From an improved team performance to several standout individuals, Ian Foster exuded positivity after watching the All Blacks remedy many of the flaws Fiji exposed.
Much tougher tests are imminent but, for now, the All Blacks proved their ability to learn and adapt to put away Fiji with a dominant 60-13 victory in Hamilton on Saturday.
After being beaten to the punch and bullied at the breakdown in the first test against Fiji in Dunedin last week the All Blacks shook off another erratic start, particularly on defence, to run in nine tries and flex their set piece muscle in the process to enhance enthusiasm before the opening Bledisloe Cup test next month.
"We probably went up two notches and Fiji went up one notch," Foster said. "I loved our patience. We weren't as clinical as we wanted to be early but maybe we were just a bit excited. I loved the composure. In the first 20 we had seven turnovers against us for various reasons but then we calmed down and played some clinical rugby."
Foster praised his side's strong scrummaging efforts, where George Bower and Nepo Laulala again led the way, and their consistent ability to strike from the lineout drive.
"Overall the composure of playing against a team that had exposed us last week in certain situations I felt we supplied the remedy."
The All Blacks are set to name their Rugby Championship squad on Monday, with minimal changes expected from this 36-man squad.
After introducing six rookies in three tests this month; building depth in most areas and reintegrating the likes of Beauden Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Ardie Savea and Anton Lienert-Brown, Foster pitched ahead to that tournament with confidence.
"It's been a series that we've clearly wanted to build some parts of our game. We've had to manage a few players from the last six months. We've had a couple of players come back from Japan, out of quarantine. We've had a couple of longer-term injuries.
"We've seen a little bit of rust in some of those guys every time they've played. We probably saw that a little bit in Ardie and Anton tonight. The timing was out a little bit. From that perspective it's been a great opportunity to get those guys back playing.
"They way we've finished we've done some really clinical work today that shows when we get the intent right and we improve the quality of our ball carrying we can actually get the speed of ball we want.
"There's still a little way to go but, overall, when I look at the three tests, I'm pretty delighted with where we're at right now."
Foster singled out Chiefs hooker Samisoni Taukei'aho for the ease with which he took a late call up to replace the injured Dane Coles in his stride to claim two tries on debut off the bench and, perhaps, put heat on Asafo Aumua for the third hooking role behind Codie Taylor and Coles.
"Samisoni has been in for two weeks and quite frankly he's been outstanding behind the scenes. He's done his homework – we had that lineout move and he was probably supposed to pass to Sevu Reece but those of us who watched it on Friday knew he'd never pass it.
"He just backs himself and showed he can be an accurate rugby player so it gives us some really good options in that space."
Reece, from the left wing, collected a hat-trick against his countrymen on the back of Richie Mo'unga's playmaking skills after impressing in his first start on the right edge in Dunedin last week. Foster suggested Reece had done enough to lock in that spot in the starting team.
"He's in good form isn't he? He's fast, he's energetic, things are happening around him. He didn't get too many try-scoring opportunities on the other wing so maybe that's the best wing to play him on at the moment. He's confident and it's good to see."
After troubling the All Blacks last week, Fiji coach Vern Cotter was disappointed with the drop in competitiveness from his men, lamenting the 14 penalties they conceded that squandered their strong opening as referee Damon Murphy adopted much more stringent policing of the breakdown.
"We made it so hard for ourselves," Cotter said. "When we did compete, we competed well. The analysis from the game is really simple – take away the rubbish we gave the opposition and believe in what we can construct.
"We need to change a few habits and take into account that these things hurt us if we want to be competitive."