World Champs battle out Tauranga final

Reigning World champion Rowland Smith took another step towards 100 wins in Open-class shearing when he beat 2012 World champion Gavin Mutch, of Scotland, at the Tauranga Show yesterday.

Denied a World title defence next month after just missing out on a place in the New Zealand team in a selection series final in November, and last week divested of a World Record he and brother Doug had held for six years, Smith won the Tauranga final despite being only third to finish.

First to finish was Te Kuiti shearer Jack Fagan, who had to settle for third place overall with Smith producing clearly the best quality shear.

Fourth was 2016 winner Mark Grainger, also from Te Kuiti and who also teamed with Open Plate winner Turi Edmonds for a shearing match victory over the French World championships team of Loic Leygonie and Thimoleon Resneau.

Results from the Tauranga A and P Show Shears at Gate Pa Racecourse, Tauranga, on Sunday, January 15, 2017:

International (8 sheep): Tauranga Shears 79.875pts (Mark Grainger 8min 21.6sec, 39.58pts; Turi Edmonds 8min 18.4sec, 40.295pts) beat France 102.97pts (Loic Leygonie 8min 32.1sec, 46.855pts; Thimoleon Resneau 9min 42.3sec, 56.115pts) by 23.845pts.

Open final (15 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 13min 0.8sec, 49.373pts, 1; Gavin Mutch (Scotland/Whangamomona) 12min 58.1sec, 52.838pts, 2; Jack Fagan (Te Kuiti) 12min 49.6sec, 55.28pts, 3; Mark Grainger (Te Kuiti) 13min 41.1sec, 56.655pts, 4.


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