After waiting all season for a win, the two men who have dedicated more than a year to seeking elusive victories for the Birmingham & Solihull cause were 4,000 miles and six time zones away when it finally came.
While their Bees team-mates were running Esher ragged en route to a 38-16 success and five much-needed Championship points, Russell Earnshaw and Simon Hunt were in a cafe, eating pizza as part of the England Sevens Commonwealth Games squad in Delhi. You just can’t beat genuine Indian cuisine.
Yet modern communication being what it is, they missed barely a kick or pass as Twitter, sundry message boards and the odd text message interspersed their fare in the athletes village, with increasingly happy news of the visitors’ Damson crumble.
By the time Adrian Griffiths had appeared on Tomasi Tanumi’s shoulder to round off the rout, the tone of the communication had changed from cautiously optimistic to euphoric, even bolshy.
“We were both getting banter by the end. ‘Why don’t you two stay out there?’ was a common one,” reveals Hunt. “A bit of me would have loved to have been part of that but I was also happy to be where I was. It’s just great that the boys did the business.”
At the time Hunt, Earnshaw and fellow Bee John Brake were less than 24 hours from their own date with destiny, one that unfortunately failed to yield the precious metal they’d all set out for.
England won their group reasonably comfortably but in beating rivals Australia to top spot, probably did themselves a disservice, since their path to the final and a guaranteed medal, took them through Samoa and New Zealand – two of the best sides in the world.
The Pacific Islanders were seen off in Tuesday’s quarter-final but the All Blacks, Hosea Gear and all, were far too strong in the semis and Ben Ryan’s men flopped badly.
More heartache was to come as they blew a 14-5 half time lead in the play-off for bronze, which meant it was South Africa who returned home with more than just their genius to declare.
“It was a tremendous disappointment,” Hunt admits. “We had our eyes on gold and I don’t think that was being unrealistic.
“You could end up thinking you’d put all those months hard work in and got nothing out of it. But we can’t look at it that way.
“We have got that work under the belt now whereas because the New Zealanders brought in big names to raise the profile, they’ve got a standing start for the IRB Series.”
Hunt hopes to be part of that competition but for now it’s back to the day job and the pressing task of extending the Indian sign he appears to have over local rivals Moseley.
The sides meet at Damson Park on Friday night and the 29-year-old goes into that encounter having scored 66 points, including five tries, in his last four matches against the Red and Blacks.
The most recent of those came at Billesley Common in the final game of last season when Bees were in danger of being relegated.
They responded with a thrilling 38-34 tit-for-tat win that meant a little corner of the Common will forever be theirs’ – and particularly Hunt’s after he ripped his way to two scores when it mattered most.
The calendar year hasn’t brought the medal he wanted but the fact he was such an important part of what turned out to be a successful rearguard action will be a badge of honour he can carry where ever he goes.
“All the talk before that match was about where we were going to go out it we won or what we were going to do.
“But as soon as that game finished the relief that so many months of tension and anxiety had ended meant all I wanted to do was go home to bed.”
Unfortunately this latest meeting finds both sides at the wrong end of the table once again, with just a single win apiece and another battle against the drop beckoning.
However, Hunt does not consider that a foregone conclusion. “I don’t think top eight is beyond us, I really don’t. With the way the league is at present if we could pick up ten points in the next three games we could be mid-table.
“What we have got to get back though, is that desperation we had on the last day at Moseley and all through the play-offs, where we knew we had to make that tackle or had to win that ball. We’ve got to replicate that now, not in March.”
Key to that process will be the return of their talisman.
Buoyed by the knowledge they can win without him, Earnshaw and Bees would much rather try to do that with the winger in the line-up.
“I wasn’t surprised we beat Esher, you could see it was coming from previous weeks. We put in a good 65 minutes at Cornish Pirates and another good 40 at Donny. We’ve got to make sure that’s 80 minutes though. If we do that we’ll win a few this season.”
Especially if Hunt is rather closer to the action and further from the pizza parlour.