By Richard Shears In Dunedin

Showdown: Zara and Mike arriving at their hotel in Dunedin... with Tindall left carrying the heavy suitcase

Mike Tindall looked decidedly sheepish at yesterday's press conference, despite claiming the past week had 'not really' been a difficult time.

And following his troublesome night out on the tiles last week, the rugby star is clearly still on his best behaviour.

Within minutes of being reunited with his wife of seven weeks in Dunedin New Zealand, where the England Rugby team is based, Tindall had fallen into line.

Better together: Zara (right, with black hat) and Tindall (left, in grey top) are meeting for the first time since the rugby player's infamous night out last week

As Zara strolled into their hotel carrying her small handbag, Mike followed with a heavy-looking suitcase that must have been the one his wife had traveled to New Zealand with.

The chivalrous move, and reassuring words that were exchanged in private, clearly worked as Zara and Mike were all smiles when they emerged from their hotel this morning.

Zara and Mike Tindall have tried their best to put the mystery blonde rumours behind them.

At a press conference yesterday, the few words the rugby captain uttered during left little doubt that he was contrite about his drunken behaviour in a New Zealand bar.

Meanwhile, Zara's movements made it clear this was a matter to be sorted out between the two of them in absolute privacy.

Off the hook: Zara and Mike looked happy and relaxed as they left the Southern Cross Hotel together this morning

Fresh-faced: The couple did not look like they had lost much sleep over the mystery blonde rumours

The Queen's 30-year-old granddaughter cleverly dodged every professional photographer as she bunny-hopped her way down through New Zealand before being snapped in a grainy image as she hurried across the airport tarmac when she arrived in the southern city of Dunedin.

A short time later Zara confronted her 32-year-old husband of seven weeks after she was rushed in through a rear entrance of the players' five-star Southern Cross Hotel - while he followed carrying the suitcase.

What then went on when they finally met 11 nights after he was seen on a 12-minute security video cuddling up to and kissing the blonde woman will perhaps never be revealed.

All smiles: The newlyweds relaxed with their friends inside the hotel...

... then headed out for a coffee making it clear that they are not going to hide away from the media

But they seem to have put their troubles behind them. The couple both looked relaxed and happy as they went to a local cafe this morning for a coffee.

When Tindall faced the media for the first time yesterday at a Press conference in Dunedin to talk about the England team's World Cup game against Romania tomorrow he was sheepish and clearly reluctant to be reminded of his late-night antics in Queenstown, 110 miles away.

Asked whether the past days since the video became viral had been a challenging time, his mumbled reply of 'not really' did not appear to convince those present in the room.

United front: Zara landed in Auckland yesterday on Wednesday but wasn't reunited with her husband until last night

Yes, he admitted, that he had been disappointed he was not called upon to play in the following weekend's game against Georgia, adding: 'Obviously, you want to play every game.' He was pushed on whether whether the CCTV footage, which has resulted in the bouncer who posted it on YouTube being charged with illegally obtaining it, was likely to have affected his game in any way, he replied: 'I hope it's fine.'

Appearing uneasy about the questions as he was pressed for more details about the night, he was saved by the intervention of England coach Martin Johnson who said: 'We've put it to bed - we've played since then, it's not an issue.

'I spoke in a long press conference about it last week. We've had that conversation.

Feeling sheepish? Mike Tindall handled the inevitable questions about his marriage with ease

Relaxed: Zara beamed as she addressed a charity function in Auckland on Wednesday night

'We're looking forward to another game this weekend.'

While Tindall was ducking the questions in Dunedin, Zara was dodging pursuing photographers in the North Island - and managed to do so successfully with a little help from friends.

She had arrived in the country on Wednesday and made a surprise appearance at a charity event in Auckland. There was widespread speculation that she would be flying directly from Auckland to Dunedin yesterday, but no one saw her at Auckland airport yesterday.

Then came the revelation that she had turned up for lunch at the Gintrap Cafe and Bar in the east coast town of Napier, on the North Island.

The bar's manager confirmed she had enjoyed lunch with two friends at the cafe, when she ate calamari, while another friend dined on fish and chips.

Word was spread by officials in Dunedin that she would be arriving at the airport later that evening, but she surprised most photographers by arriving on a flight from Wellington earlier than expected.

'We have moved on': England coach Martin Johnson defended his star player from questions about the Nightclub upset

Dressed in dark clothing and a black hat, she was accompanied by a female friend as she dashed across the airport tarmac to a waiting silver Range Rover.

The vehicle then sped away, with a police car tailing it to cut off anyone who attempted to follow it.

She arrived at the Southern Cross Hotel a short time later and was whisked in through a rear door. There was no sign of her after that and it was believed she had gone straight to her husband's room.

Because of the secrecy surrounding her movements, it was not immediately known whether she planned to spend the night in the hotel.

Unlike restrictions placed on other national teams, coach Martin Johnson has made it clear he has no problem with WAGS - wives and girlfriends - staying with players during a tour.

Media attention: Tindall will be wishing the press had focused on the team's performance rather than his embarrassing night out

'You've got to trust them to make decisions on the field so you've got to do the same off it as well,' said Johnson as the players were preparing to leave for New Zealand.

'If you can't trust them at any point, then there are simply choices for us to make.

'You've got to have a balance in your life. The best thing you can have is your family there. I did in 2003. They give you some normality.

'The wives and girlfriends are all very sensible and very supportive and just want their partners to have a good experience in terms of playing.'

Ironically, Mr Johnson had added: 'It's a different world to 20 years ago when I toured New Zealand with the Lions and the boys had fun. Things have changed.

Troublesome behaviour: Mike Tindall was seen getting his head kissed by a mystery blonde on September 11

Happier times: Tindall and Zara on their wedding day seven weeks ago

'You've got to be careful and not put yourself or your team mates at risk.'

New Zealanders in Queenstown yesterday, the scene of Mr Tindall's drunken behaviour, were playing a guessing game over what might happen when Zara met him later in the day.

'We've seen him looking fresh faced on TV today - so if we see him tomorrow with a black eye, we'll know it wasn't from a rugby game,' said one wag.

Another said that the next few days would reveal whether Zara had forgiven her husband for his behaviour.

'If they put on a united show of love for one another, then we'll know she's allowed it to all blown over. It all depends on how they are with one another in the coming days.'

Mike Tindall is expected to train with the team at the Dunedin stadium today and Zara is expected to watch him play tomorrow.

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