With the Junior World Cup seven weeks away, this clash was an indication of prospects and it was the face of English coach Tosh Askew that bore the smile after seeing his team get home thanks to four penalties by centre Ben Russell (Northampton).
For Welsh coach Dai Rees, the defeat was a reminder that the balance of his team is not yet right and games against France (February 15) and Italy (March 3) will give him the opportunities to iron out problems.
There was little between two average sides, the better control of the English pack forced errors for Russell to push home the advantage.
The first half was stolid, with defences on top and the difference between the two sides at half-time was the better English goal-kicking.
Russell placed two penalties while Lee Thomas (Cardiff) and Matthew Jones (Neath College) missed two between them and after the break there was little life in a scrappy affair.
The most threatening action was a storming run by No 8 James Malpas (Cardiff) and back replacement Nick MacLeod (Cardiff) was clear only to be recalled for a forward pass, but, that apart, Wales could create little and Russell sealed a deserved win with two more penalties.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series