Brad Hunt’s experience at Meadow Lane can be viewed as a microcosm of his first season at Moseley – lots of positives but many, many negatives.
That is not to say the 28-year-old was especially culpable for the recent 62-20 reverse in which Nottingham scored eight tries, seven through their dazzling backs division.
Indeed the wing was one of a handful of players to emerge with their reputations enhanced on an afternoon when the thin Red and Black defensive line had all the weight-bearing qualities of onion membrane.
In fact Hunt’s hat-trick was about the only highlight on an otherwise sobering occasion, as he took his total to five tries in seven starts and at least two of which were high-class strikes.
If his first, popping up in the shadow of the home posts to pick a mazy line through the Nottingham defence said everything about his work-rate and eye for a gap, his third demonstrated his clinical finishing.
With four minutes to go Hunt held his width after Ryan De La Harpe’s break down the left wing and picked Jack Adams’ pass off his boot-straps to slice down the opposite sideline and go in at the corner. Quality.
But, it seems there must always be a but this season, he had the misfortune that his triple counted for nothing.
“If we had have got four tries we would have at least got something out of the game,” he said.
“Personally, yeah I scored three tries but it doesn’t really matter who got those, it was a disappointing performance for everyone.”
The nature of those sentiments can be extrapolated across the entire campaign – both collectively and individually.
While Moseley have at times been almost incongruously incisive given the forward-oriented stuff of days gone or yore, they have also been horribly inconsistent.
And while Hunt’s switch to Billesley Common from Rotherham has gone well, he is the team’s top try scorer ahead of Andy Reay, Mike Ellery and Billy Robinson who have four, and has a far better strike rate.
Part of that is down to the fact he missed five weeks with a neck problem, one that ensures the ever-present but is required when summing up his move to Moseley. Brad Hunt has been a very good signing but that neck of his is a worry.
At least it would be to most of us. Such issues are viewed from a different starting point among rugby players both past and present.
“My dad played rugby, he just said I am soft and to get back out there. That’s the only advice I got (from my family).
“He said on Skype ‘What? Your neck? You don’t need that for rugby, you play on the wing. I played with no ears.’
“He played hooker and inside centre in New Zealand, he’s a fine figure of a man – with his ears ripped off. I think it was pretty rough back in the day.”
Sensibly the Hamilton-born, Australian-bred three-quarter, whose family moved to the Sunshine Coast near Brisbane when he was seven, also sought a medical opinion when he started experiencing a loss of feeling in his hand.
The diagnosis is a bulging disc which impinged on nerves. “It can be dangerous because you lose muscle and strength and the long term is that your arm withers away.
“It’s a combination of years of rugby and impact on the neck. If you scanned any rugby player they would probably have bulged discs.
“My neck is not in brilliant shape but I am sure everyone’s is in a bad shape.
“What the physios have said is that if I was a prop-forward it would probably be really, really dangerous what I have got because of the impact you take continuously.
“Because I play on the wing and in the backs I am probably not going to get that same impact week in, week out, so the chances of it impinging like that again are not that high.
“It nagged away a little bit in the back of my mind but when you are out there I think the adrenalin in that moment when you are going to take contact it’s not really going through your mind.”
Hunt says he is happy to ‘manage’ the situation in the short term but accepts a fairly straightforward operation is probable further down the line.
“All I have got to do is continually keep doing physio on it, lengthening that joint on my neck, having acupuncture, an electrical bit of tape and I am away.”
An off-season procedure and a two-month rehabilitation period may beckon but for now Hunt is focused on trying to extract the but from Moseley’s topsy-turvy season.
Brilliant against Bristol, brave against Bedford, nowhere to be seen against Nottingham. They will be desperate against Doncaster this weekend.
“We looked to start at Nottingham. We targeted it to be the start of something to go on a bit of a winning streak.
“That’s disappointing but we have just got to start again next week and hopefully we’ll get a result next week and the week after.
“There is definitely a window of opportunity. We have targeted these next few games to get some points and results out of and if you look at the table, if we do get a few results we could be near enough looking at top eight.
“Anyone can beat anyone on their day and we are not that far away from turning up week in week out.”
And if they do that Brad Hunt’s work on the wing would get a whole lot easier.