Cape Town - Siya Kolisi believes that maturity was the difference between the Springboks and Wales in Saturday's Test at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
The Boks, having gone 14-0 down in the first eight minutes, went on to lose 24-22.
READ: Kolisi: Coach Allister has 'bitten the bullet' for us
It was a memorable day for Kolisi, who captained the Boks in the second half as Eben Etzebeth was withdrawn with an injury, but in the end it was not to be as a spirited South African fightback wasn't quite enough.
Speaking after the match, Kolisi acknowledged that the Boks had thrown the game away in the first 10 minutes by going two tries down.
"Today it was maturity ... the Welsh team was way more mature than us," he told reporters.
"You can’t come to the northern hemisphere and start from behind like that."
Kolisi also praised the mindset of coach Allister Coetzee at half time, when the Boks were 21-10 down.
"The way we fought back ... he wasn’t panicking," said Kolisi.
"He told us how good we are and made us believe it when we stepped on the field.
"When we came on for that second half, we weren’t panicking. We had cool heads and we knew what we wanted to do. It was tough for us to lose our captain, but the boys adapted."
In the end, the Boks will be pondering what might have been in a match where they were the more threatening side for large parts.
"I think they had a flying start," Kolisi added.
"You can only prepare for so much. Last week they had a passing game against New Zealand and today they kicked a lot.
"It’s tough to lose a game like that. You use all your energy to fight your way back, and then a call doesn’t go your way and you lose."