Top rankings for pair

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Many days on the road have paid off for two friends who have achieved No1 rankings in Shearing Sports New Zealand standings for 2018-19.

Lionel Taumata, of Gore, is the top senior shearer and Tyson Crown, of Mataura, the top intermediate shearer.

The rankings were announced at the New Zealand Shears in Te Kuiti at the weekend.

Crown said the pair had attended about 20 competitions throughout the season ranging in location from Te Kuiti to Winton.

His bank balance had taken a hit as a result.

“You’re going to miss three days of work sometimes just to go to one show,” Crown said.

“It’s quite a bit of money you miss out on.

“You go to a show and you’re not guaranteed to win whereas if you go to work you are guaranteed to make money.”

There were other costs, too, such as travelling to events.

However, the sacrifice was worth it as he was one step closer to achieving his goal of shearing in the open grade.

“I’m pretty rapt with that – I’ve done a lot of travelling to get that.”

His goal had been to qualify for the senior grade this year but was not sure he would achieve it.

“I didn’t expect to be but I was hoping to be able to be.”

He enjoyed the atmosphere of the circuit.

“I’m pretty competitive.”

Taumata said he had been away from home most weekends.

“I’ve been up and down the islands.

“You’re losing three days, sometimes four days of work.

“You’re leaving your family,” Taumata said.

He and his partner, Anika Unahi, welcomed their first child, Hudson, to their family in February.

The 23-year-old had been shearing for five years and it was his third season in the senior grade.

“To actually top-rank and get the certificate was actually pretty good.”

He was looking forward to competing in the open grade next year.

“It’s cool.

“It’s been a goal to get there.”