The Springbok Sevens were edged 19-17 by Australia in their final pool match on day one of the London Sevens.
It was a disappointing finish for the Blitzboks, who broke down a 14-7 half-time deficit to fight back into a 17-14 lead in the second half. Steven Hunt was the star for South Africa as his second brace of the day surged the team ahead after the break.
However, the Aussies scored a try through skipper Ed Jenkins at the death, which clinched victory and ensured that Australia topped Pool D. This will see Paul Treu’s charges take on New Zealand in the Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, the Springbok Sevens beat Scotland 20-5 for their second win.
South Africa led 10-5 at half-time as tries from Branco du Preez and skipper Kyle Brown secured the slim advantage at the break. Colin Gregor hit back for Scotland.
The Blitzboks then sealed the win in the second stanza thanks to speedster Jamba Ulengo, who scored his second brace of the tournament.
In their opening match, the Springbok Sevens smashed Portugal 41-0.
South Africa cruised to victory as they ran in seven tries against the European minnows. Ulengo grabbed a brace in the first half while Hunt completed a double in the second stanza. Chris Dry, Cornal Hendricks and Frankie Horne also crossed the chalk during the convincing triumph.
Blitzboks’ fixtures (day one):
South Africa 41 Portugal 0
South Africa 20 Scotland 5
South Africa 17 Australia 19