United Rugby Championship: What is the protocol if a play-off match ends in a draw?

Dylan Coetzee
Munster player lifts United Rugby Championship trophy.

Munster player lifts United Rugby Championship trophy.

The United Rugby Championship regular season has finished and only eight teams remain in the hunt for glory.

Knockout rugby is often loaded with dramatic finishes and tight scores bringing to mind the question; what happens if the scores are all square at full-time?

Extra time

Unlike the regular season, there has to be a winner in the playoffs to determine who advances to the next stage of the tournament so if the scores are tied the game heads to extra time.

In the URC, like many other tournaments, there are two halves of extra time that are 10 minutes each, with a five-minute half-time break in between.

It is important to note that it is not golden point so even if points are scored during extra time both periods are still required to be played.

If the scores are tied after extra time the only differential is the number of tries scored in the game and if that is the same then the result is decided by a place-kicking competition.

South Africa at the heart of record United Rugby Championship growth in 2023/24 season

Place-kicking competition

There are two coin tosses to decide the order of proceedings with the first toss deciding which team selects the end of the ground where the kicks will take place and the second determines which team gets to choose to go first or second.

Each team must then select three kickers who will take part in the contest, kicking two kicks each.

The first kicker from each team will take a kick from the first position before the second kicker from each side takes a kick from the second position and the third kicker takes a kick from the third position.

Then the first kickers from each side will take another kick at goal from the fourth position, the second kickers from the fifth position before the third kickers from the sixth position.

At this point, each team will have had six attempts at goal. The side with the most successful kicks wins the game.

IF the number of successful kicks is level after each kicker has made two attempts then the kicking competition heads into sudden death.

READ MORE: Four alternate venues where the Bulls could host the URC final, including the 90K+ mega stadium