The desperate hope at Damson Park is that the 2010-11 Championship campaign does not become known as the Season of the Near Miss.
In the last four months Bees have been nearly good enough to beat Moseley, London Welsh, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, Doncaster and Rotherham – but not quite.
Bees’ failure to turn promising positions into anything more than gallant and frustrating failure is the main reason why they find themselves anchored to the foot of the table.
The only surprising thing is that they haven’t managed to cling on to more loss bonuses. With just one, they have the second fewest in the division.
But then perhaps that has been a measure of how spectacularly they have fallen away in key junctures. Bedford were allowed to come back from ten points down and we dare not speak of what happened against the Auldish Enemy.
Champagne moments, therefore, have been few and far between.
Simon Hunt’s hat-trick in that Unmentionable Match, Dan Sanderson’s equalising try at Bristol and Mark Woodrow’s subsequent conversion and Mitch Culpin’s score which combined backs and forwards to devastating effect against Esher bubble to the surface.
However in the spirit of nearly but not quite, I offer the try-that-wasn’t, Culpin’s narrow miss in the first match of the season against Worcester.
The architect was veteran prop Ngalu Tau. Forty-one-years-young and hewn from a rugged chunk of Tongan igneous rock, the tighthead demonstrated his senses had not been dulled when he intercepted a pass inside his own 22 and raced upfield as fast as his legs would carry him.
Warriors’ own Old Father Time, loosehead Adam Black, a mere babe at just 35, was sat among the press corps summarising for local radio and leapt out of his seat willing his Front Row Union comrade upfield, happily ignoring the fact his team were about to concede for the first time that afternoon.
To his credit, with the youth of the day chasing him down with every step, Tau made it to halfway before he found Ollie Winter.
The full back arrowed a superb cross-field kick where Culpin had piled up in expectation. The wing took the bounce and made the line but was disrupted in the act of scoring by Rob Higgitt’s last-ditch intervention.
Tau’s part ensured it would have been a try of beauty but like so much that has happened since, the outcome was little more than an anti-climax.
If plaudits were points, Bees’ and Worcester’s league positions would be reversed and it remains my contention that on their day Tau and his team-mates are capable of the most attractive rugby in the Championship.
Sadly, though, since they now play on the Sabbath, those days are about as frequent as the proverbial month of Sundays.
However, Tau, who arrived in the summer after 168 games with Doncaster, will not countenance any notion that Bees should adopt a similar strategy to last year and accept their fate.
The benefit of that would be confining the rest of their regular season to pre-season status and sacrificing short-term results for the medium-term gain of better grooved combinations and a clean sheet of paper when the relegation play-offs start, It worked a treat last March.
But Tau, who has played in all but one Championship match this term, will hear nothing of the sort.
“Everyone fights for this club to survive and to reach the top eight,” he maintained.
“At the moment it looks like we are heading for the play-offs but everyone will fight against that. This is our job, we are here to fight to the end.
"There will be no resting, there is no room to develop, there is no room for players to come here and rest for a few weeks. We have to play to win in every game.”
Part of Tau’s frustration is that so many of Bees’ wounds are self inflicted. They were beating London Welsh 6-3 half-an-hour into last month’s clash.
But a missed tackle here and a misalignment there and the Exiles had clinically sliced through for four tries.
The situation is just as annoyingly haphazard when Bees have the ball and though Tau applauds the arrival of his former Knights colleague Mark Woodrow, he remains irritated by offensive shortcomings.
“We have to learn to make better decisions, Mark Woodrow has come into the team and that helps,” he said.
“We need to calm down a bit and play with a cool head in the red zone.
“We are over-keen. In the first 40 minutes we are on top and in my experience, playing in the Heineken Cup and everything, when you are against a team that is tense in the second half and tries to run everything from everywhere, you just have to wait for them to make a mistake.
“You just have to run some phases and if it is not working kick it and put the pressure on them. At the moment we are just putting the pressure on ourselves.”
And – going into last night’s game with Pirates – coming up short in nearly every home match they play.
It is a habit Bees have to kick.