South Africa have paid the price for their 13-5 win over Samoa, with kicking ace Frans Steyn ruled out of the Rugby World Cup.
Steyn suffered a shoulder injury in the bruising encounter in Auckland and will travel back to South Africa to undergo surgery.
The 24-year-old, who plays his club rugby in France with Racing Metro, had made a fine start to the tournament, scoring tries in each of South Africa's first three matches.
"I am bitterly disappointed," said Steyn, who won the World Cup with the Springboks in 2007.
"I don't know how the injury happened - it was at a ruck when I was cleaning someone out late in the game.
"I was enjoying our campaign and the tournament and to have it ended like this is very disappointing.
"I'd just like to wish the squad all the best for the rest of the tournament."
Full-back Zane Kirchner has been called up as Steyn's replacement.
The 27-year-old, who made his South Africa debut against the British and Irish Lions in 2009, has 14 caps and last played for his country in the victory over England last year.
There have also been minor 'battle scars' to wingers Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen, who were on the end of some thumping tackles from a passionate Samoan outfit at North Harbour Stadium on Friday.
De Villiers was left scratching his head for a way to ensure his side - who are likely to face fellow rivals Australia in the quarter-finals - will have enough experience and depth in the backline to challenge the Tri Nations titleholders.
"I don't know what's wrong with us. When we get an injury in one position we get it in one position. We had a lock, and suddenly we lost three wings in one game," he said.
"When lady luck turns her back on us, she turns it properly on us."
Captain Victor Matfield said the injuries were just a part of what was a 'physical game'.
"It's hard to say. It was a physical game. All the top teams are very physical," he said.
"We might need to recover a few days longer than some of the other teams."
Matfield was also proud of his side's decision not to overly involve themselves in the frequent moments of tension that erupted throughout the match.
"We want to focus on the ball in games and show we are disciplined. I'm proud of the boys not to get too involved in all that crap," he said.