We are way behind compared to the other countries
New Springbok coach Heyneke bemoaned the 'step backwards' his team took against England at the weekend, adding that the team had let South Africa down.
Speaking after the disappointing 14-all draw with England in Port Elizabeth at the weekend - which saw the Boks clinch the three-match Test series 2-0 - he spoke of having started the year at a disadvantage and the need to "catch up quickly".
The Boks looked flat-footed in damp and windy conditions in Port Elizabeth, with England feeling a tad unlucky that they did not pull this one out of the bag.
"We laid the foundations which I wanted," Meyer said of the series win.
"[However], today [Saturday] was just a step backwards, but I always knew it was going to be tough," the Bok coach added.
"I always knew the first year was going to be really tough.
"We are way behind compared to the other countries and we have to catch up quickly."
Meyer felt the side had let the country down with the quality of their display and he said they would have to do some serious introspection ahead of the Rugby Championship in August.
"We've got really high standards and I don't want to make any excuses and the players know they haven't played well," said Meyer.
"At home you need to win Test matches and we will definitely look hard at ourselves.
"We want to make the country proud and we let them down tonight and it is unacceptable at this level."
As the rain started to trickle down shortly after the start of the match, it was clear the conditions would favour the tourists.
While Meyer acknowledged the difficult conditions played a role in the Boks' below-par performance, he would not use them as an excuse.
"Obviously, all credit to England. I thought they adapted much better to the conditions than we did," said Meyer.
"There is no use making excuses, I thought they had a great game and we didn't adapt well to the conditions and these guys need to learn."
Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers agreed that the performance was a setback to the team and hoped they could learn from the disappointment.
"We won the series 2-0 and we are satisfied with that, but I think they [England] got better as the series progressed and I guess we got a little worse towards the end," De Villiers said.
"We didn't play well. In set phases, we lost ball and our kicking game wasn't good enough.
"I'm not just saying the kickers, but the chasing and contesting in the air, the platform to kick from and everything else."