UDINE - South Africa coach Peter de Villiers and captain John Smit agreed that the world champions were back on track following their 32-10 win over Italy.
The Springboks had lost their previous three matches, including two against English club sides and a 20-13 defeat in Toulouse against France.
But after running in four tries to one in Italy they are now feeling much happier ahead of next week's test against Six Nations Grand Slam champions Ireland.
"When you come into these games the result is secondary to what you want to achieve," said De Villiers.
Smit felt his team-mates had rebounded well from their France defeat. "Our boys regrouped pretty well . and it ended up becoming a good result for us."
Italy played well but missed crucial tackles which cost them two tries and they didn't help themselves by missing three penalties.
But coach Nick Mallett was nonetheless satisfied.
"Our place kicking and kicking from the hands was not as good as the South Africans'," Mallett said. - Sapa-AFP