Johnny Sexton lamented Ireland's lack of ruthlessness in the wake of their 35-27 defeat to France in the Six Nations finale in Paris. 

Results elsewhere meant Ireland entered their final Six Nations game knowing that a six-point victory or a bonus point win would be sufficient to secure a fourth title in seven years. 

However, a failure to convert chances in the first half when in the ascendancy and a deterioration in the quality of their play in the second period put paid to those hopes and a youthful and rejuvenated France under Fabien Galthie plundered four tries en route to an eight-point win. 

Ireland captain Sexton said that the team failed to take advantage of their chances in the first 40 minutes, and in particular cited the "brave" decision to attempt and manufacture a try before half-time when three points were on offer. 

"I felt that they took their opportunities really well, sometimes off nothing, off our mistakes really," Sexton told reporters after the game. 

"We weren't ruthless enough when we had chances. We had a few chances from five metres out, we took a brave decision to go for another try before half-time and we were very close but we weren't accurate enough.

"It's going to be tough to look at over the next week or so."

The result hands England the 2020 Six Nations crown, the third of Eddie Jones' reign, with France taking the runners-up spot while Ireland, with three home wins and two losses on the road, finish third. 

"We saw the other results and we knew that we had to win by more than six or else win with a bonus point so we tried to do a mixture of it.

"We tried to go for brave calls to get some tries because we felt there was some space there to be exploited but we weren’t good enough to go and take it.

"Obviously today is going to hurt. We’ve got some important players coming back, some new players coming in so (we're) looking forward to getting back and trying to bounce back from this disappointment."

The Leinster out-half cut an annoyed figure at being replaced by Ross Byrne in the final quarter shaking his head repeatedly in a prolonged trudge from the turf.

Asked what was going through his mind when he was substituted, Sexton replied: "I was very disappointed coming off, like everyone would be.

"You’re losing the game and you’re coming off, so what would you like me to be doing? It was disappointment that we didn’t win the game.

"We were 28-20 down with 10, 12 minutes to go, we had a five-metre line-out and we didn’t capitalise. They are just the moments we’ll look back on and regret."