Tahs coach Penney under pressure after Force loss
Rob Penney is unsure if he remains the best man to coach the NSW Waratahs after presiding over an historic third loss in a row to start the Super Rugby AU season. As if record defeats to the Brumbies and Queensland Reds to open their 2021 campaign weren’t bad enough, now Penney and the Waratahs […]
Rob Penney is unsure if he remains the best man to coach the NSW Waratahs after presiding over an historic third loss in a row to start the Super Rugby AU season.
As if record defeats to the Brumbies and Queensland Reds to open their 2021 campaign weren’t bad enough, now Penney and the Waratahs are the first team to fall victim to the Western Force in almost four years.
The Force’s 20-16 victory over the baby Tahs on Friday night in Sydney was their first in Super Rugby in ten games since being reinstated to the domestic version of the competition last year.
The Perth franchise last tasted success, also against the Waratahs in Perth, in July 2017 in their final game before being booted out of Super Rugby.
That the Waratahs blew a 13-0 lead at Bankwest Stadium only compounded Penney’s pain.
“I don’t know. You’ll answer that for us,” he said when asked if the four-point loss to the Force – and improved performance – showed he should still be coach.
“You can dissect the minutia of the whole performance. We made a few too many errors, they made a few less. There’s the result.
“But there’s positives we can take.”
In Penney’s defence, the former Munster mentor inherited a Waratahs team in obvious decline after taking over from his New Zealand compatriot Daryl Gibson last year.
Then he lost Wallabies captain Michael Hooper to Japan, the Waratahs’ 2020 skipper Rob Simmons to London Irish and several others to better overseas offers after the pandemic wrought financial havoc on Australian rugby.
All up, the Waratahs have seen more than 1800 caps in Super Rugby experience walk out on the club in the past two years.
No coach could be expected to succeed on the playing roster he’s been asked to work with.
But no fans are more fickle than the Waratahs faithful, leaving Penny precariously placed just three rounds into the new season.