Ireland drew a record crowd of 6,047 to Dublin on Saturday night but they were not good enough on the field to give their home support a win to take home, with France winning 17-47 in an entertaining game.
There were ten tries in this game, with Ireland more than competitive for large swathes of the match but in the end the French power up front - where Ireland struggled at set piece - and neat attacking was too much to handle, with French winger Caroline Boujard showing superb form again.
The return of Jessy Tremouliere was also a factor. The fullback didn't miss a single kick at goal and was assured despite an early knock. Ireland kicked poorly to the World Player of the Year and were punished with Tremouliere, Boujard and Ian Jason finding acres of space in return.
Ireland started poorly when they lost Nichola Fryday to a very early sinbinning and France scored immediately through hooker Caroline Thomas after a trademark driving lineout.
Rattled but showing a good reply, Ireland broke into the French half through a strong run from Alison Miller and then a powerful burst from captain Ciara Griffin saw Ireland get over the try line.
France responded with a superb score. A Kathryn Dane box-kick, allowed Boujard to break clean through midfield and despite Eimear Considine and Lauren Delany scrambling back to bring her down, her offload freed up fellow winger Ian Jason to finish off near the left corner. The end to end nature of the game carried on and it was Claire Molloy, who started like a train, diving over after some patient drives from the Irish pack.
But France showed their class when a burst from the excellent Audrey Forlani helping bring a score for prop Lise Arricastre and then Yanna Rivoalen's kick over the top was grabbed by Boujard who could not be caught by the chasing Miller and Fowley.
France upped their accuracy and intensity, a rip on Delany by Yolaine Yengo and deft hands from Rivoalen paving the way for abrasive number 8 Romane Menager to power over for her try.
Menager was then red carded for a forearm to the neck and though Ireland pushed to try and get back into it and scored a superb try for Sene Naoupu it was too little too late with France 35-17 clear at that stage.
They made sure to finish with a flourish, Forlani going over in the 71st minute and replacement Marine Menager joined her twin sister on the scoresheet when released for the right corner by skipper Gaelle Hermet and Coumba Diallo.
IRELAND WOMEN: Lauren Delany (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/IQ Rugby); Eimear Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster), Enya Breen (UL Bohemians/Munster), Sene Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Alison Miller (Old Belvedere/Connacht); Nicole Fowley (Galwegians/Connacht), Kathryn Dane (Old Belvedere/Ulster); Laura Feely (Galwegians/Connacht), Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (UL Bohemians/Munster), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster), Aoife McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster), Nichola Fryday (Galwegians/Connacht), Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt), Claire Molloy (Wasps), Claire McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/Ulster).
Replacements used: Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster) for Feely (47 mins), Beibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe/Connacht) for Miller (48), Linda Djougang (Old Belvedere/Leinster) for Reidy, Ellen Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster) for Fowley, Anna Caplice (Richmond) for McLaughlin (all 54), Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster) for Dane (65), Emma Hooban (St. Mary's/Leinster) for Nic a Bhaird (67), Claire Boles (Railway Union/Ulster) for Fryday (70).
FRANCE WOMEN: Jessy Tremouliere (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin); Caroline Boujard (Montpellier RC), Yolaine Yengo (Stade Rennais), Gabrielle Vernier (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois), Ian Jason (Stade Toulousain); Pauline Bourdon (AS Bayonnaise), Yanna Rivoalen (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois); Lise Arricastre (Lons Rugby Féminin Béarn Pyrénées), Caroline Thomas (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin), Clara Joyeux (Blagnac Rugby Féminin), Celine Ferer (AS Bayonnaise), Audrey Forlani (Blagnac Rugby Féminin), Gaelle Hermet (Stade Toulousain) (capt), Coumba Diallo (Stade Français Paris), Romane Menager (Montpellier RC).
Replacements used: Mailys Traore (Stade Toulousain) for Arricastre (52 mins), Chloe Pelle for Joyeux (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois/FFR) (64), Emma Coudert (ASM Romagnat Rugby Féminin) for Rivoalen (65), Milena Soloch (Lille Métropole RC Villeneuvois) for Thomas (both 70), Marine Menager (Montpellier RC) for Tremouliere (72), Camille Imart (Stade Toulousain) for Yengo, Laetitia Bobo (Stade Toulousain) for Ferrer (both 76). Not used: Fiona Lecat (Stade Toulousain).
Referee: Ian Tempest (England)