Michael Maguire's professionalism and belief will ensure the Kiwis' resurgence in international rugby league continues on his coaching watch.
That's the assessment of halfback Shaun Johnson following New Zealand's stunning 26-24 upset of world champions Australia at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.
In just his second Test in charge, Maguire had the hosts fizzing in a dominant performance, which was a world apart from what the Kiwis offered during the tenure of predecessor David Kidwell.
Johnson reckons it marks the start of a new era under former NRL premiership-winning coach Maguire and New Zealand Rugby League chief executive Greg Peters, who were both appointed in the fallout from last year's disastrous World Cup quarter-final exit.
Johnson said Australian Maguire's preparation and belief in his players opened the eyes of long-standing members of the team.
"The work had started before we actually assembled. That alone, I haven't had since I've been in this group," the 26-Test veteran said.
"It's no coincidence. Things change for a reason and the experience Madge (Maguire) has brought, the energy Greg's brought. It fizzes down from the top.
"Madge spoke about winning that many times, it was almost as if we won the game before we played it."
Johnson admitted disappointment at a crowd size for the trans-Tasman triple-header of just 12,763 - less than half the ground's capacity and 5000 short of the average crowd for Warriors' NRL home matches this season.
He said the empty seats reflected how the team had sunk in the eyes of the Kiwi public, both with their results and off-field image.
He hopes that will gradually change, continuing during the looming three-Test series away to England.
Johnson's bright touches were enough for him to be crowned man of the match although there were numerous team-mates who would have challenged closely for the award.
The 28-year-old playmaker was simply happy to perform in his first match since the Warriors were eliminated from the NRL finals by Penrith five weeks ago.
He spent several weeks digesting criticism for his own performance, even though few of the Warriors fired in that game.
"Obviously, you take the good with the bad throughout your career and a lot of the time I'm at the front when things aren't going well," he said.
"Times like this, when you do play well and get a good win against a quality team, you've got to enjoy it. I thought we had boys right across the park that did their jobs and I was no different."