The Springbok Sevens side suffered another Cup quarterfinal exit against Fiji for the third consecutive time this season.
The Blitzboks had another strong start to a tournament with convincing wins against Niue and World Cup champions Wales.
However, this was followed by a defeat against New Zealand, which set up a tough Cup quarterfinal fixture against their bogey team Fiji.
This was the third time the teams met in the quarterfinal stage this season, and it proved to be the third time the Boks would produce a poor showing against the Pacific Islanders.
The Boks were beaten 21-5 by a more physical, stronger Fijian outfit after a lackluster display in the second half.
The World Series defending champions were still within reach at half-time with a 7-0 deficit, but Fiji ran through for another two converted tries to eliminate the Boks to the Plate section. Branco du Preez scored a consolation try for South Africa.
In the Plate semi-final, the Blitzboks put in a better performance with a 29-5 win against Canada.
Franki Horne grabbed a brace while Mpho Mbiyozo, Kyle Brown and Ryno Benjamin also crossed the chalk to surge into the Plate final against Australia.
The Boks then somehow blew a 17-0 lead to end a disappointing sixth after losing 26-22 to the Aussies.
The Boks raced into an early buffer through tries from Chase Minnaar, Mzwandile Stick, and Ryno Benjamin, but Australia pulled one back through James Stannard on the half-time hooter.
When Bernard Foley scored straight after the break, the Boks led by just three. The Boks’ poor defence, for the umpteenth time this season, allowed the Australians back into it, and is the main reason why they’ve had such a poor start to the series.
Kimani Situati claimed the third, again an embarrassing effort in the tackle from the Boks. Stick claimed one back to to give the Boks a brief lead, but Clinton Sills earned the winner, thanks again to woeful defence.
In other results, Samoa shocked World Series log leaders New Zealand with a 24-12 victory in the Cup semi-final. The Samoans couldn’t repeat the upset in the final as Fiji took the title with a thrilling 19-14 victory.
Springbok Sevens results, Day 2:
Cup Quarterfinal 4: Fiji 21 South Africa 5
Plate semi-final 1: Canada 5 South Africa 29
Plate final: Australia 26 South Africa 22
By Gareth Duncan