Inside the mad scramble to get Test on TV
Growing up on the NSW Central Coast, Blake Solly would scan television schedules each May looking for the Challenge Cup final and shake his head at the 11th-hour deals that seemed to be an annual occurrence.
While fans loved the big occasions in British rugby league, it always seemed like they were an afterthought for Aussie television companies who needed to be reminded by the public each year that they were even taking place.
Little did Solly know that in 2015, he would be on the other side of the world and become the centre of another desperate scramble as Australian fans harangued television companies and league administrators like him in their desperation to see Sunday's England-New Zealand First Test.
"My earliest memories of English rugby league was the Hull v Wigan epic in 1985 and while Australian coverage of that game was actually quite organised, things were a bit confusing after that," said Solly, now the general manager of Super League.
"I couldn't have guessed that in 2015 I would be at Hull Aquarium a few hours before kick-off in a Test match, on the phone trying to find out what was happening regarding Australian TV coverage."
People power, via social media, played its role in having the First Test shown on delay, via Fox Sports, with the second and third to be broadcast live into Australia.
NRL.com has tried to get to the bottom of what actually occurred.
And Solly says he hopes there will be good things to come out of the confusion which embroiled even him - the man who administers those television rights themselves.
"We are now in a position to make sure, hopefully, that it doesn't happen again," he said.
Asia-Pacific rights to the Anglo-New Zealand series were sold by the RFL's agents, Pitch International, to Eurosport several weeks ago.
But there was a provision in the modest contract that if they could be sold separately in Australia - rugby league's biggest TV market - Eurosport would relinquish them there while retaining Asia.
It would appear the reason the First Test was pulled from Eurosport Australia late last week was that the clause had been trigged by a deal with Fox Sports.
But communication was slow - the fact it was already the weekend Down Under may have played a role. Fox Sports didn't announce the deal for some time and the satellite booking and schedule changes took place too slowly for the match to be on the box live from Humberside.
Asian fans were able to watch live on Eurosports, Solly says.
But the the up-and-coming administrator says he's determined that the game will learn from its mistakes this time, as opposed to the days of nomadic Wembley coverage.
"We have an on-going deal for Super League and the Challenge Cup with Fox Sports which means that doesn't happen anymore because we have certainty - and we can do the same for internationals," Solly says.
"What we need is a full calendar we can sell to broadcasters, rather than these piecemeal arrangements from one series to the next.
"And we also need better communication between the governing bodies and the broadcasters."
The frustration about Monday morning's non-coverage went all the way to NRL chairman John Grant, a change from previous years when Australian officials concerned themselves mainly with the Kangaroos.
Solly believes NRL head of game strategy, Shane Richardson, is a big part of the solution.
"Shane is over here at the RLIF meeting in Paris," he said. "One, he is very keen to co-ordinate between the leagues in a way that may not have happened in the past.
"And two, developing an international calendar is something the RLIF is working on."
Rugby league being so disorganised that a major Test match was not shown in Australia will hopefully soon be a story told to disbelieving grandkids.