1882-3. P22, W9, L7, D6.
ABERGAVENNY’S CUP TIE TRIUMPH CARDIFF’S FIRST LONDON TOUR
W. D. Phillips one of the club’s best threequarter backs, a founder member of the club, was appointed captain for a third time. His long record of service serves to prove that he became one of the leading administrators in the club’s long history. W. H. Treatt was the vice-captain, and he and another forward J. Sidney Smith, shared the office of hon. secretary, Smith at this time was articled to Cardiff’s Town Clerk. Newcomers to the premier XV were W. M. Douglas, W. “Buller” Staddon, W. E. Jarman, G. A. Young and J. Mahoney and all of them became players of renown. The season’s results were very mixed as the record shows, and defeats were inflicted by Newport (twice), Gloucester (A), Clifton (A), Cardiff Wanderers (H) a sort of local Derby encounter, Old Leysians (H) and Abergavenny (A).
The defeat by Abergavenny was in the second round of the South Wales Challenge Cup and the match was played on a wet and muddy pitch, described by a reporter thus: “The ground had been worked up into a very nice puddle in every part, in which every man had, as a necessary consequence of such play, been ‘groveling’ at some point or other of the game, and bantering comparisons, odious in the extreme, fell trippingly from the tongues of the delighted onlookers.” A weak team, with W. H. Treatt, H. J. Simpson, A. J. Evans and W. Williams absent,trying to play an open game against the kick and rush of their opponents, lost by one try and two touches-down to one goal, one try and three touches-down, the points value of the competition being 17 points to 6.
A month later at home, the defeat was most amply avenged as Cardiff defeated Abergavenny by eight goals (one dropped), eight tries and four touches-down to two touches-down, the points value being reported as 112 points to 2. Gloucester were met (A) for the first time. It was no doubt a strong club, influenced perhaps by the strength of rugby football emanating from nearby Cheltenham College. The “Cestrians “ inflicted a sharp defeat on Cardiff on the Spa Ground by one goal, seven tries to nil. The local scribe said Gloucester played together as one man, and gave the visitors a lesson which doubtless will be valuable to them in the future “. Today, the match results are 104 to 35 in Cardiff’s favour.
A big win over Pontypridd by three goals, ten tries to nil was comforting, and victories over the Harlequins and Old Leysians at the end of the season on a London Tour must have given the club satisfaction. It was Cardiff’s first visit to London in fact and its players paid their own expenses. Two Pontypridd brothers, E. and D. Treharne assisted Cardiff in both of the matches, the former, a half back had already been twice capped for Wales and in the following season he again played in a match for Cardiff, and by coincidence, it was against the Harlequins, and in London. For the away match against the Old Leysians, the Harlequins “ loaned us” A. F. Stoddart the great English threequarter of his time. The Harlequins were playing at Turnhan, Green, and the Old Leysians at Balham where Stoddart scored a try for Cardiff.
The players who took part in most matches were R. McConnochie (19), T. J. Hinton (19), W, 0. Phillips (18), F. Laybourne (18), H. J. Simpson (17), T. M. Barlow (16). J. S. Smith (16), W. B. Norton (13), J. A. Jones (12), W. H. Treatt (12) and Tom Williams (12). The chief try scorers were W. B. Norton 7, H. J. Simpson and J. A. Jones 5, W. Williams 4, 8. McConnochie, Tom Williams. J. Clare, H. Jones, J. S. Smith each got two, as did also F. Treharne the Pontypridd player. Norton, Clare and J. A. Jones played for Wales.
The second team under the captaincy of H. J. Gregory received more attention and became a nursery for the First Fifteen “. So wrote the late C. S. Arthur. No records are available although fixtures had been arranged with Cardiff Wanderers 2nds (2). Swansea 2nds, Canton (2), Penarth (2), Bute Docks Rangers (2), Windsor (2) and Newport 2nds.