South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer apologised for the third time in three months after his side gave up the lead to the All Blacks in the World Cup semi-final.
Meyer was disappointed that the Springboks failed to take advantage of a 12-7 midpoint lead and a one-man advantage to get a place in the final.
"We should have capitalised on it," he said.
"I want to thank all the people for their support, I am really sorry we let them down today," he added after the 20-18 defeat at a rain-sodden Twickenham.
Meyer made a public apology in August when the Springboks lost at home to Argentina for the first time.
He apologised to the nation at the start of the World Cup when the South Africans lost their first match to Japan 34-32 - the biggest shock in the tournament's history.
"Only a win is good enough for South Africa," said Meyer after his team was relegated into the playoff for third. "I don't believe in loser talk."
When asked how he would aproach the bronze medal final, the coach confessed that it's mentally very tough because it doesn't mean anything.
"It's like kissing your sister."
Meyer said his team's inability to adapt to the rainy conditions in the second half cost them dearly.
"I thought we had a perfect first half - we executed well, our discipline was great and we built scoreboard pressure," said Meyer.
"But I don't think we adapted well to the rainy conditions in the second half, while they did and kept us pinned back in our own half.
"We made some mistakes and in the end that was the difference between winning and losing. Credit to the All Blacks, they are a classy team and kept us out when it mattered most.
"However, I am still proud of this team. After we lost to Japan in the opening round, very few people gave us any chance to come this far.
Captain Fourie du Preez was left heartbroken by the narrow score.
"Just two points. But credit to both teams," he said. "They kept the pressure on us. We struggled to get out of our own half."
Springbok great Schalk Burger was also disconsolate. "We created opportunities today, unfortunately for us we came up two points short," he said. "I've seen this movie before and it's bloody horrible."