Cardiff RFC Season Review 2012 – 2013

Played 36 Won 13 Lost 21 Drawn 2

Points For 716

Points Against 901

It was in the end a disappointing season for Cardiff RFC. 8th place in the league bottom of the B&I pool and knocked out of the SWALEC cup in the second round. That said there were some positives to come out that will give encouragement for the next season.

In all 83 players were used. Aaron Fowler played 33 games in all ( 25 starts 8 as a replacement) Captain Shaun Powell started in 28 games. 8 player won their Cardiff RFC cap for playing 20 games – Aaron Fowler, Joe Griffin, Lewis Smout, Thomas Young, James Murphy, Alwyn Lee, Steve Cullen and Ben Roach.

The season started as normal at the Abercynon sevens where as defending champions Cardiff were not able to retain the Cup having to settle for winning the Bowl instead. The friendly section of the season followed with a very wet trip to Barry to celebrate their centenary, the Blue & Blacks getting off to a winning start in the rain at Reservoir Fields. That was followed by defeats at the hands of English Championship sides London Scottish and Bedford, before returning home to play Ealing for the first time in the clubs history. Cardiff won that game and an experimental side just scrapped home against Cardiff Met. a few days later.

The League season started with a home defeat to Llandovery and another loss on the road at Carmarthen. A week later and all the doom around those defeats was dispelled as Cardiff ran up a record score – 62-17 – against our greatest rivals Newport. Shaun Powell, Macauley Cook (2) Dan Fish and Richard Smith amongst the scorers of nine tries that day. That was followed by three consecutive wins against three sides from the Ospreys Region – Bridgend, Swansea and Aberavon. Cardiff scored 19 tries over the four games with Gareth Davies contributing 37 points. Against Bridgend the Blue & Blacks looked like they would be a match for anyone in the league, ripping the Ravens apart with pace and power.

October though started with a narrow loss at Pandy Park to Cross Keys before the start of the British & Irish Cup. The Blue & Blacks were drawn in a tough pool along side Bristol, Ulster Ravens and Bridgend. A first home loss at home to Bristol was a disappointing start to the campaign, but it has to be remembered that they are a full time outfit. The squad acquitted themselves well in only being beaten in the last quarter of the game when down to 14 men. The next week saw another B&I defeat this time away at Bridgend. The back to back fixtures against Ulster went the way of the Belfast outfit as they were able to call on the assistance of the Ulster full team players where Cardiff were unable to draw from the Blues due to LV= games. In the final two games Bridgend won the dead rubber at the Arms Park and defeat at Bristol saw Cardiff finish winless at the foot of the table. The last game though showed what the squad were capable of. With Bristol going for a home draw in the Semi-finals a heavy defeat looked on the cards, but Cardiff committed themselves to the cause and made the home side work hard for their bonus point win.

In between the League season continued. Two wins and two defeats were squeezed in between the first round of B&I cup games. Losses to away Bedwas and Llandovery were equalled out by home wins against Neath and a revenge win against Bridgend. Christmas saw a drab draw at Rodney Parade where neither side looked like they wanted to win before the games at home to Pontypridd and the visit to St Helens Swansea fell foul of the weather.

The first round of the cup gave Cardiff a real fright. Cardiff Met. ( formally UWIC) had lead for most of the game before a late James Thomas try gave the Blue & Blacks victory by four points. That gave them a second round home tie against Championship leaders Ebbw Vale. That game was to go the way of the Euguene Cross Park men. Polu Uhi scoring the crucial try. The home side had their chances towards the end but poor passing and decision making lead to an early exit from the cup.

With nothing left except pride to play for in the remainder of the season the Blue & Blacks squad pulled together and played some exceptional rugby. Consistency of selection certainly helped and although only three games were won and one drawn the losses were only by narrow margins.

Cross Keys, who at the time were second in the League were well beaten at te Arms Park before a home defeat to Bedwas in the last second of the game. Cardiff had deserved much more from the game and only the conversion of the Bedwas last minute try denied them a draw. Llanelli showed why they eventually ended in the play-off places as the won at Parc-Y-Scarlets before back to back losses against Pontypridd.

Cardiff & District celebrated their 120th anniversary at the Arms Park in April, a fixture that was a feature of the pre-season not so long ago was won by a largely youthful Cardiff XV. The season ended back in Osprey land, a bonus point win at bottom club Swansea and a draw at Cup finalists Neath.

Cardiff will know that it was a ‘could have done better’ end of term report. The defensive system put in place were though a feature of Cardiff’s play throughout the season. Building on that will undoubtedly lead to far greater reward next season. The addition of controlling half backs will enable the Blue & Blacks to close out games. Had they had that this season they would have finished higher up the table and who knows where the cup run would have ended.

For the record

Starts

Rep

 

Total App

 

Tries

Pen

Cons

DG

 

Total Points

 

CORY

ALLEN

10

 

10

 

3

 

15

 

SCOTT

ANDREWS

1

 

1

 

 

 

DANIEL

APSEE

1

 

1

 

 

 

JACK

BARRATT

1

3

 

4

 

 

 

KRIS

BARRY

2

2

 

4

 

 

 

ADAM

BRAKE

1

1

 

2

 

 

 

JOE

CASELLA

2

1

 

3

 

1

 

5

 

JAMES

CONNORS

1

1

 

2

 

 

 

MACAULEY

COOK

12

 

12

 

2

 

10

 

JAKE

COOPER-WOOLLEY

2

3

 

5

 

2

 

10

 

ROBIN

COPELAND

1

 

1

 

1

 

5

 

