Watched by many WRU officials, including David Pickering and Steve Lewis, the side was a huge credit to Gerry Roberts and his coaches Kim Norkett and Sean Gale. Backs and forwards combined superbly and the fitness and ball skills became better and better as the match continued.
Yet despite all that, the French led for 78 minutes, with an eighth-minute try by No.8 Romain Rysman and 17 points from the talented boot of fly half Nicolas Picabea. France scrummaged well and jumped higher in the line out, but the Welsh side were dangerous whenever they had the ball in hand and scored three magnificent tries.
Right wing Matthew Jacobs of Llangennech was the man of the match with outstanding pace and direct running, but watching coaches were also noting tall centre Darren Humphries, who was a class act, and the Loughor pair of centre Peter Smriglia and full back Andrew Banfield are others surely destined for Premiership rugby this season.
Former Pontypool hooker Leigh Meades, lock Gareth Gore and No.8 Lee Woods stood out in a mobile pack where skipper Anthony Lott scored a try, but his jovial team-mates laughed loudly in the dressing-room of the fact that the winning try came when Lott was off the field.
Rysman's try and Picabea's conversion and penalty took France to 13-0 before fly half Jamie Howells pulled back a penalty. But Picabea notched another penalty before Wales were awarded a penalty try on the stroke of half-time, converted by Howells.
Two more penalties by Picobea took it to 19-10, until the 50th minute when left wing Tom Bonnell was partly halted before sending inside. It reached Gore and then Woods, who combined for Banfield to streak over for a delightful try. Picobea responded with a drop goal for 22-15 and Wales were still chasing the game, but they had left the best till last.
Jacobs kept racing at the visitors defence and from one break it was worked pack to half backs Rhodri Jones and Howells, who found prop Lott lurking on the wing and he roared over. Two minutes from time, more magnificent passing saw Humphries with another excellent burst and replacement Nathan Gittins was up to dive gleefully over with Jacobs spare if needed.
The performance was true Welsh rugby from a talented well-trained and well-coached squad, who were deserved winners before a delighted Virginia Park crowd.
Wales: Andrew Banfield (Lougher), Matthew Jacobs (Llangennech), Darren Humphries (Bargoed), Peter Smriglia (Loughor), Thomas Bonnell (Trimsaran), Jamie Howells (Bargoed), Rhodri Jones (Garndiffaith), Ross Jones (Bargoed), Leigh Meades (Bargoed), Anthony Lott (Bargoed, capt), Gareth Gore (Carmarthen Qns), Chris James (Narberth), Geraint Turner (Abercynon), Lee Woods (Narberth), Andrew Packer (Newport Saracens)
Replacements: Nathan Gittins (Merthyr) for Smriglia 75; Phil Tucker (Penclawdd) for (Rhodri) Jones 67; Owen Cotton (Ynysybwl) for (Ross) Jones 75; Mark Jones (Pontyberem) for Meades 67; James Bannister (Llanelli Wdrs) for Lott 75; Lee Williams (Newport Saracens) for Gore 60; Paul Rees (Felinfoel) for Packer 42; Meades for (M) Jones 69
Tries - A Banfield, A Lott, N Gittins, pen try. Con - J Howells. Pen - J Howells
Referee: Gareth Copsey (England)