Cardiff RFC Season Review 2013 – 2014

 

Played: 33

Won: 18

Lost: 15

Drawn: 0

Points For: 898

Points Against: 668

League Finish: 7th

The 2013 – 14 season was a season of ups and downs. A new pitch, changes in the coaching, no league or cup fixtures in January, a good league start followed by a string of defeats that eventually saw the Blue & Blacks finish 7th.

The season started with a sevens competition on the carpet at the Arms Park in the sunshine was followed by a trip West to Fishguard. The locals provided everything, except the weather as a large friendly and appreciative crowd turned up by the sea in the pouring rain to watch the visitors run in nine tries. The following week a trip to Esher proved too much for the team as again the weather played a part as sweeping rain blew into the away side’s faces as they went down 24-10

The final friendly saw Bargoed visit the Arms Park. This time the Blue & Blacks got it right as five tries from the backs saw off a spirited challenge from the visitors. The new format of the British & Irish cup meant the Cardiff had to travel to Sardis Rd to qualify for the group stages to and the right to represent the Blues Region. After a fantastic start the visitors were 13-0 up, Paulo Uhi and Cieron Thomas getting the points. Pontypridd though roared back and it was only in the closing minutes that they eventually got a grip on the game to close it out 22-19.

The first Premiership game was moved to a Sunday for television. Again awful weather greeting the team at Church Bank. Some bizarre decisions on the day cost Cardiff as a penalty try for the first offence was awarded to the home side and two players carded for what seemed to be minor offences when the home side were allowed to get away with a lot worse. Cardiff ending up with a loosing bonus point when they deserved a lot more.

The first of three away wins was to follow at Bridge filed when Cardiff took Bedwas apart. Luke Ford and James Loxton scoring to add to Ceiron Thomas’ 14 points. A long wait for a win at Talbot Athletic Ground in the Premiership was ended the following week as Dan Fish scored a hat-trick in a bonus point 29-17 win. A week later and a few miles up the road Cardiff recorded the third victory in a row over Neath, Fish again on the scoreboard. But it was Jack Maynard who won the day as he slotted two penalties, two conversions and a drop goal to give the Blue & Blacks a two point win.

Those away wins were followed by three home games. The old enemy – Newport – were taken destroyed by Fish and Tom Williams as Cardiff scored five tries in a bonus point 32-17 win. Swansea, who were eventually relegated conceded six tries the following week before the winning run was halted by Carmarthen as they won 22-7 at the Arms Park.  A friendly against Heol-Y-Cyw to fill a B&I gap weekend was duly won and Aberavon were defeated at the Arms Park the following week, but only just. Jack Phillips try the only one in a scrappy game.

The Cross Keys defeat the following Friday was marred at the end of the game by a fight that saw Callum Lewis badly injured to the extent that he didn’t play for the rest of the year. Llanelli ran riot in the next game as they scored 43 points in an entertaining game that saw Cardiff rack up 24 of their own. The following Saturday and the Rodney Parade Premiership voodoo was laid to rest, Ethan Lewis, Will Thomas and Luke Hamilton on the score sheet.

The Christmas period was non-productive on the points front as defeats away at Carmarthen and Pontypridd saw Cardiff sit in 6th as they had been at the start of the month. January was a non-competitive month as far as fixtures. The B&I cup took up most weekends and the SWALEC cup draw gave Cardiff a bye so a series of friendlies were arranged. Cardiff lost to Bridgend Ath. Before defeating Cardiff Meds. Glamorgan Wanderers, St Peters and Llandaff to keep the squad fit a ready for the next round of Premiership games.

The next game was a defeat at the Brewery field were Cardiff played as if they had just met. The Ravens were fighting to stay out of the Premiership relegation battle and were by far the better side. In the cup Cardiff had a home draw against Newbridge and saw off the Gwent side with three forward orientated tries, Miles Normandale and Sam Feehan (2) the scorers. That was though to be Martyn Fowler’s last game in charge as he and Mark Ring left the coaching set up. Simon King being appointed as his replacement.

Against Neath in Simon’s first game another bizarre refereeing decision cost the home side. Having dominated the scrum all game the final minute saw Cardiff gain the put in five metres out. Trailing by four points a try would have seen them home, and as it turned out Neath relegated. But for some reason the referee decided that after 5 penalties at the scrum and two yellow cards for the two Neath props a penalty try was not to be given and Neath held on.

