They know they have to demonstrate more consistency to regain their stature among the competition's top teams, and that starts in Auckland against Moana Pasifika on Saturday.
Waratahs centre Izaia Perese said the boost from their win last weekend was that after a winless season in 2021, they had shown their capacity to compete with the best.
"If you get those wins, you 100 per cent have to celebrate them, enjoy them with the guys, but when it comes to a new weekend, you have to reset, refocus your mindset," he told rugby.com.au.
They had still suffered some bad wins and tough losses in 2022, but Perese said he felt they were behind them, and losses hurt more than last year.
"We've put so much hard work into our prep. We know what we're capable of.
"We expect so much of ourselves this year," he said.
That reflected the standard set for them by head coach Darren Coleman and his support staff.
Assistant coach Jason Gilmore said the win over the Crusaders had been progress.
"I think we're getting there [catching up with NZ teams]. I wouldn't say on the weekend, just because a few of the games were close, that all that ground has been made up, and everything's hunky-dory.
"I think we're probably a step or two behind, but we are catching up, and I think the next month of football will show whether the Aussie teams can turn those close losses into close victories," he said.
"When you're getting consistency of wins then that's when you can say the Aussie teams are catching up, have caught up, and are doing well," he said.
Lock Jed Holloway said they were not near their best performance in the win, and he reminded the side that in the past they had a tendency to get complacent after a good win.
"We talk about playing our type of rugby, and I think we missed a couple of opportunities to do that.
"We're in a pretty nice position after that win, and for us to go forward for the rest of the competition, we need to keep getting better," he said.