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Shearing Test Match in Cumbria, UK

The Big Weekend’s Test Match – in Cumbria

July 7, 2017 - Nothing stops the shearing – not even the rugby.

That will be the case as some of the best of British take on some more New Zealand World champions at the weekend – in Cumbria in the North of England.

In a test match at the Lakeland Shears in Cockermouth, local shearer and England champion Adam Berry is expected to lead the charge against the black-singlet Kiwi pair of new World champion John Kirkpatrick and 2014 champion Rowland Smith, both from Hawke’s Bay.

The second stop on the CP Wool Shearing Sports New Zealand team UK tour, the Lakeland Shears start at 8am on Saturday local time, just over half an hour before the All Blacks and the Lions kick-off the Saturday night dowunder rugby tour match-of-the-century 18,000km away in Auckland.

New Zealand (shearing) team manager Johnny Fraser, of North Otago, doesn’t expect any Tv at the shears in the Lakeland Livestock Centre and says that in the busy nature of the woolshed and shearing competitions most will just have to get on with the job, and the show.

“We will be watching our phones for score updates,” said Mr Fraser, who will be spending the eve of his team’s big match in the shearing sports’ form of fraternising with the enemy, a Friday helping the locals prepare their herdwick sheep for the championships, at which he will also judge.

He’s already spent two days this week helping at a shearing training course in Perthshire in Scotland, where Kirkpatrick and Smith were beaten at the Lochearnhead Shears by Scotland last Saturday, just three days after arriving in the UK for their seven-test tour.

Kirkpatrick has this week been shearing in Scotland, but Smith ventured back to Trefranck Farm near St Clether, Cornwall, where he will on July 24 attempt to beat a World record of 605 ewes in eight hours

Smith won the Lakeland Shears Open final during last year’s New Zealand team tour with Kirkpatrick, but there was no test match at Cockermouth.

While there was not quite that success at for the team at Lochearnhead last Saturday, there was triumph for Poverty Bay shearer Catherine Mullooly as she won the Lakeland Shears Senior Shearing final.

While shearing in Cockermouth and a rugby test match in Auckland are a World apart, UK shearing commentator Huw Condron says there will be at least one thing in common on the day: the haka.

It’s on-demanded everywhere New Zealand shearers compete in the UK, and while it’s not unknown for UK shearers who’ve learned a bit of haka in New Zealand to help-out for some of the more individual occasions, Condron says it’s different when it’s part of the test-match rivalry.

“We all love a haka,” said Condron. “But they’ll leave it to the kiwis.”

Results from the Lochearnhead Shears on July 1:

CP Wool Test Match – Joe Te Kapa Memorial Trophy (18 sheep): Scotland (Calum Shaw 14min 5sec, 52.305pts; Hamish Mitchell 14min 12sec, 55.655pts) 107.96pts, beat New Zealand (John Kirkpatrick 14min 34sec, 54.422pts; Rowland Smith 14min 57sec, 54.573pts) 108.95pts.

Lochearnhead Shears Open final (20 sheep): Calum Shaw (Scotland) 15min 48sec, 56.8pts, 1; Rowland Smith (New Zealand) 16min 3sec, 58.2pts, 2; Adam Berry (England) 16min 2sec, 58.95pts, 3; Hamish Mitchell (Scotland) 15min 47sec, 60.45pts, 4.

CP WOOL New Zealand shearing team UK tour ITINERARY:

July 8 (Saturday): v England, at Lakeland Shears, Cockermouth.

July 12 (Wednesday): v England, at Great Yorkshire Show, Harrogate.

July 21 (Friday): v Wales, at Cothi Shears

July 22 (Saturday): v Wales, at Lampeter Shears

July 26 (Wednesday): v Wales, at Royal Welsh Show, Builth Wells.

July 29 (Saturday): v Wales, at Corwen Shears.


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