Joe Schmidt rated Bundee Aki’s debut as "super" after Ireland put a record 38-3 score on South Africa at the Aviva.
The 27-year-old New Zealander, who qualified under the residency rule, was paired in midfield with his former Connacht partner Robbie Henshaw.
"I don’t think anyone was surprised, the synergy was pretty good there," said head coach Schmidt.
"I think Bundee got in some smashing tackles.
"He is a very calm character, and in training during the week, quiet words.
"He brings a fair bit of experience, even though it was his debut today.
"He and Robbie have a real understanding.
"I think that was part of what made it a little bit more comfortable for us in outing that combination together.
"I thought Bundee was super."
Ireland have beaten the Springboks in four of the last six home games but Schmidt admitted that he was taken aback at the final score line.
"The score flattered us a little bit," said Schmidt, whose side led 17-3 until the 71st minute when Rhys Ruddock added a second try before Ulster duo Rob Herring and Jacob Stockdale also touched down.
"We scored the bulk of them in the last 12 or 13 minutes.
"Until then the game was in the balance."
"Both teams will look back and have things they’ll want to work on."
Schmidt also indicated that he won't draft in extra cover for the backs after Keith Earls was ruled out with a hamstring injury during the week.
He said: "We’re probably not going to go for a replacement for Keith, the wingers are young, some are uncapped, we want to optimise their opportunity to play.
"It doesn’t look like we picked up anything other than Pete’s [O’Mahony’s injury] with that blood injury [ear].
"He was a little bit uncomfortable afterwards but nothing too severe I don't think."
South Africa captain Eben Eztebeth was not motivated to speak at length in the post-match press conference.
"We couldn’t finish our chances and [Ireland] finished all of theirs," he said.
Under-pressure South Africa coach Allister Coetzee was also circumspect.
"I have to give credit to Ireland," he said. "They played tactically very well.
"No positives from our side, it’s a disappointing defeat."