Mike Ruddock will invoke memories of the Kick That Never Was as he takes his Worcester team to Welford Road tomorrow desperate for a reversal in fortunes.
The Warriors director of rugby is not only hoping, he needs the rugby gods to smile on his side against Leicester as they seek a first win since November.
Worcester visit their Midlands rivals in an appalling run. As well as having not won a league match in 2009, they have not been successful away from Sixways for three months.
Add the fact they have never won at one of rugby’s most fiercely defended outposts and it is clear they will need the odd-shaped ball to bounce in their favour on Saturday.
Which is something it did not do when the Tigers came to Sixways in September and scored a late converted try through Julien Dupuy to win 19-17.
Much was made of a Toby Flood penalty that appeared to sail wide only to be awarded by the referee’s assistants.
It was the score that at the time seemed of little significance – Worcester led 7-6 at the break instead of by four – but in the end it marked the line between glory and ignominy.
Ruddock remembers it well. “It was given and that went against us. I had letters from people in the stand behind the posts telling me as much,” he said.
“But we’ve always said the wheel of fortune does turn around.
“We had the same last year when things went against us – like when we lost at Leeds – but towards the end of the season, things started to go our way a bit more, so we have to keep pressing on and hope that happens this year too.”
Worcester’s last two defeats, both at home for the concession of more than 30 points, have not helped the mood among the supporters and it seems they will need their customary late season surge to avoid getting sucked into a full-on relegation battle with Bristol.
Despite their lowly position – 11th in the table yet again, Ruddock maintains the mood among the players is optimistic and in no way inclined to a narrowing of the ambition of their game plan.
It is an expansive strategy that helps them score tries like the one Chris Latham bagged against Bath last weekend but it also provides opponents with a regular supply of turnover ball to wreak their own brand of havoc.
Ruddock remains undaunted. “I think we can get back to the level we had at the end of last season – we saw signs of that against Bath when we created nine line-breaks with only five against,” he said.
“Once I go away from that and tell the players to kick in their own half and not make mistakes, then we may as well shut up shop because we’ll be going nowhere. It is my responsibility to stick to my guns.
“Cecil [Duckworth] has asked me to come in and try and develop that style of rugby and it’s taken a lot longer than I thought but we are committed to it. As much as it is hurting us at the moment we believe it is the way forward.”
Warriors are hurting in a literal sense too. Latham is likely to miss the match with a badly stubbed toe. There are also concerns over the fitness of Joe Carlisle who has been nursing a dead leg.
The failure of both to come through will see Willie Walker and Loki Crichton fill the play-making positions and also bring youngsters Alex Grove and Greg King into the selection mix.
At least Flood won’t be around to repeat his larceny. The fly half is away with England and still missing kicks of significance. In Cardiff last week though the flags were rather more reluctant to be raised. Ruddock needs a similar turn of fortune if the current drama is not to become a crisis.