Chiefs up against history

first_imgBy flying into New Zealand from South Africa, as they will on Tuesday morning, then winning a playoff match, they will have ended a 12-game losing streak for teams in such situations, that stretches back almost 20 years.Travelling teams have struggled in the playoffs full stop, winning just 23 per cent of matches, but when they have to fly across the Indian Ocean, and then across the Tasman, that figure falls to 13 per cent.Across the years, 18 teams have found themselves in those circumstances, with 16 losing and just two winning – in games where they were at home against opponents who had made the same trip.First, in 1996, there were the Blues, who beat the Sharks in Durban in the final round of the regular season, then returned home to beat Northern Transvaal in the semifinals.And then in 1998, there were the Crusaders, who beat the Sharks in Durban to end the round robin, then again in Christchurch in the semifinals.Since then, 12 teams have faced the arduous journey – eight from South Africa, two from Australia, and two from New Zealand – and none have triumphed.Going the other way, from New Zealand to South Africa, teams have won four times out of 11, a tally the Hurricanes will be trying to add to when they take on the Lions in Johannesburg in the early hours of Sunday morning (NZ time).Two of those wins came this year and last, when good Chiefs teams were forced to travel to play average Stormers teams, thanks to the convoluted conference format. The others came in 2011, when the Crusaders beat the Stormers, during their impressive run to the final in that earthquake-affected season; and in 1999, when the Highlanders beat the Stormers to set up the party at Tony Brown’s place, which they then lost to the Crusaders.The itinerary the Highlanders had then, from New Zealand to South Africa and back, is the hardest possible – at least until the Jaguares or the Sunwolves make the playoffs – and it’s one the Chiefs are familiar with, having done it last year, when they returned home victorious from Cape Town then lost meekly to the Hurricanes. Photo by: Getty Images (Liam Messam and the Chiefs are up against history as they try to stay alive in Super Rugby).last_img read more

Migrant background advantage for students

first_imgNSW public school students from non-English speaking backgrounds perform as well or better in school-based assessments than students from English speaking backgrounds, NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said this week.Mr Piccoli said nearly one quarter of a million of public school students in NSW come from homes where languages other than English are spoken. “Relative to public school students from English-speaking backgrounds, students from language backgrounds other than English have higher average numeracy scores across all four NAPLAN assessments – in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9,” he added.“Some of the strongest performing schools in the state also have high percentages of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. This is true of the state’s top high schools – including James Ruse and both North Sydney Boys and Girls schools.”Other public high schools with high numbers of students from non-English speaking backgrounds which are also achieving outstanding results include: Strathfield Girls, Homebush Boys, Macarthur Girls, and Canley Vale High.“Teaching is the single most important in-school influence on student performance. We want to attract the best people into teaching degrees and better support them once they enter the classroom. We have invested $155 million, much of which will support beginning teachers in NSW government schools,” said Mr Piccoli.“Two years ago, the government launched Local Schools, Local Decisions to give principals and their communities much greater local decision-making authority,” stated the minister, who went on to say that since then, schools across the state have invested in lifting the quality of teaching through direct professional development, reshaped their teaching workforce to suit local needs, provided additional literacy and numeracy support for students, and employed additional staff to focus on community and student engagement.He also stressed that all NSW public schools are now managing their own planned maintenance programs, make most purchases of up to $5000 without head office approval, and are choosing how to fill around 60 per cent of all vacancies. “NSW public schools are also now funded using a new Resource Allocation Model. This needs-based funding model has distributed $300 million across all public schools this year with targeted loadings for all indigenous students and to address socio-economic disadvantage,” Mr Piccoli concluded. For more information about the performance of students from non-English speaking backgrounds, please visit www.cese.nsw.gov.au/publications/cese-bulletins. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Private sector jobs to see little growth in the first quarter of

first_imgOnly half of employers in Costa Rica expect improvements in revenue from their companies, according to the Index of Business Expectations released this week.The indicator measured by the Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Costa Rica shows how optimistic or pessimistic the country’s companies are for January-March this year.The final result was 53.1 points, indicating that “business optimism is at the lowest point of the past three years,” the institute’s analysis states.On average, 64 percent of employers expect to maintain their staff during the first quarter, while 23 percent said they may increase jobs. Twelve percent is considering layoffs for the next three months.The most positive sectors for employment are agriculture and construction, although 8 out of 10 employers in those sectors also said they don’t intend on investmenting, the study concluded. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more