Goss home at a fast clip

18:42, Mar 04 2014
Sarah Goss
FLEECING IT: Kimbolton shearer and NZ Sevens rugby player Sarah Goss at last year's Golden Shears.

For sheer staying power, it is hard to go past New Zealand sevens vice-captain Sarah Goss.

At 1am on Friday she stepped off an aircraft in Auckland after a flight from Buenos Aires, reached Palmerston North at 9am and the same night was shearing at the Golden Shears in Masterton.

And this week she was back in Massey University studies mode because in three weeks' time she will be off with the sevens team to China.

In the past two weeks she helped New Zealand win the IRB sevens tournament in Atlanta before jetting off to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where Australia beat them in the final, and then had four days of sponsorship promotion in the next Olympics city, Rio de Janeiro.

Goss, though, feels just at home on the board at Masterton where she is the only woman to have shorn in three Golden Shears finals, since being the novice runnerup in 2007.

She was on the verge of not reaching Masterton in time for the women's invitation event, but her grandparents drove her there and she took the place of mother Ronnie, who was prepared to have shorn in the event.


"I was the defending champion from last year and I thought, ‘why not?'," Sarah said.

"It was kind of so mum didn't have to shear and it was supporting a good cause."

She had to shear only five sheep against five other women, nothing to someone who has wielded a handpiece since she was eight on the family sheep and beef farm at Kimbolton.

"Five sheep didn't affect me at all."

Her father [Alan] and mother have always shorn their own sheep and brother Simon competed at the Golden Shears.

Sarah was even quizzed about her shearing in Brazil by a TV reporter who knew nothing about it.

However, the sevens rugby rather than fleeces is her prime focus.

"I'm loving it. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," she said.

And when she is overseas, it is a simple matter of phoning on Facetime to keep in touch with her family.

Mother Ronnie will also do some jet-setting in May. She will compete in wool-handling for New Zealand at the world championships in Ireland.

Later this week, Sarah will be off to a rugby training camp leading to a Black Ferns trial in Auckland. Fellow Manawatu players Kristina Sue, Shakira Baker and Selica Winiata will be there too, although Goss might yet just focus solely on playing sevens.

Goss said the New Zealand sevens team let themselves down in Sao Paulo by losing to Australia. The players had been freezing in Atlanta and then hit 35-degree heat in Brazil.

"We struggle in the heat," she said. "A loss makes you stronger."

For the record, Goss was fifth at the Golden Shears (9min 33.918sec, 41.096 points).

Manawatu Standard