The insistence of English clubs paid off. The seven matches initially postponed under French government regulations will not be replayed and will result in points being shared.
On the second day of the European Rugby Cups, seven matches (five Champions Cup, two Challenge Cup) were postponed due to travel restrictions between France and the United Kingdom due to the health crisis. This concerned the matches of La Rochelle, Clermont and UBB, respectively in Bath, Sale and Llanelli. Just like the reception of the English from Bristol and the Wasps by the Stade Français Paris and Toulouse. In Challenge, Worcester-Biarritz and London Irish-Brive had also been postponed.
Arose from the puzzle of knowing when to replay these meetings in an ultra-busy schedule. The EPCR, which organizes the European Cups, decided on Tuesday that these matches will end, on green carpet, in a draw for all the teams concerned, confirming information from RMC Sports .
The only option for the EPCR executive, according to the provisions of the match results resolution matrix, was to record a draw of 0-0 and award two ranking points to each club.
EPCR in a press release
“The Steering Committee and Executive have been guided by the deliberations of the EPCR Sports and Tournaments Commission. This is made up of representatives from the three leagues (Top 14, Premiership Rugby and United Rugby Championship), as is the EPCR Steering Committee., indicates the European authority in a press release. Adding: “Options to change tournament formats and/or reschedule matches have been discussed in detail by all parties. However, given the increasingly complicated schedule due to Covid-19, it was unfortunately decided that the only choice under these circumstances was to cancel these matches. The Steering Committee then considered how the seven matches should be counted in the tournament rankings. He considered that the correct approach was for the EPCR executive to apply the match results resolution matrix, as provided for in the 2021/2022 Champions Cup and Challenge Cup Participation Agreement.”
The EPCR – which specifies the matches previously canceled due to Covid cases remain lost for the teams concerned – thus justifies its unprecedented decision on the postponed matches: “None of the affected clubs were able to play once the EPCR Steering Committee postponed all seven matches due to the new travel restrictions. As a result, the only option for the EPCR Executive, under the provisions of the Match Results Resolution Matrix, was to register a draw of 0-0 and award two ranking points. to each club.
The English clubs were campaigning for a match lost on green carpet for the Top 14 teams…
A decision necessarily badly received by the French formations. Thus the Stade Toulousain, which could hope for an improved victory at home. Or Thomas Lombard, CEO of Stade Français Paris. “Too bad that a postponement decision leads to a draw. The clubs that received are therefore doubly sanctioned, sportingly and financially.“, he confided to The Team. It could have been worse. According to the British media, the English clubs were initially pushing for it to be a losing match for the French clubs. When you think of making your law on a European competition…
We must also expect recriminations from certain clubs. Indeed, this decision only applies to postponements due to the rules put in place by the various governments. The Pau-Saracens, Montpellier-Leinster and Racing 92-Ospreys matches are therefore not affected. The three French clubs keep the 5 points of the 28-0 victory awarded on the green carpet, the opposing teams having declared numerous cases of Covid-19 in their workforce.
New problems arise for the 3rd and 4th days of the continental games, which must take place this weekend and the following one. According to British media, English clubs and Welsh franchises have announced their intention to refuse to come to France, refusing to comply with the health rule in force in France which imposes 48-hour isolation when coming from the United Kingdom. . The puzzle continues…