Bristol the big winners after points allocated following cancelled Premiership matches
Bristol Bears have been confirmed as the table-topping Gallagher Premiership side ahead of next weekend’s semi-finals after a panel comprising Premiership Rugby chairman Andy Higginson and rugby director Phil Winstanley awarded them four points following the eleventh-hour cancellation of their round 22 match at home to London Irish.
Those points, which moved them seven clear at the top, were enough to ensure they could not be overtaken by Exeter Chiefs, no matter what the outcome of the defending champions’ match versus Sale was.
Two points were awarded to Irish, lifting them into the top eight and into a Heineken Champions Cup qualification spot ahead of Saturday’s remaining 3pm kick-offs where Bath now start one point behind the Exiled in ninth.
Premiership Rugby also confirmed that Gloucester’s attempt to qualify for Europe’s premier tournament was now officially over. It was last Tuesday when Gloucester’s match at Worcester was cancelled and the expectation that George Skivington’s team would only receive two points has now been confirmed with bottom club Worcester awarded four points.
A statement read: “Premiership Rugby can confirm that Bristol have been awarded four match points and London Irish two following the cancellation of their round 22 match. The match score shall be recorded as 0-0.
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“The match was cancelled after London Irish returned positive Covid-19 tests this week and had a significant number of players in isolation, following the contract tracing process. Due to this and having reviewed the club’s playing squad, it was clear that, as a direct result of Covid-19, London Irish were unable to fulfil its match.”
Regarding the Gloucester cancellation, it added: “The match was cancelled after Gloucester returned positive Covid-19 tests this week and had a significant number of players in isolation after being unable to fulfil their round 21 match against Bath. As a result of this and due to the additional new players being isolated, the club’s ability to have sufficient players available to cover the front row was impacted.”
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