Northland are seeing their tense loss to Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup last week as a missed opportunity, but are taking a lot of confidence into their next match.

Northland lost 10-8 and assistant coach Dale MacLeod said they should have sealed the deal.

"We believe it was one that got away. We created enough opportunities to win," he said.

"In the first half we didn't really play to our game plan, a bit similar to Bay of Plenty. When the weather came in a bit drizzly and they tried to slow the ball down, we felt we left a few points on the park so we're a little disappointed.


"You don't get a lot of opportunities to beat Auckland in Auckland and we believe we lost it as opposed to them winning it."

Northland suffered more than a defeat with a couple of sore bodies trudging off Eden Park.

Reserve halfback Malcolm MacLeod will miss the remainder of the 2017 campaign after suffering a torn bicep.

MacLeod is expected to undergo surgery. Northland B halfback Emil Pittman has been brought into the squad as a replacement.

Meanwhile fullback Matty Wright will miss at least the next game after suffering a concussion. Wright failed a health impact assessment and did not return to the field against Auckland.

Fellow outside back Solomon Alaimalo echoed Dale MacLeod's comments about the performance.

"We're quite gutted in a way," he said.

"The boys are pretty happy with the overall performance but it's one that we should have won. The boys were down about it right after the game but we've dropped it and we're on to the next one.

"Our defence is something we worked on all week, especially with the calibre of players they have. We're pretty happy. Their only try came from a mistake from us, not a defensive lapse so that's good."

Northland aren't resting on any laurels this early in the season. MacLeod said they had got a few things to work at during the week as they looked ahead to Southland.

"We've been focusing on breakdown accuracy and performing our roles there," he said.

"We want to maintain our shape, getting our attack shape going is a strength of ours but we failed to execute there. The conditions dictated things a bit but we probably didn't adjust well enough to implement the game plan we wanted.

"It's just some little things, nothing major we need to work on. Just that breakdown accuracy. If you're in that role you've got to remember 'one bullet, one kill'.

"We created gain line on 91 per cent of our top-quality ball but we only got quick ball off 30 per cent of it which is a killer for us. It's only week two so we have a lot of growing to do.

"When we reflect on the game, we've got to be better than we were. And that probably wasn't through our inability; we weren't quite scanning and making the right decisions."

Northland travel to Invercargill hoping to reverse the loss to Southland from last season.