In a curtain-raiser to the South Africa-New Zealand Tri-Nations match in Durban, Wales Under-19's lost 20-19 to a South African Schools Academy team.
"We outscored them by three tries to two and it was a game we should have won," said coach Dai Rees. "But we started poorly and gave away too much possession. Given a few more minutes we would have won."
The home side led 13-0 before fly half Matthew Jones dropped a goal and wing Richard Fussell scored a try.
However, it was 21-8 before wing Stephen Ireland and centre Gavin Evans crossed for tries and centre Lee Thomas added one conversion.
A late run by Fussell was halted in the corner flag and Wales just lost out.
The final two matches are against Northern Transvaal on Wednesday and then the SA Schools at Johannesburg on Saturday, the latter being a curtain-raiser to the South Africa-Australia Tri-Nations match.
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.