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Sevens star shears the glory


On behalf of Shearing Sports New Zealand

March 1, 2013

Sevens star shears the glory

New Sevens rugby star Sarah Goss has returned to the shearing board to beat some of the best female shearers in an invitation charity event at the 53rd Golden Shears in Masterton.

Formerly a top lower grades shearer, who was third in the Intermediate final at the Golden Shears last year and runner-up at the New Zealand Championships a few weeks later in Te Kuiti, hadn’t shorn a sheep this year as she concentrates on a blossoming rugby career, which has seen her made New Zealand Women’s Sevens vice-captain at the age of 20, in her first season in the national team and targeting a place at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

But it has been her studies at University which kept her from getting any practice with the sheep and despite the heady heights towards which her sporting career has taken her in recent months, it was a big challenge amid the camaraderie of the wool industry which came together in some emotional scenes in Masterton’s War Memorial Stadium.

“I haven’t touched a handpiece for about three months…I was so nervous,” she said after the event, which was a both a promotion and fundraiser for cancer research and a tribute to six-times Golden Shears woolhandling champion Joanne Kumeroa who was diagnosed with cervical cancer last August.

Despite the debilitating condition and chemotherapy, Kumeroa competed earlier in the day in this year’s woolhandling heats, and qualified for the quarterfinals, but was unable to go through with a dream of competing in the shearing event – no novice, with a best tally of over 400 sheep in a day.

Her place was taken by a relay team of up-and-coming women shearers, as 20-year-old Goss beat four World record breaking female shearers.

Former eight-solo women’s lambs record holder Ingrid Smith (nee Baynes), from Wairoa, was runner-up, 1980s record-break Jills Angus Burney, now a barrister specializing in industrial law and living in Wairarapa, was third, Smith’s mother, Marg Baynes, was fourth, the relay team was fifth, and current lambs record holder Kerri-Joe Te Huia was sixth.

Goss, who went top co-ed rugby school Fielding High School and is off a Kimbolton farm run by dad and 1985 Golden Shears Intermediate shearing champion Alan and mum and 2008 Open woolhandling winner Ronnie, will be straight back into the rugby, for a team get-together this week ahead of a tournament in China and the World Cup in Moscow in June.


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