Rugby Union - European Cups

TheLocalYokel

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The organisers of the European Champions and Challenge Cups (ECPR) have now decreed that those matches postponed last month because of the French Government's rules on entry to their country will now be regarded as cancelled with the results of each recorded as a 0-0 draw with two points awarded to both clubs.

This contrasts with their previous ruling that matches not played because of Covid infections within a squad should be regarded as a 28-0 win and five points for the opposing club.

If more games are treated in this way it's not inconceivable that a club could reach the later stages without winning a match.

In the Champions Cup Bristol Bears already have seven points with a 28-0 win award after Scarlets could not fulfil a fixture because of Covid and now the cancellation of their away match against Stade Francais that should have taken place in December last year.
 

TheLocalYokel

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There is still doubt over some European Cup fixtures in France this weekend. Currently clubs from England and Wales are due to play in France and are awaiting to see if the French Government will grant a dispensation from its rules that mean the players would have to self-isolate for 48 hours after which they would have to provide a negative PCR test or antigen test before being allowed out of this quarantine.

A positive test could mean a player might then have to stay in France for ten days.

Time is getting ever shorter for a decision to be made.

 

Jerry

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Will be interesting to see what happens, the European competition has been thrown into a bit of chaos due to covid restrictions. It'll be interesting to see if the fixtures get postponed or not.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Will be interesting to see what happens, the European competition has been thrown into a bit of chaos due to covid restrictions. It'll be interesting to see if the fixtures get postponed or not.
It looks as though the ECPR has already set out its stall. If the weekend matches are not played because of the French government's entry conditions the ECPR would surely have no option but to do what they have done for matches not played earlier for this reason, ie regard the fixtures as cancelled as 0-0 draws with two points each to both sides.

That was one reason why I raised the possibility of a team reaching the later stages of one of the competitions without winning a match.
 

Jerry

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It looks as though the ECPR has already set out its stall. If the weekend matches are not played because of the French government's entry conditions the ECPR would surely have no option but to do what they have done for matches not played earlier for this reason, ie regard the fixtures as cancelled as 0-0 draws with two points each to both sides.

That was one reason why I raised the possibility of a team reaching the later stages of one of the competitions without winning a match
Another option is that the French teams forfeit but i suspect they'll go for the draw, either way the competition especially the latter stages will be devalued due to as you said the possibility of teams getting through without winning games in the groups.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Another option is that the French teams forfeit but i suspect they'll go for the draw, either way the competition especially the latter stages will be devalued due to as you said the possibility of teams getting through without winning games in the groups.
I can't see the French teams forfeiting. That would give their opponents a free 28-0 win and five points. A 0-0 with 2 points is a much better option for the French teams.

Incidentally, when was the last time a 0-0 occurred in a real match involving top teams? 3-0 and 3-3 were not that uncommon in the days before the kick to touch rule was altered. Then a team could kick directly into touch from anywhere and on wet, muddy days the games often processed up the touchline with kick after kick and/or scrum after scrum.

Here are the Five Nations scores for 1959, won by France incidentally, which is typical of the period. It has to be remembered that a try then was only worth three points, the same as a penalty goal and a drop goal which was another reason for lack of enterprise and poor entertainment for the fans.

France 9 Scotland 0
Wales 5 England 0
Scotland 6 Wales 5
Ireland 0 England 3
England 3 France 3
Scotland 3 Ireland 8
Wales 8 Ireland 6
England 3 Scotland 3
France 11 Wales 3
Ireland 9 France 5

England scored just 9 points and conceded 11 in their four matches: won 3-0, lost 0-5 and drew the other two matches by the same score, 3-3. Yet I can remember watching the games on BBC Tv intently as a schoolboy in the second half of the 1950s.

 

JENNYJET

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Whilst preferring games are played maintaining the integrity of the competition, I feel that an equitable solution where games are unplayable due to Government dictat, points are shared as they were forced into the situation. Where teams voluntarily forfeit games when they could be played at a later date, the existing sanctions according to competition rules should be enforced.

As always, Integrity before convenience is my preferred outcome.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Finding replacement dates for matches is next to impossible. That apparently was ECPR's intention when games were originally postponed in December because of the French government's travel restrictions.

They later realised that there were no available dates so cancelled the matches instead of postponing them with the 0-0 draw and two points per side the outcome.

With the physical intensity that rugby demands at this level it's not possible to slot in additional midweek matches. The health and wellbeing of players have to be protected.
 
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