The All Blacks playmaker has been voted the best player for Super Rugby Aotearoa after booting the Chiefs into the final against the Crusaders.

Damian McKenzie is Stuffs MVP for Super Rugby Aotearoa after his match-winning heroics for the Chiefs on their road to Saturdays final against the Crusaders.
The All Blacks playmaker was the clear winner after last weekends final regular round and beat Crusaders captain Codie Taylor and Hurricanes skipper Ardie Savea to the prize.
Stuffs rugby writers have been assigning MVP points on a 3-2-1 basis after every Aotearoa match.
Damian McKenzie is Stuffs MVP for Super Rugby Aotearoa.
McKenzie, after 10 rounds, was top with 14 points, six ahead of Taylor in second and seven more than Savea in third.
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The 26-year-old Southlander started the first nine matches, playing mostly at fullback while occasionally switching to first five-eighth, before being rested against the Blues last Saturday as the Chiefs, who were already in the decider, gave their stars a break.
He struggled to hit top form in 2020 on his comeback from a serious knee injury the previous year, which ruled him out of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, but he has been back to his best in the Chiefs resurgence under coach Clayton McMillan.
The debate about whether hes better at fullback or first-five will never cease, but the All Blacks will have a selection headache when considering how to fit McKenzie into their squad after he rediscovered his mojo. He has played 27 tests since his All Blacks debut in 2016 but hardly featured last year.
The Chiefs lost their first two matches under McMillan but won five on the bounce to qualify for this weekends decider in Christchurch.
McKenzie is the leading points scorer in Super Rugby Aotearoa ahead of the final, on 98, with Crusaders and All Blacks first-five Richie Mounga down in third on 90, and last month his steady boot secured the Chiefs three successive victories at the death against the Highlanders, Crusaders and Hurricanes.
When you’re in those situations, and you’re a kicker, you live for those moments, and you’re a hero or zero really, McKenzie told media this week.
Seeing [the kicks] go over is great, but there are things happening before that to build up to those penalties.
Before those dramatic wins, McKenzie also scored the clinching try to beat the Blues 15-12 in March with the final play, so he scored the winning points in the final seconds in four successive matches.
Michael Bradley/Getty Images
Damian McKenzie booted the Chiefs to victories to reach the Super Rugby Aotearoa final.
Give him the keys to the city, Chiefs captain Brad Weber said after McKenzies match-winning penalty against the Hurricanes in Hamilton in round nine.
Hes the hottest property in town. He deserves it, because hes the hardest working guy that Ive seen in our group, the prep that he puts in, so its no surprise to us.
McKenzie has revitalised his devastating running game and his ability to burst through gaps, while popping passes to free team-mates for line breaks, are his most exciting qualities on the field, as well as his toughness and desire to compete in contact with the game’s modern giants as a smaller player at 1.75m, weighing only 81kg.
Meanwhile, All Blacks dominated the leaderboard in Stuff’s MVP rankings.
Outside the top three, Mo’unga and Hurricanes fullback Jordie Barrett were fourth on the list with six points.
Loose forwards Shannon Frizell and Dalton Papalii, who were fifth with five points along with Crusaders outside back Will Jordan, were the highest Highlanders and Blues players respectively.
14 points:Damian McKenzie (winner)
8: Codie Taylor
7: Ardie Savea
6: Richie Mo’unga, Jordie Barrett
5: Shannon Frizell, Will Jordan, Dalton Papalii
4: Sam Whitelock, Hoskins Sotutu
3: Asafo Aumua, Jona Nareki, Akira Ioane, Ethan Blackadder, Quinn Tupaea, Mitch Hunt, Aaron Smith, Pita Gus Sowakula, Sevu Reece, Ngani Laumape, Kurt Eklund
2: Nepo Laulala, Whetukamokamo Douglas, Brad Weber, Billy Harmon, Folau Fakatava, Tom Robinson, Luke Jacobson, Dane Coles
1: David Havili, Otere Black, Pari Pari Parkinson, Kazuki Himeno, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, DuPlessis Kirifi