All Blacks won, royals almost lost

18:29, Apr 13 2014
Royal tour heads south
The couple were greeted with a powhiri.
Royal tour heads south
And with a wave, day 7 of the tour kicks off.
Royal tour heads south
The couple arrive at the Anglican Cathedral St Paul's in the Octagon.
Royal tour heads south
HAERE MAI: The Duchess of Cambridge is welcomed to Dunedin with a hongi from Mataawhio Matahaere Vieint, 5.
Royal tour heads south
Heading into the church for the service.
Royal tour heads south
Hundreds of people had gathered at the Octagon to get a glimpse of the royal couple.
Royal tour heads south
Hundreds of people had gathered at the Octagon to get a glimpse of the royal couple.
Royal tour heads south
William and Kate are greeted at the church.
Royal tour heads south
Kate meeting her coaching team before kick-off.
Royal tour heads south
Getting a little sneaky advice from Richie McCaw.
Royal tour heads south
Getting ready for kick off - Wills looks a little apprehensive....still hurting over losing the sailing in Auckland perhaps m'lord?
Royal tour heads south
The Duke of Cambridge chats to the crowd after leaving a service at St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin.
Royal tour heads south
Leaving St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin, after a church service.
Royal tour heads south
Handing out the trophies to the ripper rugby players.
Royal tour heads south
Victory for the Prince's team!
Royal tour heads south
The duchess was wearing a New Zealand designer for the first time on the tour, with this dress from Emilia Wickstead.
Royal tour heads south
Kate mingles with the waiting crowds.
Royal tour heads south
Kate meets Brayden Marr from Cure Kids, while All Black Sevens Captain DJ Forbes stands guard.
Royal tour heads south
SCORE! William celebrates his win but Kate really doesn't look convinced.
Royal tour heads south
This rugby is very serious business.
Royal tour heads south
William kicks off the action.
Royal tour heads south
The Air Force plane comes in for landing as motorists pull over for a peek at the royals.
Royal tour heads south
Kate and William at the Amisfield Winery for a tour and a tasting.
Royal tour heads south
Learning about the local wines at Amisfield winery.
Royal tour heads south
The couple finally hit upon some sunshine, possibly the first they have seen in New Zealand.
Royal tour heads south
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? "#Kate had a sip at winery but has to said she put it down pretty quick. Reportedly not a big drinker though anyway," ITV reporter Georgina Brewer tweeted.
Royal tour heads south
All strapped in and ready to hit the river.
Royal tour heads south
...and they're off!
Royal tour heads south
WHAT WOULD THE QUEEN SAY? Wills and Kate holding on for their lives as the Shotover Jet does its thing.
Royal tour heads south
Is that a look of "thank god that's over" we see you on your faces?
Royal tour heads south
Getting whipped.
Prince William Duchess of Cambridge Shotover Jet
HOLD ON: The royal couple get ready for a high-speed jet boat ride in Queenstown this afternoon.
Prince William Duchess of Cambridge Shotover Jet
HOLD ON: The royal couple enjoy a high-speed jet boat ride in Queenstown this afternoon.
Prince William Duchess of Cambridge Shotover Jet
HOLD ON: The royal couple enjoy a high-speed jet boat ride in Queenstown this afternoon.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a ride on the Shotover Jet this afternoon.
PICTURE PERFECT: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a ride on the Shotover Jet this afternoon.
Royal tour heads south
The duchess is presented with flowers by 5-year-old Maggie Langford.
royals
ALL SMILES: The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge jet boating on the Shotover River in Queenstown.
royals
ALL SMILES: The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge jet boating on the Shotover River in Queenstown.
royals
ALL SMILES: The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge jet boating on the Shotover River in Queenstown.

After winning Kiwi hearts all week, Kate met her match on a day when she must have feared she had wandered into Blokesville.

Like so many others before her, in Dunedin she learned the harsh lesson; you don't take on All Blacks rugby captain Richie McCaw at his own game.

For days crowds have lined up layers deep to see Kate as she worked her charm North and South.

 Prince William, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and Catherine cheer on their Rippa Rugby teams
TOP COACHES: Prince William, All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and Catherine cheer on their Rippa Rugby teams, Clutha, in red, and Pirates in Dunedin yesterday.

Kate, the student who lived the dream to become a princess, has won New Zealand over with her smiles, empathy and a fashion show of eye-catching outfits.

Yesterday, her jewel-toned arrival outfit was a creation by Kiwi-born, London-based designer Emilia Wickstead.

In Dunedin to coach the Royal Rippa Rugby finalists - Wills got redshirted Clutha, Pirates in their white got Kate - and the royals were relegated to bit-part roles by the wee rugby players.

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A rugged man in plain black sportsgear proved her nemesis.

Boys wanted to meet McCaw and Otago All Black Ben Smith. Girls had their hearts set on the prince; princesses did not feature in their pre-match calculations.

Clutha saw Pirates off 30-20, squaring the royal tour sporting battles at one apiece, after the duchess sunk Wills in America's Cup match-racing in Auckland.

Prince William unearthed a star in 7-year-old speedster, Chase Te Moananui-Currie, who scored a hat-trick. He made no secret about what had inspired him.

"Meeting Richie McCaw and Ben Smith would be the highlight, after winning the trophy," he said.

While the game was on, Kate chatted to the girls in her squad.

Wills had a bloke-to-bloke with McCaw, with one eye on his team.

After the excitement of Blenheim, Auckland and Cambridge, where it seemed every nook and cranny had a union jack jammed in it, Dunedin was more sedate.

Later, Queenstown at last offered sunshine.

Yet the couple still managed to get wet roaring through the Shotover River canyon in a jet boat powered by two six-litre V8s, and doing spins for the clicking news media cameras.

Sipping wine at lunch and getting thrown about in the jet boat failed to squash speculation Kate is expecting.

In Cambridge the day before Prince William told Cynthia Read, who knitted the wool shawl which was New Zealand's official gift when George was born: "You might have to make another one soon!"

This sent the world news media into spins akin to that of a Shotover jet.

By the time she came back into view after a dash of about 7km down river, hitting speeds of up to 90kmh and swerving within 500mm of the rocky outcrops, the full smile was there.

She even found the courage to let go of the handrail to push up her sunglasses. "This'll be going on the ‘famous wall' . . . if they allow it," Shotover jet boat driver Andy "Randy" Patchett said.

On the famous wall, back at Shotover headquarters, are well-known film directors James Cameron and George Lucas, actors Hugh Jackman, Sir Ian McKellen and Laura Dern, as well as cricketer/politician Imran Khan.

After the royals departed for the exclusive Matakauri Lodge, Shotover jet staff agreed they had just seen the most famous of the famous.

A bunch of little Dunedin rugby players would take some convincing of that. 

Fairfax Media