South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus says they have to work on their discipline after losing their opening match to New Zealand but believes they can still win the World Cup.

The Springboks went down 23-13 to the reigning world champions, but should still get out of Pool B with games against Canada, Namibia and Italy still to come.

South Africa started strongly against their old foes but were punished by New Zealand’s superb counter-attack while their discipline also let them down.

Erasmus admitted his side deserved to lose, before insisting the Springboks can still go on and swipe the Webb Ellis Cup.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus

“I think they won it, I don’t think we lost it,” admitted Erasmus after the game.

“If we concede I think 11 penalties to two you are going to struggle to beat New Zealand. I think discipline was our biggest downfall.

“All credit to New Zealand when they had one opportunity to pounce they pounced. That shows a world-class team and we struggled to handle that.”

Asked if South Africa can still win the World Cup, he added: “Yes I think we can fight back, in the game we fought back.

Ardie Savea shares a prayer with Cheslin Kolbe after the match Ardie Savea shares a prayer with Cheslin Kolbe after the match Ardie Savea shares a prayer with Cheslin Kolbe after the match

“At half-time we were 17-3 down, and I’ve seen South Africa leak 50 points when we’re doing that much.

“So to be back to 17-13 and in their 22 close to scoring a try, there were stages where we really fought back well.