The second half brought with it some encouragement in the form of three tries - from Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny and Craig Mitchell - but it was too little too late as Ireland won 30-22.
Interim coach Rob Howley has been forced into changes for the clash with France - Ryan Jones will captain Wales after regular skipper Sam Warburton was ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Jones returns to the side after a thumb injury and will take Aaron Shingler's place at blindside flanker with fellow Osprey Justin Tipuric taking Warburton's openside berth, while the third change also comes in the pack with Richard Hibbard returning from injury to replace former skipper Matthew Rees at hooker.
Meanwhile France, the bookies' tips to take the crown, was humbled for the second time in succession in Italy. The venue might have been different, the Stadio Flaminio replaced by the Stadio Olimpico, but the result was depressingly similar to their defeat in 2011 - losing 23-18 compared with a 22-21 reverse two years ago.
Wales have not won in France since a Grand Slam-winning campaign back in 2005 - winning 24-18 - and former skipper Rees admits the side will need to face some harsh home truths in the run up to Saturday's clash.
"We have got to make sure we are hard on ourselves this week because at the end of the day as players out there we are the ones that have got to react," Rees told Wales Online.
"The first 20 minutes was poor on our behalf and we have got to make sure that doesn't happen again.
"We were slow coming out of the blocks.
"You've got to give a bit of credit to Ireland, the way they started, but we were our own worst enemies with a couple of mistakes early on.
"We've got to give ourselves credit for the way we came back.
"That proved just how good a team we can be.
"We showed we've got plenty of ability, with how many line breaks we made, and we scored a couple of good tries."
While Rees is insisting a different Welsh outfit will cross the channel this weekend, France coach Philippe Saint-Andre maintains the tournament is anything but over for his side.
The French were imperious in the autumn internationals on home soil - beating Australia, Argentina and Samoa at the Stade de France - and Saint-Andre said: "The Grand Slam is lost, not the tournament. Now we have to turn our attention to Wales before they come to Paris next week.
"You have to say hats off to Italy.
"They're tenth in the (world) rankings; they're improving all the time and they simply deserved to win."
Mathieu Bastareaud will make his first start for France in nearly three years after being named in Philippe Saint-André's side to take on Wales at the Stade de France.
The powerful centre last started for les Bleus in 2010, when they won the RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam, but returned to the French matchday squad for the defeat in Italy.
His Toulon teammate Jocelino Suta, who missed the game in Italy, comes straight into the second row for the injured Pascal Papé as France's second change, with Thierry Dusautoir taking over the captaincy.