Bristol Rugby aim to fit in Cardiff game quickly
BRISTOL have offered Cardiff Sunday, February 3 – a free weekend for both teams – as a date to play their British & Irish Cup pool game, which was postponed over the weekend.
Bristol, who need one point against Cardiff to qualify for the quarter-finals, were due to host the Pool One whipping boys at the Memorial Stadium yesterday.
However, the game was postponed following a pitch inspection on Saturday morning, with Bristol Rovers' home game against Exeter City – scheduled for Saturday – also falling by the wayside.
Asked whether Bristol would look to play the game on the first weekend of February, chief executive Steve Gorvett said: "That's possible – we've suggested it to Cardiff and they're coming back to us.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"But that's certainly the weekend that a number of the other postponed games in the B&I Cup are being arranged for and it would certainly suit us, because it's a free weekend from the league. We could play on the Sunday – that would suit us."
Bristol issued a brief statement on Saturday morning, in which they confirmed that not only was the Memorial Stadium pitch frozen, but that the terraces and approaches to the stadium were unsafe for supporters.
The statement said: "Bristol's B&I Cup clash with Cardiff has been postponed due to the adverse weather conditions. The Memorial Stadium pitch was deemed frozen and the surrounding areas unsafe for supporters. The club will confirm details of the rearranged Pool One fixture in due course."
And chief executive Gorvett added: "There's a lot of snow on the pitch on top of the covers, and then all the surrounds and the stadium just aren't usable at the moment, so there's not much we could do.
"We were very, very keen to play it and hopefully get the right result and move on, but I think once it snowed on Friday it was fairly inevitable it was going to be off. We'll now look to rearrange it and start again."
Gorvett said the postponement would have little financial impact on the club, as the fixture will be played again – most likely within the next fortnight.
"It's a timing thing really, because we'll obviously play it again once the date is set, so we'll get the benefit then," he said. "So it's a timing delay rather than a financial issue for us."
Bristol – with five wins from five in the pool – had been desperate to take on a Cardiff side with five defeats from five.
They must now look to Friday's key Championship match against Leeds at the Memorial Stadium – and one positive for head coach Liam Middleton and his players is that they have avoided a five-day turnaround between games.
Gorvett, however, sounded a word of caution, with more freezing conditions being forecasted for the week ahead.
Asked whether a weekend without a game could potentially benefit the Bristol players before facing Leeds – who were held 30-30 by Leinster A on Saturday – Gorvett said: "Absolutely, although I'm a little bit worried about Leeds at the moment. The forecast isn't exactly very good for the week. But obviously we'll see how the week goes."
Leeds lead Bristol by five points in the Championship, but the Yorkshire side have been ordered to replay their recent match with Plymouth, which was reduced to uncontested scrums after only 13 minutes. Leeds won the game 34-16, securing a bonus point in the process.