If genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains, Ryan Morrice should probably consider booking an appointment on Mastermind.
After all, the Gordonians coach – whose players have made a terrific, unbeaten start to their season and sit a the top of the third division of the Tennent’s National League – is a beetle-browed student of the game.
The north-east hasn’t enjoyed too much success in rugby union in recent years, but Morrice doesn’t have minor ambitions.
On his contrary, he has calculated how far his men will have to travel throughout the 2018-19 campaign (more than 3,500 miles) and seems inspired by the philosophy that obstacles exist to be overcome.
He said: “We’ve had a really good start to the season and everything we discussed as a group in pre-season is starting to come together.
“We put a big focus on getting away from a results-driven attitude and building an environment in which players can thrive and improve but, more importantly, enjoy their rugby.
“I think this is coming through in how we are trying to play and by getting this right the results have followed, but it’s still very much a work in progress.”
Gordonians showed genuine grit in edging past Newton Stewart 8-5 earlier this month. They then defeated West of Scotland 26-0 last weekend with a collective commitment to defend as if their lives depended on it.
That has helped them record seven consecutive wins and they will be pursuing an eighth against Perthshire tomorrow.
Morrice added: “The players have stepped up and shown a willingness to learn, challenging each other to improve at each training session.
“In years gone by, we’ve depended on a few individuals to get us over the line, but this season it’s very much a team effort and every player at the club has put their hand up for selection.
“We’ve had players such as Ewan Cameron who has been a mainstay of the 2nd XV and Adam Morrison, who came through the school system at Robert Gordon’s College.
“That has sent out the message that, regardless of the level you previously played, you will get your chance if you are willing to buy into what we are trying to achieve as a group.
“This has resulted in increased numbers at training and competition for places.”
Despite their momentum, Morrice isn’t getting carried away. He knows there is still an awful lot of hard graft ahead for his confreres as winter descends.
He said: “The league table doesn’t lie and we’ll end up where we deserve to be, but we know we can compete with the teams in this league.
“If we continue to improve and adapt then we will be fighting it out at the right end of the table. There are a lot of good sides and a lot of travelling and we literally are going the length and breadth of the country – a total of 3,770 miles – so we can’t take anything for granted.
“We’ve used 36 different players in the 1st XV squad so far this season, so players are coming into the squad and slotting in with minimal disruption.”
As an engineer by trade, it’s clear that Morrice is sparking a real revolution.