World champions Cam Ferguson and David Fagan maintained New Zealand's almost unbeaten record against visiting shearers from the UK with a record-breaking win over Welshmen Gareth Daniel and Wyn Jones at the Waimarino Shears in Raetihi on Saturday.
New Zealand has never been beaten by Wales in a shearing test in New Zealand, and the only win over New Zealand by any team from the UK in this country was 15 years ago, when Scotland won the 1996 World title after the New Zealanders' shock disqualification in the final in Masterton.
Daniel, who was third to Ferguson and Fagan in last year's World Championships individual final in Wales, battled valiantly to match the Kiwis for pace in Saturday's 12-sheep contest, the first of two tests following a three-way clash in which he and Jones were beaten by New Zealand and a British Isles team at the Golden Shears on March 4.
Ferguson, from Waipawa, was first to finish, clocking 11min 26sec, beating Fagan, from Te Kuiti, by six seconds. Daniel, of Penegoes, Machynlleth, was just two seconds later, but Jones still had one more to shear alone on the board and finished in 13min.
But the New Zealanders were also far too clean and won by more than 17pts, a record margin for shearing tests between the two countries.
The Welsh shear matches against local competition selections at the Waitomo Caves Shears and the Taranaki Shears next Saturday and Sunday, and shear the second test against New Zealand at the New Zealand Championships in Te Kuiti on April 2.
Meanwhile, Napier gun John Kirkpatrick, who had to settle for third in the Kumeu Shears last week in his first outing since winning his third Golden Shears Open title on March 5, returned to winning form by taking the 20-sheep Waimarino Open final. Finishing in 18min 6sec, he beat Ferguson by 15 seconds, and ultimately claimed the title by a point-and-a-half, with Paul Avery, of Toko (Taranaki) third, and Dean Ball, of Te Kuiti, fourth.
Matene Mason, of Masterton, Michael Rolston, of Levin, and Charlie Guy, of Kaeo, also maintained their winning form from the Golden Shears in the Senior, Junior and Novice finals respectively, while well-travelled Mataura teenager Brett Roberts returned to winning form with a double in the Intermediate finals of the Waimarino Shears and the Brannigan Circuit. Bevan Guy, of Kaeo, turned the tables on Mason to win the Senior circuit final.
International (12 sheep): New Zealand 91.476pts (Cam Ferguson 11min 26sec, 45.466pts; David Fagan 11min 32sec, 46.016pts) beat Wales 118,782pts (Gareth Daniel 11min 34sec, 56.616pts; Wyn Jones 13min, 62.166pts).
Open final (20 sheep): John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 18min 6sec, 64.5pts, 1; Cam Ferguson (Waipawa) 18min 19sec, 66.05pts, 2; Paul Avery (Toko) 18min 26sec, 68.2pts, 3; Dean Ball (Te Kuiti) 19min 47sec, 72.2pts, 4.
Senior final (10 sheep): Matene Mason (Masterton) 11min 20sec, 43.7pts, 1; Bevan Guy (Kaeo) 11min 7sec, 46.25pts, 2; Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro) 11min 23sec, 46.85pts, 3; Davy Garland (Feilding) 12min 7sec, 50.75pts 4.
Intermediate final (6 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 9min 6sec, 38.799pts, 1; Turuhia Edmonds (Raetihi) 9min 36sec, 41.466pts 2; Paki Waerea (Bridge Pa) 8min 59sec, 42.616pts, 3; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 9min 48sec, 43.566pts, 4.
Junior final (4 sheep): Michael Rolston (Levin) 8min 24sec, 33.2pts, 1; Tui Pene (Waipawa) 8min 53sec, 39.4pts, 2; Nathaneal Baker (Wairoa) 8min 37sec, 39.85pts, 3; David Avery (Toko) 12mo 21sec, 58.05pts, 4.
Novice final (2 sheep): Charlie Guy (Kaeo) 7min 31sec, 28.55pts, 1; Monique Taylor (Feilding) 7min 51sec, 34.05pts, 2; Brad Anderson (-) 7min 9sec, 38.95pts, 3; Quinten Sanson (-) 8min 29sec, 39.95pts, 4.
Brannigan Circuit Senior final (12 sheep): Bevan Guy (Kaeo) 13min 39sec, 52.616pts, 1; Matene Mason (Masterton) 14min 28sec, 54.9pts, 2; Wi Poutu Ngarangione (Gisborne) 14min 59sec, 54.949pts, 3; Tipene Te Whata (Tautoro) 15min 12sec, 58.849pts, 4.
Brannigan Circuit Intermediate final (8 sheep): Brett Roberts (Mataura) 12min 43sec, 49..65pts, 1; Peter Spilman (Marton) 12min 45sec. 52.25pts, 2; Sarah Goss (Kimbolton) 13min 31sec, 53.55pts, 3; DJ Crawford (Gisborne) 12min 44sec, 55.325pts, 4.