Deflated Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip has refused to criticise the decision not to award Ireland a potential match-winning penalty late on today.
He was left to rue his side’s inability to hold off a France fightback
Wing Keith Earls was eased out of his chase for a try in the right-hand corner by France replacement Vincent Debaty.
Referee Steve Walsh referred the decision to the video official, but no penalty was given.
Heaslip said: “From what I saw, Keith got bumped a bit but they went upstairs, the video referee called it as he did and you have to get on with it.”
Ireland had forged into a 13-3 half-time lead on the back of a powerful forward display, with Heaslip getting their try and fly-half Paddy Jackson adding the conversion and two long-range penalties.
But Les Bleus hit back as Morgan Parra added a penalty to Frederic Michalak’s three-pointer, before outstanding number eight Louis Picamoles barged over and Michalak converted to level the scores.
The result is unlikely to ease the pressure on Ireland coach Declan Kidney.
[comment]Here he is, along with Jamie Heaslip, talking after today's match.[/comment]
Heaslip told BBC1: “It probably wasn’t the prettiest game to watch but I think the score reflected the game. There was not much between the teams but they came back strong in the last 20 minutes. It was a very tough game.
“Picamoles took his chance well at the end and did well despite our best efforts and we took our opportunities when they came.”
[comment]Here's the action as it happened. [/comment]