Payne: 80 minutes at last

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Sunday, September 5, 2010    Getty Images

It was Northland's third win in six games and it now has 16 points but it could have been much better had it not lost to North Harbour and Wellington in the final minutes.

"I was just proud we played 80 minutes," said Payne, who formed a devastating attacking combination with Rene Ranger.

"We played 60 minutes against Wellington, 75 against North Harbour and we have been working on an 80-minute performance and we did that.

"We like to try to break teams open and it was great to get the four-try bonus point. You've got to make the most of what you've got.

"We like to throw the ball around and, if we get a sniff, we're going to try to make the most of it."

Payne was also pleased with Northland's improved defence.

"That's a big part of rugby. We want to pride ourselves on our defence this year. We were pretty average last year. We let Wellington back in last week but we didn't let Southland back in."

Southland captain Jamie Mackintosh said he was 'frustrated' after the Stags' first loss of the season.

"Northland's got some great attacking weapons and we were at our best and at our worst.

"We did really well to get back into the game just before halftime and the Northland boys played some really good footy and we let that one slip.

"I thought the Northland boys played better than us but there were some inconsistent calls - one scrum was good, the next was bad.

"We've got to learn from this and I'm sure we'll get a rark-up during the week but we have to take the positives as well."

Mackintosh defended the decision not to take at least five penalty shots at goal.

"It was a united decision. We thought we had the wood on them. In hindsight we should have taken the three points but these are 50-50 decisions.

"If we had done the lineouts better and had been more dominant at the cleanout, it probably would have paid off. We've definitely got a big performance in us but we've got to produce it."

Southland defends the Ranfurly Shield against North Harbour next Friday while Northland will play Canterbury in Whangarei.