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Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Tuesday, 29 April 2008 14:26 UK

Munster loss taught us - De Kock

Neil De Kock
De Kock clears his lines against Munster (Getty)

Saracens scrum-half Neil De Kock has vowed that his team will learn from their narrow defeat against Munster in the Heineken cup semi-final on Sunday.

Saracens lost 18-16 to the Irish side in their first ever appearance in the last four of the European cup.

De Kock told BBC London 94.9: "We've had a taste of what it's like to play at the top level. Everyone wants that year in and year out."

"We sent a message out there that we can play with the best in Europe."

Saracens return to the Premiership for the final two rounds knowing they will not be able to go for Heineken Cup glory next season.

"Unfortunately the reality is because of the way we've gone in the Premiership we'll probably have to wait another season or two before we have another crack at the Heineken Cup," De Kock revealed.

"That's a bitter pill to swallow, to have come this far, come so close and miss out on qualification next season."

And De Kock slept for just an hour after the defeat, running through the game in his head.

"You think about those little things that you could have done differently, those small margins that make such a big difference.

"For us it's back to the drawing board. We're very happy with what we achieved this season but now we've got to crack on that extra bit."

De Kock paid tribute to Richard Hill who is expected to hang up his boots after 15 years at Sarries.

"He was outstanding, just like he was against the Ospreys.

"The work that he puts in behind the scenes - the public can't appreciate how hard he works to get into shape.

"He's one guy that everyone looks up to, he's achieved just about everything a rugby player can during a career.

"If he does hang his boots up I truly hope he will be part of the club in some capacity," De Kock added

see also
Gaffney rues costly Sarries error
27 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Saracens 16-18 Munster
27 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union

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