FRANCE'S Thomas Castaignede won the battle of the fly-halfs in Paris yesterday as he led France to a record 45-10 Five Nations win over Ireland. France had promised a running game and the 21-year-old was the perfect springboard to launch the French backs at the troubled Irish defence. Irish hopes of ending their Parc des Princes jinx - they have never won there in 12 attempts - faded after 11 minutes when Thierry Lacroix flicked a little kick over the Irish centres to find his captain Philippe Saint-Andre. Saint-Andre, despite having Jonthan Bell gamely clinging to his back, touched down in the left-hand side to open the scoring. Eight minutes later a masterful up-and-under into the right corner by Castaignede set up France's second try when Irish full-back Jim Staples failed to take the ball cleanly. Second-row Abdelatif Benazzi quickly released the loose ball to winger Emile Ntamack who from 10 metres out went over for the easiest of tries. Castaignede finished off the move he had started by converting the try. Although the Irish forwards were holding their own in the opening 20 minutes in an often ill-tempered confrontation up-front the new Irish half-back pair of David Humphreys and scrum-half Niall Hogan were struggling. Especially Hogan whose passing was posing all sorts of problems for the 24-year-old Humphreys - the ball going behind him or over his head. Any chances Ireland might have had of salvaging the game vanished in the 30th minute when the French backs struck from the Irish quarter. In a blistering strike that had the Irish defence reeling, the ball was flicked from full-back Jean-Luc Sadourny to Lacroix to Ntamack who managed to get the ball to flanker Richard Castel before he was bundled into touch two metres short of the line. Castel, winning his first cap, gratefully took his chance to touch down and France were 17-0 ahead with the best still to come. Two minutes later Humphreys converted a penalty from in front of the posts but his three points only spurred the French into greater action. Scrum-half Guy Accoceberry broke from the blindside of a ruck 20 metres from the Irish line and with not an Irishman in sight, he was able to touch down almost under the posts. Castaignede converted and France had a 24-3 lead at half-time. For Ireland the remaining 40 minutes left them with only two goals - avoiding their biggest ever defeat at the hands of the French, and scoring a try in Paris for only the second time in 16 years. They managed one of their goals - a try. But even that lacked any conviction - a penalty try two minutes into injury time. Ntamack, Castel and centre Oliver Campan all went over for tries as the now charging French were running everything at an Irish defence that was beginning to think the game would never end. Finally referee Ed Morrison of England put an end to what had turned into a rout. Even the French supporters were pleased to see an end to a game that will do wonders for Italy's bid to join the Five Nations. TEAMS France: Jean-Luc Sadourny (Colomiers); Emile Ntamack (Toulouse), Thierry Lacroix (Dax), Olivier Campan (Agen), Philippe Saint-Andre (Montferrand, capt); Thomas Castaignede (Toulouse), Guy Accoceberry (Begles-Bordeaux); Laurent Cabannes (Racing), Fabien Pelous (Dax), Richard Castel (Toulouse); Olivier Roumat (Dax), Abdelatif Benazzi (Agen); Franck Tournaire (Narbonne), Jean-Michel Gonzalez (Bayonne), Christian Califano (Toulouse). Replacements: Philippe Bernat-Salles (Begles), Stephane Glas (Bourgoin), Philippe Carbonneau (Toulouse), Sylvain Dispagne (Toulouse), Marc de Rougemont (Toulon), Michel Perie (Toulon). Ireland: Jim Staples (Harlequins); Richard Wallace (Garryowen), Jonathan Bell (Northampton), Kurt McQuilkin (Bective Rangers), Niall Woods (Blackrock College); David Humphreys (London Irish), Niall Hogan (Terenure Coll); Victor Costello (St Mary's College), David Corkery (Cork Constitution), Jeremy Davidson (Dungannon), Paddy Johns (Dungannon), Gabriel Fulcher (Cork Constitution), Nick Popplewell (Newcastle), Terry Kingston (Dolphin), Peter Clohessy (Young Munster). Replacements: Maurice Field (Malone), Paul Burke (Cork Constitution), Chris Saverimutto (Sale), William McBride (Malone), Henry Hurley (Old Wesley), Allen Clarke (Northampton).