That is the view of Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer after his team's last-minute 21-17 loss to Fiji in their Pool C encounter at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland on Sunday.

Scores were tied at 14-14 from the 60th until the 78th minute, when Libbie Janse van Rensburg edged her team ahead with a penalty goal, only for Fiji to regain the restart and score the winning try with less than a minute to go.

“It is really hurting. We targeted this game for a win, but credit to Fiji, who refused to give up and got that final try,” said Raubenheimer.

“A victory in your very first World Cup is massive and congratulations to them. For us, there was obviously disappointment, and I don't really want to dwell on the result.

“We had opportunities, but paid the price for not forcing our game plan on Fiji. We allowed them to dictate terms and that allowed them to beat us. That is not how we hoped this tournament would go for us.”

Raubenheimer said they are still going into the England match with all guns blazing and chasing the win, despite the No 1 team in the world’s 26 match winning streak.

“We will do our medicals this evening and regroup in the morning. We still have a massive test match to play against England,” he said.

“We came here to be evaluated against the best teams in the world and England are on top of that group. So, the challenge is real. The coaching staff will have a look at them and decide on how we want to play and then pick a team accordingly. We are still in the competition, despite today's disappointing result.”

For Springbok Women captain Nolusindiso Booi, the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow: “We just made a mistake and they pounced, in fact, I made the mistake on that final kick-off and accept the blame for that.

“We did our best out there, and it is really heart-breaking to concede a match in this fashion. The players are hurting as we all had high hopes in this match.”

Booi said they allowed Fiji too much headway.

“We did not quite stick to the plan at times and allowed Fiji to run with the ball, something we wanted to stop at source,” said Booi.

“But they managed some tries and then we had to dig deep to come back and square up the score. When Libbie kicked that penalty, we just had to keep Fiji out by securing the ball, but it did not happen.”

Booi said the team will have to get themselves back up again: “We still have another opportunity to play for our country at a Rugby World Cup and even better, we have an opportunity to play against the best team in the world. We owe it to ourselves to prepare best this week and make sure we are ready next Sunday.”

Despite the result, there was joy for Zenay Jordaan, who became the most-capped Springbok Women’s player when she came on for her 35th Test cap after the break. Janse van Rensburg’s seven points from the boot saw her become the first SA women’s player to pass 100 Test points, and Mpupha extended her record as South Africa's leading Test try scorer with her 17th five-pointer.

The final Pool C match against England will again be played at Waitakere Stadium on Sunday, 23 October.