Glasgow: South Africa ended New Zealand`s dominance of the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens with a 17-12 victory at Ibrox Stadium on Sunday to win the gold medal.
New Zealand had not lost a Commonwealth match since the sport made its debut in 1998 and they looked to be heading for a fifth consecutive gold when Sherwin Stowers crossed in the first half.
South Africa, who beat Samoa 35-7 to reach the final, came storming back and Seabelo Senatla grabbed two quick tries either side of halftime before Cecil Afrika scored with three minutes remaining.
Joe Webber pulled a late try for New Zealand, setting up a nervous few minutes for Neil Powell`s side but the Africans held on for victory.
"It could have gone either way," New Zealand captain DJ Forbes told reporters. "They put pressure on us but we had a chance to win the game.
"But it didn`t go to plan and that`s rugby.
"We`re happy with second best, so to speak. We are part of the legacy that has gone before us - we`d never been beaten.
"As a country we have a lot of chances to win medals but as a New Zealand rugby player it is disappointing to come second."
Australia, who lost 19-7 to New Zealand in the semi-finals, beat Samoa 24-0 to win bronze.
Rugby will make its return to the Olympics in its abbreviated format in Rio in 2016.