Wales had their hopes of making the knockout stages of the third stage of the IRB Sevens Series in Wellington dashed with two heavy defeats to New Zealand and South Africa in the pool stages at Westpac Stadium.
Paul John's men began their quest well with a convincing 26-12 win over minnows Niue but last season's series champions South Africa swarmed to a 38-5 victory while the home side had too much power to coast to a 29-5 triumph.
Wales started their campaign well with Ifan Evans (2), Aaron Bramwell and Jevon Groves racing over for tries with Bramwell adding three conversions in their opening game.
South Africa have been a shadow of the side which won last year's series and are determined to close the gap on New Zealand. Unfortunately for Wales, Paul Treu's outfit hit top gear at precisely the wrong moment.
Their speed, timing and guile all returned as South Africa sped over for six tries with Cecil Africa leading the way with a hat trick. Wales only reply came courtesy of Ifan Evans.
New Zealand confirmed their status as tournament favourites with a clinical display of finishing power. Sherwin Stowers, who scored 15 tries in New Zealand's tournament wins in Dubai and South Africa two months ago, once again proved a handful, racing over for a brace with Nafi Tuitavake, DJ Forbes and Ben Souness also touching down.
Wales will now play Papua New Guinea tomorrow in a quarter-final Bowl clash as they seek to claim their third Bowl title on the trot.
Wales 26 Niue 12
South Africa 38 Wales 5
New Zealand 29-5
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.