Cardiff RFC Season Review 1904 – 1905

1904—05. P30, W21, L6, D3. Points 339—126.


In electing Cecil F. Biggs as captain, the members created a record as he was the third member of this illustrious family to be so honoured. (See chapter on Family Players.) One of the club’s best wing three quarters, he was a back of versatility, centre or outside half and was recognized as one of the greatest of Welsh un-capped players. He nominated a grand forward, Billy Neill, as his vice-captain.

Our scoring this season was unspectacular, most of our star backs were unavailable. Percy Bush and Rhys Gabe were on the Australia/New Zealand tour and did not return until late October, and the former, mainly as the result of an accident played in only two matches. Gwyn Nicholls had “retired “ and played in only six, Winfield our fullback, in only half the matches, and Bobby Brice the forward in four only. The Reserve talent, notably W. H. Gunstone, Frank Young (full-back) and Dai Westacott at forward responded welI, and in view of many necessary changes in selection the Club did exceedingly well to maintain a ground record until the very last match of the season when it was taken by the Barbarians by one goal, one try to one goal.

Swansea were again our superiors, winning two and drawing one game. A fourth, that arranged for 26th November, was cancelled after the respective captains had inspected he ground at 2 p.m. and had found it still partly frozen. In some quarters it was said that Swansea did not wish to risk their unbeaten record, but other opinion was that the ground vas too dangerous to play on, and that the Swansea team should have been so advised before leaving their home town in the morning. What the club lost was a good “gate the shared our results with Newport, with two wins and two losses; Devonport Albion, and the Barbarians were the two other victors.

We had a splendid run in December, when, successively, we defeated Blackheath 14 points to 8, Llanelly 16—0, London Welsh 12—3, Barbarians 27—3 and Moseley 22—0. Alas or our Parisian visitors, Stade Francais on their first visit to Cardiff, paid dearly for a rugby lesson by 44 points to 8. There were several ‘Gentlemen of Colour’ amongst them, and one of their number “wore such a profusion of hirsute appendages as to be easily narked by the good humoured crowd.” Winfield our full-back created a record by converting eight tries with successive kicks, and except for the forward George Northmore who scored two, all tries were scored by our backs, namely J. L. Williams, Cecil Biggs (2), Gwyn Nicholls (also a dropped goal), Rhys Gabe and R. A. Gibbs.

The season’s top try scorers were J. L. Williams 16, Cecil Biggs 14 and 13 by Rhys Gabe. The new club caps were W. J. Ham, J. Mcintyre, E. Rumbelow, Dai Westacott and :rank Young the full-back deputising for Winfield. Westacott played in all thirty matches, and but for one important business appointment so would the captain have done. International caps were gained by R. T. Gabe, W. Neill and Gwyn Nicholls and Wales won the triple Crown. Of the 28 played, the Reserves won 20 and lost and drew 4, they scored 92 points to 69. There were as many as 23 try scorers, the top being the vice-captain George McCraith with nine. The captain D. L. Evans, a solid forward converted 28 tries and kicked a penalty goal. Reserves caps were awarded to E. R. Evans, A. B. Jones, G. Stroud, E. W. Jones, Rhys Davies, P. Lamey, W. L. Morgan, J. Harding and R. John.

As to the financial position, this was the first time for many seasons that the expenditure exceeded the receipts, and the loss of gate for the cancelled Swansea match, and playing Newport in a downpour of rain in another, was mainly the cause, and the general expenditures on upkeep of the ground, home and away expenses, were increasing. But the good causes were not overlooked as the Schools Rugby Union, local clubs and the District union, and various charities all benefited to the total extent of nearly £200. The expenditure f £3,527.19.Od. exceeded the income by £135.12.5d., and the clubs bank balance was down to £107.3.4d., but its share of the cost of the new pavilion £1,728 had been met. here were 1,200 members and even workmen’s tickets had brought revenue of £459.

The first part of the arrangement with the Welsh Rugby Union as to the temporary stands had come to an end, and the Club and Union came to an agreement to erect new stands on half terms, and the expenses of maintenance were to be similarly divided, It has considered to be a satisfactory arrangement for the club, “as although there are some occasions on which there is more accommodation than is required, there are times when the stands are filled and everyone getting an excellent view of the game.

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