LIVE STREAM & PREVIEW: Italy – Semifinals – Milano Seamen v. Milano Rhinos

Watch Playoff American Football Live From Italy June 21

The defending Italian champions, the Milano Seamen will face their crosstown and bitter rivals, the Milano Rhinos in the Italian semifinals Sunday June 21. The winner plays in the 35th Italian Super Bowl on July 4.

Strangely, the last time these two teams faced each other in the playoffs was 1986 when the Rhinos staged an incredible fourth quarter comeback to defeat the Seamen 34-17.

For Rhinos head coach Alessandro Trabattoni, this game brings back fond memories of that game in 1986 as he was a member of the Rhinos team that day.

Italy - Rhinos - Parker Orms2

Parker Orms

For Sunday’s game, Trabattoni can rely on the legs and arm of his quarterback TJ Pryor who was spectacular in the quarterfinal win over the Lazio Marines scoring five touchdowns.

Running backs Marco Franco Garetto and David Gogat also played a big part in the Rhinos quarterfinal victory over the Lazio Marines. They are averaging almost five yards a carry this season and take a lot of pressure off of Pryor.

Defensively, the Rhinos rely on defensive backs Parker Orms and Giuseppe Della Vecchia who Seamen quarterback Jonathan Dally will have to be wary of. He has thrown 13 interceptions this year so that battle could be decisive.

Dally has had a so so season by his standards and will be looking to avenge a late season loss to the Rhinos. In that contest the Rhinos took a 23-7 into the fourth quarter before the Seamen came to life. The Rhinos withstood the onslaught though beating the Seamen 30-22. The Seamen had easily beaten the Rhinos 34-0 earlier in the season.

Italy - Seamen v. Grizzlies

Mattia Binda

Dally will also be able to rely on a strong running attack with last year’s Italian Super Bowl MVP running back Mattia Binda back and healthy. He was a key factor in the Seamen’s 48-12 quarterfinal victory over the Roma Grizzlies.

The Rhinos accumulated 1,426 yards rushing this season while the Seamen had 1,070. TJ Pryor accounted for a large chunk of those yards. Meanwhile, Dally threw for 2,175 yards while Rhino’s quarterback Pryor had 1,571. The key is that the Rhinos secondary gave up 1,763 yards passing as opposed to the Seamen who allowed 1,396.

Milano Seamen head coach Paolo Mutti was actually a member of the last Rhino’s team to play in an Italian semifinal. He was the kicker for the 1994 Rhinos team.

There will be a big crowd on hand for this Milano “City Derby”. With two teams beginning to surge, this one is impossible to predict.

LIVE STREAM: Milano Seamen v. Milano Rhinos, 6p CET (12 noon EDT)

Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.