10 Oct 2010

Shield loss heartbreaking for Southland

3:39 pm on 10 October 2010

Canterbury are once again the holders of rugby's Ranfurly Shield, after defeating Southland 26-16 in their national provincial championship clash in Invercargill.

The game was a classic Shield affair with both sides defending doggedly and playing for territory throughout the match.

Southland have held the shield since taking it off Canterbury in October last year, and the Stags captain Jamie Mackintosh concedes the whole region will be gutted by the loss.

But Mackintosh was also philosophical about handing over the Shield to the red and blacks.

He says it's heartbreaking to lose the Shield, but he's been proud to be part of the team that won it and then defended it for almost a full year.

He says the focus will now be to make sure Southland doesn't fall any further down the table.

The loss means Southland drops to fifth with two weeks of competition remaining, while Canterbury are three points clear at the top of the table.