France flanker Olivier Magne has refuted suggestions Les Bleus eased off during the second half of Saturday's RBS 6 Nations Championship victory against Ireland in Paris.
The hosts surged into a 43-3 lead after 47 minutes and seemed to have put their opening round defeat to Scotland firmly behind them.
But Ireland stormed back, scoring 28 points in just 15 minutes before France regained a degree of control to seal a 43-31 triumph.
Thirty-two-year-old Magne, who was making his first RBS 6 Nations appearance since the 2004 Grand Slam campaign, said: "We did not relax our efforts because we truly wanted to complete a flawless performance against Ireland.
''But the Irish did not break. We must be capable of holding on for 80 minutes.''
France's second-half collapse prompted a flood of criticism from the home fans but Magne preferred to concentrate on the positive aspects of a performance which puts them right back in championship contention.
He added: "This victory did leave some sort of a bitter taste but if you don't take control of the ball, and if you don't master the encounter tactically, this is what happens.
"We must concentrate on the things that did not work but also see the positive side of things to see a brighter future."
One possible excuse for the French players slowing down as the game wore on was the rigours of the current Top 14 season which has already been going for six months.
Magne added: "I don't know if the players are tired or not.
"But the French Top 14 is a long championship and some of the players may have been affected physically after the tough training we experienced this week."
England's preparations for the Autumn International series were potentially dealt a further blow as Maro Itoje was forced to undergo an x-ray after Saracens' European victory over Scarlets on Saturday night.