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Road to the play-offs

Mon, 09 Jan 2012 00:00

With two rounds of Heineken Cup action left before the teams for the knock-out stages of the tournament are confirmed we thought we would take a look at the road to the play-offs.

Since the 2003/04 season and the introduction of bonus points no club has qualified for the quarterfinals as pool winner on less than 17 points or as best runner up on less than 19.

The format of the two best Heineken Cup runners-up qualifying for the quarterfinals as the seventh and eighth ranked clubs has been in operation since the 1999/00 season - with bonus points coming into the equation in the 2003/04 season.

Since then, no team has qualified as a best runner up with less than 19 points although in 2003/04, Celtic Warriors, and in 2006/07, the Ospreys, both discovered that even 20 points was not sufficient to make the knock-out stages.

Since those changes came into effect no club has qualified as a pool winner on less than four wins or with less than 17 points.

Similarly, since bonus points were introduced, no club has qualified as one of the best runners-up on less than four wins or with less than 19 points.

The maximum points and wins attainable by each club on current standings are:

Pool 1
Munster - 26 points/6 wins
Scarlets - 21 points/4 wins
Northampton Saints - 18 points/3 wins
Castres Olympique - 16 points/3 wins

Remaining fixtures:
Scarlets v Northampton Saints
Munster v Castres
Castres v Scarlets
Northampton Saints v Munster

Pool 2
Edinburgh - 23 points/5 wins
Cardiff Blues - 23 points/5 wins
London Irish - 18 points/3 wins
Racing Metro 92 - 17 points/3 wins

Remaining fixtures:
Racing Metro v Edinburgh
London Irish v Cardiff Blues
Cardiff Blues v Racing Metro
Edinburgh v London Irish

Pool 3
Leinster - 26 points/5 wins (+ 1 draw)
Glasgow Warriors - 20 points/4 wins (+ 1 draw)
Bath - 16 points/3 wins
Montpellier - 16 points/2 wins (+ 2 draws)

Remaining fixtures:
Montpellier v Bath
Glasgow v Leinster
Bath v Glasgow
Leinster v Montpellier

Pool 4
Ulster - 24 points/5 wins
Leicester Tigers - 22 points/5 wins
ASM Clermont Auvergne - 21 points/4 wins
Aironi - 10 points/2 wins

Remaining fixtures:
Ulster v Leicester
Aironi  v Clermont
Clermont v Ulster
Leicester v Aironi

Pool 5
Saracens - 24 points/5 wins
Biarritz Olympique - 22 points/4 wins
Ospreys - 18 points/3 wins (+ 1 draw)
Benetton Treviso - 16 points/3 wins (+ 1 draw)

Remaining fixtures:
Ospreys v Treviso
Saracens v Biarritz
Treviso v Saracens
Biarritz v Ospreys

Pool 6
Toulouse - 23 points/5 wins
Harlequins - 22 points/5 wins
Gloucester - 19 points/4 wins
Connacht - 12 points/2 wins

Remaining fixtures:
Toulouse v Connacht
Harlequins v Gloucester
Connacht v Harlequins
Gloucester v Toulouse

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