Years ago my village cricket team reached the last day of the season knowing maximum points would make us league champions. There was a snag. We lost the toss and the other side, who were bottom of the table, decided to bat first.
That meant if we bowled them out quickly we couldn't get any batting points. So the captain came up with a ruse. We'd take a few wickets, then put the non-bowlers on to give them a few runs, get them out for 200, chase the total and guarantee the title. Simple.
It was working like a dream when we had them at 50 for four, then bowled a few dolly drops and it was 150 for four. Back came the attack force, and they finished up on 199. Pefect - or at least it was until our batting collapsed and we were all out for 64.
The day was a lesson that you should never approach any match trying to do anything but win the game on its own merits, and then let goal difference, points difference, bonus points or whatever take care of themselves.
It's a message worth considering as the RBS Six Nations comes to a climax on Saturday and first Wales then Ireland have to wrestle with the problem of both winning and setting a points target for England in the evening. All three fixtures should kick off at the same time if it was fair, but they don't, and it's not, which adds a twist to the tale.
Wales will be first to feel the pressure away to Italy. With a points difference that is already 21 behind Ireland, and four more shy of England, they have to rack up a big win to have a chance. Yet setting out to score 40 or 50 points can take your eye off the basic requirement to win the game - which is why I'll be laying the 1.875/6 for Wales to win by more than 20.5 points. Don't forget the Italians are always a different proposition on their own turf than when they travel.
Then it's Ireland's turn at Murrayfield. Their one-dimensional kicking match might be good for grinding out results, but it's not the recipe for huge and expansive points wins. It should, however, be too strong for a Scottish side that's headed for the wooden spoon and so odds against of around 2.26/5 for Ireland to win by more than 7.5 points looks appealing.
Which leaves us with England kicking off as 1.271/4 favourites at 5pm against France at Twickenham knowing what target they must reach to lift the first significant prize of Stuart Lancaster's reign. And that's where the worry starts.
Lancaster's side have already had one chance to pile up the mountain of points that would have made the title theirs when they faced Scotland last week. But despite bossing the game for the first 25 minutes they somehow managed to be losing at half time.
This is an England team which still struggles to handle the pressure of being expected to win. Brilliant in starting off the campaign by defying the odds in Cardiff, when they got to Dublin with a Grand Slam on the cards they crumbled. Against the Scots they couldn't turn possession into points. How will they deal with a Twickenham crowd waiting to watch a victory parade?
Of course Lancaster's men should win both the match and the title. But then that's what my village cricket team should have done too.