The 14-12 United States win reversed the pool play result, where the Kiwis dominated 45-14, and is the first time the Black Ferns Sevens have lost a match since January - when they were also beaten by the Americans. A try in the last few seconds from Tim Agaba, however, sealed the 24-12 victory for the Blitzboks.
Besides Senatla, who starred throughout the two days in Dubai, Werner Kok also stood out in a team that again looked well-coached, fit and happy.
The Kiwis had remained unbeaten in pool play and through the quarter and semi- finals at the season-opening Dubai Sevens, but never really recovered from a storming South African start in the final.
Remarkably, it was just the third time in their history that the New Zealand women's sevens have been knocked out before the semifinals, having been defeated by Australia and England in quarter-finals in 2015.
It was the World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year 2016 Seabelo Senatla who showed his tactical awareness for the Blitzboks second, ripping the ball out of a ruck on the Fiji 10 metre line and slipping through the defence untouched.
"It's easy to play well in a team as good as this‚" Smith said.
A fine first half display from Shujaa saw them lead 12-7 at the interval after turning tables that saw New Zealand sprint straight from kick-off for Dylan Collier to ground the converted try. The England star dotted down in the corner and left the All Blacks Sevens trailing 0-5 at half-time.
New Zealand typically fought back after Rosko Specman was yellow carded‚ with tries through Andrew Knewstubb and captain Scott Curry to make it a nervy end to the match. "We got stuck by our own line early in the second half and that killed us".