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Points divvied up in abandoned Newcastle-Sale match

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Premiership Rugby have have confirmed that Newcastle Falcons have been awarded four match points and Sale Sharks two following the cancellation of their Gallagher Premiership Rugby Round 11 game.

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The match score shall be recorded as 0–0 after the Premiership Rugby Panel – comprising Premiership Rugby chair Martyn Phillips and Rugby Director Phil Winstanley – reviewed the situation.

On Christmas Day Sale returned positive coronavirus tests and “a significant number” of their squad have been ruled out of the match.

After consultation, with both the Professional Game Board (PGB) Testing Oversight Group and the Sharks, it was agreed that the risk was too great for the fixture to take place safely.

Premiership Regulations state that: “In the event that the Premiership Rugby Panel decide that a Referred Match in the League Season is cancelled, or any governmental authority recommends or requires that a Match in the Premiership League Season is cancelled (in either case, a ” Cancelled League Season Match “), then (without prejudice to any action which may be taken under or relating to any Covid Minimum Operating Standards): the result of that Cancelled League Season Match shall be deemed to be 0-0; and four league points shall be allocated to the club who was able to play the Cancelled League Season Match and two league points shall be allocated to the other club.”

A Premiership Rugby spokesperson said: “The health and safety of players, staff, management and officials is our priority, so following consultation with Professional Game Board Testing Oversight Group and Sale Sharks the correct decision was taken to call the game off.

“Newcastle Falcons have been awarded the win and four league points. Sale Sharks shall be deemed to have lost the match but awarded two league points. The match score shall be recorded as 0–0.

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“We wish those affected at Sale Sharks a safe and speedy recovery.”

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