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
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.