The Black Ferns Sevens have taken out the final leg of the IRB World Series in Paris, but that wasn't enough to overhaul archrivals Australia for overall honours.
The NZ women overwhelmed the Aussies 33-7 in the tournament final - their third series title since shocking their rivals for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games gold in April.
But their slow start to the international season - they finished only fifth in the opening round at Dubai - put them on the back foot early and they were never able to make up enough points to catch Australia, who finished two points ahead on the table.
New Zealand dominated the Paris final, leading 26-0 at halftime, with Michaela Blyde and Portia Woodman scoring two tries each.
"I'm so happy with how we've gone in this tournament," said captain Sarah Goss, who was named Player of the Final.
"It was amazing, especially heading into the World Cup, to keep building momentum.
"We were a little bit disappointed that we couldn't win the series, but I'm really proud of how the girls have finished off the series.
"We'll be going home and working on our preparations for the World Cup in San Francisco, because it's going to be a big one."
The Sevens World Cup is scheduled for July 20-22. New Zealand won the last women's title in 2013.
Meanwhile, the NZ men have secured third in their IRB World Series contest with a third-place finish at Paris.
The All Blacks Sevens overwhelmed United States 33-7 in their quarter-final, fell to South Africa 24-12 in the semis, but rebounded to head Canada 38-5 in the third-place playoff.
The world series standings were tipped on their head when leaders Fiji lost to England in the quarter-finals and eventually finished fifth.
South Africa went on to beat England 24-14 in the final, enough to sneak past the Fijians for the overall title.