Ireland miss out on semi-finals as France set up last-four clash with England
Hosts Ireland missed out on a place in the World Cup semi-finals as they were beaten 21-5 in their crunch Pool C clash with France.
France scored all their points in the first half at the UCD Bowl in Dublin and, despite dominating possession and territory after the break, Ireland were unable to get back into the game.
Romane Menager crossed early and Caroline Ladagnous touched down twice as France secured top spot in the pool and a last-four clash with England.
Ireland, who will have to make do with a place in the play-offs for fifth place, managed a last-minute consolation try through Cliodhna Moloney.
The damage was done early as France started superbly and put Ireland on the back foot with some slick handling moves.
Montserrat Amedee missed with an early kick at goal after Ireland were penalised at a scrum, but they soon took the lead as the impressive Menager found her way over after seven minutes.
Amedee converted and France increased their lead seven minutes later as Ladagnous crossed for her first. This time Shannon Izar added the extras.
Ireland responded with some good possession, but they found the French defence tough to break through and an opportunity was spurned when Ciara Griffin knocked on.
Chloe Pelle stretched Ireland with a good break and the tournament hosts were breached again on the half hour as Ladagnous claimed her second converted try, Amedee tagging on the goal.
Ireland returned for the second half in spirited fashion. They began to dominate play and were given a potential route back into the game when Lenaig Corson was sent to the sin bin.
But again the Irish were unable to make the most of their opportunities and Les Bleus held firm. Moloney did finally crash over for a deserved consolation in the final act of the game.