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Black Ferns proud as era comes to an end

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    19 Aug 2014     Getty Images

Midfielder back Amiria Rule, number eight Casey Robertson and outside back Claire Richardson boast over 90 international test caps between them and all confirmed their retirement post game.

Rule was at her block-busting best as she set up three first half tries, while there was pre-game heartache for fellow midfielder Richardson whose troublesome groin ruled her out of the side for her final match.

Powerhouse loose-forward Robertson came from the bench to finish her career and described the feeling as bitter-sweet.

“Obviously we played they way we wanted to play and came out with a good result, but just not quite what I anticipated coming into the tournament so that was a bit disappointing,” she said.

“But really pleased to see the way the girls bounced back and a great way to be sent off.

“I would say there will be a bit fair bit of emotion tonight when I have to say farewell to the girls. It’s been 12 years that I’ve played for the team on and off so it’s a long time and it becomes part of your life and a hard thing to let go of.” Robertson added.

While winning what would have been a fourth straight World Cup for Robertson proved a bridge too far, the 33-year-old believed the team was in good shape going forward, provided they retain support.

“The rugby union really came on board for us this year and put together a good program for the girls.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t achieve our goals, but I mean if they keep with us and keep the test matches up for the girls then we can only build,” Robertson said.

With just three years until the next World Cup coach Evans already has his eye on winning back the trophy and was hopeful some of his other senior players might hang around.

“I think the team will be strong to be honest,” he said.

“Some of the senior players are talking about retiring, but you don’t know in women's rugby - you know I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of them back next year.

“They love the game you know and they’ve got a passion for it so I’m going to be encouraging a few of them to stay around for the next crew coming through.”