Italy captain Sergio Parisse was frustrated with his side's performance in their 28-23 win over Tonga in Rome.
The visitors remained close throughout and a late try from Fetu'u Vainikolo set up a tense finish, with the Azzurri doing enough to hold on.
Italy face world champions New Zealand in Rome next weekend and Parisse acknowledged that his team will have to put in a much improved performance if they are to have any chance of victory against the All Blacks.
"The most important thing was the victory," said Parisse.
"But at the end of the game I felt we hadn't done everything we'd set out to do.
"It's an important week for us, we'll regroup and train for next week in calm conditions but we can't play like that for 80 minutes against the All Blacks."
Italy coach Jacques Brunel was happy to pick up the victory ahead of next weekend, but stated there was plenty for Italy to improve on.
"You can't forget, Tonga have beaten France and have put New Zealand in difficulty in the past," said Brunel.
"We can do better, we know that, but we don't see this as a negative result. Maybe we didn't play our best rugby but if we could win every time we play ugly it would be nice.
"It's always difficult to get the engine running the way you want it to at the start of international series.
"We made a few mistakes but these are things we'll be looking to rectify in the coming weeks."