Pirates Rippa rugby players Jemima (6, left) and Lydia
Hortop-Blair (4) abuzz after speaking to the Duchess of
Cambridge at Forsyth Barr Stadium yesterday. Photo byt
A pep talk from stand-in coach Prince William helped
inspire a Clutha Rippa rugby team to glory - and settled a
score with his wife.
The Duke of Cambridge gained revenge on the Duchess of
Cambridge by inspiring Clutha to beat Pirates 30-20 after she
yachting races against the prince in Auckland last week.
''[Prince William] had to win against his wife Kate,'' Clutha
captain Henry Craig (5), who held his team's new trophy, told
a large media contingent following the final.
Balclutha 7-year-old Chase Te Moananui-Currie scored three
tries in the final, which was watched by 10,000 royal
watchers turned Rippa rugby fans at Forsyth Barr Stadium
Prince William impressed upon the Clutha team the importance
of the win, saying his holiday would be ruined if it did not.
''So we tried our best,'' Chase said.
Pirates manager Gemma Tuhega, who had Kate Middleton as
assistant coach for the final, said getting to meet the
duchess was ''very special'' for the children. It was clear
from the little bit of time she spent with the Royal couple
that William took his sport seriously and savoured a victory
over the duchess.
''You could tell that William was very competitive because he
was on the other side and every time his team scored a try,
he was like `yes!'.''
Rippa players Jemima (6) and Lydia Hortop-Blair (4), of the
Pirates club, took turns to chat to the duchess during breaks
in the action at the stadiumThe duchess chatted about the
rules of the game and asked Lydia if she was ''going to run
fast'', proud father Quentin Blair, of Dunedin, said.
Jemima told the Otago Daily Times she was excited to
''She was beautiful. I couldn't wait because she was so