We struggled to adapt at the breakdown
South Africa paid a dear price for their 30-17 win over a spiteful Scotland in Nelspruit on Saturday.
The Springboks and Samoa will contest the Final of the four-nations tournament in Pretoria next Saturday.
SA had to come back from a 6-17 deficit in the second half of their clash against the Scots.
Samoa advanced to the Final when they outplayed a hapless Italy, easily beating the Azzurri 39-10 in the earlier match in Nelspruit.
But the Boks' win came at a cost. They lost loose forward Arno Botha inside the first five minutes of the match with a knee injury - which did not help their cause.
The flipside saw a Bok debut for Siya Kolisi.
"We have lost Arno [Botha] for at least eight weeks," Bok coach Heyneke Meyer said.
The coach described the young loose forward's loss as "a pity", but was full of praise for Kolisi.
"Siya really took his changes well," Meyer said.
The coach admitted that they did not play well at the breakdowns.
"We were tested out there, this was a proper test match," he said.
"We struggled to adapt at the breakdown, but I thought we showed great character to come back and win the test match. All credit to Scotland who played very well."
Captain Jean de Villiers also felt the importance of team work was instrumental in their win.
"Everyone trusted the guy next to him and that guy did what he was supposed to do," De Villiers said.
"One cannot ask for more than that as a captain. The young guys in the team showed a lot of maturity when needed."
"I am happy with the result but not the performance," De Villiers added.
"But let us give credit to Scotland for slowing the ball at the breakdown.
"We showed good character to eventually get our act together and win easily in the end, but are going to have to up the ante to defeat the Samoans next weekend."
The Scots face Italy in Pretoria next Saturday in the third-place play-off and scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw, elevated to captain after flank Kelly Brown sustained a tour-ending injury against Samoa last weekend, said he was "very proud" of the showing.
"The positives include the new caps sticking their hands up with good displays, and our pre-match plan to slow South African ball down at the collisions worked well."