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Smith’s compo in All Nations win

Hawke's Bay shearer Rowland Smith scored a stunning Southland All Nations Open championship win in Invercargill tonight on the last night of a near three-year reign as World Champion.

The win was some compensation for the two-metre-tall Smith who last year won five of the six preliminary rounds of the 2017 New Zealand team selection series only to finish third in the series final, and miss selection in the two-man machine shearing team and the chance to defend his World title he won in Ireland in 2014.

Tonight's win came on the third night of the four-day 40th anniversary World championships which end in front of a crowd expected to number more than 4000 in ILT Stadium Southland tonight.

While the World Championships final will be shorn over 20 sheep of three wool types, tonight's was shorn on 20 crossbred second-shear sheep each, similar to such events as the Golden Shears Open final in Masterton and the New Zealand championships in Te Kuiti and the sheep of the local conditions.

Smith, who grew up around Ruawai in Northland but who has over the last 10 years shorn mainly in Hawke's Bay where he and wife Ingrid farm a small block west of Hastings, won by almost two points from New Zealand team member and Napier shearer John Kirkpatrick who made a gallant bid to claim the All Nations title by producing fastest time of 17min 6sec, beating Smith by about 11 seconds.

World championships and 2012 World title winner favourite Joel Henare, now living in Dunedin but from Gisborne, won the All Nations woolhandling final, repeating an All Nations win he had scored soon after being eliminated from the World Championships race in Ireland, in 2014.

Tonight's was a clear win by about 5.4pts over runner-up Alexandra's Pagan Karauria, who had earlier in the night finished sixth in the Senior shearing final, and in November just missed out selection in the World Championships woolhandling team.

World blade shearing champion Mayenseke Shweni stamped a big mark on the championships when he won the Southland All Nations blade shearing title.

Shweni won a similar lead-up event at the 2012 World championships in Masterton but missed out on the major honour won by South African teammate Zweliwile Hans.

But he atoned two years later by winning the World title in Gorey, Ireland, in 2014, and has since remained a favourite to win again at the 40th anniversary championships.

Shweni won by more than 12 points from runner-up and New Zealand shearer Tony Dobbs, a Fairlie farmer, but second South African shearer Bangani Joel slipped to fourth place after shearing the six sheep in 16min 9sec, almost two minutes quicker than his teammate who was second to finish. It was the 11 th anniversary of Joel's tally of 215 merino lambs in eight hours in a World two-stand blade shearing record in South Africa in 2006.

Waipawa shearer Aaron Bell became the second winner from Hawke's Bay within a few hours, claiming the All Nations Senior machine shearing title after Napier's Angela Stevens won the All Nations Senior woolhandling final. Ironically, Stevens' husband was among Bell's opposition his six-man final over 10 sheep each.

The All Nations Intermediate machine shearing title was won by promising Amberley shearer Mitchell Murray, his points for being first to the finish of the six-sheep shear being enough to hold-out on the quality shear of Winton's Brandon Maguire-Ratima, whom he beat by just over six-tenths of a point.

Results of the Southland All Nations shearing and woolhandling championships on the third day of the 40 th anniversary World championships being held at ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill, NZ, on February 8-11, 2017:

Shearing:

Open Machines final (20 second-shear sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings, NZ) 17min 17.569sec, 59.629pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier, NZ) 17min 6.137sec, 61.507pts, 2; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill, NZ) 18min 11.18sec, 62.809pts, 3; Darin Forde (Lorneville, NZ) 17min 47.001sec, 4; James Fagan (Raglan, NZ) 17min 30.785sec, 64.189pts, 5; Ivan Scott (Co Donegal, Ireland) 17min 15.542sec, 64.627pts, 6.

Senior Machines final (10 second-shear sheep): Aaron Bell (Waipawa, NZ) 11min 22.284sec, 45.719pts, 1; Linton Palmer (Dipton, NZ) 12min 39.587sec, 46.378pts, 2; Paraki Puna (Napier, NZ) 11min 58.321sec, 47.316pts, 3; Nick Greaves (Cheshire, England) 12min 19.293sec, 49.365pts, 4; Ricci Stevens (Napier, NZ) 11min 40.637sec, 53.832pts, 5; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra, NZ) 13min 36.489sec, 56.124pts, 6.

Intermediate Machines final (6 second-sheer sheep): Mitchell Murray (Amberley, NZ) 9min 37.305sec, 37.865pts, 1; Brandon Maguire-Ratima (Winton, NZ) 10min 36.111sec, 38.473pts, 2; John James (Aberystwyth, Wales) 10min 45.655sec, 39.283pts, 3; Jonathon Rees (Brecon, Wales) 9min 40.536swec, 41.527pts, 4; Tom Brewer (Naracoorte, South Australia) 10min 23.72sec, 44.186pts, 5; George Olof (Axminster, England) 9min 57.787sec, 44.889pts, 6.

Blade shearing final (six second-shear sheep): Mayenseke Shweni (South Africa) 18min 1.959sec, 71.598pts, 1; Tony Dobbs (Fairlie, NZ) 19min 35.914sec, 83.629pts, 2; Phil Oldfield (Geraldine, NZ) 21min 23.922sec, 88.196pts, 3; Bangani Joel (South Africa) 16min 9.132sec, 93.124pts, 4; Ken French (Australia) 21min 47.675sec, 99.051pts, 5; Allen Gemmell (Rangiora, NZ) 22min 6.89sec, 100.572pts, 6.

Woolhandling:

Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne, NZ) 39.838pts, 1; Pagan Karauria (Alexandra, NZ) 45.218pts, 2; Tia Potae (Milton, NZ) 46.32pts, 3; Robyn Charlton (Presteigne, Wales) 47.19pts, 4; Angelique Miller (Gore, NZ) 54.354pts, 5; Dallas Mihaere (Dannevirke, NZ) 58.09pts, 6.

Senior final: Angela Stevens (Napier) 47.88pts, 1; Ebony Turipa (Gore) 52.37pts, 2; Lashara Anderson (Christchurch) 58.25pts, 3; Emma-Kate Rabbidge (Wyndham) 60.69pts, 4; Nova Kumeroa-Elers (Mataura) 64.97pts, 5; Krystal Gulliver (Gore) 98.33pts, 6.

For full results for each qualification round and finals click here.