Giltinis centre Ben LeSage wished his former Toronto Arrows teammates well for the season but now it’s down to business and beating them on Friday night.
LeSage is eager for the game in Langford on Vancouver Island because it will be his first Major League Rugby match on Canadian soil for nearly three years.
The 2020 MLR season was called off after just five games because of COVID-19 and the Arrows were US-based nomads throughout 2021 for the same reason.
“It’s crazy to think the Arrows never played a home game in 2021 and this is my first MLR game in Canada since 2019,” the 24-Test Canadian international said.
“For me personally, it’s going to be exciting to play in front of family and friends in Canada.”
LeSage made the sharp linebreak off a Billy Meakes pass to set up the only Giltinis’ try in the poor loss to Houston SaberCats last weekend.
It was the hint that the Meakes-LeSage centre combination will be a winner.
“Billy is quality and I’m looking forward to building our chemistry. Part of the reason I came to the Giltinis was a new challenge and learning from new players,” LeSage said.
“We got too frustrated to learn to be patient against the SaberCats. We have had a good start to this week and we want to create more opportunites against Toronto.
“I’m very close with some of the Toronto guys. I’ve lived with a few and been in squad situations for Canada with others so I did wish them well for the season a month ago.
“On Friday night, it’s down to business and getting the win.”
GILTINIS BACK RAMS FOR SUPER BOWL
The Giltinis have caught the Super Bowl bug and there is landslide support for the Rams to bring another trophy to Los Angeles.
Centre Billy Meakes has gone all out by buying a jacket, hat and T-shirt to show his allegiance to the Rams ahead of Sunday’s NFL climax at SoFi Stadium.
Meakes had a playful crack at teammate Matt Giteau for jumping on the bandwagon.
Aussie Giteau assures us he was still working out his teams when he popped up at the Giltinis’ jersey day last year wearing a vintage No.85 Chad Johnson jersey from the wide receiver’s days with the Cincinnati Bengals.
It seems it was a random prop. Giteau is now a Rams’ fan."The Rams winning the Super Bowl would be great for the sporting atmosphere around LA," LeSage said.
(v Houston SaberCats)
Ball carries: Billy Meakes 8, Jordan Trainor 6, Christian Poidevin 6
Tackles: Dave Dennis 22, Billy Meakes 21, Christian Poidevin 19
Ruck/Maul arrivals: Angus Cottrell 30, Djustice Sears-Duru 27, Christian Poidevin 25, Billy Meakes 24
Try-scoring: Hanco Germishuys 1
Lindsey Stevens - Hooker (knee)
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 Toronto Arrows in Langford, Canada on Friday night. The match will be broadcast live at 7pm PST on Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports West in Los Angeles.
The match can also be viewed live on The Rugby Network internationally.
Be part of the fun and excitement of Opening Day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, February 27 when your Giltinis face the New England Free Jacks.