If anything Ireland deserve some credit for restricting the home side to what was the final score. They were in trouble from as early as the third minute when their defence was stretched and Betsen ran in for the opening score. Keith Wood pulled one back in the 9th minute but the French scored two more tries before the break - Brusque and Aurelien Rougerie exposing brittle Irish defence - and Merceron's boot left the Irish trailing 28-5 at half time.
Ireland. G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, R Henderson, D Hickie; D Humphreys, P Stringer; P Clohessy (P Wallace 62 min)), K Wood capt, J Hayes; G Longwell (P O'Connell 64 min), M O'Kelly; S Easterby, D Walllace (K Gleeson 48 min), A Foley.
France. N Brusque; A Rougerie, T Marsh, D Traille, D Bory (J Marlu); G Merceron (F Gelez), F Galthie; J-J Crenca, R Ibanez (O Azam), P de Villiers; F Pelous, O Brouzet D Auradou 73 min); S Betsen, O Magne, I Harinordoquy.
Referee: P O'Brien (New Zealand)