The Springboks remain committed to their narrow gameplan, in the wake of Saturday's dramatic 19-17 loss to the All Blacks.
South Africa came desperately close to their first victory in three years against their old foes, before Jordie Barrett's long-range penalty in the 78th minute.
It was cruel on the world champions, who were much improved on their recent efforts against Australia and rattled the All Blacks for long periods with their intense physicality.
But they also lacked ambition, resorting to endless kicking, even after hard-won turnovers or when they appeared to be on the front foot.
It meant the initiative was constantly handed back to New Zealand, allowing them to stay in the fight, even though the All Blacks' execution and ball handling was well below par.
There is nothing wrong with playing to your strengths – and the Springboks' ones are well known – but they seemed unwilling to seize the moment, which meant they couldn't turn pressure into points.
However, Boks coach Jacques Nienaber backed their strategy.
"It was a proper test match, in terms of when No 1 and No 2 in the world play against each other," said Nienaber. "There are small margins, obviously we have our DNA, they have their DNA and that's the thing. Rugby will be unbelievably boring if everybody plays the same tactics."
"I thought the game plan worked. We had opportunities, they had opportunities. It probably came down to the wire. A call here, a bounce of the ball there. Sometimes it goes for you and sometimes against you."
The rigidity of their approach was shown in the phase following Barrett's successful penalty. Down on the scoreboard and with less than two minutes to play, replacement halfback Herschel Jantjies opted for a box kick, with South Africa 40 metres from their own line, instantly ceding possession.
Asked if they needed to consider changing tactics late in the match, Nienaber was succinct.
"I don't think so".
Captain Siya Kolisi was more expansive, but with the same theme.
"We were on the field in the 77th minute and the message, from the players, not from upstairs, was stick to the game plan, that's how we know how to play and it has always worked for us. We were never going to change anything," said Kolisi. "It has been working the whole day why change it at the end?"
Both teams were frustrated with a whistle-happy display from referee Luke Pearce, who was extremely pedantic, but Nienaber admitted the concession of 16 penalties and another yellow card was a concern.
"Obviously we will have to look at our discipline," said Nienaber. "We conceded double the amount of offside penalties currently in this competition and we will have to have look at that."
The Springboks will be proud of their effort, but rue this match as one that got away, particularly galling given the historical occasion.