Inside Sky's match day broadcast where the pressure is constant and the time always short.
Zarn Sullivan will likely never forget his first try for the Blues in his debut Super Rugby Aotearoa match.
The 20-year-old fullback, a player who will probably score many more tries for the Blues, scored his team's first points of the second half to help them beat the Chiefs 39-19 in their final round-robin match of the season at Eden Park last Saturday night.
It was probably extra special for Sullivan because he had already seen his brother, wing Bailyn, denied a try for the Chiefs.
Zarn's big moment was watched by a good crowd of about 25,000, lured perhaps not so much by the Blues' final match of another disappointing season, but by the historic Blues v Chiefs women's match earlier in the evening.
And it was delivered to the televisions and devices of rugby fans in New Zealand and around the world via satellite and streaming services from Sky Sport's broadcast, the images beaming from screens into the eyeballs of hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom probably didn't give a second thought as to how the many pictures and sounds, including the voice of lead commentator Tony Johnson, got there.
Here's how Johnson, a veteran broadcaster of many years' service with Sky, called it: "Advantage being played here. Numbers away to the left. Ioane, nice pass away to the left to Zarn Sullivan! He's in! Oh, his brother was denied earlier, but there's no stopping Zarn Sullivan on debut! A crucial try for the Blues!"
Former All Blacks fullback Mils Muliaina, alongside him as co-commentator, quickly joins in: "Oh he's had an outstanding game, too. The youngster, the debutant. His kicking, his ball in hand and this time some great acceleration to finish it off. It started with a kick from Christie inside the Chiefs half. But look at this, they spread it out wide, a beautiful ball there from Ioane and he gets on the outside there on Wainui and over he goes."
And here's sideline comments expert Ian Smith: "Yeah it was a great ball carry actually because the defending player for the Chiefs was in two minds because he knew he had the overlapping player outside him so he was committed to staying with that overlapping player hoping that the players inside would provide the defence. They couldn't get across in time and he used the greasy conditions, just the dew on the surface, very well to skid over and across."
So far, so relatively predictable in terms of try description and summary by three voices Kiwi fans have become to know extremely well.
But here's one few do – the voice of Mark Kearns, Sky's match director and a man very much behind the scenes, calling for the camera angles that frame Sullivan's try: "Two. Cut. One cut. Five cut. The crowd, the Blues crowd, please. Six cut. And nine cut. And four, cut. And key. Bravo. And roll bravo one. Dog. Roll dog. Standby nine. Charlie. Roll charlie. Nine, roll nine. And three."
Sky had 16 cameras at the match last Saturday, including a drone which hovered high above Eden Park's second ground to the immediate west of the No 1 pitch (safety restrictions forbid it flying over crowds). There will be another, called a "megalodon", at Saturday's Super Rugby Aotearoa final between the Crusaders and Chiefs in Christchurch.
The "megalodon" is a shallow-depth-of-field camera which displays minute detail in extreme close-ups and has become famous in NFL, where players often make a point of searching for it in order to celebrate in front of it. It was trialled in last Saturday's women's game at Eden Park, and gave a unique perspective of skipper Les Elder's try for the Chiefs.
By way of contrast, there were seven or eight cameras at the first ever Super Rugby broadcast – the Hurricanes v Blues match in Palmerston North almost exactly 25 years ago. For current-day All Blacks tests in New Zealand there are up to 25 cameras.
It is Kearns' job to tell the story of the match via whatever cameras he has access to (just as it was the sound person's to do so via the many microphones around the field, including the one in Johnson's hand), and Kearns did so with the cool authority of a man ordering his favourite takeaway on a telephone.
There were various voices in Kearns' headphones from his crew stationed all around the park, including from within the broadcast truck tucked in behind the west stand, but his order was delivered without stress or extravagance. A bit like try-scorer Sullivan, Kearns was direct and allowed his instincts to take over for a sequence he has called probably a thousand times.
Camera one is the main camera high in the stand (Eden Park's south stand) on the halfway line. Camera two to its right is for closer shots and camera 11 on the left of camera one is the player cam (a relatively recent feature which focuses on one player and is available as an option with a click of your Sky remote). Camera three is near ground level on halfway.
