Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Up next
Listen live on

Crusaders CEO apologises to reporter for coach calling him a c**t

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 23 May 2024, 11:10am

Crusaders CEO apologises to reporter for coach calling him a c**t

NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 23 May 2024, 11:10am

Crusaders coach Rob Penney was caught on Wednesday referring to a journalist as ‘c***’ following a prickly exchange at a press conference yesterday, as questions over his side’s faltering performances refuse to go away.   

Fronting media, Penney was involved in a tense series of limited answers to TVNZ reporter Thomas Mead, which extended for more than three minutes. After the press conference finished, cameras and microphones were still rolling and caught the Crusaders coach making derogatory comments which appeared to be about Mead. 

“He’s a disgrace that c***. Who’s he?” Penney asked. 

The Crusaders have since released a statement attributed Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge which reads: 

“The Crusaders held a media conference on Wednesday for the purpose of naming our team for the week and discussing the upcoming fixture against the Blues. 

“A line of questioning was undertaken from a reporter present concerning Rob Penney’s future as Crusaders Head Coach. After the media conference had concluded, a private comment to a colleague was inadvertently recorded 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.” 

Rob Penney. Photo / Getty ImagesRob Penney. Photo / Getty Images 

With their Super Rugby Pacific playoff hopes hanging by a thread after a 10th loss of the season, Penney has remained defiant that he is the best person to take the franchise forward.  

In particular, Penney took exception to being asked about an image of himself in the coaches box, during last weekend’s defeat to the Brumbies.  

The Crusaders went down 31-24 after a last-minute penalty try saw the hosts take the spoils and all but dash the defending champions’ chances of adding a record eighth consecutive title. 

Asked in the press conference if he expected to be in the head coach role next season Penney replied “absolutely”. 

Last Saturday’s defeat leaves the Crusaders 10th on the ladder, with just two victories from their opening 12 matches of the season. Mathematically, it is still possible for Penney’s side to reach the playoffs, albeit other results need to fall in their favour. 

If they’re to have any chance of the post-season, the Crusaders will need to beat both the table-topping Blues and Moana Pasifika in their final two games, and hope for both the Fijian Drua and Western Force to lose their remaining two fixtures, in order to sneak into eighth place. 

While the Crusaders have won the last seven successive titles under Scott Robertson, they haven’t missed the playoffs since 2015. 

Earlier this week, New South Wales Waratahs coach Darren Coleman was sacked with his side sitting bottom of the ladder, with the same 2-10 record as the Crusaders. Coincidentally, both of those wins came against Penney. 

The Crusaders’ previous record for most losses in a single season was eight, which came back in 1996 when they finished last. 

Follow the podcast on iHeart Radio

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you