Wales coach Warren Gatland castigated his players for their inability to beat the Springboks after dominating the closing stages of the Test.
Gatland desires a win over one of the southern hemisphere giants more than any other and he believes this was a perfect opportunity that went down the drain.
“I just had a real crack at the players in the changing rooms,” Gatland told the BBC, “and said that if we want to be where we think we can be, good teams nail big moments, and we should be furious with that because we had a chance to beat the world champions and we let ourselves down.”
“I said to the guys they should be really disappointed. We were the best side out there today. We played most of the rugby,” said Gatland.
Despite the loss, Gatland believes his players will benefit looking ahead to their clashes with New Zealand and Australia later in the month.
“It’s a painful experience we’ve gone through today. Good teams handle pressure and they convert situations into points, and they’ve got to learn from that,” said Gatland.
The Welsh mentor concurred with the sentiments of Wales eighthman and Man of the Match Andy Powell and said the Dragons expect to beat one of the Tri-Nations teams soon.
“To be honest, I’m really proud of the performance,” he said.
“We know we’re not too far away [from beating the top teams] but we need to be more clinical.”