In the end, the All Blacks squandered too many opportunities and lost their way entirely in the final quarter to feel great about another win against the Pumas which leaves them within a whisker of winning another Rugby Championship.
For 60 minutes the All Blacks played with pace and venom, if not a clinical edge, and hinted that they have a next generation of players pushing to play more than they do.
But there's no getting away from the fact the All Blacks produced a fairly dire final quarter and with it, lowered the feel-good they might have expected from the amount of quality rugby they played.
Still, for all they battled to nail this one shut and produce a clean, emphatic performance, the All Blacks did produce enough flowing football and enough clear-cut try-scoring opportunities to believe they are a team that is tracking absolutely in the right direction.
What can't be disputed, despite the messiness of the last 20 minutes, is that All Blacks are oozing with confidence. They are playing like a team that has faith in what they are doing and a deep understanding of how to do it.
That confidence is underpinning everything. The clarity is important, too, because it is enabling them to play with incredible continuity.
The All Blacks are always at their best, most fluent, when the micro skills are executed instinctively. And that's where this side has got to now – the rigidness of last year and even earlier this season is long gone.
Everything is flowing easily now around a relatively simple template of keeping their attack direct, straight and low-risk.
What's defined the last three All Blacks performances has been their abrasiveness. And the key to achieving that has been the pace at which their ball carriers have hit short passes and the urgent way they have used their feet and leg drive to eke out extra metres.
No one in Brisbane set themselves up as an easy, slow moving target. Argentina are one of the world's better defensive teams but even their system can't survive if the ball carriers they face are dynamic, eager to stay on their feet and capable of slipping the pass out of contact.
Looking at how the All Blacks played last year and how they are playing now, the single biggest difference is in the speed and physicality of their ball carrying.
There is nothing pedestrian about them now as there occasionally once was and Argentina will feel that they had to make a high number of tackles again, and not one of them came easy.
The All Blacks seemed to have more than 15 players on the park at times. They had support runners either side of the ball carrier regardless of where they were or how many phases they had strung together.
Samisoni Taukei'aho best typified this new, abrasive, dynamic rugby the All Blacks are trying to play.
He was seemingly impossible to tackle on the gainline – using his low body position, enormous power and speed to keep the Pumas backpedalling.
Tupou Vaa'i was another who got what it was all about – constantly on hand to take the ball into the heart of the Pumas defence or whip it out the back to the next phase of runners.
The only thing missing was the necessary patience to finish what they created. There were three blown tries as a result of support runners over running and that created a sense of dominance that wasn't reflected on the scoreboard.
That was the curious thing – the All Blacks felt like they were in total control for the majority of the game, toying with the Pumas and in no danger at all.
And yet, come the final quarter, they were only 16 points ahead and under pressure throughout the final quarter.
But given that they made as many personal changes as they did for this test, and then emptied their bench, it wasn't such a bad night for the All Blacks.
They got the job done with relative ease and they sharpened their set-piece work, too with what was a supremely good scrummaging performance.
They knew it was never going to be pretty or massively convincing and that a bonus point win would override the finer detail of the performance.