Despite the defeat though, Jones says his side can take positives heading into next weekend's second Test on Saturday.
Erasmus succeeded sacked Allister Coetzee this year after South Africa lost 12 of 25 Tests in the past two seasons and twice conceded 57 points against world champions New Zealand. England was dominant once more in the last 10 minutes and scored two late tries.
"The big thing is not getting seduced by the scoreboard", said coach Steve Hansen.
"I'm proud of the guys - they showed character and it's something we can take forward". That onslaught produced three tries and 24 points from the visitors in the first 16 minutes. Ireland has not beaten Australia down under for 39 years, but it will have another chance in the second Test in Melbourne Saturday.
England hooker Jamie George has told his team-mates to be "brutally honest" ahead of a must-win Test in South Africa Saturday if they hope to score a first Test series triumph there.
Erasmus, who acknowledged there is a formidable task ahead, paid special tribute to Kolisi's much-anticipated debut as Springboks captain, saying "well done to Siya. there were a lot of mistakes, but we came back".
At the top of their agenda will be devising a plan to nullify Faf de Klerk, South Africa's dynamo of a scrum-half who thrived off the quick ball presented by his dominant pack. It's hard to win any Test match with a penalty count like that. Jones said that was mainly down to "individual errors" and ill-discipline.
"If you saw today's performance I think you should be excited", he added.
"It certainly wasn't the start we wanted in our first Test at home and I was anxious, because we had a lot of young players against a very experienced England side", said Erasmus.
It briefly appeared as if the emotion of the day might have overcome the home side but, with England starting to feel the effects of playing at altitude, the contest was transformed.
South Africa's Kolisi called it a "beautiful game".
"At times during the first 20 minutes we were brilliant and maybe we got seduced by the game", Jones said.
"We had mambas, we had cobras, we had long green ones, long black-and-white ones... a snake's a snake to me! We knew what we were doing wrong, we just had to pick the tempo up and we did that and it worked in our favour".
"All three venues are where I played and coached, but being here in Bloemfontein, where I learnt my rugby and where I made my debut here, is nice".