New Zealand shearers have notched up the first win in a test series with a visiting Welsh team.
John Kirkpatrick and James Fagan started their chase for payback, after dropping two tests of a four-match series in Wales last year, with a comfortable win at the Southern Shears in Gore on Saturday.
The match, against World Championships hopefuls Gareth Daniel and Gareth Evans, was the first of four in a series which ends at the New Zealand championships in Te Kuiti in April.
Daniel achieved the fastest time, shearing his 10 sheep 12 seconds ahead of Kirkpatrick, who ended up ahead on points for quality.
A Welsh woolhandling team also lost its match against a Southern Shears regional team.
Hawke's Bay shearers scored a second successive clean sweep of the top three placings in major South Island competitions in dominating two open class finals at the Southern Shears.
The big win went to Hastings-based Dion King in the Southern Shears open, in which four of the six finalists were from Hawke's Bay.