Highlanders full-back Ben Smith feels his side can still improve despite their 33-30 victory over the Rebels in Dunedin on Friday.
The home side headed toward full-time with a 10-point lead at 33-23 but a 76th-minute try to Rebels full-back Jason Woodward, who added a quick conversion from near the sideline, cut the lead to three points.
They held on but their occasional laxity with possession and indiscipline made the win more difficult than it should have been.
"I thought we showed a bit of ticker," said Smith.
"They might have got the odd try but we came right back at them.
"A bit to work on there but we'll get in and work hard on Monday."
Rebels captain Scott Higginbotham, who turned in a magnificent performance, was disappointed that his side's late comeback failed to secure them a victory.
"It's a good effort but not good enough," he said.
"We came over here for a win but we didn't get the result so it's disappointing."