The hosts matched the Lions for the best part of an hour before the tourists eventually worked the upper hand and in the final 20 minutes pulled clear with a run of 30 unanswered points as fly-half Charlie Hodgson completed an excellent individual performance with a hand in the tries from captain Martin Corry, Shane Horgan and two from Geordan Murphy.
Hodgson finished with 16 points and formed an effective partnership with Cusiter, who did his Test selection chances to harm at all.
His one mistake, a fired pass to no-one, conceded the five metre scrum from which Taranaki eventually scored their try. But the 23-year-old did not let that mistake faze him.
"I gave myself a kick up the backside. There are no hiding places out there, you have to sink or swim and the next pass I got away was a good one," he said.
"I just took it from there and tried to get myself back into the game. What's most important is not having one eye on the Test team, there was enough pressure and responsibility playing this game.
"This was the first game in New Zealand for me and I wanted to give a good account of myself, if you always think 'Test team, Test team', you will not play well."
Former Lions coach Jim Telfer believes Cusiter now has the ability to take his game to the next level after his performance against Taranaki, which is good news for Scottish rugby.
"Keeping his form up and keeping injury free is the most important thing for him.
"I just hope Scotland can improve with Chris in the team and he can bring on other players."
Telfer admits Cusiter's meteoric rise over the last 18 months has surprised him a little but insists Scotland have always been capable of providing the quality of player who can go to the very top in the game.
He said: "It would be wrong to say Chris was seen as a Lion at 18 or 19 but I think what he showed then was the potential to play for Scotland.
"Once you play for Scotland at senior level then it's up to you to take it on as far as you can and some can go higher than that.
"We've had players like Andy Irvine and Tom Smith who have played for the Lions.
"It's up to us in rugby to unearth more of those players. If players are positive and playing with confidence in a good team, then it's amazing how they come through."