By Rosie Foley
Finishing in 8th place overall on the BUCS Super League table, Cardiff have exceeded expectations. We spoke to Co-Captains Tom Wilson and Owen Davies and got their reflections on the season so far, how far they’ve come from their first BUCS Super League game against Hartpury and the future of the team.
CURFC’s start to the season was as tough as expected. Wilson noted that at the beginning they were putting the feelers out to see what kind of rugby they would be contending with.
‘For the first half of the season we just wanted to get used to the league. As soon as we got into it, we could see that we did have the capability to compete with any team.’
Both captains believe that the team’s ethos and bond is the reason as to why they have exceeded expectations. They have also shown great improvements throughout the season from their ability to ‘adapt’ their game to the league.
‘We are a very tight group and when the going gets tough, we’re all on the same page and manage to dig through it’ said Davies.
Wilson noted that ‘if you look at Hartpury they are the same at the end of the season as they are the start, but if you look at our abilities from the start of the season to the end, you’ll see the biggest increase compared to the other teams.’
The team’s home game form betters their away game with winning five games at home compared to one away win. Wilson and Davies believe that it is because Llanrumney is a fortress that is hard to play on due to its old school looks and they draw in big crowds.
‘When other teams come down off the bus and they say “oh my god what is this place!” They go to the old school tiny changing rooms, where there’s one for the forwards and one for the backs, no one really likes it, but we’ve learnt to love it’.
‘We kick off at 5 o’clock and it’s a good time, loads of the boys turn up and its quite a hostile environment. A really good atmosphere and the boys just love it.’
Wilson informed us that an aspect impacting the team’s away form is the long bus journeys.
‘We’re not used to the 7/8-hour bus trips before a game and managing yourself over a long journey and then getting prepared for a game is quite a skill.’
Making history was not on the boy’s mind at all at the start of the season they just wanted to stay up. Adding to this pressure was copious amounts of injuries testing the depth of their squad.
Davies explained that ‘at the start of the year there were a lot of injuries in the squad, so our depth was really tested and the boys who came in, and the exposure that they had has put them in great stead for next year.’
Both Davies and Wilson are in their final year at Cardiff University and have been fortunate enough to follow the club through its journey of promotion. Their attitude towards their experience shows why the team have succeeded so much in it’s first season of BUCS Super Rugby.
Wilson believes there isn’t an experience quite like university rugby as ‘you’re playing with your mates, all the boys you go out with, live with and it doesn’t get much better than that,’ said Wilson.
The boys continue their hope of Super League success with their Quarter Final against Exeter away this Wednesday.