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LV= semi-finals: What you need to know

28 January 2014

  • One spot remaining in LV= Cup semi-finals
  • Read how the teams qualify here
Sale Sharks

Photo: Getty Images

With three sides having booked their semi-final place, four team have it all to play for in Round 4 with one spot still remaining in the knockout stages.

Sale Sharks join Exeter Chiefs, Leicester Tiger and Cardiff Blues as contenders to qualify, are one of the four sides who could still qualify from the highly competitive Pool 2. The Welsh outfit are the outside runners for the final spot, needing to claim five points from their Friday night clash with reigning champions Harlequins and hope that all three of their rivals fail to pick up a point in the final round to have any chance of progressing.

If Sale record a bonus-point win against Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night they will be guaranteed to join Saracens, Bath and Northampton Saints in the semi-finals. Ospreys won 17-16 when these sides last played each other at the Liberty Stadium, Shane Williams’ injury-time try, converted by James Hook, securing victory in a nail-biting Heineken Cup tie on October 20, 2006.

Chiefs remain in contention for knockout spot

Exeter Chiefs, who host the LV= Cup final at Sandy Park on Sunday March 16, remain in contention after bagging a bonus-point win over Ospreys in round three. The Chiefs complete their pool fixtures with a game at Worcester on Saturday afternoon. Chiefs won 40-6 when the sides met in the Premiership at Sandy Park at the end of October.

Two-time champions Leicester face old rivals Bath Rugby the evening before, hoping for a repeat of their semi-final success at The Rec in March 2012 - the year they lifted the trophy for a second time. Bath won this season’s league clash at The Rec, 27-20, while the return game at Welford Road ended 27-27.

Exeter Chiefs

Photo: Getty Images

Saracens, Northampton Saints and Bath Rugby are all safely through to the semi-finals after building up unassailable leads in their respective pools. Saracens made it three bonus-points wins on the spin with a comfortable victory over Newcastle Falcons at Allianz Park, while Northampton came away from Newport Gwent Dragons with the points and Bath saw off Cardiff Blues on home soil.

How the qualification works:

The pool winners will be decided by the following criteria:

a) The club with the highest number of match points in each pool.

 

b) If two or more clubs in the same pool end the pool stage equal on match points, then the order in which they have finished will be determined by:
 i. the greater number of matches won by the club then
 ii. if the number of matches won is equal, the club with the greater total number of tries scored, then
 iii. if the total number of tries scored is equal, the club with the greater points difference (points scored for, 
     less points scored against), then
 iv. if the points difference is equal, the club with the fewer number of red cards, then
 v. if the number of red cards is the same, by the toss a coin.

The pool winners will then be ranked 1-4 using the following criteria:

a) The club with the highest number of match points
b) If two or more clubs end the pool stage equal on match points, then the order in which they are ranked will be determined by:
 i. the greater number of matches won by the club, then
 ii. if the number of matches won is equal, the club with the greater total number of tries scored, then
 iii. if the total number of tries scored is equal, the club with the greater points difference (points scored for,
 less points scored against), then
 iv. if the points difference is equal, the club with the fewer number of red cards, then
 v. if the number of red cards is the same, by the toss a coin.

Each of the four qualifying clubs shall be ranked as above and shall play each other as follows:

Semi-final 1: 1st ranked club v 4th ranked club
Semi-final 2: 2nd ranked club v 3rd ranked club

Round 4 fixtures

Friday, January 31
Cardiff Blues v Harlequins, KO 19:05
Ospreys v Sale Sharks, KO 19:30
Leicester Tigers v Bath Rugby, KO 19:45
Newcastle Falcons v Newport Gwent Dragons, KO 19:45

Saturday, February 1
Gloucester v London Wasps, KO 15:00
Northampton Saints v Saracens, KO 15:00
Worcester Warriors v Exeter Chiefs, KO 15:00
London Irish v Scarlets, KO 16:00

 

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