When things are going at their worst, which has been quite often over the past couple of years, McKenzie can play like a round peg in a square hole.
His talent is never in doubt but his wonderfully kinetic style can feel out of sync with a modern game that tends towards pattern and procedure.
At the Cake Tin on Saturday, with another Chiefs performance destined for the loss column, McKenzie imposed his brand of energy on the match and stunned a suddenly clueless Hurricanes side.
It wasn't just his free-range running that was impressive. McKenzie mixed up his game nicely as he toggled between roaming at the back and slotting into first receiver.
His only real blemish was missing a kickable penalty that would have pushed the Chiefs to real safety beyond their 35-29 victory.
The Chiefs are not going to win any trophies this year, but they could win a few of their fans back.
It feels like the "winners" section of the column could at any moment turn into a Shane van Gisbergen testimonial page.
Even accounting for the fact that The Clubrooms learned to drive on New Plymouth's infamous one-way system, it is far from a petrolhead, but van Gisbergen has become appointment viewing.
There are few words that can do justice to what he achieved at Sandown on Saturday but to put it in its simplest terms, he came from 17th on the grid to win, passing the lead car on the first turn of the final lap, having passed the second and third cars in one move on the previous lap.
Nobody has come from that far back on the grid to win a Supercar race at Sandown.
That's not the half of it.
Van Gisbergen did it with a BROKEN COLLARBONE that he had surgery on a fortnight ago to put a bunch of screws in it to hold it together. It was his left wing that was damaged, too, the one that does all the gear shifts. Some of the legends of Australian motorsport were of the opinion van Gisbergen would run a couple of laps as a show of strength for sponsors and stakeholders before pitting and conceding to the pain – it's fair to say they struggled to find the superlatives when SvG not only stayed out on the track but started carving his way through the field.
Oh, something else happened, too. He turned up again on Sunday and in treacherous conditions won both races by 12 and 14 seconds respectively.
Cricket is a game where the line between success and failure can be imperceptibly small. For much of the summer, Boult has lived on the frustrating side of that line. He was never poor, but in the tests in particular – a handy but unspectacular 14 wickets at 35 – he looked like he was pressing and searching for the magic. When the ball wasn't swinging, which was often with the latest batch of red Kookaburras, he looked short of ideas.
Boult is one of the few senior New Zealand cricketers whose body language betrays him. You look at the likes of Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Tom Latham and BJ Watling on the field and they're inscrutable. Boult, not so much.
In Dunedin against Bangladesh he struggled to get the smile off his face. It wasn't a fair fight: brand new white ball, swing in the air and a pitch with bounce. It might have been sold as a return to his best but that probably came earlier. Boult was superb in the T20 series against Australia, saving his best for the pivotal moments. To these eyes he was player of the series by a nose from Martin Guptill with Ish Sodhi a commendable third.
There are more important things in life than individual trinkets and the most important factor is that ahead of a massive winter of cricket, the best Boult is back, and that's enough to raise a smile.
The rugby world, which can feel a bit small and claustrophobic, is a better place when France are strong.
The comeback victory to deny Wales an improbable Grand Slam was a triumph of l'esprit humaine having found themselves down by 10 points and reduced to 14 men after Paul Willemse was sent off.
Les Bleus scored with 81 minutes and 33 seconds on the clock after working through an 11-phase attack that saw wing Brice Dulin score to make it 32-30. It was a fitting full stop on a game that swung wildly between all-out Wales attack and all-out French attack, with very little parity in between.
It also sets up a cracking finale with France's Covid-rearranged game against Scotland to decide the championship. The 2023 World Cup hosts must beat the improved Scots with a bonus point and 21-point margin to deny Wayne Pivac's Wales the title.
As a head coach, Jones is the master of tossing out wee morsels to deflect from the real issue.
After England lost in pitiful fashion to Ireland over the weekend, guaranteeing them last but one in the Six Nations (which is as good as last because, you know, Italy), he cunningly referred to England as a team in transition.
Which is curious given they weren't just one match ago, when the brilliantly beat a very good France in the dying minutes of their clash.
There have been times when England have looked to be on the cusp of global dominance under Jones, but there's always a wrinkle that seems to be exposed at crucial times.
At the moment it is the complete absence of anything resembling an attack strategy.
Owen Farrell, recently a thorn in New Zealand's side, looks like a shadow of the player he was two years ago.
Jones will bounce back. He usually does. It's hard to imagine he'll come out of "crunch talks" with the RFU holding a pink slip, yet it might be the best thing for everyone if he did. Six years is a long time in charge of a team.
We've seen big-personality coaches struggle to maintain the message beyond that before – even when the messages are manipulated as skilfully as the Australian manages.
Not the Blues
It was tempting to slip the Blues in here after a chastening defeat to the Crusaders but you know what… it wouldn't be fair.
When they sit back and analyse the game film on this one they might wonder how in the name of Cameron Rackham they lost 43-27.
All neutrals should be looking forward to the next time these two teams meet. Should be spicy.
Oh, and Sevu Reece might have overtaken Rieko Ioane as the player opposition fans most like seeing beaten.
Someone recently pointed out to me that Rashid Khan was paid a million dollars to bowl 100 overs in the IPL but was paid $1 to bowl 100 overs in a single test for Afghanistan. Is this true, and if so, how can we expect players to want to keep playing tests? Campbell Long (abridged), Torbay
I believe the reference is to this tweet by Test Match Special's Daniel Norcross.
A trite observation, I know, but Rashid Khan earned £900k for bowling 68 overs in one IPL season. He’s just bowled 99.2 overs in the last three days. Probably got paid around £1k. You see test cricket’s challenge?— daniel norcross (@norcrosscricket) March 14, 2021
It's not exactly true, but the point is valid enough if you excuse the false equivalence.
Nobody is going to pay a lot of money to watch Khan bowl in a test for a minnow country against another minnow test nation (Zimbabwe), but there are millions of fans highly engaged with the IPL. It is classic market forces.
Cricket's challenge is to milk that engagement while retaining the integrity of what most purists still consider the highest form of the game.
Khan actually has it quite easy. He can wheel away for 100s of overs in tests knowing he has big pay days in the IPL and Big Bash coming. Spare a thought, instead, for your Neil Wagners and BJ Watlings of the world.
The former writer, not England and Lions captain, was recognised throughout the cricket journalism world as the master of the one-liner.
He started his first tour covering England by writing, "There's only one thing wrong with this England team: they can't bat, they can't bowl and they can't field". England went on to win the 1986 Ashes but Johnson never stopped playing for laughs.
Every piece he wrote had a one-liner that made you wonder how he got away with it, but you were always glad he did. In these more politic times his references to Merv Hughes' "mincing" run up and Mike Gatting's weight might not have gone down as smoothly.
The chill is drawing ever-nearer, but get in and make the most of this Black Caps team as they look for their sixth series win in six attempts. Spark Sport, Tuesday from 2pm and Friday from 11am.