Munster and Glasgow Warriors’ hopes of reaching the PRO14 Rainbow Cup final have been dashed by the cancellation of Benetton’s match against Ospreys.
Three positive Covid-19 tests in the Ospreys camp has led to the final match being called off, meaning unbeaten Benetton will advance as the ‘northern’ qualifier.
After four wins from four, Benetton would have needed to beat Ospreys to progress but the cancellation means they will be handed four points to secure top spot.
It reduces the meaning of Munster’s trip to Zebre on Friday evening, while Glasgow Warriors had topped the standings by one point having played all of their fixtures.
Benetton will now face a South African opponent in June 19’s final. The Bulls top the South African league and only need two match points against the Sharks on Saturday to seal their place in the final.
Pro14 organisers confirmed the cancellation, adding in a statement: “As a result of the cancellation, Benetton Rugby have qualified for the Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Cup Final on June 19.
“Ospreys Rugby are working closely with Public Health Wales (PHW) following the latest round of Covid-19 testing at the club, which returned three positive results.
“The decision to cancel the game is a result of the mandate from PHW that individuals who were part of the travelling party from the previous fixture are now required to self-isolate in-line with public health protocols.
“With no available weekends remaining, the game will not be rescheduled. As a result, Pro14 rugby will use the protocol decided prior to the 2020-21 season whereby a game that could not be reschedule would result in that fixture deemed a 0-0 draw, but four match points would be awarded to the team who had not been the cause of the postponement.
“In this case, Benetton will receive four match points. This protocol ensures that no artificial scoring points were added to the tries/points for and against columns.
“Adding four points to Benetton’s current total of 18 will provide the Italian team with a final standing of 22 points.”