22 May 2024

Rugby: Crusaders coach swears at journalist

9:51 pm on 22 May 2024
Rob Penney Coach of the Crusaders, 2024.

Rob Penney Coach of the Crusaders, 2024. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Rob Penney has been caught on camera referring to a journalist as 'c**t' after a Crusaders media session finished in Christchurch on Wednesday. The coach of the under-performing team had been asked a series of questions by TVNZ's Thomas Mead, relating to their 2-10 record in this year's Super Rugby Pacific competition.

With the press conference finished, but with the cameras and microphones very much still on, Penney made his feelings clear about the exchange.

It seemed that Penney was mostly incensed by a question regarding the TV coverage of him in the coach's box after their latest loss, to the Brumbies on Saturday night. The game finished with a controversial penalty try decision that made the score 31-24 to the Brumbies.

Penney was also questioned about how much responsibility is he taking as coach, as opposed to his players.

"We're all in it together. It's a combination of many things and we'll endeavour to put on a great performance this week against the Blues," was his answer.

Penney said he was "absolutely" expecting to be in the Crusaders head coaching job next year and flatly denied considering walking away from the role that he took over from Scott Robertson this year.

When asked about if he wanted to "put a line" under the 2024 season, Penney ruled that out too and pointed to past results.

"Because I love this group and I know what they're capable of," he said.

"You only have to reflect back to a few seasons ago to I think 2001 when the Crusaders, after winning three in a row, finished 10th. Then they went through unbeaten in 2002. I'm not sure where all this… the doom and gloom is not something we're buying into."

The 10-placed Crusaders host the table-topping Blues on Saturday night at Apollo Projects Stadium in Christchurch, a loss in that match will finally finish off their faint play-off hopes.