Ten great Black Ferns moments

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Jack Sergent-Shadbolt     13 Jul 2018     Getty Images

Dutch courage

The Black Ferns tasted World Cup success for the first time in the Netherlands in 1998. In the first tournament to be given official status by World Rugby (the 1991 and 1994 tournaments were given retrospective endorsement), The Black Ferns went undefeated throughout the tournament before crushing USA 42-12 in the final. Farah Palmer was inspirational as captain while Vanessa Cootes was a star of the tournament with five tries in the final. The team was greeted by an adoring public on their return home. 

Barcelona was the venue as the Black Ferns made it back-to-back titles in 2002. Kicking off with a 117-0 rout over Germany, the Black Ferns were just as impressive in disposing of Australia (36-3) and France (30-0) before facing England in the final. Led once again by Farah Palmer, the final was an epic encounter with the Black Ferns digging deep for a 19-9 victory to secure their second Women’s Rugby World Cup title.

Black Ferns three-peat
The Black Ferns made it a hat-trick of World Cup tournament wins when they took out the competition again in 2006 in Canada. New Zealand were dominant throughout the tournament, only conceding a total of 17 points throughout pool play and knockouts until the final. It was another nail-biting clash against the old foe England, with the Black Ferns coming out on top 25-17. Fullback Amiria Marsh led the try-scoring for the Black Ferns at the tournament with six tries from five appearances. 

Awesome foursome
The Black Ferns made it four from four with victory at the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Another relatively comfortable run to the final ended with one of the toughest Tests in the history of the game. Played in front of 13,000 screaming fans at Twickenham, Kelly Brazier and Carla Hohepa scored all of the Black Ferns points in a nail-biting 13-10 win over England. The pair were also top points scorer and try scorer for the tournament respectively. 

Hall of Fame for Palmer and Richards
In 2014, Farah Palmer and Anna Richards became the first Black Ferns to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. This was a hugely significant moment for the pair as they were recognised for their service to the team and ongoing services to the game. With 72 Black Ferns appearances between them, the hall-of-famers are legends of Black Ferns and New Zealand rugby. 

Woodman scores eight
Portia Woodman scored eight tries against Hong Kong to break the World Cup record for most tries in a single match in 2017. The flying winger was unstoppable in the match, seeming to score a try with every touch of the ball. Woodman made headlines around the world during the tournament for her game-breaking play and was a key component in the Black Ferns’ success. 

Fifty for Faamausili
Black Ferns legend Fiao’o Faamausili became the first Black Fern to reach 50 Test caps during the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup against Canada. The dynamic front rower and inspirational captain is one of the game’s greats. Faamausili has played in a remarkable five World Cups and scored 11 tries, including one in her record breaking 50th Test appearance. 

Return to Glory
Having bowed out at the semifinal stage of the 2014 World Cup, the Black Ferns were back to their winning ways in 2017. Led by the inspirational Fiao’o Faamausili, the team stormed through the pool stages with massive wins over Wales, Hong Kong, and Canada. After seeing off USA in the semifinal, the Black Ferns played one of the most exciting games in the history of the tournament, beating England 41-32 in the final. 

Team of the year double
Last year the Black Ferns achieved two hugely significant accolades by being named both the New Zealand Rugby and World Rugby Team of the Year. This capped off 2017 as one of the greatest ever years in the history of the Black Ferns.

Historic Capping Ceremony
In June 2018, a special group of Black Ferns from the 1980s and 1990s received Test caps in recognition of their services to New Zealand Rugby. Over the next three years, the remaining Test players will be presented with their caps. The caps are based on traditional rugby caps and feature the Black Ferns number, the silver fern and details of their Test debut. 

Tune into the Breakdown on Sky Sport 1 at 8.30pm on Tuesday 17 July for the live naming of the first Black Ferns squad of 2018.