"The one thing we know with Grace is when she puts this jersey on, she will give 100 per cent for 80 minutes".
Words from Wallaroos coach Dwayne Nestor after Panuara's Grace Hamilton once again proved why she's not just the shining light of Australian rugby but also one of the best back-rowers on the planet in her side's victory over Japan at Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
From No.8 Hamilton, in her first Test as skipper, ran for a simply ridiculous 171 metres to earn player-of-the-match honours and lead her Wallaroos to a resounding 34-5 win over the Cherry Blossoms, a historic win too considering it was the Aussies' first Test victory on home soil.
WATCH: Check our the atmosphere and highlights from the Wallaroos' win over Japan...
"In the first 20 minutes, we needed to control the emotions and get go-forward and [Grace] was definitely the girl who gave it to us," Nestor said.
Hamilton combined beautifully in the back-row with vice-captain Millie Boyle, the code-hopping flanker also played a commanding role just three weeks after helping NSW to a State of Origin victory over Queensland in the 13-woman code.
Naturally there will come a time when Boyle has to choose between the two codes but in the meantime Nestor's happy to provide the 21-year-old with the "best possible environment that she can enjoy here".
Boyle did only join the Burleigh Bears earlier this year due to a lack of competitive rugby on the Gold Coast, so with a World Cup just two years away Nestor did concede he hopes her flirtation with rugby league is short.
Michaela Leonard was also prominent with ball in hand but with her family watching on from the stands Hamilton completely stole the show at Newcastle's No.2 Sportsground, her performance as emphatic as they come in an emotional debut as Australian captain.
"It was an emotional day but I am so excited and proud of every girl that stood on that field," the 27-year-old beamed after the win.
"I don't think you can try too hard when you're representing Australia, It means so much to every single girl and I know it means so much to me and all of our families."
Debutants Averyl Mitchell and Ariana Hira-Herangi both scored tries to open a 12-nil lead for the Wallaroos in a first half dominated by big hits.
Nestor said in the lead-up that his side would have to earn the right to go wide and that was certainly the approach early, an approach they were rewarded for after 10 minutes when Mitchell crashed over.
After Japanese prop Makoto Ebuchi was taken off for a head injury assessment after a heavy knock and Wallaroos fullback Mahalia Murphy produced a crunching, try-saving tackle on Ninano Nagura, the Aussies' pack started to get on top.
With Boyle, Hamilton and Leonard making inroads through the middle and their set-piece dominating, the Wallaroos crossed again after winning a scrum penalty.
Halfback Cobie-Jane Morgan took a quick tap and shifted the ball to Hira-Herangi, who powered over from close range, Samantha Treherne added the extras to push the Wallaroos' lead to 12 at the break.
"That first half was hard and we had to absorb a lot of pressure. We laid the platform, particularly with our set piece. What I said to our forwards especially is 'we love set piece, so if we can go out there and be confident, the rest just comes'," Hamilton said.
What I said to our forwards especially is 'we love set piece, so if we can go out there and be confident, the rest just comes'.Wallaroos skipper Grace Hamilton
"We absorbed that pressure, but we also dominated our attacks. We just had a few loose carries, but in that second half we came out firing."
Late in the opening 40 minutes there was a sense the Wallaroos were close to hitting top gear and that's exactly what they did in the second half, running in another four tries to one to close out a victory dominant enough Nestor was able to roll his entire bench on late in the game.
The international was the Wallaroos' first since going down 45-17 to New Zealand last August and they'll now face the Japanese again next Friday at North Sydney Oval, before reigniting their rivalry with the Black Ferns.
The Wallaroos host New Zealand at Optus Stadium in Perth on August 10 and then face them again at the graveyard of Eden Park the week after.
Saturday's victory is the perfect way to kick their extended 2019 program off, but Nestor said there's still plenty of work to be done.
"By the end of the fourth test we will be able to control the ball a lot more and value the ball a lot more," Netsor said.
"Then we will be able to get continuity and build pressure. Especially against the Black Ferns you need to do that.
"The combinations will come and the way we want to play will develop. There are quite a few areas where our progression will be quite steep."