John McIntyre could only smile as the NRL talked about refusing to give new-kids-on-the-block Dolphins any concessions when entering the competition.
When it came to the Canberra Raiders taking their place in the NSW Rugby League in 1982 it was more about putting in hurdles than lending a hand.
Paying for teams to come to Canberra, imposing import restrictions and all the travel compared with Sydney teams - but it didn't stop the Green Machine from defying history.
Since rugby league expansion began in 1910, it's taken newcomers seven years on average to play finals and 20 to win a premiership.
They're numbers the Melbourne Storm, Brisbane Broncos and Raiders have all defied.
The Storm playing finals in their first NRL season and winning a premiership in their second.
Brisbane taking two years to make the play-offs and six to win the title.
And the Raiders getting to the business end in their third campaign and tasting glory in their eighth. In what's still remembered as the greatest grand final of all. The first of the Green Machine's three.
Inaugural Canberra secretary McIntyre, who went on to become the chief executive and chairman, remembers those early years and the obstacles they had to overcome.
In contrast, the Dolphins won't be getting any concessions - but there's no restrictions on who they can sign. With multi-million-dollar contracts already being prepared to lure the likes of Storm star Cameron Munster to Redcliffe.
"The interesting thing I read about is the Dolphins and the NRL are talking about no concessions - it takes me back to when we started," McIntyre said with a laugh.
"We had no bloody concessions. It's coming up to Melbourne Cup time, the way they were going it was like putting hurdles up in the straight.
"We were limited to 13 imports in the first three seasons."
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Ironically, the Balmain Tigers were the only club to waive one of those hurdles. Given they were the team the Green Machine would beat to win their maiden premiership in 1989.
Balmain's generosity certainly paid off for them in the Raiders' early days. Canberra taking until their seventh season before finally beating them.
That losing streak included the then Raiders coach organising for legendary Aussie swimming coach Laurie Lawrence to speak to the Green Machine before facing the Tigers.
In a nice little twist, that coach was Wayne Bennett - who co-coached Canberra in 1987 and is set to take the helm of the Dolphins when they enter the NRL in 2023.
Lawrence's appearance was kept secret - especially after the Tigers won 28-0.
"Laurie Lawrence happened to be down at the AIS for a week and Wayne Bennett ... got him to come into talk to the team before they played Balmain, with the knowledge we hadn't beaten Balmain in all that time," McIntyre said.
"I was sworn to secrecy and we got beat 28-0. After the game I said, 'What's your next trick coach?'"
While Bennett and the Dolphins will be casting their net to land any off-contract Queensland stars they can - like the aforementioned Munster - it was also the Banana State that bore fruit for the Green Machine.
Especially the recruitment of Mal Meninga. One of the greatest players ever to grace the game.
He was part of a mass exodus of Maroons to the capital that perfectly complemented some local stars.
McIntyre said the development of star prop Glenn Lazarus, aka "The Brick with Eyes", also played a role. Along with the emergence of Ricky Stuart and Laurie Daley.
Not surprisingly Lazarus also won premierships for the Broncos and then the Storm.
"The main benefit was to us we were able to recruit blokes like Mal Meninga and Gary Belcher, and the Walters boys - those Queenslanders were a great help to us in those times," McIntyre said.
McIntyre had no doubt in Bennett's ability to do the job for the Dolphins. Especially since he was the man at the helm of the Broncos when they entered the competition back in 1988.
Bennett led the Broncos to all six of their premierships, with the glamour club struggling since his latest departure.
"He's been there, done that," McIntyre said.