Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has backed Australia to come again as a force in world rugby after their 28-8 loss at Newlands.
The Wallabies were generally outclassed for large periods of the match in Cape Town, trailing 20-3 after only 20 minutes played.
Australia did hit back in the second half and grabbed a try through replacement winger Chris Feauai-Sautia, but they were well out of the contest early on.
The defeat was a fourth in five games for Ewen McKenzie since he took over the head coaching role from Robbie Deans before the start of the tournament.
Reflecting on South Africa's own struggles last year, de Villiers highlighted the comparison between the two sides and believed that the current rough patch would serve the Wallabies well moving forward.
"You need to look at it in perspective," said de Villiers.
"We were in a similar situation last year when Heyneke took over as coach and I took over as captain.
"We had tough games from the word go. It's the same under Ewen McKenzie - have they really had an easy game yet? No.
"It's difficult to get the momentum and get your message across over to the team. They've had injuries along with that which never helps, but unfortunately that's the way sport goes.
"Sometimes you have to take a couple of steps back to go forward again and I'm sure they'll be back at their best sooner rather than later."
by Ben Coles