Winger Alex Cuthbert scored a memorable try for Wales to cap an exceptional individual performance - but he was left helpless as South Africa snatched second Test glory in the most dramatic fashion.
Blues stars Cuthbert, Gethin Jenkins and Josh Turnbull all started an exhilarating game in Nelspruit while hooker Matthew Rees was a second half replacement.
Tries from former Blues ace Jamie Roberts and Cuthbert put dominant Wales in early control before a penalty try and Cornal Hendricks allowed the Springboks back into the game.
Ken Owens's try extended the lead but Willie Le Roux's effort and a last minute converted penalty try gave the Boks victory.
Meanwhile, there was also a disappointing defeat for new signing Manoa Vosawai as Italy's poor run of form continued against Japan.
Italy's three-Test series in June has failed to produce an upturn in fortunes, with a 25-14 reverse against Fiji followed by a disappointing 15-0 defeat at the hands of Samoa. And the losing streak has now been extended to nine games after a 26-23 defeat in Tokyo.
However, one Blue to taste victory in international rugby over the weekend was lock Filo Paulo who started the game as Samoa defeated Fiji 18-13 in the Pacific Nations Cup clash at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
The result means both sides finish on six points in the Pacific Conference table of Pacific Nations Cup 2014. Samoa finishes top due to the fact that it beat Fiji and drew with Tonga, Fiji's six points coming from its bonus point win against Tonga and a bonus point for the narrow loss to Samoa.
Cardiff Blues travel to Myreside on Friday to take on Edinburgh Rugby in a crucial Guinness PRO12 clash, and with Wales facing Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations at BT Murrayfield on Saturday, it promises to be a weekend of non-stop rugby action at the Scottish capital. Here are some useful advice to Cardiff Blues travelling supporters.
To celebrate the opening of the newly refurbished Guinness PRO12 Pack Bar, the world famous Irish brewer will be offering supporters free pints of the black stuff ahead of Saturday's clash with Ulster.
'TACKLE' - the first-ever joint community rugby initiative between the four professional teams in Wales has been launched (today Weds 19th October) bringing an inspiring new rugby education programme to young people in Communities First areas. Partners in the project were joined by Wales' star rugby internationals Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets) and Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), for the launch at Aberdare Community School.
The Welsh Rugby Union, together with Pro Rugby Wales, has secured significantly improved insurance cover for all registered players, coaches and referees at each of its member clubs and regions at reduced costs -working with Aon, one of the world's largest insurance brokers and risk advisors.