There are now just three rounds and 24 matches left to play in the URC’s regular season. With 11 teams still in the race for playoff spots, 19 of those matches will feature some kind of jeopardy for the post season.

The Fight for the Top Four

The remaining fixtures for the current top four in the URC are:

1. Glasgow (58 points)
Bulls (4th); Lions (11th); ZEBRE (16th)

2. Leinster (54 points)
OSPREYS (10th); Ulster (7th); CONNACHT (6th)

3. Munster (53 points)
CONNACHT (6th); Edinburgh (9th); ULSTER (7th)

4. Bulls (51 points)
GLASGOW (1st); BENETTON (8th); Sharks (13th)

Home fixtures in capitals

Glasgow’s run in

The Warriors’ targets are relatively simple to work out – although not simple to achieve! They really need to go to work with the expectation that their Irish rivals collect maximum points from their final three games.

The mathematical certainties for Glasgow are then:

  • Guarantee top 8 and a playoff spot – done.
  • Guarantee top 4 and a home quarter-final – 3 points.
  • Guarantee top 2 and a potential home semi-final – 10 points (including two wins).
  • Guarantee top spot and a potential home final – 12 points.

That latter dream outcome would also happen if the Warriors’ collected 11 points (including two wins) and maintained a points’ difference superior to Leinster. Currently the Scottish side have an advantage of +50 points in their favour.

Taking any match points at all from their away fixture versus the Bulls this Saturday would keep things in Glasgow’s hands ahead of Rounds 17 and 18.

This is a side looking for a statement win though. Victory in Pretoria would certainly meet that standard and there’s no question Franco Smith’s men will be targeting the biggest win of their campaign so far to really put them in charge of the race for first place.

The Race to the Eight

The fixtures for the remaining sides in playoff contention are:

5. Stormers (45 points)
Dragons (15th); Connacht (6th); LIONS (11th)

6. Connacht (44 points)
Munster (3rd); STORMERS (6th); Leinster (1st)

7. Ulster (44 points)
Scarlets (14th); LEINSTER (2nd); Munster (3rd)

8. Benetton (44 points)
Sharks (13th); Bulls (4th); EDINBURGH (9th)

9. Edinburgh (43 points)
ZEBRE (16th); MUNSTER (3rd); Benetton (8th)

10. Ospreys (40 points)
Leinster (2nd); DRAGONS (15th); Cardiff (12th)

11. Lions (39 points)
CARDIFF (12th); GLASGOW (1st); Stormers (5th)

Home fixtures in capitals

Five points from their home match at the Hive against Zebre are non-negotiable for Edinburgh. A bonus point win will put them in a very strong position to make the top 8.

They may still end up travelling to Italy to play Benetton on the final day needing to take something from that game. In particular they will want to avoid the unfortunate prospect of making the playoffs but missing out on Champions Cup qualification due to an 8th place finish combined with the Sharks winning the Challenge Cup.

Potential Playoff Permutations

From a Scottish perspective, two wins out of three for both of the pro teams would be an ideal outcome with projected results looking like this:

Scotland Rugby News:

 That would lead to a very positive – but realistically achievable – final table like this:

Scotland Rugby News:

All of which would leave the playoff picture like this:

Scotland Rugby News: