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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Sheer brilliance: Before SA thumped NZ in rugby and cricket, they beat them at sheep shearing

New Zeland national sporting teams having been hammered by the Springboks, Proteas, and SA’s sheep shearing team.

Not only did the Springboks and the Proteas defeat New Zealand in the last week, but the battering of the Kiwis was first implemented by South Africa’s team at this year’s Golden Shears competition.

South Africa won The Golden Shears Shearing & Woolhandling World Championships hosted in Scotland in June this year.

The Springboks edged New Zealand 12-11 in an incredible and tense Rugby World Cup final at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. It was a record fourth Webb Ellis Cup for South Africa. While the Proteas hammered the Black Caps by 190 runs last week.

The Protea Sheep Shearing and Wool Handling Team was made up by seven talented individuals, including the team manager Izak Klopper.

“It’s to enhance the quality and the craftsmanship of the individual,” said Klopper explaining the purpose of the peculiar competition.

The Golden Shears was first held in 1977 and takes place every three years in different locations around the world. Organised by Golden Shears World Council, the aim of the championships is to promote and encourage interest in wool and the art and skill of sheep shearing and wool handling.

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Stars of the show

Mzansi Blade shearers Zwelamakhosi Mbuweni and Bonile Rabela were the stars of the tournament, amazing those who were in attendance at the competition.

In the hand shearing category, both Bonile and Zwelamakhosi put on an exciting final in both the individual and team events.  

In the team category each team member sheared five sheep, while in the individual category, each shearer had to shear six sheep. Bonile secured first place, while Zwelamakhosi came in second.

“People abroad cannot believe how close to the skin our guys can shear. So we take it [wool] off evenly so that the wool is even in length for the farmer’s sake and we leave off all the skin as far as possible, the people were just very astonished to see the craftsmanship of these two gentlemen,” said Klopper in an interview with CapeTalk.

The next Championship will be hosted in New Zealand. “I think Team South Africa will be selected in April 2025 because the next World Championship will be in New Zealand in March 2026,” said Klopper.

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