Bristol Rugby find a temporary home - in Cardiff
CARDIFF'S players did not make it to Bristol over the weekend because of the snow, yet Bristol's players spent much of today in Cardiff – because it was the closest training venue they could find.
With the pitches at Bristol's Clifton RFC training base out of service – and snow still covering their alternative venue at Clifton College – the players travelled to the Welsh capital.
They used the indoor facilities at the Cardiff City House of Sport, near Cardiff City Stadium, as they aim to be fully prepared for Friday's Championship clash with Leeds.
Sunday's scheduled British & Irish Cup game against Cardiff was called off on Saturday, but Bristol are making sure they leave nothing to chance this week with Leeds due at the Memorial Stadium on Friday evening.
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Bristol lock Glen Townson said: "The weather has been a bit of a nightmare but at least we managed to get somewhere and get some training done.
"We trained on a massive indoor football pitch right next to Cardiff City Stadium, and, because we didn't have to deal with wind, snow or a wet ground, we managed to get some quality work done.
"The club are making every possible effort to get us decent facilities to train on. So, even though we had to travel into Cardiff, which wasn't ideal, it's what we've got to do to make sure we are fully prepared for Friday."
Leeds were briefly five points clear of Bristol in the race for fourth spot – but they have been ordered to replay their game against Plymouth Albion, which they won 34-16 with a bonus point.
That means they will have five points knocked off their tally, bringing them back level with Bristol, albeit with that game against Plymouth in hand.
So this weekend's game is likely to have a significant impact on the race for the play-off spots.
"It's a huge game for us," said Townson. "They have had those points taken off, so, bearing in mind they have that game in hand, this weekend is a must-win for us. I don't think we're shying away from the fact it's a pressure game.
"If we lose and they then beat Plymouth, we could be looking at a nine-point gap with eight games to play.
"But if we win, we're ahead of them. It's almost like a play-off game for us – and pretty much every game is going to be like that for us now.
"But if we do end up getting into the top four, I think it will hold us in good stead that we have played so many pressure games."
Bristol officials were today working behind the scenes to finalise a date on which to play their B&I Cup match against Cardiff, but they are yet to agree on a date.
Both Saturday, February 2 and Sunday, February 3 have been mooted as possible dates, as Bristol Rovers play a home game on Friday, February 1.