The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
But despite fighting back to within a point midway through the second half thanks to four Ronan O’Gara penatlies, six points from Dimitri Yachvili denied them a first away win over the French in a decade.
In their first match since a disappointing RBS 6 Nations campaign which saw them slump to an embarrassing 22-21 loss in Italy, France got off to a flying start keeping possession and putting the Irish on the back foot.
That pressure told as Denis Leamy was penalised for not rolling away, and Yachvili, who didn’t miss a kick all night, duly slotted the three points.
Les Bleus almost made it two within minutes as Clerc streaked past Rob Kearney onto a kick through from Maxime Mermoz only for the Irish full-back to recover and tackle him just short of the line.
However the respite was only brief as Alexis Palisson managed a delightful offload for the flying Toulouse winger to score, Yachvili again adding the extras.
After a further Yachvili penalty, O’Gara eventually got Ireland onto the board as Thierry Dusautoir was penalised to leave the score at 13-3 at the break.
Declan Kidney’s side came back a completely different side in the second half and chipped away at the French lead as they dominated possession.
O’Gara added three more penalties and just missed with a fourth which would have given Ireland the lead.
But having worked their way back into it, Ireland were not able to finish off the job, and veteran prop Jean-Baptiste Poux earned France a penalty from a scrum, before replacement Maxime Médard was pulled back off the ball, Yachvili kicking the penalties on both occasions to seal the win.