Springbok coach Peter de Villiers believes that his team outplayed the Wallabies at Kings Park on Saturday, and simply lacked the finishing touch to put them away.
After the demoralising 9-14 Tri-Nations defeat at home - which left his team lagging at the foot of the table and still seeking their first win of the year - the Bok coach tried his best to put a positive spin on his side's tryless performance by explaining that all that was missing was the killer blow.
He said: "I think it just shows what happens if you don't take the chances that come your way. We wanted a good start and we got one today but we never converted all of our efforts into points.
"We will bounce back from this of course, but today for me we lost on the scoreboard only.
"We created enough chances for ourselves, we just need to take them," added De Villiers.
After a number of lacklustre displays and heavy margins of defeat in recent times much was expected of the Springboks who had the majority of their frontline players back from lengthy lay-offs.
However, despite some encouraging signs they ultimately delivered a frustrating performance in Durban and failed to capitalise on their dominance.
De Villiers admitted that he understands that Springbok fans feel exasperated and disillusioned with the team's progress but he was adamant that there are positives to take out of the narrow loss to Australia.
He commented: "I think the people should be disillusioned - I would have been myself.
"There are more positives to take out of it, we controlled the game in that first half and we really looked very good - we just have to build from there," insisted De Villiers.
Bok captain John Smit echoed his coach's sentiments and lamented his side's inability to convert the pressure they created in the first half into points.
He said: "It was a horrible Test to lose because we felt like we had a reasonable amount of control but we just did not convert it.
"Credit to the Aussies, they just kept coming and they kept playing well and they kept the pressure on."
Smit revealed that he was worried at half-time despite holding a 6-0 lead as he knew that his side would struggle to keep up the intensity they showed in the first half.
"I was concerned going into the break leading just 6-0 considering the kind of rugby we had played knowing full well that the majority of the guys probably weren't going to be firing come 70 minutes."
Smit said that he was happy with the big improvement that his side made on defence after conceding 11 tries in their two matches on the away leg of the Tri-Nations, but added that they should have taken advantage of the opportunities that were created as a result better.
He commented: "We had sufficient turnovers produced by some reasonably good defence for a change but we didn't use them as we should have so it was frustrating.
"It doesn't help working hard on defence and creating turnovers if you are not going to execute and turn those into points," added Smit.
By Michael de Vries, in Durban
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