Consecutive wins against Leicester and Sale have defused what the television companies were hoping would be an emotional time-bomb at Sixways this weekend.
Notwithstanding that nearly a quarter of the season remains, Sunday's clash between Worcester and the Premiership's bottom club bore all the hallmarks of a relegation decider.
A fortnight ago, the two were separated by six points and for all Warriors' promise and Leeds' endeavour, neither could buy a victory. Everything was set up for their showdown.
As things stood, defeat would have been terminally damaging. A win for Leeds would have sent confidence through their veins and a side with enough dog for 20 folk would have scented blood. That is no longer the situation; not since someone kidnapped the entire Worcester squad and replaced them with clones, exact in every way but the propensity to make idiotic mistakes.
The only detectable imperfection is in the Shane Drahm replica, whose transformation from shambling shadow of former self to consistent match-winner simply cannot be possible. He has to be an impostor.
The Australian has jinked his way back into his very best form and carried his team with him. The win at Edgeley Park was barely believable and it made the repeat at home to the Tigers only slightly more plausible. Yet they head into their next match as the form team in the division; one of only three who have won their last two games and in the mood that suggests they should dismiss opponents who have not registered a league success since October.
That was in the corresponding fixture when the notion that Mike Ruddock would oversee an instant transformation in Worcester's fortunes was disabused.
Ruddock's preabduction charges put in a horrendous display and barely deserved a losing bonus for the 26-21 reverse. Leeds have threatened to repeat that success in recent weeks and that has alerted the Sixways director of rugby.
"Leeds have beaten us this season, so we have huge respect for them,"
Ruddock says. So much respect, in fact, that he and coach Clive Griffiths travelled up last Sunday to watch them scare Bristol by taking a 13-6 lead and come within one phase of two more tries.
They eventually succumbed to the 30-13 loss that means defeat this weekend is not an option. It would be wrong to think this match is all about the visitors, however. Worcester have turned a corner and with Drahm making breaks and kicking goals, the back row energised out of their midwinter torpor and Tony Windo back as the true leader of the team, they have every reason to be confident.
Those are what coaches call the one-percenters and they have been present for nearly 100 per cent of the time.
"What's been the difference? Lots of little things. In the last two weeks, we have managed to put everything together for most of the 80 minutes," said Ruddock. If they can do it once more, they should all but guarantee their Premiership status and allow themselves the luxury of targeting the Heineken Cup place on offer via the European Challenge Cup.
Ruddock knows a home victory would not mathematically relegate Leeds, but they'd have one foot and a few toes on the other in the National Leagues. "If they do come back from that, it will be pretty special. If we lose, it opens it up again and puts pressure back on us."
Worcester will not be helped by the fact that Chris Horsman has gone under the knife once more after rolling his ankle in training. The tighthead tore his bicep away from his shoulder at Headingley and has not played since. Darren Morris and Loki Crichton are rated as 50/50 after suffering concussion while Netani Talei and Phil Murphy are definitely out.
The signs are not promising for Rico Gear, either. The All Black winger has glowed, rather than sparkled, since arriving in November and having recovered from a hamstring problem, he now has a virus that has required blood tests.
That means Ruddock is likely to name as close to an unchanged side as he possibly can for a game that will have considerable significance for the development of his side, if not for the watching millions.