GUINNESS PREMIERSHIP: Worcester Warriors 51 Newcastle Falcons 10
Ticker-tape glinting in the balmy air, stripping dancing girls, back row forwards taking conversions and celebratory team photos - if that's what happens when Worcester finish tenth, one can only wonder what it'll be like if they actually win something.
They might do exactly that in a fortnight when they meet Bath at Kingsholm in the final of the European Challenge Cup and while their opponents are probably the most all-round team in the country, Warriors cannot be discounted.
Their current form, manifested by the style and substance of this victory, ensures that. This was their seventh win in ten games and demonstrated such mastery of beleaguered Newcastle that they will not want the season to end.
Worcester are like a teenager who's just passed his driving test. Having spent four months struggling to parallel park, they are now playing with the delightful abandon of a dropped penny. They are motoring down the outside lane and seem sorry that the journey is about to come to an end.
There is of course one last junction en route, signposted Kingsholm, Continental Glory and Heineken Cup, and while many of the side that played last weekend will do so again on May 25, for a large number of them this was the last time they will ever play at Sixways. Unless, of course, Kubota Spears gain access into European competition - crazier things have happened.
One of those departing sons, Tony Windo, looked almost sheepish when he collected his souvenir watch after being named man of the match - it must have been his three-yard scoring pass to Chris Horsman that did it, though few of the revellers objected. Who can after nine years of unstinting service?
Windo was captain of the side that won promotion in 2004 and though the armband has rested with Pat Sanderson since, the veteran prop has been the team's heartbeat. It is not surprising, therefore, that his move aside will extend to just a few feet beyond the touchline.
Shane Drahm, the true man of the match, marked his final appearance with a sparkling display at fly half, Thinus Delport decorated his with a try and replacement Drew Hickey - scorer of Warriors' most important tries in previous years, added a rather less significant conversion for the last points of the afternoon. Such was the carnival atmosphere.
It should be noted at this juncture, as Mike Ruddock did afterwards, this was a poor Newcastle team. Jonny Wilkinson's eagerness to undergo yet another operation kept him out and neither Toby Flood nor Jamie Noon were included, having also missed the beating by London Wasps in midweek. Two games in seven days is not the ideal preparation for Sixways on party day.
As a result, they fielded an inexperienced line-up and those regulars who were present were either out on their feet by half-time or anxious not to jeopardise their big-money
moves away from Kingston Park through over-zealousness. Worcester were the exact opposite. Zeal personified. From the opening seconds when Greg Rawlinson stole the first lineout, Aleki Lutui bashed through both visiting props and Delport wrestled free of Tim Visser, Warriors were supercharged.
So much so, it took just four minutes for them to smuggle Sanderson across the line. Lutui and Rawlinson combined at the front of another lineout to send the Tongan Tornado over both a defender and the whitewash and - two minutes from the break, Horsman's season-long fits turned from agony to ecstacy when he took Windo's pass and fell down.
All Newcastle had to show was an solo slalom from Ollie Phillips and a conversion and penalty from Steve Jones as the hosts went in 20-10 up at the interval.
The first seven minutes of the second period were carnage. Ninety seconds in, Delport swept into the line, ignoring Miles Benjamin on his way. The South African was presumably working on the theory his young team-mate will have many more opportunities at Sixways while this was his last. His apology shortly afterwards was not needed but a nice touch.
Benjamin had to wait just five minutes. Drahm and Rico Gear committed the midfield with a neat loop and the fly half chipped to the
corner where his winger took the bounce and touched down. As if to underline the rise of the new generation, he repeated the dose soon after when he popped up through the middle. Worcester were rampant, Newcastle ravaged.
With the contest decided, the bonus point and tenth place secured, the sentimentalities began. Gear scored a beauty, Drahm was taken off to a standing ovation. Delport put in one last trademark tackle, doubling Lee Dickson as he off-loaded and Netani Talei obliterated Mathew Tait.
Even Chris Pennell got in on the act. A rabbit caught in headlights at The Rec on opening day, he denied John Rudd with a superb open-field tackle that not only levelled the Falcons wing, but forced a turnover too.
He was then part of a sweeping move that produced a deserved try for Marcel Garvey. The fact it was converted by Hickey shows exactly what sort of afternoon it had become.
WORCESTER: Delport; Garvey, Gear, Rasmussen, Benjamin (Pennell, 59); Drahm (Carlisle, 64), Powell (Arr, 55); Windo, Lutui (Mullan, 48), Horsman, (Taumoepeau, 54), Rawlinson (Bowley, 48), Gillies, Talei, Sanderson (Hickey, 54), Horstmann.
NEWCASTLE: O Tait; Phillips, M Tait, Visser, Rudd; Golding, Vickers (Batty, 61), Wilson, Perry, Sorenson (Swinson, 48), Woods, Williamson, Beattie. Replacements: McDonnell, Browne, Winter, Grindal, Miller.
Referee: Dean Richards (RFU).