Australian shearers’ solid win against Kiwis in trans-Tasman test

Sheep Central, October 11, 2016
Daniel McIntyre at the Warialda nationals. Picture - Marc Truman.

Daniel McIntyre at the Warialda nationals. Picture – Marc Truman.

NEW South Wales shearer and former national champion Daniel McIntyre was the top performer in Australia’s latest trans-Tasman shearing test win against New Zealand last week.

The Sports Shear Australia team regained trans-Tasman shearing match supremacy with a big win over the Shearing Sports New Zealand team at the 2016 Australian National Shearing and Wool Handling Titles at Warialda in New South Wales last Friday.

In the first-leg of an annual home-and-away series, with three shearers from each country shearing 16 sheep each, including Merino and strong wool crossbreds, Australia beat New Zealand by 17.21pts.

The best individual in the match on the first day 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, New Zealand 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 trans-Tasman match for South Australian shearing legend and former 2002 and 2005 world champion Shannon Warnest. Shannon said his first kicking crossbred broke a comb, forcing him back to his Merino gear and unplanned cutter change for the remaining crossbreds.

“I was in a place where I didn’t want to be.”

But Shannon said Justin Dolphin shore well to place fourth among the six shearers, and Daniel McIntyre was firing after top-qualifying for most events on the Friday.

“When he (Daniel) goes he goes.

“It’s a team event, so as long as each individual gives it their best,” Shannon said.

Remarkably the final 2016 points result of Australia 291.07 points to New Zealand’s 308.28 points almost duplicated the 2015 test result of Australia 291.07 and New Zealand 308.27.

“New Zealand is always a rival, always full-on – we packed a pretty good team in New Zealand last year and got rolled, and fair and square too,” Shannon said.

Reigning world, Golden Shears and New Zealand champion, 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 fine wool Merinos. However, 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 trans-Tasman 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 program for the next trans-Tasman meeting at the 57th Golden Shears in Masterton on March 4 next year.

Warialda Stockowners Trans-Tasman 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.

Click here to see a detailed version of the results.

Source: Doug Laing, Shearing Sports New Zealand.


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