You had to be tough to take on Herlihy's SWA (Sheep With Attitude) at the annual Whanga Shears held end of February in the Republic.

There was plenty of action on and off the board. Sweat, blood, DQs and flying sheep all added to the mix. A virtual feast for WorkSafe!

The kids stepped up to the plate first with the hotly contested crutching. Then the ladies showed how it was done in the novice and junior.

Loss of blood and a bad back was newly elected Republic President John's secret to taking out the coveted Wayne Donaldson Trophy in the intermediate.

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Life in the old dog yet! Mark Cop took out the Senior title aided and abetted with his mate only to be cruelly DQed by some snotty female judge. (Who may in fact be the writer of this article ... ) Rat Rawlinson's time and quality gave him the open title.

Many thanks once again to the Herlihy clan, for supplying and preparing both sheep and venue.

Thanks also to the generosity of all the sponsors Wayne Donaldson Shearing Services, Kerry Jensen , Whangamomona Hotel, NZ Farmers, Farmlands, Marshall Shearing, Taranaki Vets and RD 1.

The day runs like a well oiled machine.Thanks to all the workers, judges, rousies, pressers, time keepers, MCs, catchers (not one in particular), points ladies , rehydration experts and master chefs.

Nothing like a hot snarler and bread washed down by a Tui to round off another good old day in the Republic.

So mark it on the calendar for 2018 - always the last Sunday in February. No excuses. See you there.

A big shout out and congratulations to our new Golden Shears Champ Darren Alexander, who won the Senior title in Masterton last weekend. And congratulations to Gav Mutch who was sixth in the Open final.

- March 25 in the Whanga Republic at Herlihy's woolshed there will be a 24hr Shearathon starting at noon for suicide awareness. Everyone is welcome to watch, participate and support those shearing around the clock. Contact President John on 7625520 for more info.