United Rugby Championship 2021/22 – Final Round Permutations

While the eight sides qualifying for the playoffs have already been confirmed, there will be plenty at stake in the final round for everyone in the top 10 if the URC, including securing home ties, placings and Champions Cup qualification.

1. Leinster

Round 18 match at home to Munster

They will finish 1st

How do they guarantee a home playoff quarter-final?

Already done. In fact, Leinster will also play at home in the semi-finals and final if they progress.

2. Munster

Round 18 match away to Leinster

They can finish anywhere from 2nd to 6th

How do they guarantee a home playoff quarter-final?

Any win or a draw with a try bonus point.

2 points (either from a draw or both bonus points in defeat) would also be enough for a home quarter-final – unless Bulls were able to manage a BP victory away to Ospreys with a minimum winning margin in the range of 63 to 70 points.

But what if they only get 1 point v Leinster?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Sharks
    • Lose (no BPs); or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Stormers
    • Lose (no BPs); or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Ulster
    • Lose (max 1 BP); or
    • Lose (both BPs)*; or
    • Draw (no try BP)*
  • Bulls
    • Lose; or
    • Draw; or
    • Win (no try BP)*

And if they get 0 points v Leinster?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Sharks
    • Lose (no BPs)*
  • Stormers
    • Lose (no BPs)*
  • Ulster
    • Lose (no BPs); or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Bulls
    • Lose; or
    • Draw

3. Sharks

Round 18 match away to Ulster

They can finish anywhere from 2nd to 6th

How do they guarantee a home playoff quarter-final?

Any win or a draw with a try bonus point.

A draw with no try BP also guarantees a home quarter-final – unless Bulls manage a BP win away to Ospreys by a margin of at least 26 points.

But what if they lose and get 2 points v Ulster?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster:
    • Lose (max 1 BP)
  • Stormers:
    • Lose (max 1 BP); or
    • Lose (both BPs)*
  • Bulls:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw; or
    • Win (no try BP); or
    • Win (with try BP)*

And if they only get 1 point v Ulster?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster:
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Stormers:
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Bulls:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw; or
    • Win (no try BP)*

And if they get 0 points v Ulster?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster
    • Lose (no BPs)*
  • Stormers
    • Lose (no BPs)*
  • Bulls
    • Lose; or
    • Draw

4. Stormers

Round 18 match away to Scarlets

They can finish anywhere from 2nd to 6th

How do they guarantee a home playoff quarter-final?

Any win or a draw with a try bonus point.

A draw with no try BP also guarantees a home quarter-final – unless Bulls manage a BP win away to Ospreys by a margin of at least 26 points.

But what if they lose and get 2 points v Scarlets?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster:
    • Lose (max 1 BP)
  • Sharks:
    • Lose (max 1 BP); or
    • Lose (both BPs)*
  • Ulster:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw
  • Bulls:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw; or
    • Win; or
    • BP win*

And if they only get 1 point v Scarlets?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster
    • Lose (no BPs); or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Sharks
    • Lose (no BPs); or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Ulster
    • Lose (max 1 BP); or
    • Lose (both BPs)*; or
    • Draw (no try BP)*
  • Bulls
    • Lose; or
    • Draw; or
    • Win (no try BP)*

And if they get 0 points v Scarlets?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster
    • Lose (no BPs)*
  • Sharks
    • Lose (no BPs)*
  • Ulster
    • Lose (no BPs); or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Bulls
    • Lose; or
    • Draw

5. Ulster

Round 18 match at home to Sharks

They can finish anywhere from 2nd to 7th

How do they guarantee a home playoff quarter-final?

