Ulster face Bath on Saturday in a crucial Round 6 Heineken Champions Cup clash at Kingspan Stadium, and we have taken a look at some of the play-off permutations.
There are very limited tickets remaining for Ulster versus Bath this Saturday. Secure your tickets at ulsterrugby.com/buytickets.
The five pool winners and three best-placed runners-up will qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals on the weekend of 3/4/5 April. The quarter-finals are seeded, so the clubs ranked 1 to 4 will have home advantage, as follows:
Club 1 v Club 8 (QF1)
Club 4 v Club 5 (QF2)
Club 3 v Club 6 (QF3)
Club 2 v Club 7 (QF4)
Heading into the final round of games, five teams have already booked their place in the last 8, while Ulster are currently ranked 6.
- Leinster (Q) 24 (+105)
- Racing (Q) 22 (+71)
- Exeter (Q) 22 (+62)
- Toulouse (Q) 22 (+56)
- Clermont (q) 20 (+86)
- Ulster 17 (+15)
- Saracens 14 (+30)
- Gloucester 14 (+21)
- Northampton 14 (-29)
- Glasgow 12 (-12)
With fellow Pool 3 teams Clermont on 20 points, Harlequins on 9 points and Bath on 4 points, Ulster are guaranteed a top 2 finish in their pool, but qualification for the quarter-finals is not yet assured.
Ulster therefore need to move to 20 points to guarantee a quarter-final spot, so a four-try bonus point draw would suffice. However, Dan McFarland’s men will be fully focussed on securing their place with a lot less drama via a victory over Bath.
Should Ulster and one or more teams finish on level points, qualification/ranking will be determined as follows:
(i) the best aggregate points difference from the pool stage; or
(ii) if equal, the number of tries scored in the pool stage; or
(iii) if equal, the club with the fewest number of players suspended under Disciplinary Rules in the pool stage; or
(iv) if unresolved, by drawing lots.
The winner of QF1 will play the winner of QF2 in one semi-final, and the winner of QF3 will play the winner of QF4 in the other semi-final (1/2/3 May) as follows:
Semi-final 1: winner QF1 v winner QF2
Semi-final 2: winner QF3 v winner QF4