'Ulster are in a good place': Rory Best foresees bright future after pain of final game
Retiring captain Rory Best believes Ulster's future is bright, even if his own playing days with the side are over.
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The Ireland skipper, who will hang up his boots after the World Cup in Japan, represented his native province for a 221st and final time in Friday night's PRO14 semi-final loss to Glasgow.
Dan McFarland's men were thumped - losing 50-20 in Scotstoun - but Best thinks a season which brought a return of knock-out rugby on two fronts must be seen as a sizeable step forward.
"When you look back and you look at what we have achieved -putting that game and result to the side - I think this season is something we can be immensely proud of," Best said.
"No-one would have given us a chance of making a home quarter-final, but I think we have shown a lot of stubbornness and there's a lot to build on.
"Look we are hurting from that, we came here fully expecting to win, felt we had the game plan and the players to do it.
"If we look at the season as a whole I think we can be immensely proud of what we achieved this season.
"That realisation that I won't ever be pulling on an Ulster jersey again was not a nice feeling. It's something that I've given so much to but all good things have to come to an end eventually.
"Ulster are in a good place and that's the way you would want to leave them at the end of your career."
Best wasn't the only one stepping away now this season has drawn to a close. Darren Cave's final appearance saw him drew level with Andrew Trimble on the province's all-time cap chart.