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Phil Young remains upbeat despite Southland's defeat


Southland rugby coach Phil Young found enough positives to be upbeat even in defeat at Christchurch's Rugby Park yesterday.

The visitors gave as good as they got for most of the match and led until the 70th minute before signs of fatigue allowed Canterbury to score its fourth and matchwinning try.

However, Young saw enough in the 24-20 loss to be encouraged as he and assistant Murray Brown prepare to name their squad for the upcoming NPC division one campaign.

The NPC squad is expected to be named today.

"The confidence and the self-belief that the boys showed, and their desire to play well for one another, were pleasing points and gave us real encouraging signs," Young said.

"Towards the end we lost a wee bit of structure and the tank was pretty empty.

"But you have to remember a lot of guys played in club finals at the weekend and you celebrate those."

Young said losing didn't worry him and Brown "too much" because much had still been achieved.

"We haven't spent much time together and some outstanding aspects emerged from the game," he said.

"We'd worked hard on our defensive system going into the game and apart from the odd missed one-off tackle we were happy with the defence.

"I know there's plenty of things to work on, but that was our first hit-out and the guys have just finished the club season."

Young praised first five-eighth Andy Miller for the direction he gave the backline and new captain, prop Clarke Dermody, who tried his utmost from go to whoa.

"Andy is an outstanding professional who will be good for us in regards to the balance he brings the team. And Clarke,he's got the heart the size of a lion."