Heyneke Meyer was delighted to finish South Africa's November tour with a victory at Twickenham and credited his side's defence.
A try from Willem Alberts proved crucial in the game but in truth it was the Springboks' hardened defence that saw them defeat England.
"I thought it was a hard-fought battle," said Meyer.
"The defence of both sides was awesome - there were a lot of youngsters in our side in front of a passionate 80,000 crowd. I said to Jean that not too long ago we would have lost that kind of game by 20 points, so it's a reflection on how our team has grown.
"A lot of our players could not train this week and there was definitely a swing in the momentum at the end of the match. England was getting the penalties and they were starting to get good ball.
"It's easy to throw the ball around and score great tries, but defence wins trophies and you have to dig deep. We're not used to playing in these conditions - some of our players have never been to Scotland or England.
"It's been a long season, possibly one game too far, but the youngsters have thrived in training. You have to win away games if you want to win trophies and we've shown that we can do that."
Captain Jean de Villiers was also happy with his side's defensive effort, describing his side as the best defensive outfit in world rugby.
"We pride ourselves on our defence and I think defensively we're right up there with the best, if not the best," said De Villiers.
"We've conceded one try in three matches and the attitude our guys have shown, you can't coach that. Every guy stood up to be counted and that makes me proud as a captain."