A last-minute drop goal from Johnny Sexton edged Ireland to a narrow victory at the Stade de France in their Six Nations opener.
Sexton scored all of Ireland's points with his boot as Joe Schmidt's team secured a 15-13 victory in Paris, in a game which saw HIA protocols come under scrutiny. It looked like France were destined for victory after a 74th-minute try from Teddy Thomas put Jacques Brunel's side one point up with moments to go.
It didn't take Ireland long to get things going as early bursts from wingers Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale took the visitors deep into French territory. Soon they earned a penalty which the ever-reliable Sexton converted.
That effort set the tone for the match, as neither team was able to make much inroads on the deck, reverting to the boot on most occasions. Twenty minutes after giving Ireland the lead, Sexton stepped up again to put yet more daylight between the two sides after Yacouba Camara was penalised.
Ireland's success with the boot did little to open up the contest, and the defensive dominance continued. On the occasion either side found themselves deep within enemy territory, assaults on the try line came to little success.
Ireland's biggest scare of the first half came when they found themselves pinned back by their own goal-line after young fly-half Matthieu Jalibert charged down the pitch to chase a booming kick from France prop Rabah Slimani. Like many of the threats to either try line, Ireland were able to defuse the situation and clear.
That was the highlight of a difficult debut for the 19-year-old Bordeaux playmaker, who was forced to leave the pitch moments later after a large collision with the imposing frame of Ireland new boy Bundee Aki, which left both players on the deck.
Despite enjoying the better share of possession for most of the first half, it looked unlikely that France's blunt attacks would bear any fruit. However, five minutes from the break, scrum-half Maxime Machenaud drew a loud cheer from the French crowd as he kicked the hosts onto scoresheet after Rob Kearney conceded the penalty.
However, lack of discipline continued to cost Brunel's side as yet another infraction gave Sexton the chance to restore Ireland's six-point advantage going into the break -- one he grasped with both hands.
Any hopes that the game would open up in the second period were quickly dismissed as each side continued to restrict the other to scoring with the boot. It took Sexton just two minutes to take both his and Ireland's tally to 12 points before Machenaud halved the lead once again 10 minutes later. Soon after, Sexton was presented with another chance to extend Ireland's lead but dragged his effort wide.
As the game entered it's final stages, it looked unlikely that France would be able to turn things around until Teddy produced a moment of brilliance with less than 10 minutes remaining.
The Racing 92 winger received the ball on the right flank before running the ball in from over half the field, beating Kearney on the outside before surging inside Stockdale and touching down. With Machenaud off the pitch, replacement fly-half Anthony Belleau stepped up to give France an unlikely 13-12 lead with just minutes left on the clock.
From that moment, France were on top and Belleau had a chance to seal it with a penalty but hit it wide.
That miss would prove to be decisive as Ireland marched down the field with time expiring before the Leinster man attempted a drop goal from just under halfway, which fell just over the posts.