The Wales coach was forced to watch his side sandwich an error-strewn, poor performance between a strong start and a grandstand finish,
Wales raced to a 16-3 lead over a weakened Springboks side at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday, only to see their lead eroded to 16-14 at half time.
A poor lineout teamed with defensive errors and missed tackles saw South Africa run out 34-31 winners, despite Wales' now famous Lazarus-style comeback in the last 10 minutes.
A frustrated Warren Gatland said: "Ill-discipline let them back in and we gave them the game on a plate."
And what a tasty dish it was too.
I kind of wish I had used my Formula 1 viewing technique for this match as it would have made it much more enjoyable:
Watch the start and the first few laps (generally quite exciting as the potential of someone rear-ending Lewis Hamilton is quite high), doze off through the middle of the race and then wake up to see final lap.
All the action, none of the boredom and a refreshing nap thrown in for good measure.
Still, at least Gatland is staying positive ahead of his team's two test match trip to his native New Zealand this month.
He said: "We played the world champions today. Guys who played in the Super 14 final last week, and the Stormers and the Bulls are two of the best teams in the world.
"The thing from today is you feel like you are not too far away and you are not turning up thinking we hope to have a good day and they have a bad day and we can cause an upset.
"We know if we are more clinical we are capable of beating anyone. Today was an opportunity we didn't take."
Quite true. But if Wales don't sort out their basic game and set piece, Richie McCaw and chums will take the plate containing Gatland's sh*t sandwich and hand it back to him with his arse on it.