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NZ wins shears test

NZ wins shears test

Two outta three ain’t bad

New Zealand has won two of three transtasman shearing and woolhandling tests during the Australian national shearing and woolhandling championships at Hamilton, Vic.

The big successes on Saturday were scored by woolhandlers Sheree Alabaster and Joel Henare and blades shearers Tony Dobbs and Brian Thomson.

But a new-look machine shearing side of experienced Tony Coster and first-time internationals Troy Pyper and Aaron Haynes was unable to reverse a trend which has now seen Australia win five of the annual home-and-away matches in a row.

The woolhandling success was a particularly big moment for former World champions Alabaster, of Taihape, and Dunedin-based Henare, from Gisborne.

They beat Australians Sarah Moran and Tara Smith by over three points, avenging the Australian pair’s defeat of 2014-2015 Kiwi teams Ronnie Goss and Keryn Herbert at the Golden Shears in Masterton last March.

The event included a tribute to New Zealand woolhandling legend Joanne Kumeroa, who died earlier this year and who had spent considerable parts of her career working in western Victoria around Hamilton.

Dobbs, of Fairlie, and Thomson, of Christchurch, successfully defended New Zealand’s unbeaten record in transtasman bladeshearing tests with victory by 21pts over Australians John Dalla and Ken French.

The machine shearing test, the latest in a series dating back over 40 years, was dominated by the Australians, masters of the finewool sheep and winning by over 26pts.

They were headed by South Australian legend and two-times World champion Shannon Warnest, who claimed individual honours for at least the 13th time in his record 26 transtasman matches, which includes every test since 2004. He was two points ahead of teammate Daniel McIntyre who was first to finish the 12-sheep contest.

Coster, of Rakaia, Haynes, of Feilding, and Pyper, of Invercargill, along with the rest of the New Zealand team, had arrived in Australia on Thursday.

Meanwhile, 2014-2015 SSNZ team members Nathan Stratford, of Invercargill, and Colin O’Neill, of Alexandra, were beaten by West Australia in a transtasman Merino shearing match at the Royal Perth Show.

The home leg of the merino series will take place at the New Zealand Merino Championships in Alexandra, which Opens the Shearing Sports New Zealand season on Saturday.

A transtasman blades shearing test is expected to be held at the New Zealand Spring Shears in Waimate a week later, and the home woolhandling and machine shearing tests will be held at the Golden Shears in Masterton in March

Results of the transtasman tests:

Machine shearing (12 sheep): Australia 271.68pts (Shannon Warnest 18min 18sec, 88.32pts; Daniel McIntyre 17min 42sec, 90.43pts; Nathan Meaney 18min 47sec, 92.93pts) beat New Zealand 298.18pts (Tony Coster 19min, 93.25pts; Troy Pyper 19min 36sec, 96.13pts; Aaron Haynes 19min 46sec, 108.8pts).

Blade shearing (4 sheep): New Zealand 189.55pts (Tony Dobbs 14min 46sec, 92.55pts; Brian Thomson 16min 15sec, 97pts) beat Australia 21.75pts (John Dalla 14min 42sec, 105.35pts; Ken French 18min 28sec, 106.4pts).

Woolhandling: New Zealand (Joel Henare, Sheree Alabaster) 42.28pts beat Australia (Sarah Moran, Tara Smith) 45.53pts.


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