Ruck and Roll: Giltinis Join Fourth of July Spirit in Style

1 year ago

Giltinis flyhalf Matt Giteau (above) may be a novice when it comes to Fourth of July celebrations yet he has three eager kids ready for fireworks on Sunday.

The Giltinis hope to turn Sunday’s match into a celebration on and off the field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum when they play NOLA Gold from 7pm (PT).

Fireworks have been organised for post-match with all fans welcome to come to the grass to sit and watch the show.

The Gilly’s Fun Zone will be in full swing with beers, a DJ and games including corn hole, adult big wheels, a mechanical bull and ping pong.

A five-plane flyover and marching band will add to the celebration of Independence Day.

“The kids are definitely excited for the fireworks at the stadium,” the enthusiastic Giteau said of young Levi, Kai and Winter.

“I’m trying to explain to them how big a day it is. Until it happens, it will hard for them to get their heads around it.

“It’s my first Fourth of July in the US. Back home, you see the fireworks for Australia Day in January and New Year’s Eve.”

Giteau still has to tick some fitness goals this week but he is looking good for a return from a hip problem.

For American teammate and scrumhalf Cristian Rodriguez, an LA local, it’s a new thing playing on the Fourth of July.

“Usually, Fourth of July means a party at my sister’s house and the home fireworks at lots of places around Hawaiian Gardens,” Rodriguez said after his man-of-the-match performance against Seattle.

“I’m expecting family to enjoy the best of both by coming to the Coliseum on Sunday.”



When hooker Gelen Robinson (pictured below) signed for the LA Giltinis as a project player from the Colorado XOs, he imagined being grateful for any game time at all.

Fast forward three weeks and the dreadlocked rookie has played three times off the bench.

“I’m having to learn at an accelerated pace. It’s a good way to go and it’s really cool,” Robinson said after playing 16 minutes and marshalling a big scrum win late in Seattle.

“Being confident in the flow and speed of the game is a big thing. It’s coming. I’m really enjoying this.”



(vs Seattle Seawolves)

Ball carries: John Ryberg 7, Billy Meakes 7, Dave Dennis 7

Running Metres: Cristian Rodriguez 86, John Ryberg 71, Billy Meakes 67

Tackles: Pago Haini 17, Dave Dennis 11, Sean McNulty 11

Tackle Busts: Billy Meakes 4, John Ryberg 3, Cristian Rodriguez 3

Line Breaks: Ryan James 2, John Ryberg 2

Ruck/Maul arrivals: Pago Haini 25, Angus Cottrell 20, Nathan Den Hoedt 15, Seru Vularika 14

Goalkicking: Luke Carty 80 per cent (4-from-5)

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

Courtesy: Stats Perform


Lindsey Stevens – Hooker (knee – season-ending)

Langilangi Haupeakui – Backrower (knee)

Christian Poidevin – Flanker (foot)

DTH van der Merwe – winger (knee)

Matt Giteau – Flyhalf (hip)

Adam Ashley-Cooper – Centre (achilles)

Harrison Goddard – Halfback (hamstring)

Charlie Abel – Prop (ankle)

Mahe Vailanu – Hooker (thumb)

Watson Filikitonga – Centre (foot)

Jeff Peleseuma – Five-eighth (foot)

Join the Giltinis on the Fourth of July at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for this 7pm (PT) game when we take on NOLA Gold, with $4 tickets! Celebrate the Fourth of July with us and all of your friends with this special discounted ticket pricing (offer valid until 6/30/2021) Click here for $4 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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