Cardiff RFC Season Review 1889 – 1890

1889-90. P35, W25, L7, D3.


Charles S. Arthur, one of the club’s best wing three quarters, was appointed captain. His playing career extended from 1883-84 until 1891-92, nine seasons in all and he made 163 first team appearances and gained two Welsh caps. On his retirement he served the club faithfully and well as the secretary of the club until his death in December 1925. The fixtures, 35, were the highest number for any season to date and included newcomers Old Merchant Taylors—beaten at home by a mere dropped goal by our scrum half Arthur L. Davies; Exeter, who were beaten twice—at home by 5 goals, 4 tries to a try; Cornwall County who, having already been beaten by Swansea and Newport during their South Wales Tour, were trounced by 4 goals, 4 tries to nil; and Leicester who were beaten at the Cardiff Arms Park by two tries to nil.

In the first of the four matches with Newport at home, we won by a goal and a try to a dropped goal, but we lost the remaining three, although by narrow margins. T. C. Graham was Newport’s captain 1889/90—1892/93 and he led his team into a very successful period of his club’s history and they certainly caused some “ annoyance” to their greatest rivals, Cardiff. He numbered amongst his players many of great Rugby football ability and stature, including A. J. Gould, H. T. Day, T. Edwards, Tommy England, J. Hannen and
J. E. Webb, C. J. Thomas and Arthur Bouchers, Percy Phillips, Harry Packer, F. H. Dauncey and others.

Gloucester, whom we had failed to beat the previous season in four matches, were this season beaten three times with one match drawn. The last one of the season was won by four goals, three tries to nil. Our captain got two tries and W. F. 0. Williams (one of our forwards) also “ ploughed his way through “ for two. D. W. Evans kicked the four goals.

Regarding the very first encounter on the Cardiff Arms Park with the famous Blackheath Club, Charles Arthur in his history described it as “an exceedingly fine match which made a lasting impression on the spectators “. Blackheath fielded four English internationals in their three-quarter line—A. E. Stoddart, P. Christopherson, R. L. Aston and G. C. Hubbard who were opposed by Cardiff’s four of R. E. Garrett, T. W. Pearson, W. Cosslett and S. Arthur. The “Heathens” won the match by one goal to one try.

It was in that season that T. W. Pearson made his debut as a young lad just turned seventeen. A couple of seasons later (1892-3) he created a try scoring record which was last until the season 1947-48 when it was overtaken by Bleddyn Williams. Of Pearson, Charles Arthur wrote ‘ For fourteen years, Pearson had no superior as a wing three-quarter. He was very fast for a short distance, could take his passes no matter how they me to him (modern players may well take note) and was wonderfully quick in punting.” At Burton, Cardiff lost the first of the two arranged fixtures by three goals (one dropped) nil and for the home team Frank Evershed and Sully were prominent. There was no re up to half-time, all scores coming in the second half, and the reason for defeat pears to have been truthfully reported thus: “Apparently our team were out of con- ion, possibly through making a tour of inspection of AlIsop’s Brewery on the morning the match “. ‘Twas ever thus, as I can well remember a visit of a Cardiff team on the morning of a match to Guiness’s Brewery, Dublin and, in the afternoon, losing a match to Lansdowne. I confess to having been a junior ‘taster’.

On 26th February 1890, Cardiff played a District XV in what was probably the first of many matches for charity. The match proceeds, £50 (a goodly sum for those days) was donated in aid of the dependents of the Llanerch Colliery disaster. For the third successive son, C. S. Arthur was top scorer with 25 tries. Pearson followed with 14; S. H. Nicholls td. N. Jones, W. Cosslett, 8 each; and D. W. Evans with 6. One of the forwards, J. Mahoney, made 33 match appearances; W. Cosslett 31, and D. W. Evans, Fred. N. Jones :1 Pearson 30 each. Six of our players gained Welsh caps, namely W. Stadden, A. F. and, D. W. Evans. A. F. Hill, W. E. 0. Williams and H. M. Ingledew. At Dewsbury, for whose club he was playing, Stadden scored the only try of the match for Wales to beat England.

For the fifth consecutive season, Dan. E. Jones was captain of the Second XV, but probably through furnishing many players to the First XV the record was not too great, results being: Played 21, Won 14, Lost 6, Drawn 1. The club’s financial position was good and a balance of £358.4.5d. was in hand and carried forward.

Cardiff 16 13 0 3 396 243 61
Carmarthen Quins 17 10 3 4 372 278 54
Aberavon 16 11 0 5 371 272 53
Llandovery 16 9 2 5 344 285 48
Pontypridd 18 10 0 8 394 376 47
Merthyr 18 8 0 10 362 374 44
RGC 1404 17 8 1 8 409 381 43
Newport 15 7 0 8 294 278 37
Swansea 17 7 0 10 246 292 35
Llanelli 15 6 0 9 293 412 27
Ebbw Vale 17 4 2 11 283 351 27
Bridgend Ravens 18 3 0 15 271 493 19