The last ditch effort by Jeffrey Oluoch failed to spur Shujaa as their run ended in Sydney, which was a considerable improvement after they had finished 13th in Cape Town in December.
The Australian teams entered both finals as underdogs but swept aside their opponents to emphatically win their respective titles.
That said, they're on a very tough side of the finals draw, which is shown clearly by the strength of their opponent in New Zealand as their first matchup.
World Series champion South Africa, host Australia and Argentina also topped their pools in the men's competition.
Earlier, error-prone New Zealand were stymied 24-12 by Australia in the quarter-finals of the men's event. Another tournament favorite, Fiji, also bowed out in the quarterfinals, losing 24-7 to the United States.
While proud of the side's ability to scrap and claw, Friend warned they needed to sharpen their decision making against the current World Series leaders. "We only conceded two tries all day‚ but then five in the final‚" he said.
"We developed and we grew".More news: Against Solar Industry, Trump Issues Steep Tariffs on Imported Solar Panels
"The boys backed up from game one to game six and we developed and we grew", Australian captain Lewis Holland said. South Africa beat England 33-12 in its final match Saturday to finish atop Pool C while Argentina topped Pool B with narrow wins over Kenya, 7-5, Wales, 28-21, and France, 19-12.
The Black Ferns Sevens have failed to fire in Sunday's Sydney Sevens final, limply falling 31-0 to Australia.
"Playing New Zealand is not always easy", the soft spoken Cakaudrove native said. "We had a couple of chances in the first half‚ but we were not clinical enough".
South Africa retain the series lead ahead of New Zealand, with Australia now in third place.
A yellow card for Tyla Nathan-Wong early in the second half didn't help New Zealand's cause. Australia's intense defence didn't relent on New Zealand though, who continually coughed up possession with Emma Sykes dotting down for a try of her own next to the posts to wrap up the scoring.
"Our coach Tim Walsh wanted a better defensive effort in this tournament as it was not up to par past year, so we have worked really hard on it and we finished without conceding a try which is awesome".
"It's a great way to start 2018 and we're looking forward to the Commonwealth Games and then the World Cup in San Francisco".