I was just really rapt that the boys had been able to grow over the last 10 days or so
New Zealand coach Rob Penney spoke of the 'newfound maturity' of his team after they advanced to the IRB Junior World Championship Final.
The Baby Blacks will meet hosts South Africa in the Under-20 Final at Newlands on Friday, after the Kiwis overcome Wales 30-6 in the semifinal at Newlands at the weekend.
Penney said his charges showed remarkable growth over the past 10 days, as they kept themselves on target for a fifth consecutive Junior World Championship title.
Having been upset by Wales 9-6 in pool play - New Zealand's first loss in the tournament's history - Penney's charges bounced back in the most emphatic fashion in the semis.
"I was just really rapt that the boys had been able to grow over the last 10 days or so," Penney said.
"I think tactically they did a really good job and got the right outcome."
A try late in the first half and one early in the second proved decisive after the teams had traded penalties to be tied at 6-6.
"Certainly that was a massive bonus for us getting those tries either side of half-time," Penney said.
"It really ripped the heart out of the Welsh.
"I don't think we are a side that is overly confident in what we are doing and that performance today, I think, will certainly give us a little bit of belief which is important," the coach added.
New Zealand captain Bryn Hall said the side had been disappointed with their effort when losing to Wales in pool play.
"I guess we have learned our lesson," he said, adding: "We executed our game plan very well today, we played with a bit of width and we played much better with our kicking.
"The last time we played unfortunately we didn't use that facet of play so we played much better today.
"We always knew that Wales were going to come and fight, they are very, very passionate – just like New Zealand, very passionate on their rugby – so we knew that first 20 minutes were very crucial for us. We talked about it a lot through the week saying that last 10 minutes and first 10 minutes after half-time were very important," he added.