Heineken Cup play-off confirmed

The Board of ERC confirmed details of the 24th place play-off for the 2007/8 Heineken Cup on Wednesday, following the announcement by ERC’s Shareholders of a “conditional agreement” with regard to the future of the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup.

Newport Gwent Dragons have qualified for the 24th place play-off for next season’s Heineken Cup as the highest placed team in the Magners League who has not automatically qualified for next season’s European tournament.

They will compete against the best placed Italian non qualifier at Rodney Parade on Friday May 18 with the game kicking off at 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT) in front of the Sky Sports cameras. The match will be refereed by English official Rob Debney.

The Dragons have completed their Magners League programme, finishing in ninth place on 39 points and 13 clear of Connacht in tenth who have one fixture remaining.

It will be the second successive season that the Dragons have been involved in the 24th place play-off; they failed to qualify for the current Heineken Cup tournament after being beaten 24-15 by Overmach Rugby Parma at Rodney Parade last May.

Their Italian opposition this time will be confirmed after the second leg Super 10 semi-final matches on Saturday. The first leg results last weekend were:

Petrarca 20 Benetton Treviso 18;
Calvisano 19 Viadana 10.

As the finishing positions in the regular season will determine which of the losing semi-finalists will face the Dragons, the Italian play-off spot will be filled by either Benetton Treviso, Viadana or Calvisano.

Benetton Treviso finished top of the Super 10, Viadana finished second, Calvisano third, and Pertrarca Padova fourth.

Thus Petrarca Padova’s only chance of qualification is to beat Treviso, which would also ensure Benetton Treviso’s passage into the play-off againt the Dragons.

 

365 Digital

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