All Black assistant coach Wayne Smith walked past, striding purposefully on Hamilton's Victoria St with a shoulder bag. Minutes before, I was sure I saw a former All Black, Caleb Ralph, cross the street.
Later, walking to Waikato Stadium, I could swear a guy coming towards me with his hood up was Marty Holah.
Is Hamilton always like this? Or is it that when you know the All Blacks are in town, the imagination runs wild?
The odds of spotting one are high, not many other people are around, though Hamilton is humming with expectation. The shops, bars and fan zone are flagged, a temporary ice rink has been set up in Garden Place and this week's sou'westers will freeze the rink in time for its opening today.
Waikato's Rugby World Cup is starting a week late but it should start well. Tomorrow night the All Blacks face John Kirwan's Japan and on Sunday the city has the match that could decide whether Samoa or Wales survive the "pool of death".
Wales, coached by Waikato's Warren Gatland, will spend all of next week here and a bar in the Hood St fan zone has declared itself the unofficial Welsh embassy.
But this week the All Blacks have been in residence and it was not hard to find their hotel. Their baggage cart was on its forecourt. If you had lunch there, you might be lucky. I was.
Halfway through a salad I looked up and saw the unmistakable face of Graham Henry among a group in the lobby. When the others had left, leaving him to sign a tab, he looked relaxed and approachable so I took my chance.
Wishing him well, I said, "I hope you can play the game you want to play."
He gave that hard, quizzical look. "You play to win," he said.
I was thinking of that second half at Eden Park.
He said, "We were playing a game within a game if you know what I mean. We wanted to practise a few things. There was space out wide we could have used but didn't. We wanted to do other things."
I wanted to believe him.
When he announced the team to play Japan yesterday, it still looked experimental at fullback, halfback and No 8. But his decision to give the veteran fullback Mils Muliaina a chance to meet the challenge from Israel Dagg means both Waikato players in the squad will get a start tomorrow night.
The All Blacks face press conferences in pairs. When Muliaina appeared to answer questions on his selection yesterday he was accompanied by Conrad Smith.
Among questions asked of Muliaina was his view of his Waikato and Chiefs teammate Richard Kahui, Smith's only rival at centre but picked on the wing, where he sparkled in the World Cup opener.
Smith sat silently through a fulsome exposition on Kahui's qualities until Muliaina was asked whether he thought Kahui's ideal position was wing. Then Smith intervened.
"Yes," he said.
He was the only one of eight All Blacks put in front of the press who said anything unexpected.
Asked whether he'd prefer to play all the rest of the World Cup matches or be rested at times, Smith did not recite a bromide about being in the selectors' hands and that he was just happy to play whenever they wanted.
He gave the question some thought and said he'd prefer rests, explaining the pressure peak performance places on mind and body.
But yesterday the players looked superb, Henry was chirpy, country music was playing from Hamilton bars. Waikato is ready for a big weekend.