The other cameras are stationed around the pitch (and in the teams' dressing rooms and coaches' boxes) to best show the action via live images or replays. The replay cameras are called alpha, bravo, charlie, and dog (rather than delta – no one knows why). They also assist the television match official - last Saturday it was Brendon Pickerill - which is why Pickerill could occasionally be found asking the production team for a "dog".
Kearns, asked three days later to remember the camera angles he called for Sullivan's try, replies: "It would have been something like this: One cut (for the back line), two cut (show Sullivan going through the gap), one cut (show cover defence), five cut (for the dive over). Then I would have got crowd shots… the four cut for Sullivan walking back, which is when we put his name key (graphic) up. We would then get into our replay sequence."
A glimpse behind the scenes of Sky's match broadcast is to walk into a series of dark rooms filled with jargon, technology and time pressure, where the schedule is marked to the second and where there are no second chances.
Rugby is an often chaotic fight for possession which doesn't have the structure of soccer, league or American football. And that, as Sky's executive producer Marcus Kennedy told the Herald at the game last Saturday, makes it harder for the broadcast match director because he or she has so many more elements to juggle. In terms of speciality and knowledge, it must be considered one of the hardest jobs in rugby, albeit one separated from the pitch by a wall of screens.
Something else to remember is that the professional game relies on the broadcaster in terms of money (via the rights) and exposure, so it's little wonder that those charged with delivering the game into the screens, eyes and cerebral cortexes of fans and non-fans alike feel a little pressure before kick-off.
"I'd be lying if I said I didn't get nervous," said Kearns, a 38-year-old passionate rugby fan who played about 60 games at No 8 for the Pakuranga premier club team. "I get nervous before every game. It's similar to before I used to play. There is a lot of pressure. If we make a mistake in our job, there are hundreds of thousands – millions - of people around the world who will see that mistake.
"If you do make a mistake, the people at home may not see it but you always look back at that one mistake in the game."
Making Kearns' night in the hot seat a little more arduous was the fact he was the match producer for the women's game earlier. Colleague Blair Dainty, 36, was match director for the women and the pair swapped for the later game. The delays in the second game due to the captains' referrals and injuries, plus the closeness of it before the Blues pulled away in the final 10 minutes, meant Dainty was increasingly busy liaising with floor managers regarding interview subjects for immediately after the final whistle.
Kearns added: "There's definitely a pattern for directing. Camera one and two are your main cameras. Everyone has a slightly different pattern but I like to go to camera one a bit earlier, from the halfback's pass, so you can see the backline or the forward pods. It gives the viewers an overview… and then you generally cut to camera two at the contact area, the rucks and the battle on the ground.
"I commentate as I go, as well. If I see a knock-on or a box kick coming, I call it. Occasionally it helps the commentators out and occasionally I say the wrong name and it stuffs them up as well."
We may have established that the broadcast is about telling a story via pictures, words and sounds, but that begs the question that the creators of all stories must face: what to leave in and what to take out, questions sometimes made harder by the sharpness of the eyes in front of those replay screens.
Late in the 2011 World Cup final at Eden Park, when the All Blacks were defending a narrow lead over France, the replay operators saw skipper Richie McCaw with his hands over his eyes.
They searched for the ruck where and when the alleged offence happened and came to the conclusion that he had been eye gauged, clearly a hugely significant act in the context of any game.
With seconds to decide on their approach before the final whistle sounded and the All Blacks had won the William Webb Ellis trophy for the first time since 1987, the crew decided to leave it out and raise it a few days later on Sky's Breakdown show.
Well, what would you have done in front of those monitors with the clock ticking and those voices in your headphones and the weight of the world's attention on your shoulders?
It was a decision Kearns didn't have to make but for him the job is made easier by the experience and talent of those working around him in those small, dark rooms and perfectly symmetrical grass field.
"Most of our crew have been doing this for a long time," Kearns said. "Our replay guys are probably some of the best replay operators in the world. A lot of them went to the last World Cup in Japan.
Our camera operators are also some of the best in the world at what they do. We broadcast up to 150 games a year, so these guys are pretty switched on to what we're looking for."