The New Zealand cricket captain Kane Williamson admits a bad first day left them with little chance in the second and final test against South Africa at Centurion.
The Proteas wrapped up the match and the series after a 204-run victory on the fourth day.
Dale Steyn took 5 wickets as the Black Caps were bowled out for 195 chasing 400.
Williamson says it was a good toss to lose and unfortunately he won it.
"A lot of the information we got was that the wicket was soft the wicket was green. There was enough in the wicket I believe to have restricted them to a below par total but they played nicely and the 450 first innings total was certainly the winning of the match I believe.
"To lose by 200 runs is never nice and it's a shame to lose the series."
The skipper also says their short-ball strategy on the first day was one of the reasons South Africa scored quickly and he conceded that was a strategic error.
Set an unlikely target of 400 to win the match, New Zealand were bowled out for 195 with a day to spare as South Africa kept in tact their record of never losing a series against the Black Caps.
Steyn, who missed most of South Africa's series against England with a shoulder injury, put South Africa on the path to victory with three wickets in 10 balls at the start of the visitors' innings as their top four batsmen were dismissed in the hour before lunch having made just five runs between them.
But New Zealand dug in during the second session with the loss of just one more wicket before tea.
Henry Nicholls made a test-best score of 76 before becoming the last wicket to fall and Steyn's fifth victim.
Steyn, who finished with figures of 5-33, removed both openers in his first over. Tom Latham was bowled by the first ball of the visitors' second innings, leaving a delivery too close to his stumps, and Martin Guptill fell to the sixth, edging to Hashim Amla at slip.
The fast bowler trapped Ross Taylor lbw with a wicked delivery in his second over which stayed alarmingly low and hit the batsman on the ankle.
Captain Williamson, who top-scored for New Zealand in their first innings of 214, was caught by a superb dive from wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock off Vernon Philander in the fourth over.
Nicholls and BJ Watling shared a 68-run partnership before spinner Dane Piedt had Watling trapped leg before for 32.
After tea, Steyn clean bowled Mitchell Santner (16) and Philander trapped Doug Bracewell lbw for 30. Tim Southee and Neil Wagner were dismissed by Kagiso Rabada before Steyn wrapped up victory for the hosts.
South Africa declared their second innings after the first hour's play on Tuesday on 132 for seven, setting New Zealand a record-breaking target on a pitch with uneven bounce and widening cracks that was proving increasingly treacherous for batsmen.
The first test in Durban ended in a waterlogged draw.