Any debut that ends in a six-try 47-29 hammering can hardly be greeted with huge enthusiasm.
Matt Toomua was on the wrong end of an All Blacks thumping while making his Wallabies debut in the opening clash of the 2013 Rugby Championship in Sydney.
And while blame for such a heavy reversal should not be laid at feet of the Brumbies' fly-half, the 23-year-old can only look back on it as a huge disappointment.
We look at various aspects of the match and Toomua's performance to assess whether new Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie made the right call to hand Toomua his debut cap.
Toomua's selection to start against the All Blacks was unexpected, and many had predicted McEwen to recall controversial No. 10 Quade Cooper to the Wallabies starting lineup.
Cooper missed the British and Irish Lions series after falling out with former Australia coach Robbie Deans, and many thought he had been penciled in as McKenzie's first-choice due to their success together at Queensland Reds.
That Toomua got the nod provided ammunition for rival coach Steve Hansen to suggest before and after the match that McKenzie was undecided on his best line-up, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.
When asked about the merits of Toomua over Cooper, Hansen replied:
I don't know. You should ask Ewen that. Did you ask him that?
I don't pick the team, so at the end of the week Ewen has got that job and you had better ask him. He may not know but ask him anyway.
I think they are both good players, but I am just happy I have got Dan Carter and Aaron Cruden ... and Beauden Barrett for that matter.
Irrespective of how Toomua played on his debut, his selection and the Wallabies' subsequent defeat was used as a barb to throw Australia's way.
Cooper is regarded as one of the most talented playmakers in world rugby. He has his faults and is not to all coaches' liking, but he can make things happen and produce the unexpected.
His non-selection to start at No. 10 suggested McKenzie was more in favor of the safe, structured approach favored by Toomua's Super Rugby side Brisbane.
The fact Toomua did little wrong on his debut and distributed with a calm assurance that earned him a 6.5/10 rating from Rugby365, misses the point in the minds of most Wallabies fans.
To beat the All Blacks, teams need an edge in at least one area of the game. When he's on song, Cooper can give them that; Toomua has yet to prove it.
Many favor the rationale of giving Cooper the chance to weave his magic and then bringing on Toomua if this fails to happen, or to close out a game with his more structured approach.
The fact Australia's back line had more bite and width after Cooper's introduction on Saturday suggests the Queensland Red will start in the return match on Saturday.
Widely considered the finest scrum-half in the international game, Will Genia kept the Wallabies in sight of New Zealand with a stunning 65-metre try late in the first half.
That score aside, Genia wasn't at his best and certainly wasn't the best scrum-half on display in Sydney as opposite number Aaron Smith had much more of an impact on the outcome.
Australia need their talisman to be at the top of his game if they are going to challenge the All Blacks and Springboks over the next six weeks, and perhaps the best way to guarantee that is to reunite him with his Queensland Reds partner Cooper.
That's not to say Genia and Toomua cannot play well together, but Genia and Cooper have a proven chemistry, one that helped the Reds to the 2011 Super 15 title.
Things looked a little better for the Wallabies when Cooper came on, and perhaps it's time to see how the team fares with the Queensland pair performing their magic together from the start.
Matt Toomua (R)
One hopes that Toomua has plenty more opportunity to prove himself on the international stage.
He should remember that he won't always be facing such challenging opponents and that on better days his forwards will improve the supply of slow ball he was forced to work with in Sydney.
Most observers gave him a satisfactory rating and Stephen Samuelson of the Canberra Times was spot on with this summary of his performance.
Has a good head for rugby with his 'no look' falcon chargedown in the first half. His general play was solid and his defence was excellent, but lacked dynamism and was clearly outpointed by the creative genius of Aaron Cruden. 6/10
For those wondering what Samuelson meant by his reference to a "falcon'" check out this video clip. A "falcon" is a term used when a player's head comes into contact with the ball.