With an aggregate age of only 48, James O’Connor and Christian Lealiifano both have long and prosperous international careers lined up ahead of them, which is just as well for McKenzie.
In Wellington, the Australian back line had its positives and negatives to consider, most of the former coming from the aforementioned duo.
For Lealiifano, it was a story of reliability. Although the 25-year-old’s 100 percent Test kicking record was finally spoiled, he was as calm as ever from the tee and did well to open up the All Blacks’ defence on occasion.
O’Connor’s contributions weren’t quite as frequent, but the controversial youngster did show some much-needed flair at times, something Australia have needed more of in this series.
Jesse Mogg once again showed that the No. 15 jersey can still be considered up for grabs should another candidate rise to the fore at full-back, showing inconsistent kicking from hand far too often.
Along with Israel Folau, Mogg was sometimes absent in a defensive aspect, missing tackles left, right and centre in crunch situations; Folau was, however, by far the more reliable of the two and offered a lot more going forward.
O’Connor and Lealiifano would appear to have far more assured Australian careers ahead of them and are already showing the potential to craft a successful backs unit, provided they can find some adequate partners.