South Africa captain Chad Bowes bemoaned his side's fielding after they were knocked out of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup on Tuesday.
South Africa batted first and could only post a score of 191 for eight in their semi-final, but with Australia reduced to 3-2 in response, they were every chance of claiming a victory.
A 95-run partnership between Cameron Bancroft (66) and Kurtis Patterson (49) was to follow, and although South Africa took late wickets, their opponents got home with four wickets in hand and nine balls to spare.
It could have been very different if South Africa had held onto their catches though with Patterson dropped twice – albeit tough opportunities on 28 and 37 – while a much easier chance was spilled by Theunis de Bruyn at first slip with Bancroft on just 23.
When quizzed if he thought their total was defendable, Bowes responded: "Absolutely. We saw Pakistan almost defending 130 and if we had taken our chances, we would have defended it easily.
"We can't win semi-finals with a fielding performance like that. I think if you want to win the World Cup, you have got to take those chances."
Bowes also praised Australia's bowling performance as their quicks again impressed, with Mark Steketee (3-35 off 10 overs) and Gurinder Sandhu (2-23 off 10) the pick of the bowlers.
"I don't think it was our best bowling performance today, or fielding performance," he said.
"If we had just put the ball in the right areas like the Australians did, make them play and stay patient, the wickets would have come. We just made it too easy for them.
"I think they bowled well as a unit, they bowled in partnerships and the pressure was from both ends. They kept it in the right areas and gave us nothing to score off. So they built pressure well and they didn't release it at any stage during the innings. Credit to them, they bowled well."
With 271 runs from his five matches, Bowes is the leading run-scorer at the tournament.
But he said he would have sacrificed his impressive personal form if it meant his team had gone on to win the World Cup.
"It's good to know I've got some runs under my belt but I didn't come into the tournament wanting to have that goal," Bowes said.
"The goal was to get to the final. I would take the World Cup over the most runs any day."
Bowes and his team-mates will now turn their focus to Saturday's third-place play-off against either New Zealand or India.