Aussie shearers a cut above Kiwis

Bob GarnantCountryman

Broomehill gun shearer Damien Boyle and the WA Trans Tasman team of Boyle and Todd Wagner, of Nungarin, set the standard during competition at the Perth Royal Show.

While team New Zealand brought two of their finest shearers in Colin O'Neill and Tony Coster, they could not match the skills of Boyle and Wagner on the day.

Wagner led all the way with a blistering pace shearing the six Merino and six crossbred sheep, finishing in a time of 18 minutes, 31 seconds.

Although his teammate, Boyle, finished last on the clock, the final judging favoured Boyle's clean shorn sheep, setting up the victory for the WA team.

Announcer Kevin Gellatly said the Trans Tasman set up the clash of the gladiators in the sport of shearing and the New Zealand shearers showed their skills as they easily stripped the wool off the familiar crossbred sheep.

"The crowd roared during the last seconds of the competition urging Wagner on as Coster was only three seconds behind the pace," Mr Gellatly said.

Wagner said it was his first Trans Tasman competition and the Heiniger territory manager pushed the limits of his physical condition.

"I have been training and dieting for three weeks which helped with my performance today," Wagner said.

He said with sound advice from his teammate, Boyle, success came with the ability to stay focused and relaxed.

Earlier in the day, during the open competition, 14 competitors vied for top bragging rights.

It was again Boyle who shore clean to sweep the boards for the victory.

In the final heat of six shearers, Mark Buscumb set a blistering pace on the boards shearing 10 Merinos, while Boyle was not far behind.

John Dalla caught up with Buscumb on the third sheep, but could not overtake the leader who eventually stopped the clock at 10 minutes, 17 seconds.

Other open shearers who performed well included Richard Sturis, a young, upcoming shearer who shore very clean.

Mr Gellatly said it was good to have Mick Nancarrow, of Queensland, compete in WA. "Overall the shearing competition at the show was outstanding with good crowds in support," Mr Gellatly said.

Continuing his good form after the show, Damien Boyle won the Alexander Shears, held in New Zealand on the weekend.

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