Benetton bizarrely seal their Rainbow Cup final place with a cancellation
PRO14 Rugby have confirmed that the round six Guinness Rainbow Cup fixture between Ospreys and Benetton due to take place this Saturday has been cancelled due to positive Covid-19 cases in the Ospreys squad. As a result of the cancellation, Benetton have qualified for the final on June 19 that will be staged in Treviso.
A statement from the tournament organisers read: “Ospreys Rugby are working closely with Public Health Wales following the latest round of Covid-19 testing at the club, which returned three positive results.
“The decision to cancel the game is a result of the mandate from Public Health Wales that all individuals who were part of the travelling party from the previous fixture are now required to self-isolate in line with public health protocols.
“With no available weekends remaining, the game will not be rescheduled. As a result, PRO14 will use the protocol decided prior to the 2020/21 season whereby a game that could not be rescheduled would result in that fixture deemed a 0-0 draw, but four match points would be awarded to the team who had not been the cause of the postponement.
“In this case, Benetton will receive four match points. This protocol ensures that no artificial scoring points were added to the tries/points for and against columns.
Fans hoping for a full-on final in Italy on June 19 have had their hopes dashed https://t.co/B33Vvp6P2X
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 5, 2021
“Adding four points to Benetton’s current total of 18 will provide the Italian team with a final standing of 22 points. It is mathematically impossible for any other team in the table to win more than 20 points, therefore Benetton will be the northern representative in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup final on Saturday, June 19.”
The decision is a disappointing way for Benetton to reach the final but it is in keeping with the maligned way the gimmicky tournament has unfolded. Just last Saturday it was revealed by Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus that the southern qualifier for the final, either the Sharks or the Bulls, will travel without any of the players who were selected in the 46-strong South Africa squad.
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