Buffalo, the most geographically isolated team in the Midwest East, makes their second road trip of the season this weekend when they go to Indianapolis. The last time Buffalo went on the road they were crushed 46-3 by Cincinnati. In their only home game of the season thus far, they scored a big win over the Detroit Tradesmen.
The glaring reason a long road trip (eight hours to Indy) is detrimental to a team is some players may stay home. A problem for Buffalo in Cincinnati, it won’t be against the Impalas.
“We’re looking good. We’re taking a pretty solid team. I’m happy about that,” said Buffalo coach Ron Astridge. “Fortunately, I think we’re pretty close to our best kickoff team.”
Compounding the problem is the conundrum of what to do with your bench. “The issue is always with how to treat reserves,” added Astridge. “They make a big effort in terms of time and money. We go to every extent to be fair in terms of playing time, but that’s always a difficult issue on these road trips.”
Clearly, a lot goes into winning a rugby match that doesn’t have to do with traveling to and from it, but when you’re talking about consistently having to traverse multiple states to make a game, it is as significant as the weather or other uncontrollable variables.
“I think that given the distances, and with the history of what you’ve seen this year and in past years, it’s tough to win a road game, and if you can win game on the road, that’s fantastic for your club,” said Astridge. “If you can hold onto your home games and pick off a road game, that’s the key to success, I think.”