Luto, Sanguine et Cervisie
One could be forgiven for assuming that the club’s impressive Latin motto ‘Luto Sanguine et Cervisie’ embodied the noblest of Corinthian ideals. However, the translation expresses a much earthier sentiment, and one readily understood by rugby clubs at all levels i.e. ‘Mud, Blood and Beer!’.
But the ‘mud’ element is now largely redundant, with the passing of the valleys’ ‘Agricultural Patch’ and the general improvement in ground husbandry. The club are indeed fortunate in this respect, with superb pitch and floodlights, which are viewed with covetous eyes by some of Cardiff’s more senior sides.
The ‘blood’ factor, because of the nature of the game, will always be present, be it due to a smack in the mouth by an offended party, or coach bursting a blood vessel at a particularly inept defensive blunder. And there is always the bizarre mishap, as occurred when Tommy Curran, a wonderful club servant, was acting as rub-a-dub man. When bandaging a minor injury, he was a bit too enthusiastic with the scissors and inflicted a deep gash on the player’s hand, which required a visit to A&E for 20 stitches!
And joy of joys we have the ‘beer’ component, so intrinsically woven into the fabric of the rugby experience, that it throws doubt on the motives of William Webb Ellis when he picked up the ball and ran. Was it the spontaneous action of a true sporting revolutionary or the ambitions of a piss head in the making; a bit of both probably? Rugby without beer is unthinkable, as is the post match ‘Reconciliation of the Warring Tribes’, a tradition enacted throughout the rugby world after every game. The format follows a familiar pattern and is of such relevance that it should be written into the rules of the game i.e.
After the final whistle both teams will retire to the clubhouse bar, where they shall exchange congratulations or commiserations and imbibe to the point of incoherence. The referee should be confronted and his free beer and expenses withheld, until he satisfactorily explains those decisions which were inexplicable to all but himself. No player should attempt the ‘Yard of Ale’ after eating a meal, which should be performed in anon carpeted area, in close proximity to the men’s toilet. Meals should be gratefully accepted and consumed with decorum and the knife and fork provided; refusal of such meals, due to the absence of curry, is not acceptable. The Chairmen and Committee men shall ‘suffer fools gladly’, as they are assailed by members, who consider that they can run the club better than the incumbents. On leaving the premises players must uphold tradition and are obliged to render (double forte) at least one verse of Delilah. This is to remind themselves and the neighbourhood that they are above the norms of social responsibility and acceptability, for they are after all a Rugby Club!
Of course, post match Canton RFC bears little resemblance to this scenario, being a haven of thoughtful conversation, mutual respect and intelligent appraisal of the current Coaching Manual, whilst all enjoy a half of bitter or a glass of velvety Beaujolais.
Bill Owens - President