Warsaw Sharks Beat Kozły To Earn Spot In Poland’s Topliga Next Season

As Poland heads into the semifinal stage, a number of qualification games are being played to determine who will play in the Topliga in 2017. The Warsaw Sharks needed to beat Kozły Poznań to remain and they did. Now Kozły will have to survive another game to remain.

Warsaw Sharks 22 – Kozły Poznań 12 (in Warsaw)

Poland - Warsaw Sharks-Kozly 2016 - GM photo.pl - 2pic

Warsaw QB Giogio Bryant and Kozły RB Emilio Dangote were key factors. Photos: GM photo.pl

The Warsaw Sharks booked their spot in the 2017 edition of the Topliga on Saturday, sending Kozły Poznań into the Topliga/PLFA I barrage game with a 22-12 victory in the capital. The Sharks finished the season with a record of 2-6, leaving them with a sixth place finish. Both Warsaw wins came at the expense of winless Kozły, who will next host the barrage on July 30 to defend their place in Poland’s premier division.

Kozły raced out to a 12-0 advantage in the first quarter, thanks to a pair of spectacular plays by Emilio Dangote. The Sharks looked like they would get an early lead after they took the opening kickoff all the way to the Kozły 10-yard line, but Dangote intercepted a pass there and took it all the way back to get Poznań on the board first instead. Dangote’s 35-yard touchdown run later in the first quarter put the Sharks into a deeper hole.

They would climb out of it easily enough, however, scoring twice in the second quarter and converting the two-point try each time to lead 16-12 at halftime. Quarterback Giorgio Bryant steadied the ship with a 14-yard touchdown run, followed by a short scoring strike to Karol Kowalczyk that gave Warsaw a lead they would not relinquish. Bryant put the game further out of reach in the third quarter with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jan Omelańczuk.

Sharks (2-6): Season complete, remain in Topliga for 2017 season
Kozły (0-8): Topliga/PLFA I barrage, in Poznań, July 30

Topliga semifinals
Saturday, July 2, 4:00 PM: Wroclaw Panthers (#1 seed) vs. Warsaw Eagles (#4 seed)
Sunday, July 3, 2:00 PM: Gdynia Seahawks (#2 seed) vs Primacol Białystok Lowlanders (#3 seed)
SuperFinal XI, in Białystok
Saturday, July 16, Time TBA: Panthers/Eagles winner vs. Seahawks/Lowlanders winner
Topliga/PLFA I barrage, winner plays in Topliga in 2017
Saturday, July 30, Time TBA: Kozły Poznań (0-8) vs. PLFA I opponent