Versatile McKenzie like a 'fly in a bottle'

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 12:16

REACTION: Damian McKenzie's unpredictable nature and his versatility on the field for the All Blacks in their 25-24 win over the Springboks at Newlands has brought a smile to head coach Steve Hansen's face.

McKenzie showed how dangerous he could be in open space when he scored a great try in the 69th minute, which proved to be decisive in the end.

At that stage of the game, 22-year-old had already shifted from fullback to the wing after Nehe Milner-Skudder left the field with a dislocated shoulder earlier in the game.

McKenzie also quite frequently popped up in the flyhalf channel as the first receiver and gave the Boks a few headaches on defence with his nifty footwork 

"You need people that can bust open a game and he is a little bit like a fly in a bottle, old Damian," said Hansen. "He is all over the place. 

"Sometimes it comes off and other times he is sitting on the side of the bottle. He is getting better at it though as he understands what Test rugby is about, which is really pleasing and I thought he was pretty good tonight [Saturday]. 

"He was really assured in most of the things he was doing and there have been times where I don't think he knows what he is going to do, he just does it. 

"I think he was really calculated in most of the things he did. He is growing all the time. 

"I am on record as saying he is probably going to be a better No.10 than a No.15. He is starting to tell me that might not be right but we will wait and see."

Mckenzie probably had to agree with his coach's assessment of his style of play, especially after his performance at Newlands. 

"He is probably not wrong to be fair," said McKenzie.

"Sometimes I spend more time running backwards than I do forwards so it was good to be playing out there tonight and to get a try in an afternoon game was awesome so I am happy with the performance anyway."

While Hansen will be wanting to see McKenzie more in the flyhalf spot, the young star is just happy to play wherever he his need.

"I am happy to play wherever they put me. 

"Fullback and wing got their similarities about them, so its wherever they need me to go. I am happy to go anywhere," he said.

By Warren Fortune
@FortuneWarren
@rugby365com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0