Embattled Waratahs coach Rob Penney says he is “more than happy to go gracefully” if “other people” determine he is not the right man to take NSW forward.
A once proud rugby state slumped to a new low on Saturday night as the Brumbies romped to a 61-10 win in Canberra – their biggest ever Super Rugby win over ‘big brother’ from Sydney.
That comes on the back of NSW’s 41-7 round one belting at the hands of Queensland, also a record Super Rugby defeat.
New Zealander Penney, who arrived in Sydney in 2019 with an impressive coaching CV, has not been able to deliver results and the wheels are falling off with a young group this season.
“There’s not enough words to express the disappointment,” Penney told Stan Sport’s Roz Kelly at GIO Stadium.
“I’ve got a shattered group. We just weren’t in the contest.
“They don’t want events like tonight to happen. We got a really good shellacking tonight.
“The boys are devastated.”
Penney’s former teammate Andrew Mehrtens gave a strong defence of the Cantabrian in the Sydney Morning Herald last week and in Saturday’s coverage said the Waratahs weren’t “awful” – preferring to praise the defending champion Brumbies.
Former Wallabies centre Morgan Turinui described the Brumbies nine-try stampede as “one of the most impressive performances I’ve ever seen.”
Kelly asked Penney if he was starting to worry about his job security.
“I’ve been in the industry over 20 years,” replied Penney, who has had great success at the Crusaders, Canterbury, New Zealand under-20 and NTT Communications Shining Arcs.
“This is a new experience for me. I’m not concerned at all – I’m more concerned about the welfare of the boys and the staff.
“If other people determine I’m not the right person for it, that’ll take care of itself.
“I just want what’s right for the group and if it’s determined it’s not me, I’m more than happy to go gracefully.”
Outstanding Brumbies team try
The Waratahs now host the Force on Friday at Bankwest Stadium and another loss could spell curtains for Penney.
A young NSW side will certainly find life easier than they did against the benchmark Brumbies.
“They just dominated every facet,” Penney said.
“They’re a good side in their prime. We could talk about rebuilding, age but we’ve got to be better than that.
“They’re really hurting, they’re broken. You could say we need to get aggressive, be hard on them but the boys need a bit of love. It’s a great challenge for our resilience.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!