Wales haven't beaten New Zealand on the HSBC World Series since 2009 and they never seriously threatened to stop the rot in Port Elizabeth where the Kiwis totally outclassed Rhys Shellard's men to canter to a 35-5 victory.
New Zealand gave Wales a lesson in keep-ball and totally dominated the first half to lead 21-0 at the break. Two further second half tries by Sam Dickson and Kurt Baker confirmed their superiority with a late Rhys Jones try preventing a whitewash.
The defeat put Wales in the Plate section for the second week running after they picked up the Dubai title last week.
Wales repelled the challenge of fast improving USA 26-19 in the semi-final but not without a few hiccups.
Jason Harries waltzed over in the second minute to give Wales the perfect start but he then blotted his copybook by taking out a player in midair to receive a yellow card. While he was riding pine Folau Niua scooted over for a converted try to edge USA 7-5 in front.
Eventually Wales regained their composure to work Will Thomas over. He knocked over the conversion and when Alex Webber pounced early in the second half Wales looked certain of victory.
But USA hit back twice through Nick Edwards and Carlin Isles to level the scores at 19-19 and with the Americans on attack in the dying seconds, James Davies plucked a pass out of thin air to race 60m to seal the victory to set up a final showdown against Fiji.
The first half was a cagey affair with both sides scoring a converted try through Gasaudua Tube and James Davies respectively.
Shellard and Davies tries put Wales in the driving seat before Fiji hit back through Vilitati Sokiveta Nadialobo but Will Price sealed the victory when going over in the corner. Wales were also in debt to Rhys Jones's deadly boot as he added three difficult conversions to keep daylight between the two teams.
Wales head coach Paul John was delighted in the way his side bounced back after taking a hammering from New Zealand in the Cup quarter-final.
"The boys responded tremendously well so we have got to be pleased with that [winning the Plate]. We were totally taught a lesson against New Zealand in our first game - they were outstanding and that's the standard we have to aim to get to ourselves. The two Plates we've picked up is great for our boys so I've been pleased with the last two weeks."