The Springbok Sevens lost 21-14 to the English, who won their first tournament title in two years.
With only two more tournaments remaining in the Series, in Glasgow and London in May, the South Africans are still leading the race for Olympic qualification. They have 129 points from seven rounds and are followed closely by Fiji (125), New Zealand (120) and England (110).
The top four teams on the World Series standings at the end of the season will qualify automatically for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
In the Cup final Charlie Hayter and Justin Geduld traded tries to level the halftime score at 7-7. England captain, Tom Mitchell, and teammate Phil Burgess added two more tries to give the English a strong 21-7 lead.
Although Cecil Afrika crossed over to cut the deficit to 21-14, England held on for the victory.
Earlier on Sunday, South Africa defeated Scotland 22-0 in the quarter-finals thanks to tries by Afrika, Geduld, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith. Afrika became the first South African to score more than 1000 points in Sevens rugby when he scored his team’s first try.
The industrious Smith dotted down and Afrika added the crucial conversion to clinch a morale boosting 7-5 win for South Africa over Fiji in the semis. Last weekend Fiji beat the Springboks at the same stage on their way to lifting the Cup in Hong Kong.
All the teams will now enjoy a month-long break before competing in the final two rounds of the competition in Glasgow and London in May.
Kyle Brown, the SA skipper said afterwards: “The boys tried their best but it was not our night. Congratulations to England for a good win. They scored when it mattered and defended very well when we were threatening.
“The two tournaments in the Far East are always very tough but we gave it a real good go. Now we must regroup and prepare for the last two rounds in the UK.”
Original source: SA extend lead despite final defeat