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Early March date for postponed Ulster v Scarlets PRO12 game

Referee Leighton Hodges in the puddles at Ravenhill just before he made the decision to call the Ulster v Scarlets match off

Referee Leighton Hodges in the puddles at Ravenhill just before he made the decision to call the Ulster v Scarlets match off

RaboDirect PRO12 organisers will confirm later next week a date for Friday night’s postponed Ulster v Scarlets fixture - with Friday, March 14 being the likely option.

There are two ‘free’ weekends for PRO12 clubs on the weekends of March 8 and 15 due to the Six Nations.

Referee Leighton Hodges called Friday night’s league fixture off three hours before the 7.15pm kick-off due to a waterlogged Ravenhill pitch.

The Welsh official had until 8pm to make a final decision, but given the weather forecast and the fact fans were preparing to travel from all over the Province, it was the correct decision to take at around 4pm.

Ulster Rugby and Scarlets did attempt to look at playing the game later today, but rearranging flights and accommodation proved almost impossible for the Welsh club, particularly given that it is also Valentine’s weekend.

Ulster chief executive, Shane Logan, said credit to the Scarlets club they did everything they could to rearrange flights and accommodation.

“We looked at the weather forecast and were prepared to play on Saturday. The Scarlets tried very hard to do everything they could to be in a position to play it tomorrow, but it just was not feasible given they would have been in different hotels and on different flights.”

In terms of the game being rescheduled, Logan said: “There are two free weekends of March 7 and 14 and we will be told next week by the league which date will be confirmed.”

The CEO also apologised to Ulster and Scarlets fans for the inconvenience the postponement had caused them.

Friday night’s game against Scarlets was the 10th sold out fixture of the season to date and the game in a fortnight’s time against NG Dragons at Ravenhill is also close to a sell out.

Ulster’s next game is on Sunday, February 23, away to Italian side, Benetton Treviso.

This is only the second time in the professional era that a game at the Belfast venue has been postponed.

In January 2008, a frozen pitch forced the postponement of Ulster v Munster.

 

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