ERC on snow patrol

Fri, 18 Jan 2013 16:45
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European Cup rugby chiefs insist they have contingency plans in place, as cold weather threatens to play havoc with the final round of pool fixtures.

European Cup rugby chiefs insisted on Friday they had contingency plans in place, as cold weather across the continent threatened to play havoc with the decisive final round of pool fixtures.

This weekend is set to decide the quarterfinalists of the European Cup, but the prospect of matches being postponed on safety grounds due to frozen pitches or because teams are prevented from travelling could yet delay the completion of the last eight line-up.

As of 15:00 GMT Friday, all fixtures were going ahead as scheduled and tournament organisers European Rugby Cup (ERC) said they would do all they could to ensure matches in both the European Cup and the second-tier European Challenge Cup were played as planned this weekend.

"Throughout the week, ERC has been in regular contact with clubs to ensure all possible precautions have been made and that alternative venues are available," the Dublin-based ERC said in a statement.

"Should weather conditions or travel difficulties prevent matches from going ahead as scheduled, ERC will work with the clubs and match officials to ensure that fixtures are completed at the earliest possible time."

Meanwhile weekend fixtures in several sports were postponed on Friday due to freezing temperatures across Britain.

While the bulk of English Premier League clubs have grounds equipped with undersoil heating, many of those lower down the league ladder do not.

And rather than have fans make a wasted journey, several clubs announced on Friday the postponement of matches due to take place on Saturday.

The League One (third division) matches at Scunthorpe, Crawley, Bury, Hartlepool and Crewe were all postponed due to frozen pitches, as were the League Two fixtures at Accrington, Rochdale and Southend.

Meanwhile the League Two match between Torquay and Chesterfield fell victim to a waterlogged pitch.

Horse racing was also disrupted, with Saturday's meetings at Taunton and Haydock both called off as was Towcester on Sunday.

And later on Friday the meeting at Ascot and Lingfield, both in southern England, were also called off, meaning there will be no turf racing in Britain this weekend

AFP
 

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
La Rochelle 6 4 0 2 20
Wasps 6 3 0 3 17
Ulster 6 4 0 2 17
Harlequins 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 22
Saracens 6 3 1 2 18
Ospreys 6 2 1 3 15
Northampton Saints 6 1 0 5 6
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 6 0 0 27
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 15
Montpellier 6 2 0 4 13
Glasgow Warriors 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 4 1 1 21
Racing Metro 6 4 0 2 19
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Leicester Tigers 6 1 0 5 7
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 6 4 0 2 21
Toulon 6 4 0 2 19
Bath 6 4 0 2 18
Treviso 6 0 0 5 4