Wed 18 May 2022 | 12:38

URC: Mad dash in Shield race

URC: Mad dash in Shield race
Wed 18 May 2022 | 12:38
URC: Mad dash in Shield race
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SPOTLIGHT: There is a huge amount at stake in this weekend’s final round of the United Rugby Championship with three home Quarter-finals and three regional Shields all up for grabs.

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Five games will have direct consequences on the locations of the home Quarter-finals.

The Sharks, Stormers and Bulls can all still win the South African Shield.

The South African sides will play their final Round-Robin matches in Europe.

The Sharks, currently third on the overall log and first in the South African Shield with 56 points take on Ulster (fifth place with 55 points).

The Bulls (sixth place with 53 points) face Ospreys on Friday.

On Saturday, Stormers (fourth place with 56 points) battle it out with Scarlets.

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Ospreys and Scarlets both failed to make the final eight of the URC however both are in contention to win the Welsh Shield.

Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors will compete for the Italian x Scottish Shield and the 1872 Cup.

All four Shield winners are guaranteed a place in next season’s Champions Cup.

The Welsh Shield winner will finish in 9th position meaning that only seven of the top eight will qualify for the Champions Cup.

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URC: Mad dash in Shield race

 

LEINSTER

(First/ 62 points / 12 games won) TOP RANKING CONFIRMED

Next Game: Munster (H)
Best: first
Worst: first

Shield: Leinster have won the Irish Shield and are automatically qualified for the Heineken Champions Cup

Play-Offs:

Leinster have secured No 1 ranking after picking up two losing bonus points on their tour to SA
They have a home Quarter-final and will host Semi-finals and Grand Final should they qualify

MUNSTER

(Second / 56 points / 11 wins / PD 193 / TF 63 / Total Points 499 / TD +33)

Next Game: Leinster (A)
Best: Second
Worst: Sixth

Shield: Leinster have won the Irish Shield

Play-Offs:

A win of any description will guarantee a home Quarter-final due to their superior points difference. However, Munster are level with Sharks, Stormers and Ulster with 11 games won so a try-bonus point victory could be key to earning No.2 ranking and securing a home Semi-final (should they qualify).
A loss to Leinster opens Munster up to playing away in the Quarter-finals with the Bulls the biggest threat to breaking into the top four should they win at Ospreys

SHARKS

(Third/ 56 points / 11 wins / PD 148 / TF 57 / Total Points 489 / TD +17)

Next Game: Ulster (A)
Best:  Second
Worst: Sixth

Shield: Leading the South African Shield but are level with DHL Stormers and are separated only by Tries For (57 to 56). Losses for both the Sharks and Stormers would allow Vodacom Bulls to claim the Shield if they win

Play-Offs:

A win will guarantee a home Quarter-final. No 2 ranking for a home Semi-final is in play if Munster lose or Sharks win with a BP and Munster fail to win with maximum points but that is also true for Stormers should they win.
A loss to Ulster would leave the Sharks vulnerable to dropping out of the top four

STORMERS

(Fourth/ 56 points / 11 wins / PD 148 / TF 56 / Total Points 438 / TD +22)

Next Game: Scarlets (A)
Best: Second
Worst: Sixth

Shield: Level with Sharks at top of the South African Shield and are behind by Tries For (57 to 56). Losses for both the Sharks and  Stormers would allow the Bulls to claim the Shield if they win

Play-Offs:

A win will guarantee a home Quarter-final. No.2 ranking for a home Semi-final is in play if Munster lose or the Stormers win with a BP and Munster fail to win with maximum points but that is also true for Sharks should they win.
A loss to Scarlets does not rule out a home Quarter-final but it would require other results to go in favour of the Stormers.

ULSTER

(Fifth / 55 points / 11 wins / PD 112 / TF 49 / Total Points 388 / TD +18)

Next Game: Sharks (H)
Best: Second
Worst: Seventh

Shield: Leinster have won the Irish Shield

Plays-Offs:

A win will guarantee a home Quarter-final. No 2 ranking for a home Semi-final is possible and would most likely require a win for Ulster and losses for Munster and Stormers who boast the lead in many of the tie-breakers
Only a bonus-point loss coupled with a heavy defeat for either Stormers or Munster would see Ulster sneak into the top four

BULLS

(Sixth / 53 points / 10 wins / PD 123 / TF 61 / Total Points 480 / TD +23)

Next Game: Ospreys (A)
Best: Second
Worst: Seventh

Shield: Bulls trail the Sharks and Stormers by three points in the SA Shield

Play-Offs:

To finish second the Bulls need a BP win with a winning margin of at least 25 points and losses to Munster, Stormers and a draw between Ulster and the Sharks (neither side claims a try BP) although two bonus-points in defeat for Munster would probably give them the edge in finishing second
To earn a home Quarter-final Bulls need a BP win and require two from Munster,  Stormers and the Sharks to drop points
Defeat allows either Edinburgh or Glasgow Warriors to finish above the  Bulls

GLASGOW WARRIORS

(Seventh / 50 points / 10 wins / PD 50 / TF 52 / Total Points 398 / TD +11)

Next Game: Edinburgh Rugby (A)
Best: fifth
Worst: Eight

Shield: Glasgow are level with Edinburgh on 50 points at the top of the Italian X Scottish Shield. The winner takes all in this Scottish derby. A draw is good enough for Warriors who have won more games

Play-Offs:

A home Quarter-final is out of reach but Glasgow can still finish 5th, however, it will require a substantial BP win over Edinburgh and a heavy defeat for Ulster and a Bulls loss
A loss will mean an eighth-place finish and a trip to Leinster in the Quarter-final
Defeat for either team will end their hopes of competing in the Champions Cup as the eighth-placed team will not gain a place in the competition due to the Welsh Shield winner finishing in 9th position in the table
Having won the R9 fixture 30-17, Glasgow Warriors hold a 13-point lead in the 1872 Cup and should they lose to Edinburgh, the aggregate score between that game and the R18 contest will decide the winner

EDINBURGH RUGBY

(Eight / 50 points / 9 wins / PD 86 / TF 52 / Total Points 393 / TD +16)

Next Game: Glasgow Warriors (H)
Best: Sixth
Worst: Eight

Shield: Glasgow are level with Edinburgh on 50 points at the top of the Italian X Scottish Shield. The winner takes all in this Scottish derby. A draw is good enough for Warriors who have won more games

Play-Offs:

The highest position on offer to Edinburgh is 6th and would largely depend on a win for the Scottish team and loss for the Bulls, however, if Edinburgh did not pick up a BP and the Bulls did, then points difference will come into play
A loss will mean an eighth-place finish and a trip to Leinster in the Quarter-final

Defeat for either team will end their hopes of competing in the Champions Cup as the eighth-placed team will not gain a place in the competition due to the Welsh Shield winner finishing in 9th position in the table

Having won the Rournd 9 fixture 30-17, Glasgow Warriors hold a 13-point lead in the 1872 Cup and should they lose to Edinburgh, the aggregate score between that game and the Round 18 contest will decide the winner.

Source: @URCOfficial 

PV: 16
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