WALES suffered last-minute anguish in their Commonwealth Games medal bid after being denied by sevens kings Fiji in a tense clash on the Gold Coast.

With only the four group winners progressing to Sunday’s battle for the medals, Gareth Williams’ men had set up a shootout with the Olympic champs by overcoming Uganda 31-5 and Sri Lanka 42-12.

They went agonisingly close in a nip and tuck encounter but a late try and then some desperate Fijian defence put the favourites into the last four, leaving Wales to play for placings at Robina Stadium with a clash against Scotland first up (kick-off 1.37am).

Dragons fly-half Angus O’Brien, a regular on the World Rugby Sevens Series, started against the Fijians while regional teammates Hallam Amos and James Benjamin plus Pontypool’s Ethan Davies were among the replacements.

Fiji made a strong start but Wales went into the lead when Owen Williams was put over by O’Brien in the fourth minute.

The favourites responded to go 7-5 up with a stunning breakout from a scrappy lineout with Vatemo Ravouvou finishing and then adding the tricky conversion.

A minute after the restart the Fijians were 14-5 up when Ratu Vakurinabili went under the posts, Lions flanker Justin Tipuric unable to stop him after his route was blocked by Scottish referee Sam Grove-White.

However, Wales responded superbly when a slick move featuring Morgan Williams and Tipuric saw Luke Morgan, one of the Sevens Series’ in-form players, finish down the left.

And Williams’ men hit the front 17-10 with under three minutes to go when a Fijian handling error was exploited by flanker Ben Roach, who played for the Dragons earlier in the campaign.

His strong finish was followed by an O’Brien conversion and the clocked ticked down to the final minute.

However, Fiji keep their cool and a Semi Kunatani try and then scrambling and physical defence took the spoils.

Full cap Amos scored his first international try against Uganda with Morgan, Morgan Williams Owen Jenkins and Luke Treharne also crossing.

Davies went over against Sri Lanka along with captain Adam Thomas, Roach (2), Morgan Williams and Jenkins.

Meanwhile, Wales Women suffered a heavy defeat to England, their third loss of the tournament after being overpowered by Australia and Fiji in a strong Group B on Friday.

They will face Kenya in the fifth to eighth-place action tomorrow.