Fabien Galthié was left to rue missed opportunities against Ireland as his France side ran out of steam in their 32-19 defeat, their first in 15 matches.
The battle between the world’s top two did not disappoint but France came away from Aviva Stadium without a point after Ireland beat them into submission to secure their biggest ever win over Saturday’s opponents.
Head coach Galthié was largely pleased with the way his side approached the game but lamented their inability to turn pressure into points against Andy Farrell’s side.
“We left a lot of energy out there after the first half,” he said. “That counts at the end of the game.”
“We should have played in the air more, it’s not the same game otherwise. But those are decisions made during the game, it’s about what the players are feeling.
“We had strong periods where we didn’t come away with points.
“Up until the 72nd minute, we were in it, the game was on.
“So when you don’t score and you put in lots of energy you have to really battle to stay in the match.
“If you can score points when you are on top, it’s not the same game. That’s what we wanted.”
Losing is not a feeling Galthié and his coaching staff are used to, having lost just six of their 32 games in charge.
And though he was quick to praise Ireland, he believes his side contributed to their own downfall.
“There will be things to study and things to improve on,” he said.
“We faced an opponent who beat us. I spoke to the team and the coaches and we came here to play the game and to win. So to lose, having not done so for two years, is unpleasant.
“We didn’t give away tries, because they are good enough to score them, but we put ourselves into difficult positions. We exposed ourselves.”
Galthié will have two weeks to rally his troops ahead of their Round 3 clash, a home tie against in-form Scotland, who triumphed on their last visit to the Stade de France.
But the former scrum-half believes lessons can be learnt from their deflating but rare defeat in Dublin.
“We have to learn to accept defeat,” he said.
“We don’t really enjoy it, it’s not a nice feeling, but we’ll have to live with it.
“We learn a lot from wins but also a lot from defeats too.”