Wales looked to be in control against Kenya at halftime, denying the speedy and physical Africans a singled point while scoring two tries through Adam Thomas and Rhys Jones. With Gareth Davies adding a conversion Wales led 12-0 at the hooter.
But the Kenyans hit back in the second half as the roles were reversed - Wales failed to score a point while Humphrey Kayange and Collins Injera (twice) broke Welsh hearts to record a 19-12 victory.
Wales got their campaign back on track with a comfortable 33-10 win over Uruguay. Ifan Evans, Gareth Davies and Rhys Jones raced over to give Wales a commanding 19-0 halftime lead.
Richie Pugh scored in the opening seconds of the second spell to put Wales firmly in control but the South Americans hit back briefly through tries by Federico Favaro and Filipe Berchesi before Alex Cuthbert finished them off with a late try to give Wales the win.
Having suffered a heavy defeat to New Zealand in the previous leg, Wales knew they were in for a torrid time in their final pool game.
Declan O'Donnell, the new superstar of Kiwi rugby, stormed over but Ifan Evans gave Wales hope when he responded. Buxton Popoalii then crossed to give New Zealand a slender 12-5 lead at the break.
The Kiwis turned the screw in the second half but the Welsh defended stoutly to restrict New Zealand to two converted tries to ensure there wasn't an avalanche of points conceded. Wales lost 26-5 but they made the tournament favourites work hard for their victory.
Cup semi finals
England v South Africa
New Zealand v Fiji
Bowl quarter finals
France v Uruguay
USA v Canada
Scotland v Japan
Wales v Guyana