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Henare homes in on World title bid

Henare homes in on World title bid

From Doug Laing, media officer, Shearing Sports New Zealand

Reigning World champion woolhandler Joel Henare has become a hot-favourite to defend his title in Ireland in May after qualifying for first place in a New Zealand team selection trial at the Golden Shears in Masterton.

But he still has a hurdle to leap before booking his fare to Gorey in County Wexford – the series final to be contested on the last day of the Shears tomorrow.

The 22-year-old Henare, also the defending Golden Shears Open woolhandling champion, made his way to the final after heading both a year-long preliminary series and today’s semi-final, which cut the field to a final four, from whom the first two in the final will make the team.

While Henare made it with a substantial margin, points revert to scratch against a quality trio of 2008 Golden Shears Open woolhandling champion Ronnie Goss, of Kimbolton, and the 2010 World champion team of Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu, and 2008 individual champion and Taihape school teacher Sheree Alabaster.

Among those to miss-out were three-times Golden Shears Open champion and two-times World teams champion Tina Rimene and daughters Larnie Morrell and Pagan Rimene, who are also daughters of New Zealand transtasman shearing tests team member Dion Morrell.

Result of today’s World Championships New Zealand woolhandling team selection trial semi-final (top four to the final tomorrow): Joel Henare (Gisborne) 220pts, 1; Ronnie Goss (Kimbolton) 275.8pts, 2; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 282pts, 3; Sheree Alabaster (Taihape) 306pts, 4; Larnie Morrell (Masterton) 370pts, 5; Tina Rimene (Masterton) 398pts, 6; Pagan Rimene (Masterton) 408pts, 7; Amy Ruki (Invercargill) 439pts, 8.

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