Pro12: Ulster v Zebre match called off

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Bryn Cunningham explains Ulster did everything possible to make the pitch playable

The Pro12 match between Ulster and Zebre at the Kingspan Stadium has been called off because of a frozen pitch.

The decision was made at 18:00 GMT after the referee adjudged that there was too much ice on the pitch and deemed the playing surface unplayable.

Ulster Rugby officials and stewards made extensive efforts to make the pitch playable but to no avail.

No new date has yet been set for the game but it is likely to be next year before a suitable slot can be found.

A decision was taken not to cover the pitch the night before the game, but Ulster Team Manager Cunningham believes that would have made little difference to the eventual outcome of the game being called off.

"Nobody anticipated it getting as cold as this and we have done everything we can today to try and make the pitch available to play on," said Cunningham.

A statement released by Ulster on Friday evening thanked "the thousands of loyal supporters who made efforts to attend the game this evening".

"Although most of the pitch was playable, deteriorating conditions late in the day meant that some areas were deemed to be dangerous by the referee," the statement read.

Ulster had been hoping to arrest an alarming slump which had seen them lose their last three Pro12 games and drop to fifth place in the table.

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