We saw today that we have still got a long way to go to be competitive with the All Blacks
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers admitted that his team have 'a long way to go' before they can seriously challenge the All Blacks.
The Boks were left humbled as the world champions outscored them by four tries to one in a dominant performance at Soccer City in Soweto on Saturday which underlined the gulf between New Zealand and the rest of the world.
Although they had taken a slender lead into the half-time break, the Boks were unable to muster any points in the second half as the All Blacks turned on the class after half-time to silence the massive crowd.
De Villiers said that his team's lack of focus was particularly frustrating as the All Blacks took advantage in ruthless fashion to maintain their impressive unbeaten streak this year.
"There were a couple of soft moments, five minutes in the first half where we let in two tries and then straight after half-time another try so it was catch-up rugby from there and unfortunately against a quality side like New Zealand that is pretty difficult to do," he said.
On top of their defensive lapses the Boks' discipline also took a dive in the second half and De Villiers said that the constant stream of points had put them under immense pressure.
"We also gave away stupid penalties so that is three, six, nine and suddenly you are out of the game, so those are the small things that you learn at Test match level the more that you play and like I say hopefully we can learn from those experiences and keep on building on them," he said.
The Bok skipper admitted that although his side have shown sides of improvement this year, they are still not quite in the same class as the all-conquering All Blacks who swept all before them in the Rugby Championship.
"I think we have shown signs of potential in this team over the past couple of weeks but it is being able to put that together for 80 minutes so I think that we saw today that we have still got a long way to go to be competitive with the All Blacks but as long as we can learn from it then I think we are on the right path," he said.
De Villiers added that the only way the Boks are going to develop into a unit that can challenge New Zealand is by gaining experience at the highest level.
"The only way that our young players can gain experience is by playing and learning through their mistakes. Hopefully we can do that as a team and as individuals and hopefully next time we can give our fans a win.
"I think it was a great occasion today and it is always sad when the crowd comes out in their masses to support us and unfortunately we let them down today so we are looking forward to the end of year tour but it is sad to lose our last Test of the year at home," he said.