No one at Damson Park will enjoy the irony that while their enterprising threequarters brought them into the Championship and last season kept them there, that same section’s failings are some of the main reasons why that status is currently in jeopardy.
While Bees’ pack continues to retain opponents’ attention on a weekly basis, sometimes even bettering them as they have sporadically against Nottingham, Bristol and Bedford, the same cannot be said of those outside the scrum who are locked in a debilitating cycle of giving away easy points yet having to work hard to score them.
It was true against London Welsh last Sunday, true a fortnight before against Bedford and will be serious concern to Russell Earnshaw going into this weekend’s encounter with the slick Cornish Pirates.
The gulf in execution was never more apparent than against the Exiles when Bees failed to score a try against what Earnshaw described as ‘‘the hottest defence in the league’’.
When they didn’t have the ball the visitors’ showed frightening line-speed that panicked Bees’ backs into slinging possession wildly from side to side with little by way of cohesion.
By contrast when Welsh had it they waited for the defence to make an error and exploited it clinically, so that it was impossible to escape the feeling the Solihull outfit would have been in the game if they had been more patient at both ends of the pitch.
Certainly that is Earnshaw’s contention.
“We need to be winning or coming away with points from games like the London Welsh one,” the director of rugby said.
“We probably just about deserved a losing bonus, we are just not accurate enough or not executing in the 22. Both sides have similar possession and territory it’s just that they have done a bit more with theirs.
“Yes, they have got some very good players, Marland Yarde looks pretty sharp, we have got guys that look sharp but with them you are looking at potential England players. Our players do as well as they can but we don’t have a Marland Yarde on our books.
“But in the last few weeks we have gone toe-to-toe with Bedford and Welsh for 65 minutes of an 80-minute game. It’s just understanding we have got to do 80 or 90 minutes.
“There are a lot of youngsters on the pitch there, especially in the backline where only Chopper [Rod Petty] and Woody [Mark Woodrow] are the elder statesmen, We don’t have many backs over the age of 20 or 21, it’s a steep learning curve for them.”
It is one they have shown themselves capable of negotiating – against Esher and Bristol – but all too inconsistently.