Wales were beaten 43-7 by Australia in the semi-finals of the IRB under-21 World Cup, while in the other semi there was a huge shock as hosts South Africa knocked out favourites New Zealand by 19-18.
The results mean that Wales will again meet New Zealand, having lost to them only last week, in a third-place match.
For 62 minutes Wales were ravaged by Australian flanker Jone Tawake, a certain future senior cap, who scored one of his side's five tries and created three others.
Wales were 23-0 down at the interval and conceded a further try before hitting back with a good try by UWIC wing Nick Jones that Cardiff fly half Nicky Robinson converted.
However, Australia scored two more tries to wrap up a convincing victory.
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.