Warren Gatland had made 13 changes to the starting XV that beat Fiji five days earlier, with qualification for the pool stages already secured, and in truth it looked like a somewhat scratch team throughout, with players coming off the bench to play in slightly unfamiliar roles.
Handling errors were the first sign that the game would not go as smoothly for Wales as they would like, as well as a try for Hallam Amos being ruled out for a forward pass, while Uruguay set about defending hard and physically.
Eventually Nicky Smith was able to push over from close range, with Leigh Halfpenny converting easily, but while on another day that may have caused the floodgates to open, credit has to go to Los Teros for the way they responded.
Going hard at the breakdown defensively and carrying hard in attack paid off as they managed to turn the ball over easily and Wales gave up ground and penalties, Felipe Berchesi kicking two of them to cut the lead to just one point.
That scoreline held until the break, during which it appears Warren Gatland and his coaching staff were able to refocus the minds of their team somewhat, with play more direct early in the second half.
This approach allowed Josh Adams to go over out wide after Wales worked an overlap, before referee Angus Gardner awarded a penalty try when a driving maul was pulled down, and Santiago Civetta was sent to the sin bin.
In between those scores Amos saw a second try chalked off, again for a forward pass, before the lead was cut once again by a Uruguay team that refused to roll over. German Kessler and his magnificent mullet powering over from close range to make the score 21-13.
Wales hit straight back though, with Tomos Williams a livewire off the bench once again and sniping over for a try, before Gareth Davies, covering the wing, speed away from a tap penalty to extend the lead for the last time.
All that was left was for Hallam Amos to secure a hat-trick of no tries, dropping the ball as he dived somewhat unnecessarily for the corner, and a 35-13 final score was reached.
A scoreline that flattered Wales in many ways, as the men in red were largely in control but never dominant against an opposition that fronted up physically, defended resolutely and attacked with speed.
Warren Gatland was rightly critical of the general performance of his players post-game, but will secretly be pleased to secure the pool top spot, not pick up any noticeable injuries and rest a number of key names ahead of the quarter-finals.
They take place on Sunday with Wales meeting France in Oita, where we beat Fiji last week, as the competition gets into the knockout stage. Winner takes all.