At the Stade de France, the home side ripped up the form book to record their first victory over Ireland in five years in the Six Nations.
Les Bleus showed they meant business right from the off and were lucky to escape two yellow cards in the first half as they battered and bullied the defending champions.
After leading for most of the match, the Irish were left to lick their wounds as they conceded a late try when Maxime Medard went over the line. The defeat has severely dented Ireland’s hopes of a historic third consecutive Six Nations title but for France the chase in now on for a possible Grand Slam.
France now lead the standings with two wins after beating Italy 23-21 in their opening game. Ireland must wait for their first victory after last weekend’s 16-16 draw with Wales.
In Saturday’s other match in Cardiff, Wales beat Scotland 27-23 thanks to second half tries from British and Irish Lions Jamie Roberts and George North.
The home side had less territory, possession and ball carries than the Scots but took their chances that came their way, putting a sluggish first 60 minutes behind them.
Wales next host France on Feb. 26 before a showdown at Twickenham with England on March 12.