Durban - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee held his head high as he addressed media following his side's 57-15 loss to the All Blacks in Durban on Saturday night.
It is the biggest loss the Boks have ever suffered against New Zealand.
Coetzee tried to force a smile as he sat down, but the hurt on his face and that of captain Adriaan Strauss was there for all to see.
"Dark is an understatement," Coetzee said when asked if this was a dark day.
"We are all disappointed. It's painful. It's not easy."
Coetzee, having watched his side conceded 9 tries on the night without scoring any, acknowledged the gulf in quality between the sides.
"There are no excuses. We must give credit to the All Blacks. They are a world class team," he said.
"Off and on the field they are just in a better class ... world class. We definitely are hurting and almost to the extent that we feel very embarrassed about the last 20 minutes."
The South African public have now watched the Boks go two full matches without scoring a try following last weekend's 18-10 win over Australia at Loftus.
They are sure to come hard at Coetzee and the Boks in the days to come.
"One can understand that," Coetzee said.
"Sometimes effort could be your best, but it's not good enough. I don't think the way we prepared, planned and started this match was to end it like this tonight.
"There are lots of reasons, but the players and coaching team will have to have a hard look at ourselves. It's only us who can turn it around.
"I don't even want to say that people must be patient out there ... I don't want to talk those things. But I understand fully that the All Blacks, after the World Cup, they just come out the next year with a stronger team and a better prepared team while we just have to start from scratch with rebuilding. Systems are important."
Coetzee said he would have a lot to think about before the end of year tour to the northern hemisphere.
Whether or not he will be roping in more overseas-based players remains to be seen, but he did say he would look at all his options.
"I will have to be patient with the players. If there are players out there who can strengthen the squad we will certainly have a look at that, but I can guarantee you that there are not many out there," he said.
"We will take and learn from this Championship and focus on the end of year tour and try and turn it around."