NSW Waratahs coach Rob Penney says his side needs “a bit of love” after record losses in consecutive weeks have left them shattered and him answering questions about his future.
- The Waratahs lost 41-7 to the Reds and 61-10 to the Brumbies in the first two rounds of the season
- Coach Rob Penney says the playing group is “shattered” and he is focused on boosting players’ morale
- The Waratahs play the Western Force next week, who lost their only game this season
The Brumbies scored nine tries in a 61-10 flogging in Canberra on Saturday, while the Queensland Reds also notched their biggest Super Rugby win against the Waratahs in a 41-7 triumph last week to open the domestic season.
The 2014 Super Rugby champions are without more than 1,500 caps thanks to mass departures over the past two seasons and will be missing injured captain Jake Gordon for at least the next month.
Former Munster coach Penney managed just four wins last season and two of those came against the Western Force, who failed to notch a single victory in their hastily arranged return to top-level Australian rugby.
They will meet the Force, who have recruited impressively since they last went head to head, in Parramatta next weekend and Penney admits morale is low.
“It’s hard to [sum it up]; there’s not enough words to express the disappointment and I’ve got a shattered group,” he told Channel Nine.
“[Is it a] challenge? Sure, but it’s not about me, it’s about the young men we’re trying to push through and we got a really good shellacking.
Penney said outside observers could demand tough punishment but he did not think that was the solution to the Waratahs’ problems.
“You could say we need to be harder on them but the boys need a bit of love and we need to get back on the horse and prepare for next week,” he said.
“This is a new experience for me to have a side performing like it is, but I’m more concerned about the welfare of the young boys and the staff.
“If other people determine I’m not the right person for [the job], that’ll take care of itself … I’m more than happy to go gracefully.”