Wild weekend of championships, playoffs in Europe; 48 teams in 13 countries compete in post season play

This weekend will feature plenty of American football action in Europe including four national championship games, 13 national semifinals and four wild card playoff games. A total of 48 teams from 12 different countries including France, Belgium, Romania, Turkey, Austria, Belarus, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland will be battling in post season play.

Championship games in Europe

France

In Paris, the La Courneuve Flash, defending French champions will take on their arch rivals and 2017 finals  opponents, the Thonon Black Panthers in the 2018 Casque de Diamant . The Flash defeated Thonon in 2017 after staging an incredible second half comeback to win 44-40.

Belgium

In Belgium, the defending champion Brussels Black Angels are getting ready to face the Limburg Shotguns in Belgian Bowl XXXI. In 2017, the Black Angels defeated the Brussels Tigers for the title.

While Brussels is making its eighth appearance in the title game, this is the first trip to the finals for the Shotguns. They would otherwise be overwhelming underdogs were it not for the fact that Jaycen Tayler is coaching the team. Taylor, MVP of Finland’s 2017 Maple Bowl, suffered a season ending injury early in the year and since has guided Limburg on an improbable run since taking over as head coach four games into the season.

Romania

The defending champions Cluj Crusaders have reached the Robowl, the Romanian title game again where they will face the Bucharest Rebels. The Rebels will be attempting to win their fourth Romanian championship. They defeated Cluj two years ago in winning their third consecutive Romanian title. Last year, Cluj downed  the Bucharest Warriors 17-12 in the final game.

Turkey

Istanbul’s Koc Rams will attempt a three-peat and defend their Turkish title when they face the Bogazici Sultans in Sunday’s final in Turkey. The Rams won the 2017 crown by beating the Sakarya Tatankalari 56-14. These two teams faced each other in the 2016 final when the Rams staged a late-game rally to defeat the Sultans 21-14 to win the Turkish championship for the first time in their history. 

Semifinal games

Belarus

The Minsk Litwins  and Grodno Barbarians will square off on June 30 in the first semifinal in Belarus while on July 1, the Minsk Hurricanes  will  play the Vitebsk Lynxes.

Hungary

The Budapest Wolves and Nyiregyhaza Tigers will face each other in the first Hungarian semifinal June 30 while in the other game on July 1, the Miskolc Steelers and defending champion Budapest Cowbells take each other one in a rematch of the 2017 finals which the Cowbells won.

Norway

The defending champion Oslo Vikings are scheduled to face the Eidsvoll 1814s in one semifinal on Sunday July 1 while the Åsane Seahawks and the Vålerenga Trolls tangle in the other semifinal game on Saturday, June 30. In 2017, Oslo manhandled the 1814s in the Norwegian final, beating them 51-7 to win their second straight Norwegian title.

Poland – PLFA

The Warsaw Eagles  are slated to take on the Szczecin Husaria in the first semifinal in Poland’s PLFA league while Poznan Kozly  faces the Zabki Monarchs in the other game.

Serbia

The Kragujevac Wild Boars  will begin defense of their Serbian title when they play host to the Belgrade Blue Dragons on June 30. In  the other semifinal, SBB Vukovi Belgrade take on the Indija Indians  in a battle of cross town rivals. The Wild Boars, who are making their 13th appearance in the title game, staged a thrilling 24-16 come from behind victory over the GAT Novi Sad Dukes to win the 2017 Serbian Bowl and capture their seventh Serbian title and second in a row.

Slovakia

The first place Trnava Bulldogs will take on the fourth place Nitra Knights in the first semifinal game on June 30. The Bulldogs defeated the Knights both times they played them this year. In the other playoff game, the Cassovia Steelers and Zilina Warriors square off.

Sweden

Four Swedish teams are preparing for the semifinals in Sweden’s Superserien. The defending and eight-time champion Carlstad Crusaders will play the Uppsala 86ers in one semifinal game while the Örebro Black Knights will host the Stockholm Mean Machines in the other.

Switzerland

Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos, defending Swiss champions who have won the title two of the last three years (2015, 2017) will face the Winterthur Warriors while the Bern Grizzlies and Geneva Seahawks will decide the other finals berth.

Wild Card Playoffs

Austria

The Danube Dragons and Mödling Rangers will play one wild card game to decide who moves on to the semifinals against either the Vienna Vikings or Swarco Raiders. The other wild card game features the Graz Giants and Ljubljana Silverhawks,

Poland – LFA

The Bialystok Lowlanders will take on the Wyszkow Rhinos in the first wild card game in Poland’s LFA while the Warsaw Sharks and Gdynia Seahawks play in the other game.

Look for full previews of the livestream games in AFI this weekend.

 

AFI
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