Ireland's hopes of a first World Series 7s win were ended as they lost 21-5 to South Africa in the final in Dubai.

The first half started in disastrous fashion as Ireland conceded from their kick off, and South Africa would dot down twice more to take a 21-0 lead into the break.

In the opening seconds, South Africa took possession from the Irish kick-off and Shilton van Wyk beautifully side-stepped Seán Cribbin to race clear with Ricardo Duarttee converting.

Van Wyk showed more stunning footwork just over two minutes from the break to step through a couple of weak tackles for his second try of the final, again converted by Duarttee.

Ireland pushed hard for something to take into the second half, but a loose pass in the final play of the half was read by Siviwe Soyizwapi and nobody was catching him for South Africa’s third.

Ireland did get on the scoreboard with 3:22 left in the second half when Jack Kelly took a quick tap and dived over in the corner, Mark Roche missing the conversion.

Ireland had qualified for the final after a dramatic victory over the USA in Saturday's semi-final.

An extra-time try from Roche secured the 12-7 victory to send Ireland into their first ever Dubai final.

The game finished 7-7 in regulation with Zac Ward touching down for the Ireland try, before Roche broke from the back of the scrum in extra time to seal the victory.

Earlier, Ireland booked their place in the last four with a victory over Argentina thanks to Jordan Conroy's late try.

The women's team reached the quarter-final but failed to progress, losing their last-eight clash to the USA. Australia were crowned champions after victory over New Zealand.