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.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.