Benetton Treviso have earned the right to represent the northern hemisphere in the Rainbow Cup grand final against either the Bulls or the Sharks, who meet at Kings Park this weekend.
Italian club Benetton were crowned champions of the north section after their final pool stage game against Welsh side Ospreys was cancelled due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the latter team’s camp.
It means Benetton will host one of the South African sides at the Stadio di Monigo, their home, on 19 June.
“With no available weekends remaining, the game will not be rescheduled,” Pro14 Rugby said on their website.
“As a result, Pro14 Rugby will use the protocol decided prior to the 2020/21 season whereby a game that could not be rescheduled 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.”
The bizarre winning mechanism for Benetton did not receive favour from all quarters, with some fans cheekily calling it “a fitting conclusion to the Rainbow Cup.”
The equation is simple for the Bulls, who top the Rainbow Cup SA log: secure a bonus point in Durban on Saturday, even if they lose, and the inaugural southern hemisphere title is theirs.
The task is trickier for the Sharks who trail the Bulls by four log points in second place. They must win with a bonus point and prevent Jake White’s men from achieving any points if they are to contest the grand final.