Sunday, 14 February 2021 19:37

Staff Reporter.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

France kept their Grand Slam aspirations intact with a scrappy 15-13 win over Ireland, who remain without a win in this year's Six Nations.

Charles Ollivon scored the sole try of the first half after a passage of attacking brilliance from the visitors.

Damian Penaud touched down for the second try in the 55th minute.

Ireland began to show some fight and Ronan Kelleher's opportunistic try and a Ross Byrne penalty set-up a grandstand finish, but France held on.

Far from their free-flowing best, Fabien Galthie's side found two moments of real flair in a match low on quality, and that ultimately proved the difference between the sides.

Ireland will cling onto the heart that they showed in the final quarter to ensure the game went down to the wire for a second week, but the damage was done in the 60 minutes previous.

It is a first win in Dublin for France in a decade, and a first defeat at home for Ireland head coach Andy Farrell.

A result and performance that will do little to support the belief from inside the camp that this is an Irish side on an upward curve.