Brave Stratford effort, but Australia win shearing test
From Doug Laing, media officer, Shearing Sports New Zealand
October 8, 2016.
Brave Stratford effort, but Australia still win shearing test
Australia regained transtasman shearing match supremacy with a big win over the Shearing Sports New Zealand team last night at Warialda, New South Wales.
In the first-leg of an annual home-and-away series, with three from each country shearing 16 sheep each, including merino and strongwool crossbreds, Australia beat New Zealand by 17.21pts.
The best individual in the match on the first day of the Australian national shearing and woolhandling championships was Australian shearer Daniel McIntyre, finishing first in just over 24 minutes and carding the best shearing points on the shearing board.
But in a stunning achievement in the circumstances and despite finishing more than two minutes in arrears, with more than a sheep to do after McIntyre put in his last blow, Southland gun Nathan Stratford was second overall, including the best combined points in pen and board judging – almost three points than the next-cleanest rival.
Stratford, of Invercargill, had six days earlier won the New Zealand Merino Championships final in the Central Otago town of Alexandra, ending a six-year stranglehold on that title by West Australian shearer Damien Boyle, and a week earlier had shorn with a New Zealand Merino Shears team in Perth.
A feature of the test was the 26th consecutive transtasman match for South Australian shearing legend and former 2002 and 2005 World champion Shannon Warnest, and that of reigning World, Golden Shears and New Zealand champion and Hawke’s Bay shearer Rowland Smith, was last to finish, being the least experienced of all the six on stage when it came to shearing the finewool merinos. But he did manage to just pip third team member and New Zealand multi-breeds supremo and Rakaia shearer Tony Coster on points.
Dominating in recent years until New Zealand clawed-back a win in Masterton last March, Australia has now won 31 of the 60 tests since the first official transtasman test was shorn in 1974.
A traditionally coinciding woolhandling test was unable to be held because of a clash with New Zealand team member commitments to a World championships selection series event in Waimate but will be back on the programme for the next transman meeting at the 57thGolden Shears in Masterton on March 4.
Stockowners Transtasman Shearing Test (16 sheep): Australia 291.07pts (Daniel McIntyre 24min 3sec, 93.9pts; Shannon Warnest 25min 28sec, 97.53pts; Justin Dolphin 26min 9sec, 99.64pts) beat New Zealand 308.28pts (Nathan Stratford 26min 9sec, 96.76pts; Rowland Smith 27min 8sec, 105.71pts; Tony Coster 26min 55sec, 105.81pts) by 17.21pts.