Moseley’s cup heroes have spent the week being denuded of any pretensions to grandeur as the club looks to guarantee its place in next season’s Championship.
That can be achieved on Saturday if Esher gain nothing from their appointment at Goldington Road, home to third- placed Bedford, while Ian Smith’s men beat Manchester and score four tries in the process.
The task might seem modest by comparison to the feat they managed last Saturday, when they beat National One champions Leeds Carnegie at Twickenham to win the EDF Energy National Trophy.
But even though those heroics earned the club £32,000 in prize-money and as much adulation as they have received at any stage in the last quarter-of-a-century, the message on the Common this week loosely translates as ‘Don’t Mean Nuttin’.
In fact, Smith was so impressed with his charge’s efforts in last weekend’s Tackle-athon that he rewarded them not with Tuesday evening off but with an exhausting fitness session in which the conquering heroes were dispatched to lap the Billesley pitch at the double.
And one of those players with as much reason as any to feel proud of his work on the highest stage of all, Nathan Williams, got the message loud and clear.
“People at the club this week have been saying this weekend’s match at Manchester is worth much more,” the loosehead said. “We cannot rest on our laurels or let the effects of the final linger. Manchester might be struggling but they have put some good sides under real pressure at home.”
Moseley are on the brink of qualifying as a good side themselves, certainly when they play against those who would already regard themselves as such.
They have done that for each of the last five weeks and produced two wins and two winning positions with opportunitism and dogged defence.
The task at Grove Lane will be different. It will be incumbent on Moseley to break down the hosts and Williams believes they can switch from a mindset of containment and counter-attack to exploitation and expansiveness.
“If our forwards can give them a platform on a pretty consistent basis we have got a good set of backs who can carve most teams up.” Mere pretension? Possibly not. Proof required? Probably.
Meanwhile, dual-registered wing Dan Norton has signed for Bristol for next season. The youngster has agreed to move to the recently-relegated Premiership outfit from Gloucester.