It is England's worst run since 2014 and the pressure is continuing to build after a stunning opening salvo of tries from Mike Brown, Elliot Daly and Owen Farrell was followed by a dramatic collapse, partly induced by the recurring flaw of indiscipline.
"It certainly wasn't the start we wanted in our first Test at home and I was anxious because we had a lot of young players against a very experienced England side", said Erasmus. Pollard extended South Africa's advantage with a penalty, though the fly-half's effort was sandwiched between two misses that kept England in touch.
England took off in the opening stages at Ellis Park, scoring three superb tries as they flew out to a 24-3 lead after just 18 minutes. "This game has set the series up fantastically well".
While all eyes will be on Kolisi, in the same way they were on Mandela in that World Cup final against the All Blacks, the Port Elizabeth-born loose forward says his only focus is to lead through his actions on the field and to also utilise the leadership qualities of the players around him.
It was the ideal outcome to celebrate a landmark moment in South African history after back row Siya Kolisi had become the first black captain of their Test team. "It's an enormously symbolic thing for South African rugby and shows that transformation is working". Kolisi is hoping to reflect on his historic achievement after the three-match series against England has been won.
"It's a big moment for the country to have Kolisi as captain and for him to win his first game at Ellis Park, the spiritual homeland of the Springboks", said Jones.
Although Tom Curry was troubled by minor cramp and Daly suffered a dead leg, the pulsating Johannesburg opener brought no significant injury problems. "Tactically, I got it wrong and that surprised the team", Erasmus said.
Mako Vunipola marked his 50th Test appearance with a trip to the sin bin for a late challenge on De Klerk, with the hosts quickly making the most of the extra man with a try out wide for debutant winger Aphiwe Dyantyi. "When you get front football like he was, he's a risky player".
Later, Jones attempted to play down what had happened, by joking: "I was just asking them where I could get a good bottle of Pinotage and I'm still waiting for the answer! They told me to go find it myself".
By the break, the Boks were ahead by 27-24 after a brace of tries by Sbu Nkosi, who was on debut for South Africa, as well as Willie le Roux and Faf de Klerk, both of whom were back in green and gold for the first time since 2016.