Big futures in the All Blacks jersey were predicted for Neemia Tialata and Chris Masoe who just made coach Graham Henry's job a whole lot tougher.
Prop Tialata led a scrum demolition of the experienced Welsh pack while openside flanker Masoe was lethal on attack, defence and at the crucial tackled ball area in the All Blacks' 41-3 win over Wales.
The Hurricanes pair were promoted ahead of frontliners Tony Woodcock and Richie McCaw with an eye to the 2007 World Cup, and on their debut efforts can rate themselves great chances of gaining a ticket in the 30-man squad to France.
Tialata had his family back in Wellington suburb Wainuiomata high in his mind as he wandered off amid the bedlam of a packed house of 74,402 at Millennium Stadium.
"I rang home straight after the game, spoke to my mum and she was in tears," he said.
"I let her speak, I was sort of in la-la land, I couldn't believe I was here playing against Wales.
"My whole family -- brothers and sisters and my dog -- were watching on tv."
The All Blacks front row of Tialata and experienced Otago pair Anton Oliver and Carl Hayman quickly asserted themselves over shaggy-haired Welsh props Adam Jones and Duncan Jones.
Tialata's opposite Adam Jones was popped up several times and substituted six minutes into the second half.
The 1.87m, 118kg loosehead said his performance was "allright" and admitted his only concern was struggling to get his grip on the slippery, loose turf.
"I'm just stoked at the moment. Out there doing the haka and singing the national anthem was something amazing for me -- certainly different from Wainui.
"Wales are probably one of the best scrummaging sides and we just wanted to match up. It just comes down to technique, and we're pretty well drilled."
Tialata said the noise was so loud he couldn't hear the lineout calls, although the crowd got quieter and quieter as the match wore on.
He said his No 1 jersey wasn't being swapped for a Welsh one, and would take pride of place on his wall back home.
Forwards coach Steve Hansen gave Tialata the thumbs up and said: "I'm sure we'll see a lot more of him".
Masoe meanwhile was causing havoc with his Hurricanes loose forward mate Jerry Collins as they forced turnovers and bashed the ball up.
Coach Graham Henry saved his warmest praise for the Taranaki tearaway.
"He had an outstanding game -- he was one of the key players in the game," Henry said of Masoe.
"He got quite a few turnovers at the tackle and carried the ball well and had a really big physical presence on the field. Like Neemia, he'll play a lot of games for the All Blacks."