Ruck & Roll: Zach Attacks Giltinis Chance

6 months ago

New Giltinis flanker Zach Bonte (above) is certain Major League Rugby’s arrival in Los Angeles will inspire more stories just like his.

Bonte, 27, has been used off the bench by the Giltinis in their last two games to earn the break in MLR he has been working towards.

“Stoked basically. I’m super grateful because I’ve been really wanting this for quite a long time,” Bonte said.

“Being a local player, I was wanting to represent my local LA team and along came the Giltinis to make that possible.

“It’s really cool that the club is providing opportunities. Giving that hope means a lot because Southern California is such a hotbed for rugby talent.”

Bonte originally hails from Rancho Santa Margarita which holds the dubious honour of being a filming base for the TV series, The Real Housewives of Orange County.

The studies that have taken him through under-graduate years at UCLA, chiropractic and physical therapy schools have been put on pause while he takes a full-on shot at rugby.

The industrious 230lb (104kg) backrower is playing at Belmont Shore Rugby Club at Long Beach.

“You never know how someone might get into rugby. I was like 14 in Grade Eight when a Kiwi patient came into my parent’s wellness centre,” Bonte said.

“We talked and he asked if I would be interested in playing rugby. I said ‘sure’ just to be polite but he was back when the season was to start. I signed up.”

The rise of local players like Bonte will make sure the Cali Cup grows in significance as the symbol of the rivalry between the LA Giltinis and San Diego Legion. Get to the Coliseum on Saturday to experience it.


Hooker Lindsey Stephens is making strong progress in his return from major knee surgery last year.

He turned out for Belmont Shore in their 45-8 win over Old Aztecs in club rugby last weekend to sharp himself for an imminent return to selection contention for the Giltinis.


(v Utah Warriors)

Ball carries: Billy Meakes 16, Dave Dennis 14, Angus Cottrell 14

Running Metres Gained: Billy Meakes 143, Ryan James 112, Jordan Trainor 110, Angus Cottrell 102

Tackles: Angus Cottrell 9, Billy Meakes 9, Will Chambers 9 Defenders beaten: Billy Meakes 4

Attacking Breakdown Arrivals: Nathan Den Hoedt 24, Angus Cottrell 22, Dave Dennis 21

Season Try-scoring: Hanco Germishuys 3

Courtesy: Mobii


Adam Ashe – Backrower (neck)

Angus Cottrell – Backrower (hip)

Sean McNulty – Hooker (head knock)

John Ryberg – Winger (hamstring)

Luke Carty – Flyhalf (pectoral muscle)

Matt Giteau – Flyhalf (calf)

Langilangi Haupeakui – Backrower (knee)

DTH van der Merwe – Winger (knee)

Tom Mitchell – Fullback (hamstring)

Brooklyn Hardaker – Winger (knee)

The Giltinis face the San Diego Legion at the Coliseum at 4pm (PST) on Saturday. The match will be broadcast live on Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports West in Los Angeles. The match can also be viewed live on The Rugby Network internationally.

More news