Damian McKenzie’s honest admission over ‘disastrous’ shot clock error as Scott Robertson jokes about All Blacks’ plans to rectify issue

Colin Newboult
All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson alongside fly-half Damian McKenzie.

All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson alongside fly-half Damian McKenzie.

All Blacks star Damian McKenzie has put the late penalty issue “completely on my shoulders” following their narrow 16-15 victory over England.

New Zealand were controlling the game in the latter stages when they earned a three-point attempt with just over a couple of minutes to go.

In an attempt to wind down the clock, McKenzie looked to take up all of the allotted 60 seconds before kicking the ball.

There was no shot clock in the stadium but he was consistently warned of the time remaining by referee Nika Amashukeli, who subsequently blew for a Red Rose scrum when he exceeded the one minute limit.

Final chance for England

That gave the visitors a late opportunity to mount one final attack but, fortunately for the fly-half and New Zealand, the hosts managed to see out the game and claim the win.

McKenzie stated it was the “first time and hopefully the last”, and admitted his error when speaking with reporters after the encounter.

“I’m not pointing the finger at anyone, it’s completely on my shoulders,” he said.

“I have got to sort that out around my process, and speed things up, and knowing that once the penalty is blown I have got 60 seconds to kick the kick.

“There was a lot of relief when we got that final penalty. It would have been disastrous if we had lost from a kick, three points. It is something I have to look at. But completely on my shoulders. I need to own that.”

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World Rugby have brought in the shot clock as they attempt to speed up the game, and it was something Amashukeli had previously warned the playmaker about during the clash.

“He did rush me in my last, previous, kick and said I need to speed up,” McKenzie added. “I kind of felt I didn’t take too long with my last kick and he did say something when I was in the back of my kick, so I just went to go forward and it was too late.”

Stadium issue

Plenty of stadiums have used a shot clock since its introduction but that was not the case for Dunedin.

“I am not making excuses but it would help. I think it would be great if there was a timer on the screen, you could sort of get a bit of an idea,” McKenzie said.

All Blacks head coach Scott Robertson, who won his first game in charge of the national team, joked that he would ask New Zealand Rugby’s CEO Mark Robinson to install one at Eden Park next weekend.

“Yeah. It would be nice to have a shot clock and see it count down like other sports do,” Robertson added.

READ MORE: Rusty All Blacks begin Scott Robertson era with dramatic victory over gallant England as missed kicks prove costly