Captain of the Irish rugby team Brian O’Driscoll says the match against France this weekend was a missed opportunity, after Ireland made a series of fatal errors.

“We had a chance with three minutes to go. We were 10 yards from their line, they were scrambling but we coughed up another ball,” O'Driscoll told the press.

“I thought we were going to do to them what they did to us at Croke Park four years ago when they won in the last minute, but again we coughed up the ball too easily.

“When we scored our tries we had taken it through a number of phases, but when you turn it over after three or four it’s hard to build momentum. The chance was there for us to take it but we didn’t. That’s a bitter enough pill to swallow.

“We felt like we had massive capability to score tries. The chances were there but we weren’t clinical and that’s what’s killing us.

“There are just little things that need tweaking, but these are the fine lines between winning and losing Test matches.”

Coach Declan Kidney agreed with O'Driscoll's assessment. “The feeling is that’s an opportunity lost. We had too many turnovers,” Kidney told the press.

“We won the try-count 3-1 but still lost the match so we’ll have to look again at the penalties to see which ones were under our control. We need to keep playing this way and get used to doing it at Test level. It is the right way forward for us.

“There’s no point crawling away now and just trying to play a damage limitation game. That won’t win us anything. The try count is of no consolation to me. People have paid to get in and are looking for us to win.

“An improved performance means you’re not in the doldrums, but at the same time we want to win.”