The retirement of Damien Varley came as the most recent reality check, next to Shane Jennings, for all players on how it can all slip away.
The 31-year-old should have been in the prime of his career, planning his personal assault on the 2015 World Cup.
Instead, the hooker has to pursue a new line of work due to a foot injury that could not be healed in a salient lesson to all.
Munster travel to play the Scarlets tomorrow (Live Sky Sports 2.40) after the Welsh side took full advantage of a Connacht without Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki last week to move alongside the Westerners in the chase for European qualification.
The Welsh have not been on the losing side of the argument at home since St Stephen's Day in 2013.
There is no club which takes greater satisfaction from doing what it is not expected to do than the men in red.
They are still right there in the thick of it in the PRO12.
Like Ulster, they have been left to throw all their eggs into one basket.
This could just suit the limited resources available to them as they have worked their way up to second-place and a home semi-final.
The ultimate goal will be for the number one slot at the head of a crowded market place.
They could do with the dosh from two sold-out play-off matches at Thomond Park to regenerate the ticket sale that have dwindled this season.
PRO12: The Scarlets v Munster, Parc Y Scarlets, Tomorrow (KO2.40) - Sky Sports.