The coach of the All Blacks Sevens, Sir Gordon Tietjens, says losing 14-7 to South Africa in Las Vegas "wasn't too bad."
New Zealand were beaten in the cup quarterfinals of the World Series event by the Blitzboks who'll play in Monday's semi-finals with Australia, Fiji and the USA.
Sir Gordon said his team improved against South Africa following a heavy defeat by Kenya in pool play.
"Had we not made a couple of silly errors we might have been right in it," he said.
"I think we were a little bit hesitant at times, but give some credit to the opposition, I think they played particularly well."
New Zealand failed to score against Kenya on Sunday, going down 22-0 following two easy wins in pool play over Portugal and Russia on Saturday.
"The Kenyan game was probably our worst all season. We missed a lot of tackles and certainly were indecisive," said Tietjens.
"When you're falling off tackles all the other parts of your game collapse also."
The All Blacks Sevens will play Argentina in the second tier plate semi-finals on Monday.
Their star player, Sonny Bill Williams, will be sent home after the Las Vegas event due to a minor knee injury.
He won't feature in next weekend's round of the sevens World Series in Canada.