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Is Damian McKenzie a failure at 10

Forum » Rugby » Is Damian McKenzie a failure at 10

Mar 11, 2019, 13:03

The following from rugby 365:-

SUPER RUGBY SPOTLIGHT: Chiefs head coach Colin Cooper could move Damian McKenzie back to fullback for the Chiefs’ crunch clash against the Hurricanes on Friday.

The Chiefs have been woeful this season losing all four of their games so far and it is no secret that the No.10 position has been a problem for them.

Orbyn Leger started at No.10 in the first round 27-30 defeat to the Highlanders and after that, McKenzie took over the flyhalf duties for the next three games.

The Chiefs were hammered by the Brumbies (17-54) and Crusaders (28-57) and in between those two games they were embarrassed at home by the Sunwolves (15-30).

McKenzie’s game management was poor in those fixtures and it has become clear that he is struggling to deal with good defences in the No.10 position.

Cooper has a lot a lot to think about ahead of a tough game against the Hurricanes and moving McKenzie to his best position at No.15 is one of them.

“There’s always that thought, I’ve said before we’ll do what’s best for the team,” Cooper told

“We know what he can bring [at fullback].”

If McKenzie does move to fullback, it will open the door for playmaker Jack Debreczeni to start at No.10.

Debreczeni was unavailable for the first three rounds because of an abdominal injury, but he did have a good cameo in the last 30 minutes against the Crusaders last weekend.

“He [Debreczeni] showed he’s got experience, he’s certainly professional, and he’s got a lot of leadership qualities at 10,” Cooper said. “So has Marty McKenzie, so has Beaver [Stephen Donald]. So, we’ve got some choices there, along with Damian.”

I would not be surprised if McKenzie is moved to 15  and Debreczeni starts for the Chiefs this weekend. 

Mar 11, 2019, 13:14

I think you'd have to say yes, Damian McKenzie has been a bit of a flop in the #10 jersey.

The form of Debreczeni and the injury suffered by Alaimalo make this switch a bit of a no-brainer if you ask me. 

Think we'll see the best of McKenzie again which is great because he's such a talented player. Just wish he'd lose that stupid forced grin before every place kick.

Mar 11, 2019, 18:00

Did you mimic the forced grin when you named him the best rugby player in the world Peeper? Or did you really do that with a straight face....really?


Mar 12, 2019, 00:49

I don't think their is any question here. Damian is not a Ten. He struggles as a playmaker, and struggles to guide his team around the park. With no space he is ineffective. I Think having Debreczni at Ten. And Damian back to Fullback is obvious. 

Mar 12, 2019, 01:08

:D:D:D Great minds agree as per normal.

Mar 12, 2019, 08:44

One can't help but question some of the ideas that these so called top coaches have.

The world over knows that McKenzie is a natural 15 ... that that is where he's most dangerous and that playing him at 10 is such a waste of his talent ... and yet they pick him at 10 all the time.

They shouldn't be allowed to coach top rugby sides.

Mar 12, 2019, 10:13

He's the Adrian Strauss of kiwi land. 

A good player individually but seems to drag the team's performance down.

Mar 12, 2019, 10:20


The Chiefs had  serious problem - they have two flyhalfs in their squad - the over-the-hill Donald and Debreczeni.  The latter was injured and the former useless,  They first used Ledger as flyhalf and he flopped,   They then turned to McKenzie in desperation and it did not work out either,  

But Debreczni is back after being on the bench in Round 4..    

Mar 12, 2019, 10:26

Image result for damian mckenzie all black smile

Mar 12, 2019, 10:30


Don't you get it?  McKenzie knows the cameras is focused on him - he is trying to charm the girls with that smile.:D:D:D

Mar 12, 2019, 10:31

I see ... so you think he'll return to 15 this weekend, Mike?

The Chiefs have been very poor this season. They need all the help they can get and playing him at 15 will certainly be a good start to their recovery.

Mar 12, 2019, 10:58

Damian Mckenzie is listed as a flyhalf and a fullback in the Rugby Magazine game so it won't make much of a difference there, but in the Sportsdeck and Superbru games he's listed as a flyhalf so could become a valuable player given that outside backs tend to score more than flyhalves.

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