Ruck and Roll: Meakes Fully Engaged with Giltinis

5 months ago

LA Giltinis matchwinner Billy Meakes (above) is all positive vibes right now after proposing to his girlfriend in Mexico and fully committing to two years in Los Angeles.

He did it in style too by popping the question to now-fiancee Michelle Battersby (below) at Cabo San Lucas during a brief escape over the club’s recent bye week.

“Everything’s going great. We rented a house in Cabo and had close friends around to celebrate. We’re loving LA,” Meakes said.

Centre Meakes also revealed the gamble taken by the Giltinis to play him at openside flanker in last Sunday’s gutsy 19-13 win over the San Diego Legion.

“But for those 20 minutes at flanker the previous week, I’d never played flanker before, like zero times,” Meakes said.

“All the boys stepped up big time in that game.”

Meakes excelled with his skilled work over the ball, including the forced penalty in the dying minutes to stall San Diego just metres from the tryline.

“I enjoyed the freedom of the position on the field but I can’t say I enjoyed the preparation during the week. Forwards do train a lot harder,” he said with a smile.

The size of the “California Derby” trophy wasn’t wasted during the high mood of the dressing room as the Gilly’s Legendary Lager flowed.

“You could pour a whole case into that trophy,” said prop Blake Rogers.

“Great dressing room atmosphere…there was a lot of grit to that win.”

The 10-2 Giltinis now have to back it up against the 2-10 Seattle Seawolves when they go on the road again for Sunday’s game.

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SEVENS HEAVEN FOR McNULTY

There’ll be no return to the Giltinis this season for flanker Harry McNulty. He’s off to the Tokyo Olympics.

McNulty is thrilled to be a member of the first Irish sevens team for the Olympics after scoring the final try to seal qualification in Monaco last weekend.

“I’m still in shock. What a way to qualify for #tokyo2021,” McNulty tweeted after the come-from-behind upset of France 28-19 in the final of qualifying.

The Olympic men’s sevens tournament will be staged on July 25-27, the week of the Major League Rugby Championship Final on August 1.

***

STAT ATTACK

(vs San Diego Legion)

Ball carries: Angus Cottrell 15, Adam Ashe 12, Blake Rogers 10, Glenn Bryce 10

Running Metres: Glenn Bryce 95, John Ryberg 76, Billy Meakes 70, Angus Cottrell 57

Tackles: Nathan Den Hoedt 14, Luke Burton 12, Adam Ashe 11

Tackle Busts: Glenn Bryce 6, Billy Meakes 2, John Ryberg 2, Angus Cottrell 2

Line Breaks: Glenn Bryce 1, Harrison Goddard 1, Billy Meakes 1

Ruck/Maul arrivals: Nathan Den Hoedt 32, Adam Ashe 26, Billy Meakes 23, Sean McNulty 21, Dave Dennis 20

Goalkicking: Luke Burton 25 per cent (1-from-4), Luke Carty 33 per cent (1-from-3)

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

Courtesy: Stats Perform

MEDICAL ROOM

Corey Thomas – Lock (collarbone)

Langilangi Haupeakui – Backrower (knee)

Christian Poidevin – Flanker (foot)

Charlie Abel – Prop (ankle)

Ryan James – Winger (hamstring)

Mahe Vailanu – Hooker (thumb)

Lindsey Stevens – Hooker (knee – season-ending)

Watson Filikitonga – Centre (foot)

Jeff Peleseuma – Five-eighth (foot)

The Giltinis play the Seattle Seawolves at Starfire Stadium, outside Seattle, on Sunday from 5pm (PT). 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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