The result means the team will miss out on the grand finale in Madrid at the end of May. Instead, the South Africans, joined by three other teams, will play in a promotion/relegation event with four sides from World Rugby's Challenger Series, where a top four finish will secure HSBC SVNS participation in the 2025 season.

Renfred Dazel (head coach) said the focus for the remainder of the season will shift towards an aligned squad that will playing for survival in Spain and that the last regular stop on tour, in Singapore (3-5 May), will be used to build towards that goal.

“Our objective at the beginning of the season was to retain core status and nothing has changed,” said Dazel.

“We had some close calls here in Hong Kong and it was individual errors that cost us, which was frustrating and disappointing, but at least we put ourselves in positions where we could win games.”

Earlier on Sunday, as was the case in Saturday’s 15-14 defeat to Great Britain, the Bok Women’s Sevens team had possession in an attacking position in the final play of the match, but spilled the opportunity.

It was one of a few examples during a tough weekend for the SA Women, who showed good resilience and defence in all five of their matches, but also a drop in concentration and handling skills when under pressure.

Dazel said: “Victory in the games against Great Britain and Spain would have made a massive difference in our mindset and current mood. It was so close, but not to be for us this weekend.

“Individual intervention will be needed for a number of players guilty of errors, but the plus is that our systems worked. We will work with those players to be better in those situations, but the pleasing part is that we created the opportunities.

“From a squad perspective, we will be looking at ways to get the confidence back after the disappointment of the weekend, so it will be a nice challenge for the coaches in the next couple of weeks.”

Dazel confirmed the return of playmaker Libbie Janse van Rensburg to the squad after successful rehabilitation of a groin injury sustained in Dubai in the opening tournament of the season.

"Libbie is progressing well and will hopefully be considered for Singapore, but definitely for Madrid, which is great," Dazel said.

Against Spain, a slow start again dogged the Bok Women, who were down 10-0 at the break after allowing Spain to round them twice.

Another try extended Spain’s the lead before a Nadine Roos try – again a classic solo effort – instigated the fight back.

Ayanda Malinga scored in the final minute but with space available and on attack, failed to hold onto a pass and the opportunity of ending the tournament on a winning note was gone.


South Africa 14 (0) – Tries: Nadine Roos, Ayanda Malinga. Conversions: Roos (2)

Spain 17 (10) – Tries: Lide Erbina, Paula Requena, Olivia Fresneda. Conversion: Juana Stella.