Is the Women’s World Cup being let down by refereeing?

first_img Corner stop: Kay Wilson scores against Ireland – a try awarded after consultation with the TMO Fast track: former fly-half Glen Jackson has worked his way up through the refereeing ranksPositive discrimination and political correctness can become damaging when a process is rushed. As a comparison, Kiwi Glen Jackson was earmarked for fast-tracking after finishing an illustrious career in 2010 and becoming a referee. Still, he needed to impress in the Super 15, the Junior World Championship and as a television match official before assuming lead responsibility for Fiji’s trip to Twickenham and Georgia’s game against Japan in November 2012. And he is far from guaranteed to be part of the men’s World Cup in 2015.It is a frustration that has been felt privately by players and coaches for a while. Then, after his team’s pool-stage loss to New Zealand a week ago, USA boss Pete Steinberg vented a bit. He gave Scrumqueens’ Ali Donnelly, who has written a column on the matter in this month’s Rugby World magazine, some compelling opinions.“I will be quite honest,” he said. “I think it is unfair on the players. My experience, not just in rugby but in business, is that when men make appointments they tend to make them and say we need ‘women something’.“When women make appointments, they generally just want the best. I feel if you asked any woman here, they would say they just want the best. There are some excellent referees here, but we do not have the best that are available and that is what the players deserve.”Over time: Helen O’Reilly awards a try to France during the hosts’ 18-16 defeat by CanadaSteinberg’s meritocratic argument is very convincing. Having developed so well since 2010, women’s rugby has earned the right to see its matches facilitated by practised, polished operators. It’s just a thought, but Nigel Owens is not involved in either of this weekend’s Rugby Championship ties. Why not wing him in? Well, it would undermine those who have officiated in the lead-up.So we are back to square one.
 The IRB’s high performance match official manager Joel Jutge is out in France. He will no doubt take stock of events and work out the most practical means of moving forward. Certainly, the best two sides have reached the decider, which is a decent gauge of the fact that nothing too disastrous has happened. TAGS: Highlight The standard of refereeing at this month’s Women’s World Cup in Paris is proving to be a blight on the tournament Even so, this is a situation that must be severely scrutinised. The women’s game is coming on so quickly, as every viewer from this eye-opening two weeks will testify. It would be a mighty shame to keep stifling it.Read a few ideas of what could improve the women’s game in the September issue of Rugby World – on sale now. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS THE POSITIVE aspects of the Women’s World Cup have been overwhelming – stratospheric skill levels across the board, awesome athleticism, refreshingly unexpected results and, on Wednesday, a packed Stade Jean Bouin that delivered a phenomenal atmosphere.In fact, the two semi-finals played back-to-back made for a wonderful occasion. So often teams are stifled on the big stage, but none of the final four let themselves down.Canada’s Magali Harvey-inspired defeat of France was enthralling and even Ireland, beaten 40-7 by an invigorated England, brought a huge amount of endeavour. Besides, the significance of a pool-stage win over champions New Zealand cannot be overstated – it catapulted the competition into the consciousness of a wider audience. Philip Doyle’s charges absolutely made their nation proud.Spreading the word: a big crowd turned out at Stade Jean Bouin to watch the France v Canada semi-finalWhen the dust settles in Paris on Monday morning, everyone will reflect on a fabulous event. Hopefully there will be a surge in participation and we can look back on a seminal 17 days for the sport. There is one moan, though. Despite its undoubtedly noble intentions, the IRB’s decision to deploy exclusively female on-field officials for the entirety of the tournament has been a mistake.The past fortnight has highlighted the rocketing standard of women’s rugby. However, it has also underlined a discrepancy between the growing ability of female players and the underwhelming assertiveness of those with the whistle. At the moment, referees are lagging behind. That is a dangerous basis for any contest, let alone a global showpiece.Take Wednesday’s fixtures in isolation. The breakdown battle between England and Ireland often descended into a chaotic lottery because two excellent back rows – led by supreme scavengers Maggie Alphonsi and Claire Molloy – were given far too long a leash at the ruck.Later, the scrums during Canada’s clash with France were shambolic. A first-half yellow card for the hosts’ wing Caroline Ladagnous following a fairly tame challenge deemed to be a tip-tackle seemed misguided too, more so because a television replay was requested.Blaming individuals is not constructive here – the system is hanging them out to dry somewhat. Australian Amy Perrett, who took charge of England’s victory, only made her Test bow in March as Scotland faced Italy in Edinburgh. Although experienced as a player, Irishwoman Helen O’Reilly had only 18 months behind her as an international 15s referee before officiating the second semi-final. Both served apprenticeships on the sevens circuit, but the intensity of a World Cup remains a baptism of fire.last_img read more

