Wales were only able to use nine players in their two second day ties and that undoubtedly made it difficult for the team.
"Richie Pugh had a slight hamstring strain and we didn't want to risk him. Owen Williams and Aaron Shingler were also struggling" said Wales coach, Paul John.
"It was always going to be a big step-up on the second day. It's very difficult to maintain a high standard over two days. But the effort from the boys was huge and we've certainly got something to build on.
"We came through the pool stages unbeaten and in most of the games we were very competitive."
Against New Zealand in the last of the Cup quarter final ties, Wales found their more opponents in no mood to concede points, as the All Blacks used their fitness in defence and capitalised on Welsh handling errors.
New Zealand ended with a tally of five converted tries, against which Wales could reply with only one score - a try by the Ospreys' Ifan Evans late in the second half.
The result meant that Wales went into the semi final of the Plate competition to face Australia, who had lost their quarter final Cup tie with England courtesy of a last-gasp try by Dan Caprice.
Australia had looked strong throughout the tournament but it was Wales who struck first in the Plate semi-final, with turnover ball and good handling giving Ifan Evans space on the outside channel to show his pace and score the game's first try, converted by Rhys Jones.
But thereafter it was Australia who enjoyed the greater share of possession, which they turned into points with two tries for a 12-7 interval lead.
Then, when Australia grabbed a third score the tie, seemed out of sight for Wales, only for Evans to complete his brace. But in the final minute, the tall John Grant, an emerging Wallaby star, scored his second try leaving Australia winners by 26-12.
Wales: Jevon Groves (capt, Dragons), Lee Rees (Scarlets), Rhys Jones (Newport), Gareth Davies (Cardiff), Tom Isaacs (Ospreys), Owen Williams (Blues), Rhodri Gomer-Davies (Dragons), Ifan Evans (Llandovery), Gavin Dacey (Pontypridd), Rhys Shellard (Cardiff), Richie Pugh (Scarlets), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets)