Time with the Wallabies has made Folau Fainga'a a more composed and seemingly dynamic player as he braces for a final push towards the Super Rugby play-offs with the Brumbies.
Rookie hooker Fainga'a produced a storming display in the 24-12 upset of the Hurricanes in Canberra, a result that has them eyeing another big Kiwi scalp.
Victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday would be the fourth on the trot for the 10th-placed Brumbies whose slim play-off hopes could end this weekend even if they're victorious.
Fainga'a says a positivity has enveloped the team, as well as his own game.
The 23-year-old was a constant handful, running for 63 metres. That figure was bettered by only two other players on the field, both wingers.
It was his first Super Rugby appearance since being sent off against the Bulls in Pretoria five weeks earlier.
Fainga'a's minimal-force headbutt resulted in a ban of just one week, clearing the way for his selection in the Wallabies squad for the Test series against Ireland.
Not required for any of the three Tests, he said he still learned plenty from the Australian coaching staff and teammates.
"I'd say I've got more confidence now. I've come back and taken on board what I learned," he said.
"Just being composed about myself. Just being myself on the field and not having to push extra things."
When asked if he was referring to the headbutt, Fainga'a was sheepish.
"I've just got to control my emotions.
"I've learned my lesson from then and it's time to move on."
He said the Brumbies plan to take last week's nothing-to-lose approach into the Chiefs clash.
Accused at times of being a pragmatic, unadventurous side, they shaded the Hurricanes in nearly every statistical attacking department.
"All of last week was about playing with no fear. I don't know if you saw it but the boys just backed themselves."