It’s official: Postponed Round Two Heineken Champions Cup a ‘draw’

Postponed Round Two Heineken Champions Cup a 'draw'
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With the official word from European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) that all postponed Round Two Heineken Champions Cup/Challenge Cup games will now be recorded as a 0-0 draw. It means each team collects two points, irrespective of their squad Covid-status [at that time] or ability to travel.

Following a series of meetings of the Board of EPCR, it has been regrettably decided to cancel the postponed Round Two fixtures of this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup.

Postponed Round Two Heineken Champions Cup a ‘draw’

In a media statement, the organization stated ‘The Board also authorized the EPCR Executive to determine the outcome of the fixtures as provided for in the rules of the tournaments and the EPCR Executive has decided that the appropriate solution is to record the results in each of the five Heineken Champions Cup and the two EPCR Challenge Cup fixtures in question as 0-0 draws with two match points awarded to each club’.

While hugely disappointing, it does mean each competing side in each draw can more easily accept two points, rather than be overwhelmed by rescheduling that might have seemed logical, if it weren’t for such a full calendar already, that was a realistic option although, other domestic leagues are also needing to reschedule their own postponed games. Two points might well be a positive injection that can sustain the challenge that affected sides can realize in their 2021/22 season campaigns.

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP

The results of the following Round 2 fixtures are recorded as 0-0 draws with two match points awarded to each club:

  • Bath Rugby v Stade Rochelais
  • Sale Sharks v ASM Clermont Auvergne
  • Scarlets v Union Bordeaux-Bègles
  • Stade Toulousain v Wasps
  • Stade Francais Paris v Bristol Bears

EPCR CHALLENGE CUP

The results of the following Round 2 fixtures are recorded as 0-0 draws with two match points awarded to each club:

  • Worcester Warriors v Biarritz Olympique
  • London Irish v CA Brive

To date, no fixtures for Round Three games have been affected by positive Omicron Covid-19 test results, which so badly impacted postponed Round Two matches in December. If games scheduled in Round Four are again unaffected, then the compensation of those two competition points [for the above sides] may still see clubs’ ability to reach the playoffs, given a better opportunity (from the executive decisions made) then if a scramble to fit in more games ahead of the playoffs.

Stated in the media release ‘On the basis that none of the clubs involved were in a position to play once the EPCR Board had postponed the seven matches due to the new restrictive travel measures, the only option open to the EPCR Executive under the provisions of the Match Result Resolution Matrix was to record the results as 0-0 draws and to award two match points to each club.

‘A distinction should be drawn between the decisions in respect of the seven postponed round two matches in question and other tournament fixtures which were previously canceled due to Covid-19 outbreaks or forced isolations affecting player availability’.

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