Ireland U20 28 France U20 34

Ireland finished in third place in the Under-20 Six Nations following a 34-28 defeat to France.

England had earlier claimed the Grand Slam with a hard-fought win over Italy leaving Richie Murphy's side to battle it out with France for second place in the table in the reformatted tournament, which saw all of the games played in Cardiff.

Captain Alex Kendellen once again excelled, chipping in with two tries, in addition to a Jamie Osborne effort but France ran out deserved winners.

"It's a tough one to swallow," Munster forward Kendellen said on RTÉ2.

"We were confident coming into this game but France really put it up to us in that 50-60 [minute] part of the game. They suffocated us down in our half.

"Credit to our lads, we fought to the end and I think with an extra five or ten minutes it could be a different result.

"We just fell short against England and France but it’s been an amazing tournament."

France opened the scoring with a Nolann Le Garrec penalty, while their number 8 Killian Tixeront was in the sinbin, but it was the Irish who crossed the line first.

Following a series of close-in attempts the ball was flung to full-back Osborne, who crashed over despite the presence of a number of French defenders.

However, Les Bleus gained the upper hand soon afterwards and Thibault Debaes finished off a break by Louis Bielle Biarrey.

Blindside Pierre Bochaton soon barged over to put France 10 points up.

Out-half Nathan Doak landed a penalty and number 8 Kendellen grabbed Ireland's second try as the momentum swung once more.

Prop Paul Mallez scored Les Bleus’ third just before the break, with scrum-half Le Garrec once again converting.

Doak kicked his second penalty of the day in overtime to leave Ireland trailing 24-20 and nicely poised for the second half.

The Ulster man reduced the margin to just one with a penalty after the break as the game lost its open nature.

The next score came in the 66th minute when Ireland went to sleep having conceded a kickable penalty on the 22.

The defence turned their backs and the lively Le Garrec cross-kicked for Bielle Biarrey, who spun inside Harry Sheridan and dived over.

The superb Kendellen got his second of the day at the death but it was too little too late.

In the day's final game, Wales beat Scotland 32-24.