All Blacks won, royals almost lost

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

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.

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.
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.

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