- Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said his side gave their all against Argentina everything despite not getting the result they required.
- The Springboks won 38-21 at Kings Park on Sunday, but they needed to win by 39 clear points to overthrow the All Blacks.
- Nienaber admitted that the All Black game they lost at Ellis Park and their inconsistent tour of Australia cost them the tournament.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said they gave it their all as they beat Argentina 38-21 at Kings Park, a victory that was pyrrhic as the Boks failed their overall Rugby Championship examination.
The Springboks needed to win by 39 clear points, something that would have seen them score the necessary tries required to get a bonus point win.
They also failed in that department as the five tries they scored were neutered by Argentina's three and also denied them the bonus point that would have drawn them level with the All Blacks.
Nienaber who admitted that the All Black loss at Ellis Park and their inconsistent tour of Australia cost them the tournament, said they left everything on the field in chasing their needed result.
"We can't fault the effort. It was a different game and there were so many permutations," Nienaber said. "We needed to win and get a bonus point. We all sat down and bought into the plan we took into the game.
"We gave it as good a shot as we could, but unfortunately, we came up short. However, we can never take a Springbok win for granted."
Nienaber, said they had a plan for the game that was derailed by a penalty they conceded that led to Gonzalo Bertranou's try on the stroke of half-time.
The Boks had surged into a 17-0 lead at the time through tries from man-of-the-match Jasper Wiese and Siya Kolisi, alongside a penalty from Frans Steyn.
At that point, they needed a further 21 points to make up the points difference gap, but Bertranou's try put a spanner in the works that the Boks couldn't quite remove.
In hindsight, the Boks' Rugby Championship chances truly went up in smoke when flanker Juan Martin Gonzales scored in the 46th minute.
That meant the Boks needed to get 50 points on the board to make up the points difference deficit, and their inaccuracy meant that wasn't going to happen.
Nienaber admitted that Bertranou's try was a sucker punch that they couldn't adequately recover from
"We had a plan and we were on our task until the 35th minute when we conceded a penalty. They got into our half and they scored. That wasn't ideal," Nienaber said.
"We were full-on going for the win."