Taylor treble not enough
Ireland 16 France 34
France were crowned European champions after completing their Autumn International series with a convincing win in the first rugby league match to be played at Thomond Park on Saturday.
Ireland winger Joe Taylor, from North Dublin Eagles, delighted the 3,100 crowd with a hat-trick of tries, but the French finished strongly to secure a victory that will provide them with some consolation for missing out on the 2011 Four Nations series.
Ireland led 8-6 at half-time and they sensed a first win against the French, and a first victory for new coach Mark Aston, when they increased their lead to 12-6 early in the second half.
They were still ahead with 15 minutes to go, but hooker Kane Bentley completed his hat-trick for the visitors to finally end the brave home challenge.
Ireland -- G McNally, T Bergin, I Cross, E Cosgrove, J Taylor, P Handforth, L Finn, K Amor, B Beswick, L Ambler, T McCarthy, G Corcoran, C Casey. Interchange: P Smith, P Barcoe, J Haley, A McCloskey.
France -- C Stacul, V Duport, M Pala, JP Baille, F Vaccari, D Chisholm, T Bosc, J Fakir, K Bentley, R Casty, O Elima, C Gossard, J Baitieri. Interchange: E Pelissier, M Simon, D Cardace, T Sadaoui.