Boks got out of jail, says Jones, on Test defeat
Eddie Jones insists South Africa used their "get out of jail card" at Ellis Park as England returned to their coastal base to lick their wounds.
A fourth successive Test defeat was registered as the Springboks fought back from a 21-point deficit surrendered inside the first quarter to prevail 42-39 in a mesmerising opening instalment of the series.
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.
Jones, who was verbally abused by South Africa fans in the tunnel after the match, believes the Springboks had ridden their luck as his team dropped to fifth in the global rugby rankings.
"South Africa have used a get out of jail card and sometimes you don't get that again," Jones said.
"They know they were in one hell of a game, they got home and did well to get home and deserved the victory.
"They'll take confidence from the result, but we'll take confidence from this game as well. Not at all will it be hard to pick the players up.
"The way we played in the first 20 minutes is the way we want to play all the time. This game has set the series up fantastically well."
England at least emerged from a pulsating Johannesburg opener without any significant injury concerns with Tom Curry and Elliot Daly and suffering minor cramp and a dead leg respectively.