Reviewing branding strategies…time for a reboot?

first_img“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room,” –Jeff Bezos, CEO AmazonAs the end of the calendar year quickly approaches, now should be a great time to review branding strategies and initiatives for 2018. The approach for the new year may involve a total reboot, especially if branding hasn’t been reviewed and updated over the last few years. It’s important to tackle this each year, because doing so keeps the message fresh and the dialogue sincere with members. Think about your current organizational culture, the alignment with credit union goals and objectives, and how you want that message conveyed to members.Here are several questions to ask and points to consider:Is this an update or redirection? Think about the last time this objective was addressed, and how your credit union’s goals have changed since then. What are current graphic elements communicating about your credit union’s brand experience?Have a program to launch or reissue? This is perfect to adjust branding to alert members of new or expanding programs.Reinforcement. It may be time to up social media and digital marketing activities to reinforce the message with membersUpdating a Brand Your logo is usually the first interaction a member will have with your credit union. An outdated logo stands out in a negative way. Members might think that you’re stuck in the past. Obviously, this is not what your credit union is all about. This is the time to make your logo more appealing with new design elements. Support current designs aesthetics with fresh fonts and graphics.Consider an updated color palette, one that reveals a modern look to compliment the message. For example, cool colors (blue, purple) conveys a calming and trusting impression. Launching and Announcing New ProgramsThe perfect opportunity for branding is during the announcement of new programs and events, such as a loan sale. Credit unions are always changing with new programs announced and ways to service members. As credit unions remain the popular choice of millennials when it comes to financial institutions and services, make sure announcing new programs goes beyond those reached visiting branches. Make social media channels a bigger part of your marketing plan, if it isn’t already.Marketing materials should be fresh for each product launch. Keep the message new without borrowing from previous announcements. This shows the credit union is evolving and embraces trends. Without updating graphic elements, the message can come off as stale.Celebrate change. New services and products are something to observe. If there isn’t enough hoopla going on at your credit union, it’s time to bring out the party hats. Excitement is contagious. Brand ReinforcementThis is where the rubber meets the road—keeping your efforts alive throughout your promotional activities. Use new branding throughout all promotional activities. Consistent use of new materials on social media, marketing and digital programs reminds members of what your credit union represents. Branding helps to remind members what your credit union is all about and how you will serve them, while remaining memorable. In this competitive landscape, the lifecycle of product announcements and promotions will benefit from good branding to increase reach and foster goodwill. Brand Awareness is a result of brand reinforcement, enabling the customer to make a strong connection with your brand.Brand Image provides members with an understanding of what your credit union is all about and how it will benefit them.center_img 68SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Eric Budzinski Eric Budzinski is the AVP of Marketing for GrooveCar, Inc. He joined the company in 2015 after building a successful foundation in small business sales and marketing.   Eric can be … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Sancho scores hat-trick on Dortmund return

first_imgENGLAND’s Jadon Sancho scored the first hat-trick of his career on his first start since the Bundesliga resumed as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Paderborn.After an uneventful first half, Thorgan Hazard put Dortmund ahead with a tap-in before Sancho slotted home his first goal since 29 February.Sancho added the third after Uwe Hunemeier’s penalty reduced the bottom side’s deficit before Achraf Hakimi and Marcel Schmelzer made it 5-1.Sancho got his third in stoppage time.The 20-year-old is the first English player to score an overseas hat-trick in one of Europe’s major leagues for 31 years – former Luton forward Brian Stein was the last person to achieve the feat, playing for Caen against Cannes in France’s Ligue 1 on 31 May 1989.After scoring his first goal, Sancho took off his shirt to reveal a “Justice For George Floyd” T-shirt. Floyd died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota on 25 May.The England forward was booked for removing his Dortmund top.Sancho later wrote on Instagram: “Delighted to get my first career hat trick, a bittersweet moment personally as there are more important things going on in the world today that we must address and help make a change.”His first goal came after a pass by Julian Brandt, while the former Manchester City youth player produced a smart finish following an assist by Hazard for his second.Sancho’s hat-trick, and his 17th Bundesliga goal of the season, arrived in the 91st minute after being played in down the right.The win kept alive Dortmund’s faint hopes of winning the Bundesliga title, Bayern Munich’s lead at the top now seven points with five games remaining.Paderborn remain rooted at the bottom, eight points behind Fortuna Dusseldorf, who are 16th in a relegation play-off place.(BBC Sport)last_img read more