Any win

But what if they draw (with a try bonus point) v Sharks?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster:
    • Lose (max 1 BP)
  • Stormers:
    • Lose (max 1 BP)
  • Bulls:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw; or
    • Win (no try BP)

And if they get 2 points v Sharks?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster:
    • Lose (no BPs);
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Stormers:
    • Lose (no BPs);
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Bulls:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw

And if they only get 1 point v Sharks?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster:
    • Lose (no BPs)*
  • Stormers:
    • Lose (no BPs)*
  • Bulls:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw

And if they get 0 points v Sharks?

Then they cannot get a home quarter-final.

6. Bulls

Round 18 match away to Ospreys

They can finish anywhere from 2nd to 7th

How do they guarantee a home playoff quarter-final?

Bulls are relying on other teams’ results and cannot guarantee themselves a home draw by dint of their result alone.

But what if they manage a win (with a try bonus point) v Scarlets?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster:
    • Lose (max 1 BP); or
    • Lose (both BPs)*; or
    • Draw (no try BP)*
  • Sharks:
    • Lose (max 1 BP); or
    • Lose (both BPs)*; or
    • Draw (no try BP)*
  • Stormers:
    • Lose (max 1 BP); or
    • Lose (both BPs)*; or
    • Draw (no try BP)*
  • Ulster:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw

And if they manage a win (no try bonus point) v Scarlets?

Then they need at least 2 teams to finish below them in these ways:

  • Munster:
    • Lose; or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Sharks:
    • Lose; or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Stormers:
    • Lose; or
    • Lose (max 1 BP)*
  • Ulster:
    • Lose; or
    • Draw (no try BP)

And if they draw or lose v Scarlets?

Then they cannot get a home quarter-final.

7. Glasgow

Round 18 match away to Edinburgh

They can finish anywhere from 5th to 8th

How do they guarantee a home playoff quarter-final?

They cannot get a home playoff quarter-final.

How do they guarantee Champions Cup qualification?

  • Any win against Edinburgh; or
  • Any draw against Edinburgh (except where Edinburgh get a try BP and Glasgow do not).

8. Edinburgh

Round 18 match at home to Glasgow

They can finish anywhere from 5th to 8th

How do they guarantee a home playoff quarter-final?

They cannot get a home playoff quarter-final.

How do they guarantee Champions Cup qualification?

  • Any win against Glasgow; or
  • A draw against Glasgow where Edinburgh get a try BP and Glasgow do not.

9. Ospreys

Round 18 match at home to Bulls

How do they guarantee Champions Cup qualification?

  • Match or better Scarlets’ result at home to Stormers (see below)

10. Scarlets

Round 18 match at home to Stormers

How do they guarantee Champions Cup qualification?

  • Manage a better result in Round 18 than Ospreys do at home to Bulls (see above)

* These scenarios would come down to the second tiebreaker of points difference in this scenario (the first tiebreaker is number of wins). Current points differences after R17:

  1. Leinster +260
  2. Munster +193
  3. Sharks +148
  4. Stormers +148
  5. Ulster +112
  6. Bulls +123
  7. Glasgow +50
  8. Edinburgh +86
  9. Ospreys -45
  10. Scarlets -35

If unresolved after points difference the subsequent tiebreakers are:

  • Number of tries scored
  • Number of points scored
  • Tries difference
  • Number of players suspended
  • Number of yellow cards
  • Toss of a coin

Champions Cup

Either Edinburgh or Glasgow will finish 8th and miss out on Champions Cup in favour of the Welsh Shield winner – unless that 8th placed side then goes on to win the URC with their potential route being:

Beat Leinster in Dublin –> Win a home semi-final –> Win away in the final.

The lowest-ranked side that has not won a Shield would then drop into the Challenge Cup instead of Edinburgh/Glasgow.


Playoff structure

(Bolded sides have home advantage)

Quarter-finals:

  • 1st v 8th
  • 2nd v 7th
  • 3rd v 6th
  • 4th v 5th

Semi-finals:

  • 1st or 8th v 4th or 5th
  • 2nd or 7th v 3rd or 6th

Final:

  • The highest-ranked side to reach the final will be at home

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s