A surprise Australian woolhandling win has tipped the scales to the western side of the ditch in a 2-1 win in yesterday's transtasman shearing sports tests at the Royal Perth Show.
It was just the 10th win for Australia in the 40 woolhandling tests and 20 years since woolhandling was added to the transtasman series in 1998.
Reigning World champion Joel Henare and 2008 World champion Sheree Alabaster were favoured to give New Zealand its sixth win in a row since Australia last won at Masterton in 2015.
Australian World championship pairing Mel Morris and Sophie Huf took the win by just 1.9pts.
The shearing tests were split one-each.
Read more shearing stories here.
Even with world champions John Kirkpatrick, Nathan Stratford and Rowland Smith, New Zealand was unable to break Australia's grip on transtasman machine shearing bragging rights, the home side winning by 12.25pts, but it was balanced with a New Zealand victory to Tony Dobbs and Allen Gemmell in the blade shearing test.
New Zealand have now lost eight machine shearing tests in Australia since Cam Ferguson, Tony Coster and Grant Smith won at Hay, NSW, in 2010, a period in which Australia have won five tests against New Zealand in New Zealand. Australia has now won 34 of the 64 tests since regular home-and-away matches started in 1974.
New Zealand has won all 10 blade shearing tests since regular annual matches started in 2010, Dobbs having shorn in six. Yesterday Australia was missing Johnathon Dalla who has shorn in eight of the blades tests.
Transtasman test match results from the Perth Royal Show, West Australia, on Sunday, September 23, 2018:
Machine shearing (12 sheep): Australia 182.6pts (Daniel McIntyre 15min 2sec, 58.85pts; Jason Wingfield 14min 17sec, 61.183pts; Shannon Warnest 16min 18sec, 62.567pts) beat New Zealand 194.85pts (Rowland Smith 16min 28sec, 62.733pts; John Kirkpatrick 16min 25sec, 64pts; Nathan Stratford 17min 9sec, 68.117pts) by 12.25pts.
Blade shearing (3 sheep): New Zealand 128.7pts (Tony Dobbs 9min 57sec, 52.85pts; Allen Gemmell 12min 37sec, 75.85pts,) beat Australia 152.78pts (Ken French 11min 18sec, 74.567pts' Andrew Murray 14min 11sec, 78.217pts) by 23.48pts.
Woolhandling: Australia (Mel Morris, Sophie Huf) 24.68pts beat New Zealand (Joel Henare, Sheree Alabaster) 26.58pts by 1.9pts.