Bloemfontein - The South African 'A' side were beaten 32-24 by the touring England Saxons in Bloemfontein on Friday night.
The tour match was a tale of two halves with England leading 22-3 at half-time thanks to three tries from turnover ball.
A much-improved second-half showing by the shadow Springboks brought them within a point of the more experienced visitors eight minutes from time.
But the England 'A' side had the final say when centre Oliver Devoto dived over two minutes from time and flyhalf Danny Cipriani converted.
The teams meet again next Friday in George.