France made it two wins from two in the Women’s Six Nations by securing a comfortable six-try bonus-point victory over Ireland in Toulouse.
Tries for Melissandre Llorens, Laure Sansus, Audrey Forlani and Clara Joyeux helped the hosts to a 26-0 half-time lead as Ireland’s error count mounted.
Sansus touched down for her second before Eve Higgins crossed for Ireland.
Emilie Boulard’s score enhanced France’s winning margin as Ireland suffered a second loss of the campaign.
France will look to continue their winning run when they travel to play Scotland next Sunday, with Ireland looking to get their first points on the board when they face Italy in Dublin on the same day.
Why England will never ease off despite big wins
Ireland had suffered disappointment in their campaign opener last week as Wales clinched a 27-19 comeback win in Dublin while France had overcome Italy 39-6 in their first game.
Despite last week’s defeat, Ireland coach Greg McWilliams kept faith with the same matchday 23, while in contrast French head coaches Annick Hayraud and Thomas Darracq made seven changes to their starting line-up.
The odds were stacked against McWilliams’ side at Stade Ernest Wallon, with France having won 16 of their 19 previous matches against Ireland in the competition, including all those played on French soil.
France’s 20 triumphs from their past 21 outings on their own patch had included a 56-15 trouncing of Ireland in last year’s Women’s Six Nations.
Caroline Drouin put France in front with a third-minute penalty – but six minutes later, Irish centre Higgins dived over for what would have been her first international try, only for it to be disallowed. After discussion with the television match official, referee Aimee Barrett-Theron ruled it out for an infringement at the back of a lineout.
Soon after, the hosts extended their lead when debutant wing Llorens completed a flowing move among the back division by diving over in the corner.
Drouin was off-target in her attempt to add the extras but made amends by kicking her second penalty from in front of the posts after 18 minutes.
France continued their domination when scrum-half Sansus picked up the ball on the blindside from the back of a scrum and ran over to dot down for her side’s second try, Drouin missing the conversion.
The home side’s advantage increased on the half-hour mark as their third try arrived courtesy of second row Forlani, who barged over to touch down after a French maul.
Three minutes before the interval, prop Joyeux rumbled over and managed to ground the ball for France’s bonus-point score, although Drouin was again unable to contribute to convert.
Ireland’s first half was marked by ill-discipline, unforced errors and struggles at the set-piece and their deficit left them a mountain to climb in the second 40 minutes.