Worcester return to the scene of the sublime at Sale on Friday while Moseley must be salivating at the prospect of facing Bristol on Sunday, opponents against whom they have had considerable joy in recent seasons.
Fixtures between the Warriors and the Sharks and Mose and Bris (perhaps all a club needs to get into the Premiership is an infantile nickname) conjure images of outstanding collective and individual brilliance, having provided some of the best tries in the last few years.
Indeed Kai Horstmann’s score for Worcester at Edgeley Park was recognised as the best of the 2007-08 campaign, while a Moseley fan will have to travel a very, very long way to see a better score than the one Greg King finished off at Billesley Common last November – and that includes any of Mike Ellery’s long range stunners.
Let’s hope for more this weekend as the clubs resume their league campaigns looking to recreate the kind of magic that will linger in the memory long after the final whistle has gone and the score has been forgotten.
With that in mind I’ve decided to put together a top three for Worcester, Moseley and Birmingham & Solihull Bees, taken from the last six or seven years for no reason other than they stick out more than many others.
Exactly what makes a memorable try is very much a matter of opinion. When he looks back at his career Terry Sigley, the prop’s prop, will no doubt feel huge pride when he recalls Moseley’s third, match-winning penalty try against Coventry in October 2009.
It was in one way breathtaking, it was certainly dramatic but not even wily old Tex could argue it was a work of beauty.
Clearly the whole issue is subjective and goes to the very rationale behind those of us who don’t play the sport at a high level, choosing to watch others do just that.
We want to be impressed, we want to be lifted from our seats by the sort of excellence only the mal-adroit can truly appreciate.
We want acts of physical prowess decorated by scorching pace, balletic balance, surgeon’s hands and tactical clarity amid confusion and tension. Preferably at the same time.
At Test level two contenders rise above all others. The fabled Greatest Try of All Time scored in 1973 by Gareth Edwards for the Barbarians against New Zealand but created by the audacity of Phil Bennett and handling of Derek Quinnell.
Then there’s the Try from the End of the World, similar in its combination of backs and forwards, its individual and collective inspiration and its significance as Jean-Luc Sadourny gave France a series victory over the All Blacks in 1994.
Perhaps the fact the best side on the planet was on the receiving end suggests the opposition and the context are a decisive factor – there are so many variables as to make a definitive answer impossible.
For me sheer willpower and determination is as convincing as technical excellence.
Nevertheless, I look no further for my favourite Worcester try than Horstmann’s effort in Stockport, a moment of dazzling genius that illuminated a gloomy February night and a dilapidated stadium.
In this instance the back story is important. Mike Ruddock’s men had won one Premiership match all season and were destined for relegation when they recalled unwanted fly half Shane Drahm from loan to Launceston.
The Australian responded by stepping, dummying and then scooting from his own line to the Sharks’ 10m where he slowed down for support.
Miles Benjamin offered some on the left wing but was tackled instantly, then from the resulting ruck Matt Powell launched a punt to the opposite sideline where Marcel Garvey tapped down for Horstmann to beat Sebastien Chabal to the line from 20m.
It was startling in its incongruity, Worcester simply didn’t score tries like that, they just didn’t win matches in that way and it started a run of five victories from eight games that kept them in the top flight. It was high Drahm-a.
My most memorable Moseley try, as enjoyable as Ellery’s Where Can I Score From Now competition has been, was Nathan Bressington’s in the league and cup double header semi-final against Exeter.
The cocky Chiefs pitched up at Billesley in March 2009 displaying the sort of hubris that usually precedes a fall.
And what a fall it was, as Moseley’s home-grown pack and Kingsholm Kiddies, put together in the absence of the holidaying Ian Smith, caused a stunning upset. Only two minutes had gone when Mose’s supercharged defensive line panicked Gareth Steenson into a loose pass near halfway.
Jack Adams scooped up and simultaneously hammered a bobbling kick down the slope to the right corner where three defenders converged and appeared to have everything under control.
But Bressington, fast without being a flying machine, swept past them like a greyhound chasing a hare and accepted the bounce to stun Exeter, who were never allowed to recover.
It set the tone for the match and arguably the final too.
Across the city, Bees’ brand of adventure and ambition created many outstanding scores for a few seasons but it was their sheer cussedness that made Dan Sanderson’s winner at Bristol last season so noteworthy.
After they’d lost a gut-wrencher to Moseley the week before no-one gave Russell Earnshaw’s men a chance at the Memorial Stadium, except Mark Woodrow that is.
The fly half had just returned to the club for a third time and made his latest debut against his hometown side, where he masterminded a barely-credible 35-33 victory.
But they had to come back from five points down in the dying minutes as Woodrow hoofed a massive up and under to the wing where Sanderson soared highest to equalise. Woodrow’s conversion made sure a try worthy of winning any match, did just that.
> Brian Dick's top tries
Kai Horstmann v Sale, Feb 2008: Horstmann scored it but the genius of Shane Drahm made it as Warriors ran, passed and kicked from their own line to Sale's.
Rico Gear v Bucuresti, Jan 2008: Brought to Sixways to turn possession into points Gear's three year tenure was a disappointment, except when he ripped straight down the middle of the pitch past seven Romanians, swinging his snake-hips every step of the way.
Marcel Garvey v Gloucester, Jan 2012: Against his old side and all their vaunted young prodigies Garvey stripped the Cherry and Whites clean with a 70m run in front of the East Stand celebrating virtually every step of the way.
Nathan Bressington v Exeter, March 2009: Bressington did his Usain Bolt impression as he blazed past Clive Stuart-Smith and Ed Lewsey in pursuit of Jack Adams' fly hack to score the try that set the tone.
Ryan De La Harpe v London Welsh, Dec 2010: Struggling Moseley went to London in the B&I Cup looking to find a spark and their scrum half found it by finishing a brilliant team try that went half the distance of the pitch and won the game.
Andy Binns v Leeds, April 2009: Years of loyal service and injury were rewarded when the full back marked one of his last games at the club with a Twickenham try. Not spectacular but so, so poignant.
Birmingham & Solihull Bees
Dan Sanderson v Bristol, Oct 2010: With Mark Woodrow pulling the strings on his third Bees debut he waited until the final minutes before arrowing a crosskick to Sanderson who rose highest and coolly collected.
Tim Walsh v Sedgley Park, Jan 2006: A bitterly cold relegation battle was about as far from the Australian's natural habitat as the moon. Three minutes into stoppage time, with his confidence undermined by terrible place-kicking, Walsh crawled 2m through the mud to give his side a vtial 12-6 win.
Rob Connolly v Worcester, Feb 2011: Bees' adventure was never more intoxicating than when Russell Earnshaw, Rod Petty, Mark Woodrow and Ian Davey combined to leave Premiership bound Worcester with red-faces.