Ramstein Rugby enjoys Unprecedented season

by Cpl. Clive French
NATO Military Police

The 2010-2011 season saw Ramstein enjoy its greatest season since its inception back in the 1980s. The team that consists of U.S. Army and Air Force, Royal Air Force, and French Air Force players, began its pre-season campaign back in August under the tutelage of new head coach Cpl. Clive French, NATO Military Police, who laid a huge emphasis on skills and game knowledge from the outset.

The season began brightly for the Rogues, who went to the annual pre-season tournament in Worms in good spirits and came away with a first and third place finish for its two sides. The A-side recording an incredible record of eight wins from eight, scoring 356 points and conceding 0. This tournament laid the foundation for the rest of the season and gave the other sides in the league a taste of things to come. 

The season got off to a great start with wins against Worms (50-0), Luxembourg (36-3), Kaiserslautern (52-0), Saarbrücken (50-0) and a strong Mainz side (76-13).

At this point in the season, the Rogues’ confidence was high and it was only the weather and snow that seemed able to beat them. Not to be beaten, the Rogues decided to take the time during the heavy snow and still turn up at training in great numbers to ensure the spring season be just as successful. Building on what had already been a great season, the Rogues began to keep working toward their main strengths, which lay within the pack of Jr Faave, Van Allen, Lance Lokeni, Faaimai Utu and the great line out work of Cody Fleeger, all built on the rock solid front row combination of Chad King Tom Buena, Shane Hiett and Matt Williams. The Rogues’ recruitment had also been fortunate this season to put out what is arguably the strongest backs in German Rugby with the likes of Mark “Rhino” Howder, Cameron Freeman,  Danny Liccardi and Jeff “Cruz” Hoffman. It was due to these players that the Rogues were able to field new players at every opportunity as the experienced heads helped out some of the more junior players in their development.

The spring season began very much like the winter season, with big wins over Trier (36-5), Luxemburg (52-10), Worms (54-7), Hochspeyer (83-0), Mainz (80-0) and Andernach (100-0). With the last game of the season against Saarbrücken being forfeit due to their side’s unwillingness to field a side against the Rogue tidal wave, the Rogues were crowned champions with a record of played 12 won 12 having scored 698 points and conceded just 42 (competition record). Although the league had finished with the Rogues playing base growing it was decided to fill the rest of the year with extra fixtures and tournament. The first of these was held in the town of Buhl, where the Rogues took and experimental side consisting of some of the team’s new crop of players from Ramstein High School. The tournament was yet another undefeated win for the Rogues, winning all of its five matches and conceding just 5 points all day. 

The Rogues are constantly on the lookout for new players, young and old, to keep building on their success and will be open for all to join. 

The team train at 6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at the running track field at Pulaski Barracks.

The Rogues can be contacted by sending an e-mail to ramsteinrogues@
hotmail.com or by visiting www.ramsteinrogues.com. You can also friend them on Facebook.