Champions Cup permutations – how can Munster and Ulster qualify?
Who needs what in the final round of fixtures to qualify for the knockout stages?
So what do Munster and Ulster need to do to join Leinster in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions Cup? The short answer is to win their respective final pool matches against Castres Olympique at Thomond Park on Sunday (1pm) and Wasps at the Ricoh Arena (3.15pm) later that afternoon - in such an eventuality they’ll both qualify for the knock-out stage of the tournament.
Munster (16) simply have to beat Castres to qualify as pool winners because they have a better points’ aggregate in their head-to-head matches with their nearest pursuers, Racing 92 (15), so it doesn’t matter if the French side get a four try, bonus point win as long as the Irish province prevail. If Johann van Graan’s side win with a bonus point they could secure a home quarter-final with a top four seeding.
How they stand
In that scenario it is mathematically possible for Munster to become second seeds, if Clermont Auvergne (18) fail to beat the Ospreys (15) at home, the Scarlets (17) beat Toulon (18) without a bonus point and the Irish province (+35 points difference) enjoy a bigger winning margin in beating Castres than the Scarlets manage (+36) in a victory over Toulon.
A victory for Ulster (17) away to Wasps guarantees a place in the quarter-finals and one with a four try, bonus point would make them pool winners. If La Rochelle (16) win with a bonus point and Ulster don’t then the French side would top the pool as they have a superior record in the head-to-head matches between the two clubs.
If Ulster (+33) manage just a losing bonus point then they could still qualify but it would depend on a number of other results going in their favour. Leinster need a point to guarantee number one seeding but could still accomplish that goal if either of Clermont (18) or Toulon (18) fail to get a five point haul from their respective matches.