Rob Howley described Wales' RBS 6 Nations victory over France in Paris on Saturday as "a pretty special day" for his team.
"It is a pretty special day for the Wales team," interim head coach Howley said.
"We kept on saying we hadn't become a bad team overnight. Fine margins are the difference in Test match rugby.
"The players showed character and our defence put France under a lot of pressure. The players deserve all the accolades."
Wing George North's 73rd-minute try sealed the deal for Wales, while full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked three penalties and a conversion to end a run of eight successive defeats.
France failed to score a try against Wales for the third successive game - a barren run that includes the 2011 World Cup semi-final in New Zealand - as they were restricted to two Frederic Michalak penalties.
"It was a huge defensive effort - we defended particularly well," Howley added. "We were effective in terms of putting pressure on the ball, and our defence was absolutely outstanding."