The problem with being mercurial and possessing the quicksilver, fluid qualities that are so appealing and easy on the eye, is the volatility that goes with it.
Step forward Birmingham & Solihull, rugby’s equivalent of Longfellow’s Little Girl. When they were good, they were very, very good but when they were bad they were, well, absolutely horrid. Horrendous in fact.
And it was their misfortune they were rather more horrid than good, particularly in the closing weeks when the play-off structure that saved them last season, proved their downfall this.
As Moseley and Plymouth proved, a team can get away with losing for most of the campaign but it absolutely has to get it right in the final six weeks. Bees didn’t, indeed they saved their most horrid till last.
Watching them try to haul themselves back into their decisive defeat with Moseley was toe-curling. The more they wanted to score, the less and less likely it looked. They snatched and they forced and they fell a long way short when it mattered most.
Indeed they fell alarmingly short given some of the performances they had put in during the regular campaign. The victory over Esher in September was a thing of beauty, all pace, power and bristling with intent.
The off-loading of Semisi Taulava and superb handling of second row partner Adrian Griffiths hinted that Russell Earnshaw’s Sevens-style fully integrated XV had finally come to fruition.
A few weeks later they went to Bristol and matched the former Premiership outfit score for score until Dan Sanderson plucked the returning Mark Woodrow’s cross-kick from the sky and claimed a marvellous victory.
But then they lost their way. Six straight defeats followed, including the portentous 27-0 thumping at Plymouth. They recovered to beat Doncaster but were then hammered at Moseley.
They bounced back to defeat Rotherham only to flop against Esher and hindsight can now show Earnshaw’s mercurial team was developing a habit of losing the important matches.
All substances react differently under pressure and the response of some Bees players was to go and find themselves new clubs – before they had honoured their commitments to their current one.
Whether that counted for a single dropped pass or missed lineout is impossible to tell but it certainly hinted that in the minds of some players the team was secondary to their own job security.
And that’s the problem with mercurial. When it’s not shining brightly it’s totally unstable and so much about Russell Earnshaw’s side ended without stability.