WALES’ hopes of their highest finish at the World Rugby U20 Championship since finishing as runners-up in 2013 were dashed by Argentina in Narbonne.

The Welsh youngsters were comprehensively beaten 39-15 despite leading in the first half thanks to tries by Ryan Conbeer and Corey Baldwin.

It means that they will now play Italy on Sunday for seventh place in the tournament, a finish that they have recorded in three of the last four years to go with a sixth in 2015.

Geraint Lewis’ side started the tournament with a bang against Australia but after being overpowered by New Zealand only scraped past Japan and in Narbonne were outplayed by Argentina.

Scarlets speedster Conbeer scored the first try with a glorious jinking run from a lineout with fly-half Cai Evans converting for a 7-3 lead.

Argentina were back in front with a try by scrum-half Manuel Nogues, but Wales led 12-8 when Baldwin went over from an Evans’ cross-kick.

However, Los Pumitas scored with a penalty try from a scrum to lead by three points at the break and they didn’t look back.

They moved further ahead inside a minute of the restart when Mateo Carreras scored another cracker.

Evans kicked a penalty to keep Wales in the game but flanker Juan Ignacio Molina’s converted try put Argentina 14 points ahead.

Welsh failure to take chances was punished when wing Pablo Avellaneda went over at the death.

Lewis will now try to rally his charges to avenge their Six Nations loss to Italy in Colwyn Bay.

Wales U20: Dewi Cross (Ospreys); Corey Baldwin (Scarlets), Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets), Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Ospreys), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets); Cai Evans (Ospreys), Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues); Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), Iestyn Harris (Cardiff Blues), Chris Coleman (Dragons), Rhys Davies (Bath) Max Williams (Dragons), Tommy Reffell (captain, Leicester) Dan Davis (Scarlets). Ben Fry (Dragons).

Reps: Rhys Davies (Scarlets), Dewi Lake (Ospreys), Will Davies-King (Cardiff Blues), Lewis Ellis-Jones (Scarlets), Taine Basham (Dragons), Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Ben Thomas (Cardiff Blues), Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues).