On Saturday, 29th of April, the game in the group A of the BIG6 will see the duel of the European traditional teams when the New Yorker Lions meet the Badalona Dracs in Braunschweig (6 p.m., Eintracht-Stadion).
Both clubs celebrate their 30th anniversary this year, but they seem to be younger than ever. The Lions showed their class with the 20:6 away victory last weekend at this year’s opening match of the BIG6 in Amsterdam. The game at the Crusaders was also the start of the entire season of the North Germans, due to the fact that the GFL season has not started yet.
On the other side, the Dracs are in a completely different situation, already have a lot of game experience and lead the nation league with eight victories and only one loss in nine games.
The constellation is explosive: If the Lions win the game, they will be in the final after the victory at the Crusaders. For the Dracs it is the beginning of the BIG6, a success in Braunschweig would result in an interesting triple constellation. Then the decision to move into the Eurobowl would be decided in the game between Badalona and Amsterdam on 13th of May.
The two opponents were facing each other in an international game for a second time. The first game was won by the Lions in the semifinals of the Eurobowls in 2003 with 50:20.
Another defeat is no option for the responsible person of the guests. The Dracs have been using continuity for years. So head coach and offense coordinator Oscar Calatayud leads the destinies of the Catalans since 2005.
With Xus Fernández, he also had a well-established coach at the defense side. Both coaches are also active in the Spanish national team.
This is also evident in the composition of the squad. In the defensive squad is no US import, the coaches trust exclusively Spanish players.
In the offense, however, the Dracs signed with the wide receivers Hunter Lee and Joey Herrick excellent players from the US. Together with the Spanish quarterback Sergi Gonzalo, the trio has a great season so far. Gonzalo recorded 38 touchdown-passes this season, 20 times he found Hunter Lee in the end zone.
For the team of the New Yorker Lions, the home-opener 2017 is about to work on the consolidation. In the game in Amsterdam, there was often a lack of concentration what effected too much penalties. These should be changed as soon as possible.
Even the interaction in the offense was not the optimum. But the first game in the BIG6 has also brought positive insights. For instance, Justus Holtz just like Nathaniel Morris have become serious pass options for Quarterback Casey Therriault.
On the side of the defense, Linebacker Kerim Homri came back after a long injury break and was able to show his old performance level immediately. The numerous new additions such as Robert Kitching III, Jonathon Rollins, Roni Salonen and Georg Burmeister also seamlessly integrated into the defense.
The game will show which team is ready to fight the final of the Eurobowl and, the crown of the BIG6.