|Women’s Six Nations: Ireland v France|
|Ireland (3) 13|
|Try: Lyons Con: Stapleton Pens: Stapleton 2|
|France (0) 10|
|Try: Ladagnous Con: Tremouliere Pen: Tremouliere|
Ireland ground out a narrow but important win over France to maintain their challenge for the 2017 Women’s Six Nations Championship.
Hooker Leah Lyons scored the 50th-minute try at Donnybrook to swing the game in the home team’s favour.
France, trailing 3-0 at the break, had taken the lead early in the second half with a Caroline Ladagnous try.
Tom Tierney’s Irish side are level at the top of the table with England who lead on points difference.
It was a fine win for Ireland, considering they were without three first-choice players.
Backs Alison Miller, Hannah Tyrrell and Sene Naoupu were not available because of their involvement with Ireland’s Sevens squad.
Ireland now face Wales in Cardiff on 11 March before a potential title-deciding showdown against England at Donnybrook six days later.
In contrast to their victories over Scotland and Italy, Ireland started impressively at a blustery Dublin venue, although they failed to make that count on to the scoreboard.
Fly-half Nora Stapleton hit an upright with a 10th-minute penalty but had better luck soon afterwards when the French were penalised for an illegal pull.
That was the only score of the first half, but France emerged after the break to quickly score the opening try with the ball being worked right for centre Ladagnous to touch down.
Full-back Jessey Tremouliere converted to put the visitors into a 7-3 lead.
Ireland responded impressively and regained the lead when a driving maul from a line-out saw Lyons get the try and Stapleton converted for 10-7.
Stapleton and Tremouliere traded late penalties as Ireland got home by a three-point margin.