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Four points for a win, two points for a draw (match points). A bonus point will be earned by a team scoring four or more tries and by a team losing by seven or less points. The five Pool winners and three best placed runners-up will qualify for the quarter-finals and will be decided by the following criteria:
(i) the Pool winner will be the Club with the highest number of match points earned in each Pool. The knock-out stages of future Amlin Challenge Cup tournaments will now include three teams who will qualify through the Heineken Cup.
The introduction of three teams who have finished as Pool runners-up in that seasons' Heineken Cup (the third, fourth and fifth ranked Heineken Cup Pool runners-up), to meet the five Challenge Cup Pool winners, will enhance both the quality and profile of the Challenge Cup knock-out matches.
The top four Challenge Cup Pool winners will enjoy home advantage in the quarter-finals with the top Pool winner playing the 5th, while the other three Pool winners will welcome the Heineken Cup sides.
1 ECC 1 (Top ranked ECC Pool winner)
2 ECC 2 (Second ranked ECC Pool winner)
3 ECC 3 (Third ranked ECC Pool winner)
4 ECC 4 (Fourth ranked ECC Pool winner)
5 Heineken Cup 1
6 Heineken Cup 2
7 Heineken Cup 3
8 ECC 5 (Fifth Ranked ECC Pool winner)
1 (ECC 1) v 8 (ACC 5)
2 (ECC 2) v 7 (Heineken Cup 3)
3 (ECC 3) v 6 (Heineken Cup 2)
4 (ECC 4) v 5 (Heineken Cup 1)
Clubs in the same Pool
(ii) if Clubs are equal on points and the Clubs are in the same Pool, then qualification/ranking will be based on the two matches played between the Clubs concerned:
(a) the Club which has earned the most number of match points from the two matches (four points for a win, two points for a draw and bonus points).
(b) the Club which has scored the most tries in the two matches.
(c) the Club with the best aggregate points difference from the two matches.
Clubs from different Pools
(iii) if still unresolved, or the teams have not played each other previously in the Pool stage, qualification/ranking will be based on:
(a) the number of tries scored in all Pool matches.
(b) aggregate points difference from all Pool matches.
(c) the Club with the fewest number of players sent off and / or suspended in all Pool matches.
(d) toss of a coin.