Fabien Galthié never doubted that France were capable of the sort of performance that allowed them to edge past Wales and make it three wins from three in the Guinness Six Nations.
Les Bleus had got off to a flyer in the Championship with victories over England and Italy in Paris, but arrived in Cardiff looking for a first win at Principality Stadium in a decade.
It went down to the wire but, in the end, tries from Anthony Bouthier, Paul Willemse and Romain Ntamack allowed them to emerge with a 27-23 success.
And for Galthié, it is reward for the entire squad – beyond the 15 men who started, and even the eight replacements who helped France hold on.
He said: “The players produced a game that we were knew they were capable of doing. They have been working very hard with a lot of humility. This is an ambitious squad who knew they had the possibility of producing performances like this.
“We knew we could maintain this intensity. After 11 training sessions and two matches, we knew the team was capable of matching Wales until the final seconds. This is a victory for 42 players, and those others who have been with us. They allow us to work hard, with intensity and quality.
“We are so happy that we want to enjoy the moment. The players are tired as well. For the rest, we are taking it step by step.”
France will look to continue their winning streak in Scotland in Round 4, a second successive away match against Gregor Townsend’s men, who were victorious in Rome earlier in the day.
But Les Bleus are set to be without loosehead prop Cyril Baille, who was forced off at half-time with what turned out to be a dislocated shoulder.
Galthié added: “I want to have a little word for our injured player, Cyril Baille, who dislocated his shoulder. We hope he will be back soon.”