- Springbok captain Siya Kolisi admitted that the margins of defeats in their Rugby Championship losses cost them the title.
- The Springboks lost to the All Blacks and the Wallabies by 12 and eight points respectively, denying them the losing bonus points that would've come in handy after their win against the Pumas on Saturday.
- Their 38-21 triumph at a packed Kings Park was not enough to secure the title.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi ruefully admitted that the manner of their defeats in the Rugby Championship cost them dearly in the long run.
The 35-23 Ellis Park loss to the All Blacks and the 25-17 defeat to the Wallabies denied the Boks crucial losing bonus points that would have come in handy for them
They were one point behind the All Blacks after their 38-21 win against Argentina at Kings Park, but they needed to win by a clear 39 points and get a bonus point while doing so.
The two latter things didn't happen, leaving Kolisi to rue what could have been for them in a tournament where they were at times, they were utterly dominant on the field, but didn't have the requisite points to show for that effort.
"We did everything in our power to win the game, but one has to look back at our two defeats and realise those are the missing points," Kolisi said.
"The margins of defeat in those games were too wide. If we fought hard and narrowed the margin of defeat in those games, we'd be having a different conversation today.
"We weren’t going to be chasing a massive score like today, but the one takeaway from the game was that we've improved as a team.
"We're getting better as a side and we've won three consecutive matches, so we need to take that momentum with us to the end-of-year tour.
"We'll be tested as a team and that'll give us a fair idea of where we need to improve as a team ahead of the World Cup."
Kolisi though was chuffed with how they bounced back from their consecutive defeats against the All Blacks and the Wallabies to rebound in the tournament.
While the Boks didn't play badly at Ellis Park on 13 August, they were emotionally spent after their mighty Mbombela effort the week before.
They saved their worst performance of the tournament for Adelaide where they were not only on the thin end of the wedge through indifferent officiating and classic Wallaby gamesmanship, but were their own worst enemies with their wastefulness in Australia's 22.
"We had our backs against the wall, and we needed to win. Had we lost in Sydney, we would've been out of the tournament completely," Kolisi said.
"We had to pull together as a team, we lost some big players, and the coaches came up with simple plans that didn't change much of what we do.
"We came together because we needed to back each other because we knew a loss in Sydney was the end of the road for us."