Ten points conceded in the final eight minutes proved costly for Ireland’s under-20s as they lost 23-13 to a French side who claimed the Grand Slam.
Having battled back to 13 points apiece, Ireland had a chance to go ahead within the final 10 minutes when they won a kickable penalty.
But Ross Byrne’s kick went wide, and France went ahead two minutes later when Baptise Serin made no mistake with a kick of his own, and when Jean-Blaise Lespinassen touched down, the result was no longer in doubt.
Ireland had taken the lead after just five minutes through a Conor McKeon penalty, but Serim levelled for France six minutes later.
Romain Ruffenach then touched down for the French in the 28th minute, Serin slotting the conversion to put his side 10-3 ahead, and there the score stayed until the interval.
Serin added another penalty in the 49th minutes, Byrne answered with an Irish penalty in 60th minute, and Serin responded again in the 62th minute, to leave the score 13-6.
Ireland then levelled matter, when Frankie Taggart scored a fine try, and Byrne converted it. Then came Byrne’s miss, and after Serin had put the French three ahead, espinassen scored a late, controversial try – some replays appeared to suggest that he had been held up - converted by Serin, to put a gloss on the scoreline for France.