Thrush proud of his Lions

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Sunday, October 24, 2010    Getty Images

Wellington won 27-14 after it had trailed 10-14 at halftime. It was its third consecutive win after it hovered outside the top seven just a few weeks ago.

"We're very happy, especially after the situation we were in just a few weeks ago," Thrush said.

"I'm really proud of the boys. There were a lot of players who really stood up."

These include the inside-back trio of debutant TJ Perenara, Liam Sopoaga and Charlie Ngatai.

"They did well. We knew if we stuck to our systems we would have a good crack at Southland.

"There are still things we need to work on. We dropped a lot of ball in the red zone. We need to hang on to it and put the opposition under more pressure."

Thrust himself had a fine game, as did fellow forwards Victor Vito and prop John Schwalger.

It was Southland's fourth consecutive loss, a disappointing end to what has been a memorable season.

It played uncharacteristically high-risk rugby and Wellington gleefully pounced on the mistakes.

"I think we ran out of petrol in the last few games," captain Jamie Mackintosh said. "The Canterbury and Bay of Plenty matches took a lot out of us.

"We wanted to finish well and we showed a lot of energy, but we didn't finish off. We're proud of what we did this season and we're grateful to our supporters.

"That Wellington intercept try just after halftime put us behind and we were playing catch-up footy from then on.

"We're pretty disappointed but we've got some great memories of the season."

Wellington finished the round robin season with 42 points and Southland with 34.