Australia miss out on bronze at LA Rugby Sevens

Australia have been forced to settle for fourth place at the World Rugby Sevens in Los Angeles after their brave second-half comeback in the bronze medal match fell just short.

John Manenti's side beat Ireland 31-7 on Sunday (Monday AEDT) to secure a spot in the final four before New Zealand ended their gold medal hopes with a crushing 33-17 win in the semi-finals.

That result pitted Australia against Fiji in the bronze medal match.

Fiji led 14-0 at halftime, and the game looked over when the scoreline ballooned to 21-0 with just five minutes remaining.

But Australia refused to give in, and three second-half tries meant the final scoreline read 21-19.

What ended up costing Australia the chance of taking the game into golden-point extra time was a missed sideline conversion attempt after the first try, with Maurice Longbottom's kick striking the crossbar and bouncing away.

Despite missing out on bronze, the result still lifted Australia into sixth spot in the overall standings with five of the 11 legs remaining.

The top four teams will be guaranteed a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

NZ took out the gold medal in the LA leg by beating Argentina 22-12 in the final.

The result boosted the Kiwi's points tally to 107 and left them well clear on top of the table.

Argentina (86) moved up to second spot, with South Africa (86), Fiji (84), Samoa (81) and defending series champions Australia (77) rounding out the top six.

Australia's only podium finish so far this season came in the opening event in Hong Kong when they won gold.

The next World Rugby Sevens leg will be held in Vancouver from March 3-5.