Ireland made it three wins from three in the Women’s Six Nations with a hard-fought 13-10 victory over France at Donnybrook.
Ireland Women 13-10 France Women
Tom Tierney’s side were far from perfect but did show sign of potential in spells, despite the absence of Sene Naoupu, Alison Miller and Hannah Tyrrell, who were all withdrawn due to sevens commitments.
In poor conditions in Dublin 4, Nora Stapleton’s 12th-minute penalty was the difference between the teams at the break after error-strewn showings from both sides.
With Ireland captain Paula Fitzpatrick in the sin-bin, France flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half and centre Caroline Ladagnous coasted over for the first try of the game, which was converted by Jessy Tremouliere.
Ireland, however, refused to wilt and were rewarded soon afterwards when a rolling maul ended with a try, hooker Leah Lyons getting the touchdown.
Stapleton knocked the conversion over and added another penalty in the 63rd minute.
France, who are in Ireland's World Cup group, were twice reduced to 14 women as their indiscipline took its toll.
They manged to reduce the lead to just three points with another Tremouliere kick, but Ireland finished stronger to take the points and remain second in the table.