The fate of the Welsh side then hinged on their final pool match against South Africa, but in the event the Springboks, who have bought into the World Sevens Series in a big way, were too strong and too experienced for the young Wales team in running up a 31-0 scoreline.
"South Africa are a very good side. They have pace, they have a great work ethic and their skills are spot on," said Wales Sevens Coach Gareth Baber. "Yet we were disappointed with our performance against South Africa especially after getting back on the road with a big win over Taipei.
"We worked hard and played with great passion but that's not enough. You also need more than a little nous for the sevens game. It was difficult for our boys coming back into the circuit after sitting out the last two rounds but they've done well in what is an electric atmosphere at Hong Kong."
Cup quarter-finals: Fiji v Scotland, England v New Zealand, Samoa v Australia, Tonga v South Africa
Plate quarter-finals: USA v Hong Kong, Wales v Italy, Canada v Portugal, Tunisia v Argentina
Bowl quarter-finals: Japan v Chinese Taipei, France v China, Russia v Korea, Sri Lanka v Kenya