.Romain Teulet (Castres) opened the scoring with a 4th minute penalty. The situation worsened when centre Yannick Jauzion (Colomiers) then crossed for their first try following a quick tap penalty. Barry Everitt then kicked a penalty but Teulet was on the mark again when lock David Couzinat was driven over close to the posts.
However Ireland hung in there and enjoyed a period of domination, three further penalties from Everitt reducing the deficit to 17-12. Teulet posted another penalty, Everitt responded in kind but the London Irish outhalf missed with two further chances, the second of which could reasonably have been a penalty try when Paddy Wallace was obstructed by a French player as the Irish attacked with a two-on-one overlap inside the French 22.
Ireland.: P Wallace (Ulster); G D'Arcy (Leinster), M Mullins (Munster), J Holland (Munster), A Horgan (Munster); B Everitt (London Irish), N Doak (Ulster); R Corrigan (Leinster, capt), F Sheahan (Munster), S Best (Ulster); L Cullen (Leinster), R Casey (Leinster); T McWhirter (Ulster), V Costello (Leinster), A Ward (Ulster). Replacements: J O'Connor (Connacht) for Costello (10 mins); B O'Meara (Leinster) for Doak (55); J Bishop (London Irish) for D'Arcy (57); M Horan (Munster) for Best (63); M O'Driscoll (Munster) for Cullen (70); J Staunton (Munster) for Everitt (70).
France. R Teulet, P Elhorga, L Valbon, Y Jauzion, G Moro; A Piclier , A Albouy; A Tolofua, S Bruno, A Galasso; J Thion, D Couzinet; B Goutta, E Vermeulen (capt), S Chabal. Replacements: A Gaubert, Y Lacrouts, J Dieudi, L Loustau , J-B Elissalde, R Chanal.