Cardiff - South Africa's 12-6 defeat by Wales was "disappointing", according to coach Heyneke Meyer, who vowed that his team would improve greatly before the Rugby World Cup.
As it happened: Wales v Springboks
Meyer, whilst insisting that no defeat was positive, said he took pride in having blooded a host of younger players in the pressure cooker of Test rugby.
"It's obviously very disappointing, I always said that our depth was going to be tested," Meyer said after a real arm wrestle of a match at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
"We knew it was going to be tough, but we just made too many mistakes."
Meyer said the loss of skipper Jean de Villiers, who suffered a dislocated knee cap after 57 minutes and had to go for scans to check for associated damage, and the 62nd-minute yellow carding of Cornal Hendricks for taking out Leigh Halfpenny in the air all proved crucial in the finale.
"Usually in the last 20 minutes the game opens up and we play some of our best rugby and if you look at previous games they have lost in the last 10 minutes," he said.
"When Jean got injured, it was a big setback. Not just losing the captain, but it took seven or eight minutes to get him off the field and we lost all the continuity there.
"Then the game slightly opened up we were getting big ball for the first time, but the yellow card for Cornal was probably the end of it because suddenly we wanted to attack, six points behind, but we had to go into defensive mode, especially on scrums, especially away from home.
"A lot of youngsters came on, and especially in the backs we lacked a bit of experience but we've said we want to learn from this, we have to look hard and see where we can go from here."
De Villiers said in the pre-match build-up that the Springboks were treating the Wales match like a World Cup final, but Meyer was keen to distance himself from any parallels.
"Every single loss you take really bad as a coach, you have to look in the mirror," he said.
"There were no tries in the game, 12-6, I thought a lot of youngsters put up their hands and some others guys need some experience.
"So you have to have these games, obviously you don't want to lose.
"It's never great to lose... but I don't think it has any bearing on the World Cup. What it does give you are some answers about how players respond under pressure, which will happen in the World Cup.
"We have a lot of great players coming back, 25 players. I'm very positive this doesn't have any bearing on the World Cup. We will have an unbelievably strong squad, unbelievably well prepared.
"I know we're much better than this, we'll definitely be better at the World Cup and I still believe we're on the right track and we can win it."
Giant lock Victor Matfield, who took over the captaincy when De Villiers was taken off, added: "Just too many errors on the night.
"I think tonight's result and a few of the other results show that there are quite a few teams that can win the World Cup.
"I think it's going to be a very exciting World Cup where there's not just two or three or four teams that can win it, but six."