Like an optimistic golfer Moseley reach the Championship turn hoping the inward holes will be more kind than the outward.
They do so second bottom of the league, with two wins and a creditable draw set against eight defeats, and already 14 points adrift of safety.
Their chances of making the top eight – and avoiding sport’s one true Group of Death – are not dead, indeed some of their performances show greater promise than at the corresponding stage last season, but they are probably more than a little ill.
Whatever happens at Nottingham on Sunday, and there is no reason why Moseley can’t secure a rare victory at Meadow Lane, nothing can disguise the fact the next couple of months are season-defining.
Advent brings Doncaster to Billesley Common to start a sequence of fixtures in which the true Moseley must stand up. London Scottish, Leeds Carnegie and Plymouth Albion follow later in December and January.
There are also trips to Esher, London Welsh and Rotherham Titans – the first and last of which present decent opportunities to pick up a precious away victory. If Moseley are to do the unexpected and haul themselves out of trouble they need four, or possibly five wins.
To assess their chances of achieving that we have no choice but to rely on the evidence of the first half of the season – and that offers both cause for optimism and pessimism.
One thing that has become clear in the early months of Kevin Maggs’ reign is that, in a world where money doesn’t just talk but actually grabs hold of your head and screams down your lughole, Moseley are in an all too familiar position – near the bottom of the financial pile.
The cake hasn’t got any bigger but Maggs has chosen to slice it differently. A larger portion has gone on the threequarters where the arrivals of Greg King, Jack Adams and Brad Hunt have brought competition to a back line that was such an Achilles heel last term.
However, that has meant a smaller piece for the boys up front and the effect has been destabilising. The departure of Nathan Williams and Terry Sigley has meant the Moseley scrum has gone from being a weapon to one which some days struggles for parity.
Nevertheless the struggles of the first few games, when Nottingham in particular pulverised them at the set-piece, have gone and with Tom Warren and Craig Voisey manning the prop positions there is more consistency.
Indeed 22-year-old Warren seemed to be in for another scrummaging education at Bedford on Saturday only to consult with Anton O’Donnell during a break in play and go on to solve the problems he was having with Phil Boulton.
Warren and Voisey have established themselves as the first choice pairing because of that can-do attitude and their mental fortitude and, while they might not be the most destructive partnership, they at least give Moseley the chance to get the ball out of the back.
The fact they have been put together in the last three Championship matches is symptomatic of a thought process Maggs has gone through in recent weeks.
The head coach has basically identified the XV he trusts to perform at or near to their best on a regular basis and, barring injury, the side that started at Bedford will be the one that takes Moseley forward in the foreseeable future.
That is particularly hard on Michael Maltman and Adams, whose campaigns have been interrupted by injury and who would expect to make an impact with most level two sides, but there are still 11 regular season and six play-off games to go and the door will open at some point.
It remains closed at the moment, though, because of the form and potential of the men who currently hold the shirts, in the back row Neil Mason, Chevvy Pennycook and Mike Ellery promise to be the best trio for more than a decade.
All three have had recent fitness concerns and the suspicion is there is more to come from Mason and Pennycook, while the real Ellery has showed up 12 months after the pale imitation first arrived in Birmingham.
Ellery’s form has been one of the highlights of the first half of the season and, even though the long range tries have dried up, the 60m sprint that left Cornish Pirates in his wake will live long in the memory. The threat remains. If Moseley can get him on the ball more they will advance it up the pitch further, faster and more frequently but then the Cumbrian shares the responsibility to make sure that happens.
If Ellery’s development has been the talking point in the forwards, Andy Reay’s improvement has been the noteworthy change in the backs.
With well over one hundred Moseley appearances to his name the former Bristol midfielder has not only established himself as the only choice at inside centre, he has made the captain’s armband his own personal property.
The added responsibility, combined with more pressure on his position, has brought the best out of Reay who is running straighter than at any time in his Moseley career.
That has brought four tries and potentially the assist of the season, when he spun and bashed his way through at least three Bristol defenders to put King under the sticks a fortnight ago.
What Moseley need is for Ellery and Reay to spread their magic across the team for the proverbial back nine.