The following week at St Helens Cardiff conceded a penalty try this time at the first ask. Consistency is all that we ask of our officials. Cardiff went on to win the game but not before fantastic defence has seen of the Whites for 10 minutes at the end as the the Blue & Blacks held on to a four point advantage.

The Ravens were made to pay for the early defeat at the Arms Park before a double header with the Keys. The first a defeat at Pandy Park in the league before a cup exit the following week at the Arms Park left Cardiff with only pride to play for. Llandovery, Llanelli and Pontypridd all came to the Arms Aprk in the following weeks and inflicted heavy defeats on the Blue & Black. Pride though was restored in the final game with nothing resting on it both sides threw the ball about as the home side defeated Bedwas 46-23 crowd favourite Shaun Powell grabbing a brace.

Eight Club  caps will be awarded at the Club Dinner in July, these go to Sam Feehan, James Loxton, Mike Stephens, Jack Maynard, Luke Hamilton, Nick White, Ryan Harford and Miles Normandale

TOTAL

START

REP

28

SMOUT

LEWIS

21

7

26

FOWLER

AARON

16

10

24

LOXTON

JAMES

21

3

23

MAYNARD

JACK

10

13

22

MURPHY

JAMES

20

2

22

HARFORD

RYAN

18

4

22

WHITE

NICK

10

12

21

SLATER

TOM

19

2

21

STEPHENS

MIKE

17

4

20

FEEHAN

SAM

10

10

19

EDWARDS

JOHNATHAN

17

2

18

LEWIS

ETHAN

9

9

18

LUCAS

GARYN

7

11

17

NORMANDALE

MILES

16

1

16

PASCOE

TOM

15

1

16

POWELL

SHAUN

13

3

16

THOMAS

CEIRON

13

3

15

HAMILTON

LUKE

13

2

14

FORD

LUKE

12

2

12

GRIFFIN

JOE

11

1

12

ROACH

BEN

7

5

12

JAMES

RHYS

3

9

11

LEE

ALWYN

8

3

10

RYAN

DARREN

5

5

10

ELLIOT

LLOYD

4

6

10

CRUMP

LEON

3

7

9

JENKINS

ELLIS

7

2

9

PARTRIDGE

DAN

3

6

9

REES

ALUN

3

6

8

SHEEKEY

JAMES

5

3

7

DAVIES

THOMAS

4

3

7

LEWIS

CALLUM

3

4

7

RINGER

JAMIE

3

4

6

FISH

DAN

6

6

GUNTER

DEAN

6

6

PHILLIPS

JACK

6

6

WILLIAMS

TOM

6

6

LODGE

CRAIG

5

1

6

UHI

SAIPOLU

5

1

6

THOMAS

WILL

4

2

5

SMITH

RICHARD

5

5

WATTS-JONES

RORY

5

5

LEE

GEORGE

2

3

4

DOWN

JAMES

4

4

REES-HOLE

WILLIAM

4

4

SMYTH

OLLIE

2

2

3

PHILLIPS

IWAN

3

3

MARLEY

MATTHEW

2

1

3

BAIRD

WILL

1

2

3

WALKER

ALEX

1

2

3

WHITTINGHAM

JAMES

3

2

COOK

MACAULEY

2

2

LEE

RYAN

2

2

CHATWIN

BRETT

2

2

ELLIOT

AARON

2

2

JONES

STEFFAN

2

1

ALLEN

CORY

1

1

CRACKNELL

OLLIE

1

1

HEWITT

DAFYDD

1

1

BOURRUST

BENOIT

1

1

JONES

JOE

1

1

LEWIS

ROB

1

1

O’FLAHERTY

TOM

1

1

PHILLIPS

BRYN

1

1

REES

ALED

1

1

WALTERS

GARETH

1

TEAM P W D L PF PA PTS
Merthyr 18 15 0 3 534 302 76
Pontypridd 18 14 0 4 638 338 68
Cardiff 18 13 1 4 551 379 67
Ebbw Vale 18 13 1 4 397 292 62
Newport 18 12 0 6 470 430 57
Llandovery 18 11 1 6 506 321 57
Aberavon 17 11 1 5 402 355 53
Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 17 9 0 8 444 354 50
Carmarthen Quins 18 9 0 9 394 340 47
Swansea 17 8 0 9 371 349 41
Cross Keys 17 4 1 12 379 562 28
Bridgend Ravens 16 5 0 11 316 424 27
Llanelli 18 4 1 13 337 499 25
Bedwas 17 4 0 13 341 527 23
Bargoed 17 3 0 14 327 574 17
Neath 16 1 0 15 261 622 3