England will face arch-rivals New Zealand at the quarter final stage of the Gold Coast Sevens tomorrow.
They opened Day One of the HSBC Sevens World Series with comfortable victories against Scotland (24-5) and Tonga (19-0).
But the combination of a couple of defensive errors and chances not taken handed Wales a 21-7 win in the final Pool D clash.
Mathew Turner grabbed his third try in three games but Harry Robinson’s two touchdowns booked Wales a date with Fiji in the last eight.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to finish the day,” said captain Greg Barden. “Fair play to Wales, they targeted key areas and they did well. We were lacking in some areas, our defence specifically, and at this level you can’t get away with that. But we’ll stay positive, learn the lessons and take them forward into the quarter finals.”
Earlier England opened the new season by scoring four tries in smart 24-5 win over Scotland.
James Eddie touched down early on to put the Scots ahead but Barden’s first score as England captain was followed by Turner’s slick second, the centre starting the move 70 metres out with a chip ahead and finishing it after almost everyone else had handled.
Fit-again Isoa Damudamu made his first appearance since Wellington in February as a second half replacement and helped set up two more scores for Dan Norton and John Brake. They weren’t quite as sharp against Tonga before securing the 19-0 win that guaranteed a quarter final place.
Turner’s alertness around a midfield maul set up his second of the day, James Rodwell beat defenders from close range and Watson’s conversion gave them a 12-0 interval lead.
Stoppages punctuated the second half but England killed off any hint of an upset when Brake finished off after another Rodwell break.