When Matt Powell jogged off the Vicarage Road pitch nursing cramp, four minutes before the final whistle signalled Warriors' stunning comeback win at Saracens two weeks ago, he'd just produced what John Brain regards as his best ever performance in a Worcester shirt.
It was a memorable occasion for reasons other than the accolade it drew from his director of rugby, or the pivotal role he'd played in his team's first league victory of the season. That's because it was his 99th Premiership appearance.
Not that the scrum-half realised he'd reached the landmark in his ninth top-flight season, a career that included early days at Sarries and Quins before he arrived at Sixways.
"Most of my years have been in and out of teams," he says, underlining the fact that he's long since become accustomed to battling for the 9 shirt with an equally-talented team-mate. "Saracens was a learning experience. I went there straight from school as a 19-year-old, but it was amazing.
"It was just when they'd brought in the likes of Philippe Sella, Michael Lynagh and Francois Pienaar. It was good to be there at that stage. The director of rugby was Mark Evans. When he left, I went with him to Quins."
It was at The Stoop that his career started to blossom, despite the competition provided by Scott Bemand - an Old Luctonian, like Matt - Peter Richards and the sadly-missed Nick Duncombe. The latter, Matt insists, would have had a stranglehold on the England scrum-half jersey for a long while now.
"He was the most talented player I've ever seen," he says. "He was going to be a special player. The first time I saw him at training, he was still at school. He was running around everyone, even the likes of Will Greenwood. It was just like 'oh wow - who is this guy?'"
It was that for innate competitive character, among other things, that he was brought to Worcester in the summer of 2003, to understudy Werner Swanepoel. Illness and injury laid Smiley low for most of the season, so it was Matt who conducted the massed ranks of Reg Windo's pack on its way to the Premiership.
Once there, it wasn't long before his highlight moment arrived, that first win against a Harlequins team that still - pre-relegation - included many of his old mates.
"My first Premiership start was for Sarries at Leicester, but the one match I remember most was that win over Quins. They were the team that hadn't renewed my contract, everyone had written us off… It was special."
That same fighting spirit was evident at Vicarage Road, 13 days ago. More will be needed six days from now when Irish visit, and again five days after that, when Quins - who else? - are the welcome guests at Sixways.
"If that can happen over 40 minutes at Saracens….," he says of the Vicarage Road turnaround, and leaves you to fill in the gap. "Pick up a couple of wins and you become a lot more confident. It gives you a load of belief. You could see it with the forwards at Saracens. Everyone was growing in the second half.
"The players aren't naïve enough to think that we're out of trouble. We've got ourselves into a serious mess, and we've got a lot of hard work to do. Christmas with the family is pretty much cancelled. Three wins would be ideal."
Given that he's from the modern one-match-at-a-time school, that's as close as you'll come to catching him looking ahead. He won't speculate on the chances of the London Irish game being the one where he hits the century. He probably won't think about it until after it's happened. If all goes as he'd hope, that'll be in the afterglow of a victory, three days before Christmas.
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