Scotland head coach, Gregor Townsend, hailed the outstanding effort from his players after they came within a whisker of beating South Africa at BT Murrayfield.
The Springboks edged out Scotland for a sixth straight game with a 26-20 victory after a thrilling first half saw both sides run in two tries each.
Jesse Kriel and Handre Pollard both crossed the whitewash for the visitors, but Scotland pegged them back with scores from Peter Horne and Hamish Watson.
Further penalties were traded after the break but South Africa held on to claim victory and Townsend admitted his side’s performance deserved more.
“I’m disappointed for the team, a lot of effort went into that performance and there were some great moments that got us back into the game,” he said.
“There were some moments in the second half when we could have, or should have, kicked on but the effort the players put in was outstanding.
“We’re a team that’s learning every time we come together and it’s painful losing but we’ll learn and be a better team for it.”
Scotland had their chances to put points on the board in the second half, but instead of going for the posts the home side went for touch and were unable to convert.
Penalties proved costly
But when asked whether his players should have taken their penalty chances, Townsend said they were brave to go for the try and praised South Africa for their defensive display.
“It’s the players’ decision and they stood up and made that decision – there was bravery in that, but credit to South Africa for defending them all,” he said.
“There are moments in the game that go your way or don’t go your way and you just have to keep looking for the right moment that can help you win the game.”
Hogg forced off with injury
Stuart Hogg was influential for Scotland in attack, but he was forced off through injury just past the hour mark – not that Townsend believes he would have been able to make a difference.
“Towards the end of the game we didn’t have that much possession, Stuart [Hogg] was excellent but South Africa had a lot of the possession at that stage and they were tough to get the ball off.”
Scotland captain Greg Laidlaw admitted that he might live to regret his kicking decisions in the match but put the calls down to bravery.
He said: “It’s quite frustrating. We couldn’t really generate the speed of ball in the second half, but you have to credit South Africa and the way they defended.”
Asked if he regretted not taking a kick at goal, rather than going for touch, with 20 minutes left, Laidlaw said: “Potentially, yes, but you have got to be brave to win Test matches. We had enough opportunities to put points on the board off the back of that. We just needed to execute.
“They went and scored again anyway so we’d have probably needed to score again ourselves. “We are disappointed, but we need to look at ourselves and make sure we generate quick ball.”