The Cyprus national rugby side face Croatia on Saturday at the Paphiacos Stadium, with only a win enough to stave off relegation.
The Moufflons have crashed from their glorious pinnacle of six years unbeaten, when they set a world record of 24 straight wins, to their current position of propping up the European Conference South 1 Division without a single victory all season.
The division is led by Malta, who are unbeaten after four games with a total of 17 points, followed by Israel with 14 points. Croatia are third, with Andorra and Cyprus bringing up the rear.
If anything can be assessed from results, then Croatia must be favourites, having drawn 14-14 with Malta, and overwhelming Andorra 47-15.
Cyprus lost 31-3 to Malta and were beaten 15-14 by Andorra.
To avoid relegation the Cypriots will have to beat Croatia. That will give them four points to add to the one they hold now, which will take them one point above Andorra, currently on four points.
The points system in Europe awards four for a win, two for a draw, one point if the winners score three tries more than their opponents, and one point if the losing side finish within eight points at the conclusion of the game.
An interesting situation arises if Cyprus join Conference Division South 2, because apart from Austria, Serbia and Slovenia, the division also features Turkey, even though they did not put in an appearance this season, due to financial reasons, and are therefore bottom by default.
They have intimated they will return next season.
The Moufflons are the only Cypriot international team to regularly cap Turkish Cypriots.
Speaking ahead of the Croatia clash, Peter Morrish, the veteran team manager, who has nursed the Moufflons since inception, said: “This is a must-win situation. Anything less means relegation to Conference Division 2 South.
“We have not yet embraced the concept of loss, having spent so long on a wave of victories, and our current position seems so alien. When we consider how much the team has given to the country, bringing international recognition, by establishing the world record, our lads are not ready for defeat.”
Team captain, Marco Mladenovic, echoed the same sentiments, when he stated: “We stand on the brink of relegation, but nobody in the team will accept it. They have trained to peak condition to ensure a win over Croatia.
“People forget that we have beaten these Balkan sides before, either in fifteens or sevens. They hold no mysteries for us. With the crowd behind us and the return of some of their favourites, like Tony (Thoma), George (Agathocleous) and Renno (Ioannides), and the inclusion of the Bilton boys, Sam Burns, Matt (King), Alex (Zavallis), Luke (Frixou) and Burhan (Torgut), we are not even considering defeat.”
The game kicks-off at 3pm. Entry costs 10 euros, which includes a programme.