Australia's Alex Gibbon is tackled during the Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand.

Australia's Alex Gibbon is tackled during the Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand. Photo: Getty Images

Australia have finished fourth at the Hong Kong Sevens in a lacklustre end on Sunday to what was shaping as a promising campaign.

After topping their pool on Saturday with three straight wins - including a 10-7 upset of series leaders South Africa - Paul Asquith's converted try after the full-time siren of their quarter-final edged out a spirited Canada 14-12.

It meant Australia qualified for their first semi-final of the world series since the home tournament on the Gold Coast last October.

But they were outgunned by New Zealand 19-7, the physical Kiwis bullying the Australians off the ball in a comprehensive victory.

Asquith got Australia off to a good start against Fiji in the third-fourth playoff, crossing for a try after just 63 seconds.

But the Fijians, who lost to England in their semi-final, scored the next 21 points before Peter Schuster scored Australia's second try with the last play of the game.

The 21-12 loss leaves Australia in fifth place on the series standings after seven rounds with tournaments remaining in Glasgow and London in May.

New Zealand thrashed England 26-7 in the final to overtake South Africa at the top of the table.

AAP