Rhiannon Byers and her Australian Sevens team-mates had to settle for silver at the HSBC USA Sevens after falling to the hosts USA in the Cup Final, after cutting a swathe through Russia and France earlier in the day.
The Aussies were starved of possession in the decider, forced to defend for the majority of the second half as the USA laid on four tries to one to claim the first tournament of the new Sevens Series season in emphatic fashion.
Earlier in the day, the Australians dominated their Cup quarter final and semi final opponents, scoring 78 unanswered points across both matches.
Emma Tonegato and Cassie Staples each scored doubles in the 38-0 rout of Russia in the quarter final, while Tonegato added another brace alongside a rampant Ellia Green in the 40-0 semi-final demolition of France.
The stage was set for an explosive final after host nation USA bundled out defending World Champions New Zealand in the other semi final clash.
Alev Kelter scored early in the final to put the hosts' ahead. Ellia Green darted across the line to level up, but on the stroke of half time the Americans stole the advantage when Ilona Maher reached out at full stretch.
The second half was then all USA. The Aussies were made to get through a mountain of defensive work and were unable to stem the flow as Nicole Heavirland powered over for two more five-pointers to run out 26-7 victors.
"We worked hard to put ourselves into the final, we've come some way but have a heap more to go," head coach John Manenti said.
"I thought we showed courage, but lack of possession hurt us."
"Keeping Russia and France scoreless, earlier in the day, was a positive that we can draw from as well as the performances of Charlotte Caslick, Vani Pelite and Emma Tonegato who I thought were world class."
The series will take a two-month hiatus now before the second event in Dubai from December 5-7.