Super Rugby

Under-pressure 'Tahs coach ready to stand down if asked

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 Rob Penney (PA)
Rob Penney (PA)

Waratahs coach Rob Penney said his team are "shattered" and he is prepared to stand down if it is decided he is not the right man to lead the side.

The Sydney-based club is reeling after being crushed 61-10 by the ACT Brumbies on Saturday evening -- their worst ever loss to the Canberra powerhouse.

It followed another record defeat to the Queensland Reds in their Super Rugby AU season-opener last week.

New Zealander Penney, former head coach of Irish club Munster, admitted his young and inexperienced side was struggling.

"There's not enough words to express the disappointment and I've got a shattered group," he said Saturday, after the match.

"They're good boys and they're proud boys and they're hurting, big time.

"They'll be people out there saying we're not hard enough on them, but you can't whip a dog when it's down," he added. "Last thing we want to do is dent any confidence they do have."

The Waratahs have lost more than 1,500 Super Rugby caps of experience over the past two seasons, headlined by Michael Hooper's sabbatical in Japan and the departure of Wallaby Rob Simmons to London Irish.

Penney, who joined the Waratahs on a three-year deal last season, said he was willing to move aside if it would help the club.

"I love these boys and I'm doing my best. If other people think I'm not the right person, I'm not going to stand in the way," he said.

"It's what's right for the group that's the important thing."

Penney has limited time to restore confidence and get the team back on track with a home clash against Western Force looming on Friday.

mp/rbu

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