Cardiff RFC Season Review 1932 – 1933

1932—33. P43, W23, L17, D3. Points 532—321.



H. M. Bowcott was the members’ choice as captain and his nominee as vice-captain was our experienced forward Tom Lewis. But before the season had commenced, the committee received an intimation from Bowcott to the effect that, having secured a post in London he had regretfully to relinquish the captaincy of Cardiff. The committee then appointed Tom Lewis as club captain and Tom nominated B. R. Turnbull as vice-captain. Seventeen matches were lost out of a total of forty-three, a high proportion, but these cold, stark, statistics were much belied by some wonderful match and individual performances. In fact, we did not lose a match until we lost to a powerful Blackheath team by 6 points to three at the Rectory Field, the eighth match, on 22nd September.

November proved to be a month of Blue and Black magic, brilliant football. The Press referred to us as “The Wonder Team” and eulogised under “ Cardiff’s scoring machine
Well might they have done, as, in the month of November in succession at home, we defeated a powerful Blackheath team 18 points to 8, Neath 31 points to 5—Neath scored first, Newport 24 to nil, and Llanelly—holding a fourteen match unbeaten record, by eight points to five. The men from Stradey assured us that they would certainly see us off
when you come down to Llanelly on Christmas Eve “. But we outplayed them by 17 points to five and even took their ground record. On Boxing Day we defeated London Irish by 47 points to nil, and, on the day Wales played England at Twickenham, with six of our players in the Welsh team, we beat London Welsh by no less than 41 points to 13.
The international achievements were outstanding, probably greater than in any other season up to this time as Cardiff supplied Wales with no less than ten players, namely:—
v. England—R. W. Boon, H. M. Bowcott, I. lsaacs, A. H. Jones, Archie Skym and M. J. Turnbull.
v. Scotland—I. lsaacs, A. H. Jones, Archie Skym.
v. lreland—R. W. Boon, H. M. Bowcott, R. Barrell, Graham Jones, Archie Skym, M.J. Turnbull and Lew Rees.

A. H. Jones, a great club man, was in fine form this season scoring after many unstoppable side-steps from the wing position; lsaacs and Llew Rees in the pack had matured; Tommy Stone displayed international form and was worthy of a Welsh cap. But it was the ‘ cheeky chappie ‘ Boon who was destined to achieve the season’s greatest glory, for, at Twickenham in January he laid low the “Twickenham Bogey “. Wales had tried hard without access for 23 years ! It was his try and dropped goal, which defeated England by seven points to three. Bowcott and M. J. Turnbull were selected for the Scotland 9ame, but M. Turnbull cried off owing to injury and the Welsh selectors asked Bowcott to stand down as to allow R. R. Morris and Bryn Evans the Swansea half back pair, new caps, to play. In the match against Ireland, Harry Bowcott scored one of the best tries seen in intentional Rugby for years; he was now playing for London Welsh of course. Roy Gabenes with 27 first team games to his credit, very usefully deputised for him at half-back, with M. J. Turnbull.

Trial and international calls, injuries—A. T. Thomas and B. R. Turnbull played in only fourteen matches—affected our record in the second half of the season. It was in this season that C. W. Cliff’S Jones, the mercurial outside half made his debut with three matches. Some of his fans would say that he could side-step on a sixpence. He was the club’s best out-half since Percy Bush. Cambridge Blue, Welsh international he was most ,fortunate with quite a number of serious injuries. One of these occurred on tour in April 1934 with Cambridge University in the U.S.A., when in the very first match with Harvard University—played in New York on a much smaller gridiron of a ground— broke an ankle bone after only ten minutes’ play. He was studying to become a barrister during 1938—39, and in the very first match of the season 1939-40 against Cardiff & District

Immediately before the outbreak of the war, he dislocated his shoulder and never again played for the club. He has served the W.R.U. as a vice-president and selector for many years. A. H. Jones topped the list of try scorers with 24 including four against Blackheath, and three against Newport and Neath in successive matches; Graham Jones got 15, Ion lsaacs e flanker 11, and ten came from our local wing Joe Daley. Our full-back Tommy Stone ho had a fine season kicked 56 goals and sneaked three tries. The new club caps were on Came and Tom Edwards, forwards, the backs Joe Daley, A. H. Jones and Cohn Jones; d Maurice Turnbull our scrum half. Tom Lewis our very hard-working captain played in most matches, 40 in all, closely followed by Tommy Stone with 39.

P. J. “Phil” Fletcher the forward was appointed captain of the Athletic XV. He was to have such help from his brother Bob at centre. His team’s record was P34, W16, L15, D3, with )8 points to 278. This was quite a creditable record as Fletcher called upon no less than players and had to meet some tough opposition from second class clubs like Skewen, ill Harriers, Blaina, Mountain Ash, Briton Ferry and also Maesteg. The captain was in fact ‘p scorer with 12 tries, and 10 of his team qualified for Athletic XV caps, namely: Don road full-back, R. R. Davies and R. J. Fletcher backs, J. Kennedy and E. J. “Ted “ Parfitt ff backs, and forwards H. S. Davies, D. E. J. Hughes from Newport, Ken Matthews, J. Kilburn and Tom Spragg.

During the season, Cardiff answered an S.O.S. from the Swansea club to play an extra match at Swansea in aid of their club funds, it was played on 23rd February and Cardiff on by one try to nil, but it was not included in our records as an official fixture. Maurice Turnbull applied for permission to stage a match on the Cardiff Arms Park between a team selected by himself and one by the Cardiff & District Wednesday League Association to ay Association Football with a Rugby ball, in aid of funds for Glamorgan County Cricket club. It was granted subject to approval from the W.R.U.
The club installed a wireless set at a cost of £7.10.0 including the installation; Jack PowelI the honorary masseur was granted an honorarium of £25 for his past three years’ service. Another invitation came from Toulouse to play a return match with France “B it there was still a break in Franco-British Rugby relations.

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