Ireland captain Keith Wood said his side had no excuses after crashing to France in the World Cup quarter-finals.
The French clinched their place in the last four with a decisive 43-21 victory, a result which brought the curtain down on Ireland's campaign.
"It is very disappointing, we did not play in the first half," said Wood who announced his retirement rugby.
"But I think we can hold our heads up, we tried very hard in the second half.
"I do not think we can make any excuses. We tried our hardest but it did not come off.
"Our first half let us down. It was probably the worst we played in the tournament and it was almost an impossible task after that."
Ireland's double try scorer Brian O'Driscoll admitted France were worthy winners.
"We were pretty much obliterated in the first half and it was always an uphill battle after that," said the Irish centre.
"All credit to France, they took their chances, they found the gaps.
"Their counterattack is known as one of the best in the world and they showed that with their second try.
"We got punished for sloppy play and the better team won.
"We did better in the second half but it was not enough."