I had one mission when I went to New Zealand, and that was to meet Richie McCaw, captain of the All Blacks and the Crusaders. The short story – I met him. Now the long story. I arrived in Nelson to watch the friendly match between the Crusaders and the Hurricanes, only to find out it got sold out two days before! No! I am crushed – until I find out there will be a ‘meet and greet’ at the local pub. I show up at 10.30pm looking hot in my black dress with a strand of red garland around my neck (the Crusaders’ colours) to make sure I will be noticed. At 11.30pm Robbie Deans the coach shows up. I immediately walked over and said: “Hey mate, I hear this will be your last season coaching the Crusaders?” “Ah, ya never know.” “Are the boys coming? Will Richie be here?” “Yeah, they’re just havin’ a feed.”

Meet and greet?

At 12.30am, a couple of tequila shots, several beers and some vodka later, I go back to Robbie. “Hey mate, seriously don’t joke with me. I came all the way from the States. Is Richie coming?” He chuckled, “Hah, he just walked in the door!” See ya later! And then Richie is there, right in front of me and no one else is around. I throw the garland around him and say, “Hey there, I need a picture with you!” Right after the picture I open my mouth to say how I came all the way from the US and I am a big fan… But he has already walked away. Wait, that’s it? I thought this was a meet and greet? I was pretty bummed out as the players (there were about seven there), really didn’t want to talk to anyone and just conversed amongst themselves. Then after only a half hour they left. So of course I followed them. I was discreet – I gave them a block head start. They went to a dance club and right outside this group of girls walked by and yelled something. One of the guys said something back and the girls yelled some more shite and said something about Dan Carter. By this time I’m close to the guys and mad at these stupid girls so I yelled, “You don’t even know what you’re talking about! Dan didn’t even play! He pulled a calf muscle, he isn’t even here.” But he is there, and he is right in front of me. “Hi, nice to meet you (I shake Dan’s hand). How’s the calf muscle?” “Uh, fine.” “Good, I’m looking forward to seeing you play this year.” I’m so embarrassed I walk away around the block! About 10 minutes later though, I go back to the club just as Dan is walking outside. I ask him for a picture but he quickly turns around and goes back inside. At this point, one of the other guys came up to me and said, “Hey, why don’t you leave these guys alone.” I told him I only wanted a picture with Dan, and I came all the way from the States to see these guys!

Awesome dance moves

Now I’m really sad. It must have shown because this girl comes up to me and asks what’s wrong. She decides to take my camera and try to get a picture. But she comes back and says they don’t want pictures taken. Her boyfriend rocks up and decides he will try, but comes back with the same result. Uggh! I hang around a little while longer thinking that once Richie sees my awesome dance moves that will lure him on to the floor. Uh yeah, that didn’t happen. I leave, and as I do some guy I met earlier runs after me and offers to walk me home. I cap the night by crying on his shoulder because I’m so disappointed. Obviously if Richie would have talked to me, he would have found out how cool I was and taken me back to his hotel room, right? Or at least that’s what I was hoping would happen! Oh well, I did accomplish my mission!