Ridiculous rule to have negative impact on Reds
If you're even looking at the ladder mid season it suggests there is, at worst, something to be salvaged.
So with seven matches to play in the Super Rugby home and away season, Reds supporters still have an interest in the machinations of the points table.
One should be grateful, as after the wreckage of past seasons, this time of year has been more a case of praying for a quick and merciless execution.
I fear that finals footy is still a bridge too far for this young bunch, but at least there have been glimpses of glory, to go along with the annoying inconsistency.
That seven of the eight forwards in the starting pack which helped beat the Sharks in Durban last weekend are between the ages of 20 and 22 is enormously encouraging as to what might evolve in the years to come, assuming the Reds hold on to all this talent.
However, regardless of the degree to which forwards might see themselves as the foundation for team success, without a pretty sharp backline, you may as well do all the grunt work for nothing. There is little point in pushing the pianos if they can't be played.
To that end, there's no symphony orchestra in the Reds backline, and while each individual might have moments when he is in tune, any sense of consistent harmony has been absent.
Samu Kerevi has taken lead vocals by the throat, with his individual brilliance, but how long can that last?
After all, Wallaby orders mean he must take a couple of games off in the next few weeks to give himself the best chance of losing form while, at the same time, helping blow any chance the Reds might have of scraping into the finals!
Outside of Kerevi himself, the greatest loss the Reds could have suffered this year was a first game exit for Jordan Petaia, which as Murphy would have it, was exactly what they got.
Forget all the stats and the tactical and technical higgledy piggledy, what a winning backline needs most is two regular match winners and a solid base around them.
Kerevi and Petaia gave the match winners, but one is a whole lot less than two, particularly when that one has a siesta enforced upon him.
One player who looked as if he might win a game or two off the bench for the Reds in the early stages of his career was Isaac Lucas.
However, while he's only just turned 20, and clearly doesn't need a rest, he is unavailable for the Reds because the Junior Wallabies wanted him for the Oceania Championships on the Gold Coast.
Far be it from any of us to denigrate any "pathway" to the big time, but Lucas has given a fair indication he can handle the big time. Why then does he have to return to the "pathway" and, by so doing, potentially diminish the returns of the "big time" team, where he's already proved his value?
It's not unfair to say the Reds backline needs all the help it can get.
Tracking his progress would suggest halfback Tate McDermott will be an international player before too long and while his spell at fullback can help broaden his game, I appear to be one of the few who believe Hamish Stewart can wear a Wallaby number 10 jersey at some stage.
Regardless though, the Reds backline does not yet appear to have the weapons at its disposal to get to the far back end of the season and can such a young pack successfully pound it's way through another two months?
Doubtful is the answer, but at least they remain in the fight, which is more fun than the alternative.