Who knows what to make of that test in Buenos Aires?

It started out as great fun to watch, with Beauden Barrett apparently re-establishing himself as the most wondrous first five-eighths you might ever see.

By the end, it was about as much fun as bashing your foot with a hammer, and poor old Beauden looked like he was operating in a haze in a maze.

It was a mess, and the end couldn't come soon enough.


The All Blacks will take their lead from baseball's finest philosopher Yogi Berra who said:

"Slump? I ain't in no slump.... I just ain't hitting".

The All Blacks know that home runs are never far away. They are so good compared to most of the rest of world rugby, that a slump can equal a solid victory. Which doesn't say much for the rest of world rugby. It's exhilarating, and also kind of depressing.

This test had a wonderful youth and unfortunately long dotage.

Anyway, not to worry. Damian McKenzie to the rescue.

I don't know how someone that small can think he belongs in the same hotel as the All Blacks, let alone dares to step out on the field to play a positon which can involve so much confrontation and high-ball dangers.

McKenzie - who is around the 80kg mark - is so small that he weighs a touch less than George Nepia, the genius All Black fullback of the 1920s.

Unlike Nepia, he is up against massive opponents who pump iron for a living and can run like the wind on hard grounds.

He's as brave as brave gets and as Barrett went into decline at the Estadio José
Amalfitani McKenzie was left as the shining light and clear man of the match.

The highlights included a brilliant last-line-of-defence tackle which covered two players, and his alertness and acceleration left wing Matias Moroni grasping at air, as he turned Barrett's between-the-legs pass into the All Blacks' fourth try.

This meant the little Chief was involved in three of the four tries in the opening blitz, having taken control of a tap penalty to score himself, and play a cameo role in another.

No wonder the rest of the rugby world is being left behind. The coaching etc. is exceptional, but the raw talent beggars belief at times giving the All Blacks too many strike weapons for opponents to contain.

As the old saying goes, McKenzie alone is worth the price of admission. He will end up alongside characters like Barrett, Carlos Spencer and league legend Benji Marshall as Kiwi football's most amazing playmaking wizards.

McKenzie might be one of those players people will still be talking about decades after he retires. But few All Blacks get privileges above the greater good these days.

McKenzie is being given chances to shine with ace fullback Ben Smith off the scene. However, in the closing minutes he was shunted to the wing as David Havili got a shot at fullback on his test debut.

The Crusader made a break which nearly led to a score, and was handed a fairly simple try from a scrum move. Havili looked pretty good on limited time. But McKenzie is extra special.