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Benetton star Ian Keatley demands Ulster's PRO14 clash in Italy is rescheduled

Ian Keatley

Benetton out-half Ian Keatley insists that his side are desperate to play their postponed Guinness PRO14 games against Munster and Ulster at re-fixed dates, rather than having the result deemed a 0-0 draw.

With both provinces very much in the title hunt and sitting second in their respective conferences, Munster and Ulster are sweating over the possibility that the games may end up being cancelled. If such a scenario does arise, which is becoming increasingly possible, both teams would be awarded two points.

That could end up costing the provinces come the end of the season, but Benetton, who are currently eight points off the play-offs, haven't given up hope of mounting a late charge as they also eye Heineken European Champions Cup qualification for next season.

Benetton's clash with Ulster a fortnight ago was postponed due to the spread of the coronavirus in Italy, while their back-to-back meetings with Munster this month have also succumbed to the same fate.

However, Keatley is adamant that a 0-0 draw would be as useless to his side as it is to Munster and Ulster.

"We had a good win against the Dragons last weekend, so you want to keep building momentum," the Dubliner, who won seven caps for Ireland, said.

"It's looking like games could be cancelled now, and it's going to be a 0-0 draw. That's not fair. We need to win matches to get up into the quarter-finals," he added.

"Other guys are saying that the season should be called off.

"To be honest, you can see it from everyone's point of view.

"I know that Treviso want to prepare as if we could be playing a match next week because we just don't know when our next match will be.

"We know for the next three or four weeks we are definitely not playing anything. It's a frustrating time, but we just have to accept it."

Belfast Telegraph