Ireland captain Claire Molloy has urged her team-mates to wipe out the errors that have plagued their World Cup and reap the rewards their ferocious work rate deserves.

After two patchy displays against Australia and Japan that ultimately ground out victories,the host nation came undone in their final Pool C against a French side teeming with quality.

Trailing 21-0 at the break and seemingly dead and buried, Ireland could well have made Les Bleus sweat if they'd translated their early second-half dominance into points but they again lacked a cutting edge when the try line came into view and Cliodhna Moloney's crossover at the death was a mere consolation.

Now they must prepare for a 5th to 8th-placed play-off against the Wallaroos rather than the semi-final they desired. 

"It's hugely frustrating," said Molloy. "We worked really hard to get into their 22 and then simple handling errors let us down.

"I don't think it's anything to do with our preparation. We met a very good French side. They came at us with everything. We made simple errors; our discipline let us down. We didn't have the ball. You can't play without the ball.

"Credit to them; they didn't let us play. We can look back at our discipline and say 'yeah we gave away silly penalties', and our handling, we can look at that and fix that, but without the ball you can't play rugby."

Ireland could take some heart from their refusal  to buckle against a team that had racked up 120 points in their previous two games.

Roared on by a passionate, partisan crowd, Moloney's try was a reward for a huge second-half effort.

Ireland have shown they can rally when their backs our to the wall and while Molloy paid tribute to that resilience, she lamented the tendency to come out of the blocks slowly.

"I'm proud of what the girls brought in the last five minutes," she said.

"They got over the line and that kind of relentless work rate that we saw in the first two matches that brought us the victories was there again.

"If we could play all our games as a second half I think we'd be a lot happier now."