The British and Irish Cup breaks the momentum of what is becoming an absorbing Championship season this weekend with a pair of fixtures to numb the senses.
Friday night in Port Talbot beckons for Moseley as they take on Aberavon in a Pool C showdown that will not go any way to deciding which of the six teams progresses to the semi-final stage.
For Bees the prospect is even worse – a 650-mile round trip to the Scottish west coast where Ayr lie in wait hoping to spring what would be a surprising second victory of their Pool D campaign.
For a club with as little means as Birmingham & Solihull the latest version of the cup represents a dog’s dinner of an event and whoever counts the beans at Twickenham should give Bees a larger helping for having to make such a long trip at this advanced stage of the season.
At least Eugene Martin has sufficient playing resources to be able to pay the tournament all the respect it deserves.
The New Zealander is expected to put out an experimental side at Millbrae as he tries to perm a 22 capable of succeeding in the play-offs.
To be fair every Bees line-up can be considered experimental. After all this match carries as much meaning for the Championship’s basement boys as the ten that have preceded it and the five that will follow. None.
To be dragged to Golf Country – Ayr’s home ground is just down the road from Troon, under such circumstances is a painful inconvenience, though no doubt their supporters will at least enjoy the experience of a new venue.
Moseley will aim for a similar experience at the club to which actor Richard Burton proclaimed his unyielding loyalty. That’s where the stardust should end.
The Wizards, as the hosts are called, will provide the customary Welsh welcome reserved for visitors from the other side of Offa’s Dyke and the best Mose can hope for is injury avoidance.
Memories of last season’s knock-out glory could not be more distant after consecutive home defeats to London Welsh and Ulster have ended the Red and Blacks’ interest.
This fixture is unlikely to evoke those images and the best a makeshift line-up can hope for is the avoidance of injury – never a good state of mind with which to be going into a game.