WARREN Gatland hailed the impact of Wales' bench in clinching a victory to end their nightmare streak of defeats to Australia.

The run of 13 Test losses to the Wallabies stretching back to 2008 was ended in a tense 9-6 success at Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Of the losses to the Aussies seven were by a single score but this time it was Wales that were on the successful end of a tight tussle thanks to Dan Biggar's 77th-minute penalty.

"I thought the bench was outstanding. It gave us some real impetus," said Gatland, who brought on props Rob Evans and Dillon Lewis, lock Cory Hill, flanker Ellis Jenkins, scrum-half Tomos Williams, fly-half Biggar and wing Liam Williams.

"I spoke to the players on Friday and said during my whole time in Wales I thought this was the strongest bench we have put out. It gave us some real impact.

"Ellis Jenkins was great, Cory Hill came on and did well, Tomos Williams looked really dangerous as well at nine and Dan coming on and having to kick a pressure kick to give us the win."

Wales had to respond after a controversial late hit by Samu Kerevi was not punished by referee Ben O'Keeffe before the Wallabies leveller on 75 minutes.

"I thought the tackle on Leigh was reckless, said Gatland. "It was potentially a yellow card. He was going to make contact with him, but he has left that shoulder in. He could have turned his back or put an arm out to soften the blow.

"The hard thing for Leigh is that he has now got to go through the return to play protocols. We will make sure he is right.

"It is a tough job out there for a referee. If the referee puts his hand up and says he has made a mistake, I am happy enough with that."

Gatland was pleased by the way that Halfpenny responded to a pair of penalty misses that the Scarlets full-back would normally slot with ease.

"He came out in the second half and his performance was outstanding. He ran really well, he looked dangerous and that was the pleasing aspect," said Gatland.

"In the past he may if he had missed that kick, his game might have gone to pieces as well. World-class players don't let that happen. They shrug off disappointment, they can't change it and they carry on with what is in front of them. He did that and it was a really good performance from him in the second half."

Flanker Justin Tipuric was named as the star performer by the BBC but Gatland was quick to sing the praises of his novice winger.

"I thought Josh Adams was man of the match. I thought he was absolutely brilliant," said the head coach.

"It was his accuracy. He made some really good decisions. He ran hard, chased hard, defended exceptionally well and looked dangerous with the ball in hand.

"That was why he was top try-scorer in the Premiership last year and the next step is to get him back to Wales (from Worcester)."