Another Mitre 10 Cup finals day kicks off around the country today without Bay of Plenty involved.
The Steamers have been absent from the key date on every team's calendar for so long now that hard-pressed loyal fans must be wondering if the glory days will ever return.
But while this year's semifinal placing in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship is below par for what the union's coaching and administration hierarchy were after, the season has produced more positives than negatives.
It may be hard to believe when the Steamers won only three out of 10 pool games but there was substantial improvement from last year in crucial areas.
This season's campaign was probably the best by a Bay of Plenty side since 2011, when the team finished fourth in the top Premiership division after beating Canterbury and thrashing Waikato 36-8 and Wellington 32-0.
But it could - and should - have been so much better.
"I suppose the word to describe the season is frustration," head coach Clayton McMillan said.
"When we spoke pre-season our goals were around reaching the final and Premiership promotion.
"I really think it depends on what you determine success as. That would have been an obvious indication that we have had a successful season whereas with a three win, seven loss record things don't look too flash.
"But now we've had time to reflect on the season I feel there has actually been a lot of progress made in a lot of areas but they just didn't reflect in (wins)."
The Steamers ended with 11 bonus points, more than any other team in either division, which reflected how close they got to winning most of the seven games they lost.
That inability to close out tight games will ultimately define the 2016 campaign.
"We have been doing a lot of work around some key trends and statistics that paint a pretty clear picture around those teams that are really successful and those like ourselves, that tend to be a little bit up and down and to be frank are around the bottom end of the table," McMillan said.
"Some of it is a little bit beyond our control and some of it is we need to be better as a rugby team and as management to turn those close losses into wins.
"As an example we had a losing average across the season of 6.68 points, which is less than a converted try. Last year that was 17.3. Against Premiership teams the average losing margin this year was 6.3 points and last year was 25.7.
"So we have made some significant gains and scored plenty of tries that was right up there in the competition and our set piece has been really strong.
"Lots of areas have been really good but we just haven't been able to get across the line. I think a lot of that comes down to lack of Super Rugby experience and just
experience in general, and just being able to win the key moments in games.
"That ultimately comes down to a skill set and experience with being able to deal with things under pressure. That probably was the difference between us winning and losing some of those tight games."