The cancellation of the 2019/20 Indigo Group Premiership season is of course the right decision as Wales faces the serious threat of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately though that does prevent Cardiff RFC having the chance to challenge for a league and cup double, with Steve Law’s men sitting seven points clear at the top of the Premiership with a game-in-hand and preparing for a WRU Specsavers Cup semi-final.
It would have been fully deserved for the Blue and Blacks who have been in imperious form and had to overcome some serious obstacles, but will now be denied the opportunity to claim the silverware that could have been coming our way.
The players have been superb this season, dealing with the tag of pre-season favourites on the back of a strong 2018/19 campaign and starting in fine form, going on a run of 13 straight wins between early September and late December.
Cardiff completed a calendar year unbeaten at the Arms Park in the process and haven’t lost at home since 1st September 2018, a run of 24 wins and a draw, a quite remarkable record that is one to be extremely proud of.
Bouncing back from the disappointing away defeat at Carmarthen in January was also admirable, comprehensively beating Llanelli in the cup and Bridgend in the league over the next two games, before pushing Aberavon at the TAG, all while dealing with injury and suspension issues at tighthead, lock and in the back row.
That culture that was so important last season has continued into this campaign, with credit to the players for that but also Steve Law as head coach, building and managing a squad that thrives in the potentially tricky circumstances that sees the Cardiff RFC squad often complemented by Academy and fringe players of the Cardiff Blues.
Law’s ability to bring in the right faces that bring quality on the field alongside adding to the culture off it, as well as developing a relationship with the Cardiff Blues that has provided an advantage to both teams, means the squad is more competitive now than any time in the last decade.
He has also surrounded himself with top coaches, as Gethin Jenkins’ defence is the best in the Premiership once again with just an average of 15 points conceded across the 16 games played to the point of suspension, and Will Cusack has got the players to a fitness level that makes that defensive system so effective.
Meanwhile T Rhys Thomas has ensured the Blue and Blacks’ pack remains one of the most powerful in the league, while James Dixon has impressed in his first season stepping up to lead the attack, overcoming the loss of key players Ben Thomas and Sam Beard for large parts of the season and ensuring we are the second best team in the league going forward with an average of nearly 25 points a game.
The rugby department deserves huge praise for what they’ve achieved this season, but of course they couldn’t do what they do without the support of the medical team, who have had a busy campaign to say the least!
There is also the committee of volunteers who deal with matchday operations both at the Arms Park and on the road, as well as look after the media the club puts out, and the supporters club who do such a great job of engaging the Blue and Blacks faithful in Cardiff and get us around South Wales following the team.
This season clearly didn’t finish in the way we all hoped, but with bigger things at play we can only remember the success of the parts of the 2019/20 season that were played and prepare to continue that success when rugby returns.
With Steve Law staying and the supporters definitely ready to get back to following the team, hopefully the nucleus of the squad will continue to represent Cardiff and the good times will keep coming, this time with the chance of silverware and the opportunity to take on the best of Scotland’s semi-professional teams.
Until then I hope everyone associated with the Blue and Blacks stays safe and healthy, see you on the other side!