Planet Rugby

Europe wounds agonising for Hines

20th April 2014 12:10

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Nathan Hines Clermont HEC 2013

Trials: Nathan Hines

Clermont lock Nathan Hines admits that last season's loss in the Heineken Cup final to Toulon remains a sore point.

Viewed by most as the better team in last year's final, Clermont somehow lost in a defeat that landed a knockout mental blow on their season.

The following week les Jaunards crashed out of the Top 14 semi-finals to future champions Castres, with Hines stating that the pain of the loss in Dublin the week before was too difficult to recover from in such a short space of time.

"We thought we would be in with a chance in the last couple of years and we fell short, agonisingly short," Hines told the Telegraph.

"We were disappointed with the way we played in that final, especially in the last 20 minutes. It was a serious blow.

"The evidence was shown the week after against Castres. Mentally we weren't there.

"It was too hard to get over and we dropped our bundle against Castres. I think if we'd won the final the week before I think we would have breezed past Castres."

Now Clermont are back in the final four in Europe, travelling to Twickenham to face Saracens next Saturday.

Hines will go toe-to-toe with Steve Borthwick, the Saracens stalwart who will retire at the end of the season and for whom Hines has plenty of respect.

"It's a sad day when any player retires and I'm trying to prolong it for as long as I can," stated Hines.

"He's a great player and a great leader. He is their go-to guy.

"They are streets ahead in the Premiership and they will be trying to do the best they can for him."

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
  • Top 14 Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
Sunday , September 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
Saturday , September 13
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Friday , September 12
La Rochelle 41 - 16 CastresLa Rochelle vs Castres Report
Saturday , September 6
Brive 26 - 19 ToulouseBrive vs Toulouse Report
Clermont Auvergne 32 - 6 Racing Metro ParisClermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris Report
More Top 14 results
  • Top 14 Table
Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon519
2Clermont Auvergne518
3Stade Francais517
4Montpellier514
5Bordeaux-Begles513