European semifinals in Austria and France

Category: EFL - published 2013-06-12 by EFAF

The semifinals in both of the pan-European club competitions are to be played on the weekend of June 15 and 16. On Saturday, the focus will be on France as both semifinals of EFAF Cup will have French sides as the hosts. The Thonon Black Panthers play the Copenhagen Towers from Denmark, the Nice Dauphins take on the L'Hospitalet Pioners from Spain. So it will be guaranteed that a new name will have to be added to list of EFAF Cup winners. Out of the four semifinalists only the Black Panthers so far have been to the final once in 2009 but lost against the Prague Panthers.

The situation in the EFL is different: Here the semifinals not only are played by the same four teams as last year, actually it is the four teams that won all Eurobowls since 2004. The two Austrian hosts Raiffeisen Vikings Vienna (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007) and Swarco Raiders Tirol (2008, 2009 and 2011) won the elite club tournament of the EFAF several times, their opponents Berlin Adler (2010) and Calanda Broncos (2012) once.

In 2012, Raiders and Broncos faced each other at Innsbruck as well as Vikings and Adler did at Vienna for the semifinals. Both games will give the teams losing in 2012 a chance for revenge. Particularly the Raiders will try to avoid a second loss against their Swiss neighbors on their Tivoli home field, and certainly they will aim for a tottaly different game than last year, when all their hopes for victory had already vanished by half-time after four opposing touchdowns. The Raiders this year suffered a similarly humiliating loss at home against Austrian rival Vienna, but since then certainly have gotten back on track. Whether it will be enough to be able to beat the Swiss powerhouse, remains to be seen. The Broncos once again went undefeated in the Swiss Nationallig A this season and in the EFL quarterfinals the German champions Schwäbisch Hall was beaten quite easily by 42-28.

The Raiffeisen Vikings also enter the EFL semifinals undefeated. Just like before their 34-7 win in 2012 they are the favorite against Berlin. The Adler so far only won one of their four GFL games back home. But in the EFL quarterfinals the team from Berlin showed quite a spectacular comeback in the second half against the JCL Giants Graz. This will not have gone unnoticed at Vienna, it was exactly this team from Graz, against which the Vikings had some problems during this season and even trailed late in the last quarter. So the stage in Vienna seems to be set for another remarkable game between two clubs which both have written a good part of European American Football history.

The final game for the Eurobowl will take place on the weekend of July 6/7, the final game of the EFAF Cup will take place on July 13 or 14.

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