Australia started finals day at the Singapore Sevens with a bang but faded to finish fourth as Canada stormed to their first-ever title win.
After topping their pool with three straight victories, Australia recorded their biggest win of the world series season on Sunday with a stunning 19-17 triumph over South Africa in the quarter-finals.
However, they failed to back up that victory over the series leaders when they were hammered by the United States 40-7 in the semi-finals and then pipped 14-12 by England in the bronze medal match.
It was a honourable tournament result for Australia after senior players Ed Jenkins and James Stannard were forced out with injury on Saturday and capped a solid fortnight following their third-place finish in Hong Kong.
Lachie Anderson’s try with 20 seconds remaining against South Africa and John Porch’s conversion secured Australia’s two-point win, breaking the Blitzbokke’s run of appearing in seven straight finals this season.
Against the US, Australia – aiming to qualify for their first final of the world series this season – missed a whopping 17 tackles in the six-tries-to-one defeat.
Australia opened the scoring with a clever Porch try in the second minute before the US completely dominated proceedings, enjoying a glut of possession helped by skilful execution at the restarts.
In the tournament decider, Canada broke through for their first title triumph with a 26-19 win over the US.
The US earlier upset Fiji, who claimed the Hong Kong Sevens title last weekend, in a 24-19 quarter-final triumph while Canada accounted for England 17-5 in the semi-finals.
Australia remain in sixth spot in the series standings on 94 points, with a chance to reel in fourth-placed New Zealand (110) and the US (101) with two rounds remaining.
The next tournament will be held in Paris on May 13-14 followed by the series finale in London the following weekend.