Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has refused to blame individuals for Saturday's 21-11 loss to the All Blacks in Dunedin, and instead took sole responsibility.
New Zealand might have struggled to secure their fourth victory in the tournament, but did enough to all but secure the inaugural Rugby Championship title.
The overseas leg of South Africa's Rugby Championship campaign was a failure if you consider that they drew with Argentina and lost to both Australia and New Zealand.
But there were several aspects of the Bok game at Forsyth Barr Stadium that were immeasurably improved on previous weeks. And the Bok mentor was nevertheless positive about the team's prospects for the future after they matched the All Blacks in all facets of play.
"We wanted to instil a belief in the team after the World Cup that they can beat any side in the world and I think we have achieved that goal," said Meyer.
"Obviously we are very disappointed with the outcome of the game because I thought we did enough to win it, but at the end of the day we didn't.
"But there were a lot of positives we could take from the game."
Meyer has come under severe public pressure regarding the team's game-plan and the coach's loyalty to fly-half Morné Steyn, who has been struggling with his form this year. Steyn missed four of his kicks at goal, centre Francois Steyn failed with two attempts while replacement fly-half Johan Goosen missed one shot at goal.
However he refused to lay the blame at the door of Steyn saying the team had to take responsibility for their performances.
"I will never blame an individual," he said.
"If the team loses, it is always my fault, but I think we played the right game plan and put the All Blacks under pressure.
"Even they were surprised at how we kept them under pressure."
Meyer added that squandered opportunities had cost the team dearly and the team as a whole needed to do introspection in the week before they assemble again on Sunday.
"I think if one looks at the context of the game it was 5-3 at half time and it would have been close to 15-5, which is a totally new game," said Meyer.
"They would have had to chase hard and you can build pressure from there."
The former Bulls boss compared Steyn to Habana, and believes the former can replicate the latter's return to form. Habana struggled in the 2010 and 2011 seasons before returning to his best in 2012, and Meyer hopes that in time Steyn will do the same.
"In general Morné did not play bad but according to his standards his kicking at goal wasn't good, the same goes for Frans (Steyn)," he said.
"Morné is mentally tough, he's been there a few times...Bryan was there and with the right guidance he's playing great rugby.
"I've always - without boosting myself - been great with getting the best out of players.
"I think this mental break will do him well, but we will look at the whole situation and decide who's the guys that will play in the next Test."
Meyer also praised the performance of his inexperienced forward pack, who threw down the gauntlet against their more experienced All Black counterparts and said this was another major sign of progress.
"We scrummed well I am very happy with the front row and if you look at the amount of loose forwards, which are out at the moment," Meyer said.
"The combination of those guys were great as it was the first time they've played together and they were superb against probably the best loose trio in the world.
"So I know exactly where we are going," he added.
"I really have a special feeling for this team going forward.
"There is a great vibe in the team, the guys have high standards and they aren't happy with their performance.
"I think the results will come and I think this can become a great side.