Premiership: Semifinal fixtures confirmed
SPOTLIGHT: Premiership Rugby have announced that Premiership semi-finals will take place on Saturday, a decision that will please both Exeter Chiefs and Bristol Bears as they have European finals the following week to prepare for.
Exeter are in the Champions Cup final on October 17 versus Racing in Bristol, while the Bears will take on Toulon the previous night in the Challenge Cup decider.
Those showpiece deciders would have been factored into the decision that will see Wasps, the No2 seeds, open this Saturday’s Premiership semi-finals with a 13.30 (local time) kick-off against either Bristol Bears or Sale Sharks at the Ricoh Arena.
This semi-final will be followed by Exeter, the No1 seeds, hosting either Bath, Bristol or Sale at Sandy Park at 16.30 (local time).
The infamous reason why the semi-final line-up is incomplete just days out from the last-four games was last Sunday’s postponement of Sale’s home match with Worcester. It followed the outbreak of coronavirus in the Sale ranks, the illness reportedly affecting 16 players and three staff.
Sale said at the time they did have 23 healthy players still available to play last Sunday but the fixture was delayed following Public Health England advice that will see the Sharks squad tested on Tuesday to ensure their clash with Worcester, which is now fixed for Wednesday evening, can take place.
Regarding the semi-final criteria, if after 80 minutes of play the scores are level, there shall be a five-minute break (where the teams and players shall remain on the pitch) and then a period of extra time shall begin between the teams of ten minutes each way, with a one-minute interval.
If the scores remain equal after this period of extra-time then the winner will be the team which has scored the most tries in the game (including extra time).
If the scores are level and the number of tries scored is equal, then there shall be a place kick competition.