Super Rugby Pacific: Crusaders apologise for coach Rob Penney's C-bomb after tense exchange with reporter

The Crusaders have apologised to a reporter, whom coach Rob Penney referred to as a c***, after a tense media conference that questioned his future in the role.

The defending Super Rugby Pacific champions have plummeted down the competition this season, with the departure of previous coach Scott Robertson to the All Blacks, and veteran stars Sam Whitelock and Richie Mo'unga to offshore contracts. 

Their two wins from 12 games has them outside playoff contention and Penney, 60, has been put under the blowtorch for the lack of success with a franchise that is used to contending for the crown.

Rob Penney addresses a media conference.
Rob Penney addresses a media conference. Photo credit: Newshub

This week, he was left to defend his credentials, refusing to stand down and insisting he would still be in the job next year.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge admits Penney made a disparaging remark about a particular reporter at the end of the grilling.

"A line of questioning was undertaken from a reporter present concerning Rob Penney's future as Crusaders head coach," said Mansbridge. "After the media conference had concluded, a private comment to a colleague was inadvertently record on third-party microphones and Rob has since apologised to me for what was said.

"On behalf of the Crusaders organisation, I apologise for the comments he made regarding the reporter. I spoke to the reporter today and he has accepted our apology."

Among the questions put to Penney were...

Do you expect to be in this role next year?


Would you consider stepping aside?


As coach, do you take any responsibility for the losses you've seen this year?

"Of course."

Where does the blame lie? Does it lie with the players? Does it lie with you?

"If you're looking to apportion blame, I'll leave that to others, but all I know is everyone in the organisation is working really hard to get the outcomes we're deserving and we'd love to see."

The Crusaders host the tabletopping Blues on Saturday, probably needing to win both their remaining games, if they are to sneak into the post-season.

Join Newshub at 7pm Saturday for live updates of the Crusaders v Blues Super Rugby Pacific clash