday’s clash against the Austin Gilgronis at the Coliseum being part of Cancer Awareness Round.

Abby was beside him last year for his own fight when he needed chemotherapy to beat testicular cancer.

Corbisiero’s is relishing his job at the Giltinis with developing props and hookers like Blake Rogers, Ma’ake Muti, Sione Tuihalamaka and Gelen Robinson.

“I’m absolutely loving to work with very talented athletes and give them some building blocks because their ability to learn is impressive,” Corbisiero said.

“I see exciting potential long-term in MLR as more find the game and cross-over from American football.”

FIREWORKS EXCITE CROWD AT THE COLISEUM

The Giltinis might have been beaten in the closing stages by NOLA Gold but the club was a clear winner with fans on the Fourth of the July.

The fireworks display enthused players, families and fans alike with the Coliseum as an amazing backdrop.

Flyhalf Matt Giteau is enjoying every part of his Californian adventure.

Wife Bianca and their kids Levi, in the headgear, Kai and baby Winter enjoyed the post-game treat with him.

***

STAT ATTACK

(vs NOLA Gold)

Ball carries: Adam Ashe 13, Billy Meakes 10, Pago Haini 8, Matt Giteau 8

Running Metres: Billy Meakes 114, Matt Giteau 60, Glenn Bryce 58

Tackles: Dave Dennis 15, Angus Cottrell 15, Nathan Den Hoedt 12

Tackle Busts: Billy Meakes 3, Matt Giteau 2, Glenn Bryce 2

Line Breaks: Sean McNulty 1, Angus Cottrell 1, Matt Giteau 1

Ruck/Maul arrivals: Angus Cottrell 33, Pago Haini 32, Dave Dennis 26

Goalkicking: Matt Giteau 100 per cent (3-from-3), Seru Vularika 100 per cent (1-from-1)

Try-scoring (season): Angus Cottrell 11, DTH van der Merwe 10

Courtesy: Stats Perform

MEDICAL ROOM

Lindsey Stevens – Hooker (knee – season-ending)

Langilangi Haupeakui – Backrower (knee)

Christian Poidevin – Flanker (foot)

DTH van der Merwe – winger (knee)

Charlie Abel – Prop (ankle)

Watson Filikitonga – Centre (foot)

Jeff Peleseuma – Five-eighth (foot)

The LA Giltinis face the Austin Gilgronis on Saturday from 5.30pm (PT) at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. For tickets, head to www.giltinis.com/tickets/

The match will be broadcast live on Bally Sports SoCal in Los Angeles and can also be viewed live on The Rugby Network internationally.

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