Australia has finished sixth in the Paris Sevens, after a 17-7 loss to South Africa on Monday morning.
After being well beaten by the Blitzbokke in the pool stages, Australia was keen to reverse the result in the final, coming into the match with a markedly improved energy.
A more energetic approach wasn’t enough for Australia as an undermanned South Africa took control of proceedings early, finishing with three tries to one for the game.
Dylan Sage struck first for South Africa in the second minute, before Boyd Killingworth struck back for Australia, with James Stannard’s conversion putting Australia in front.
Killingworth’s try was Australia’s sole five-pointer of the night, though they put pressure on South Africa throughout the match.
Kyle Brown made the most of a tap just shy of half-time to put the Blitzbokke in front again, giving his side a five-point lead at the break..
Rosco Specman made it two in a row, with a third South African try just after half-time to make the lead 10 points.
Australia’s execution cost them late in the match, unable to convert a period of sustained pressure into points.
Some pushed passes cost the Aussies some of those opportunities, with the clock ultimately beating the Aussies.
That result concluded a relatively bizarre tournament for the two sides, with South Africa knocking New Zealand out of the tournament earlier in the day.
Samoa and Fiji will play off for the Cup title, while host nation France shocked many by reaching the third-place playoff in front of a supportive home crowd.
The sixth place finish is their second Plate finish in as many tournaments, coming after four consecutive Cup semi-finals.
Australia now heads to London for the final leg of the World Series, sitting fourth in the overall tournament standings.
(Tries: Killingworth Cons:Stannard)
South Africa 17
(Tries: Sage, Brown, Specman Cons: Afrika Pens: