Wales claimed silverware in the eighth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Glasgow, but skipper Adam Thomas looked almost apologetic when holding aloft the Shield after guiding his side to victory over Japan at Scotstoun Stadium.
Wales went into last weekend's tournament in a confident frame of mind after reaching the Plate final in Hong Kong in March where they ran current series runners-up South Africa close before being edged out.
With realistic ambitions of reaching the Cup quarter-finals in Glasgow, Wales finished bottom of their pool after beginning their campaign with a hard fought win over Kenya. But defeat to Argentina (17-28) and Fiji (45-0) saw them plummet to the bottom of pool and re-directed to the minor competitions on day two where a loss to France (21-7) saw Gareth Williams' side end up in the Shield where they beat Portugal (38-7) in the semi-final before beating Japan 29-12 in the final.
As a consequence, Wales picked up only three points from the tournament to remain in 10th position overall with 60 points. Hosts Scotland reached a first Cup semi-final since 2009 to collect 15 points and move up alongside Wales while France are now just two points behind on 58.
Wales now find themselves with a huge mountain to climb this weekend at Twickenham in the ninth and final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, the Marriott London Sevens on 10-11 May, where they are in the same pool as series leaders New Zealand, England and Argentina.
Wales Sevens head coach Gareth Williams admitted his team were their own worst enemy by giving teams too much of a head start and that trait must be eradicated if Wales are to get out of their pool this weekend.
"Winning the Shield was only a consolation for some poor results," he said. "The biggest frustration was our inability to start games so slowly and allowing teams to open up heavy advantages.
"We chased Kenya down well, and started the group in a positive manner, but we failed to finish off a comeback against Argentina after returning from 21-0 down to 21-17 with a minute left on the clock. We have to realise that allowing teams such a strong start will catch up with us. This problem followed us to the Bowl semi-final versus France and it is a trait we have to rectify prior to this weekend in London.
"We set ourselves the challenge of bouncing back against Portugal and Japan, and the boys responded to be fair to them. These matches give us some foundation to build to a hugely exciting weekend at Twickenham, and we will spend this week analysing and ensuring we come out of the blocks as strongly as we have ended games in Glasgow."
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde is predicting a tough battle against England on Sunday despite the fact they may not be considered to be at full strength. Players will be out to impress Eddie Jones which makes England a dangerous proposition, he says.
Forwards coach Robyn McBryde says tomorrow's RBS 6 Nations clash against Italy gives Wales an opportunity to finish second in the tournament after having the wind knocked from their sails last week against England.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland tells WRU TV that his selection for the final clash of the RBS 6 Nations against Italy is an opportunity for some players to redeem themselves after Saturday's loss to England
Wales head coach Warren Gatland is expecting 'one heck of a game' when his side tackle England at Twickenham on Saturday in the RBS 6 Nations. He believes whoever wins the game, could go on to win the championship.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland sticks to an experienced side to face England at Twickenham on Saturday where he says his side are approaching the RBS 6 Nations clash as a 'final' - if they win against the red rose brigade on Saturday then they are in the driving seat for the Six Nations title.