Pretoria - Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi knows that his side's 32-30 loss to the All Blacks at Loftus on Saturday was the one that got away, but he remains proud of the strides made in the 2018 Rugby Championship.
The Boks blew a 30-13 lead in front of a packed Pretoria crowd to go down after the hooter, but they are now at a stage where they have taken the All Blacks to the wire in back-to-back Tests.
"We let it get away," Kolisi acknowledged after the match.
"We knew it would be tough, but we let it go at the end. It was tough and I am really proud of the boys.
"It was much better than last week (against Australia), but there were still soft moments. We don't need them at this level and we must learn and see how we can improve."
All Black skipper Kieran Read, meanwhile, said the Test match as a whole was a superb contest.
"You have got to have belief and we had that deep down to come back. Both teams were going at it and the Springboks were outstanding," he said.
"On the two games we were split on the scoreboard and tonight we were a bit fortunate to come out on top.
"We did not have the territory and possession, but we hung in there and, especially when they got momentum, we came back.
"I would like to thank the crowd as the atmosphere was fantastic. This is a great place to play."