Three Nations: Irish U18s are made to pay for missed chances against France
Ireland 3 France 7
The Ireland Under 18 Clubs team were beaten 7-3 by France Under 18s in their opening game of the Three Nations tournament in Paris.
Leading 3-0 for the majority of the game thanks to a Brett Connon penalty, Ireland conceded a late try to dash their hopes of a winning start.
France started the stronger and but for some last-ditch Ireland defence would have taken an early lead.
Hooker Adam McBurney was excellent throughout and his line-out throwing provided Ireland with several good attacking platforms, but they were unable to make their dominance count on the scoreboard.
Conor O'Brien, who had been one of Ireland's main threats, was forced off injured and that disrupted Wayne Mitchell's side. France's discipline was poor throughout the first half. They conceded eight penalties but Ireland punished them just once. A 33rd-minute Connon penalty was the only score of the half.
Wingers Peter Howard and Josh Daly both came close to scoring the game's first try after the restart but they came up short of the whitewash.
France made Ireland pay for not taking their chances when their winger crossed for that late try. Ireland's focus now turns to their clash with England on Wednesday.