There was no Murrayfield hangover for the French as Ireland found themselves 29-3 down at half time, before fighting back in the second half to succumb 43-31.
Four tries were conceded by Brian O’Driscoll’s side in the first half, with all four attributed to elementary errors.
Early pressure upfront and some alarming tackling by the Irish contributed to the insurmountable advantage.
Coch Eddie O’Sullivan can draw solace from his team’s second half fightback, which saw the French exhibit the flip-side of their temperamental encounter. Brilliant in the first half, awful in the second. One thing the French can never claim to be is consistent.
Despite outscoring the French four tries to two in the second half, the Irish were simply too far adrift to achieve a remarkable comeback.
Tries: Aurelien Rougerie, Olivier Magne, David Marty 2 and Cedric Heymans 2
Cons: Jean-Baptiste Elissalde 5
Try: Ronan O’Gara, Gordon D’Arcy, Donncha O’Callaghan and Trimble