Scotland could not hit the heights of the previous round and lost to South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup Sevens event at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The Scots had made it to the last eight with a stunning 31-26 turnaround over Kenya on day one, but on day two South Africa showed just why they won the World Series circuit in the season just gone.
Head coach John Dalziel gave starts to Jack Cuthbert and Max McFarland after they impressed off the bench versus the Kenyans, but the South Africans got off to a quick start.
A Werner Kok double and one try for Justin Geduld - along with one conversion from Selvyn Davids - made it 17-0 at the break.
After the interval, Geduld scored a second try before Shakes Soyizwapi and Ruhan Nel also crossed the whitewash. Geduld and Davids added conversions.
Alec Coombes collecting Harvey Elms’ cross-field kick to race down the line and finish in the corner for a consolation score from Scotland.
Despite the defeat, Scotland can still equal the best ever finish by a Scottish team at a World Cup as they battle out for fifth place on the third and final day at AT&T Park.
They will face the hosts USA in their penultimate game at the tournament at 7.56pm UK time this evening in the battle for fifth-eighth spots. Argentina and France are also playing for these placings.
Dalziel said: “The boys stuck to their task and they’re learning every time they take the field. Today was about how to deal with pressure and this young group will take valuable lessons and move forward.
“We’re disappointed, but we still have a chance to equal the best ever finish by a Scotland team at a Sevens World Cup so there is lots to play for.
“Playing against the USA at their home World Cup is going to be a huge challenge, but our young players should really savour the atmosphere.”
Scotland team v South Africa: Scott Riddell, Jamie Farndale, Jack Cuthbert, Robbie Fergusson, Gavin Lowe, Harvey Elms, Max McFarland. Subs all used: Nyle Godsmark, Jo Nayacavou, Alec Coombes, Craig Jackson, Sam Pecqueur.
Scotland scorers: Try: Coombes.