I guess they were in corners, sort of. I always think of speakers being in corners when they are very close to both of the walls of the corners, almost touching. In our AXPONA show room this year, the Rivals were out from the corner walls a foot or more.
The Rivals seem to do well in just about any position in a room. Corner placement enhances the bass, which is to be expected. But it's a good enhancement. Vittoras on the other hand usually don't like to be in corners - something about 'which' frequencies are being enhanced I'm sure. Against the wall is fine too, with similar enhancements to the bass. I would still want to toe them in somewhat though.
The set up at the show was my preferred way to set up any of my speakers - a wide spacing, sitting closer than it seems you should, with the speakers toed in right to the listening position. It's a setup that gives me pinpoint, if somewhat narrow imaging, and a wide soundstage, with the music completely 'out' of the equipment and floating in front of me. But that's not the only way to set them up. I suspect most of my customers do not toe them in as much as I do, with their listening position farther back. It's all good, just a different image and soundstage.
I think you'll find the Rivals are pretty flexible in terms of placement.