Cape Town - Rassie Erasmus breathed a sigh of relief and confirmed that his 2019 Springbok squad continued on a trajectory of progress following a 24-18 victory over Argentina at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.
Sbu Nkosi scored both the Boks' tries, while Elton Jantjies kicked five from six as he contributed a conversion and four penalty goals.
Erasmus, the director of rugby at SA Rugby, admitted that the result was a case of winning ugly, but that the game had gone pretty much to expectations.
"All week, I knew it was going to be a grind and that it wasn't going to be a free-flowing game," he said.
"Argentina could have beaten New Zealand this season with that maul at the end, and they lost to Australia by six and they could have won that game as well, and I knew they were going to come for us.
"They were very well prepared and played so well and if they had won I would have been sitting here saying they deserved to win. I wouldn't have moaned if they had - they played really well.
"But it's nice to learn when you're winning. We had some things confirmed and learnt other things about combinations.
"We did some good things and some bad things. The bad things were giving away stupid penalties and the intercept pass - not that it was Cobus Reinach's or one person's fault - and letting them off the hook at times.
"But we ground it out and I was pleased with the last 15 minutes and the way we finished."