Having lost their opening group match 23-3 to Spain, the SA side bounced back to draw 8-8 with rivals New Zealand in their second encounter.
Playing European stars Hungary in their final clash was never going to be an easy task - and so it proved - with the Hungarians running out 23-5 winners.
The results were good enough to see SA finish third in Group C, ahead of New Zealand on goal difference (-38 v -42).
As a result, the SA side entered the knockout phase where they met Germany.
The Germans however proved far too strong for their South African opponents, winning 25-5.
The four eight-minute quarter scores read: 5-2, 6-0, 9-1 and 5-2.
Germany will now go on to face Croatia in the quarter-finals, while South Africa drop into the bracket contesting 9th-12th positions where they will face the USA on Tuesday, July 23 at 04:00 SA time.
The winner / loser of that match with face the loser / winner of the match between Montenegro and Japan.
South Africa can do no worse than match their best ever previous result at a world championship (12th in 2015).
At the last world championships in 2017, the SA men's side finished 16th - and last - in the tournament, scoring 21 goals in five matches and conceding a whopping 77.