DAN

CRIMMINS

15

1

 

16

 

2

 

10

 

STEVE

CULLEN

17

3

 

20

 

3

 

15

 

KRISTIAN

DACEY

2

2

 

4

 

 

 

TOM

DALY

1

 

1

 

 

 

JAMIE

DAVIES

12

2

 

14

 

4

 

20

 

GARETH

DAVIES

7

 

7

 

1

11

14

1

 

69

 

THOMAS

DAVIES

2

1

 

3

 

1

 

5

 

LEE

DAVIES

2

 

2

 

 

 

DAFI-SION

DAVIES

1

 

1

 

1

 

5

 

LIAM

DAVIES

1

 

1

 

 

 

ED

DOBBS

1

 

1

 

 

 

SONNY

DRISCOLL

1

 

1

 

 

 

JOSH

DUNLEAVY

1

 

1

 

 

 

AARON

ELLIOT

1

 

1

 

 

 

IFAN

EVANS

3

 

3

 

 

 

ADAM

FIELD

2

1

 

3

 

3

 

15

 

DAN

FISH

6

 

6

 

5

 

25

 

AARON

FOWLER

25

8

 

33

 

1

 

5

 

SIMON

GARDINER

5

3

 

8

 

 

 

JOE

GRIFFIN

25

4

 

29

 

4

30

25

 

160

 

STUART

GRIFFITHS

1

 

1

 

 

 

KYLE

HALLEY

3

 

3

 

 

 

LUKE

HAMILTON

9

 

9

 

1

 

5

 

RYAN

HARFORD

12

3

 

15

 

 

 

SION

HOPKINS

16

11

 

27

 

 

0

 

JAC

HOPKINS

1

8

 

9

 

 

 

RHYS

JAMES

3

5

 

8

 

 

 

ELLIS

JENKINS

15

4

 

19

 

2

 

10

 

WILL-GRIFF

JOHN

5

7

 

12

 

 

 

WILL

JONES

6

3

 

9

 

1

 

5

 

ALWYN

LEE

12

10

 

22

 

 

 

GEORGE

LEE

1

1

 

2

 

 

 

CALLUM

LEWIS

4

14

 

18

 

 

 

ETHAN

LEWIS

6

11

 

17

 

 

 

ROB

LEWIS

8

1

 

9

 

2

 

10

 

GARYN

LUCAS

11

5

 

16

 

3

 

15

 

RYAN

LUCKWELL

2

2

 

4

 

 

 

CAMPESE

MA’AFU

12

4

 

16

 

1

 

5

 

JAMES

MONCK

2

4

 

6

 

1

 

5

 

JAMES

MURPHY

17

4

 

21

 

2

 

10

 

DAN

PARTRIDGE

9

9

 

18

 

1

 

5

 

JACK

PHILLIPS

7

3

 

10

 

2

 

10

 

BRYN

PHILLIPS

2

 

2

 

 

 

SHAUN

POWELL

28

4

 

32

 

6

 

30

 

LUKE

PROBERT

2

1

 

3

 

 

 

LEWIS

REECE

2

 

2

 

 

 

BEN

ROACH

12

10

 

22

 

1

 

5

 

HARRY

ROBINSON

2

 

2

 

 

0

 

DARREN

RYAN

9

5

 

14

 

1

1

 

8

 

MATTHEW

SCREECH

21

6

 

27

 

2

 

10

 

RICHARD

SMITH

16

1

 

17

 

6

 

30

 

MATT

SMITH

9

6

 

15

 

1

 

5

 

OLLIE

SMITH

1

 

1

 

1

 

5

 

LEWIS

SMOUT

14

11

 

25

 

1

 

5

 

RHYS

SUMMERHILL

1

 

1

 

 

 

JAMES

THOMAS

11

5

 

16

 

1

6

15

 

53

 

WILL

THOMAS

8

4

 

12

 

1

3

1

1

 

19

 

GARETH

THOMSON

2

1

 

3

 

2

2

1

 

13

 

JASON

TOVEY

2

1

 

3

 

2

4

 

14

 

NATHAN

TREVETT

6

2

 

8

 

 

0

 

REUBEN

TUCKER

12

8

 

20

 

7

 

35

 

ALEX

WALKER

6

4

 

10

 

 

 

RORY

WATTS-JONES

5

 

5

 

1

 

5

 

NICK

WHITE

13

5

 

18

 

 

0

 

ADAM

WILLIAMS

1

5

 

6

 

1

 

5

 

OWEN

WILLIAMS

4

 

4

 

1

 

5

 

TOM

WILLIAMS

3

 

3

 

1

 

5

 

RHYS

WILLIAMS

2

 

2

 

 

 

TOMOS

WILLIAMS

1

 

1

 

1

 

5

 

MAX

WOODWARD

12

4

 

16

 

 

 

JOE

XIBERRIAS

1

 

1

 

 

 

THOMAS

YOUNG

17

2

 

19

 

1

 

5

 

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Cardiff 6 6 0 0 149 88 27
Aberavon 5 5 0 0 112 89 20
Merthyr 6 3 0 3 139 117 17
Newport 6 3 0 3 117 102 16
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 6 3 0 3 140 139 15
Pontypridd 6 3 0 3 124 132 15
Carmarthen Quins 5 3 0 2 108 90 13
Swansea 6 2 0 4 110 112 12
Llandovery 4 2 0 2 93 79 11
Ebbw Vale 6 1 0 5 122 168 7
Llanelli 5 1 0 4 96 147 6
Bridgend Ravens 5 1 0 4 77 124 6