The Central Alberta Buccaneers are looking to find the extra gear as they cruise towards the AFL playoffs.
The squad returned to friendly confines of the MEGlobal Athletic Park, where they took on the visiting Calgary Wolfpack. The home team managed to shake off some early rust to come away with a 60-12 victory, which ensured a home playoff date on Aug. 12th.
Offensive tackle Vince Roth said the lopsided score isn’t necessarily indicative of the way the game played out.
“They brought effort but they were outgunned,” he said. “I have to give them credit for coming out hard. They caught us by surprise at the beginning – I don’t think we were expecting the fight they came out with. I think we came out softer then we should have. We were able to pull away but they put forth effort and I give them credit for that.”
The slow start is something Roth said the team hopes to eradicate with a tough matchup this Saturday in St. Albert against the Stars.
The upcoming game will decide third place in the AFL standings and would mean the difference between a home or away semi-final game.
“It is pretty big and we are calling it a playoff game,” Roth said. “Win or lose we are in the playoffs – it is not an elimination game, but it has pretty big implications as far as where we travel. If we end up losing this game, we will finish in fourth and that means – granted we win the quarter final – we will be travelling to Fort McMurray for the semis. We would rather travel there for the final.”
Roth noted beating the Fort McMurray Monarchs in the final would be some poetic justice for the Bucs.
“We don’t forget history and everyone knows how last year went, so it would be nice to return the favour to Fort McMurray and go win a championship in their building,” he said.
Playing back at home is something that is important to the Bucs, and would be crucial in the playoffs.
“It was nice to get home and be in front of our fans again,” he said.