Competitive prince gets one back

Pirates Rippa rugby players Jemima (6, left) and Lydia Hortop-Blair (4) abuzz after speaking to...
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 Peter McIntosh.
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 had won

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 yesterday.

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 meet Catherine.

''She was beautiful. I couldn't wait because she was so special.''


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