Ireland survived the loss of captain Paul O'Connell and flyhalf Johnny Sexton to run out 24-9 winners over France and set up a Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Argentina after a brutal Pool D decider on 11 October.
Second-half tries from fullback Rob Kearney and scrumhalf Conor Murray gave the Six Nations champions a victory they fully deserved and sent the French into a last eight clash with reigning champions New Zealand back in Cardiff next weekend.
The Irish will also return to the Welsh capital to face the Pumas on 18 October, but could be without O'Connell and Sexton, who both left the pitch through injury before halftime, as well as flanker Peter O'Mahony, who was injured after the break.
"I'm incredibly proud of the performance," said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, who conceded that O'Connell's World Cup is probably over.
"It was a battle that was attritional but a battle that showed a fair bit of character in the side. The challenge grew in complication when we lost Johnny Sexton, Paul O'Connell and Peter O'Mahony."
Schmidt also commented on the injuries to some of his key players, "No, Paul wasn't in at half-time at all really and neither was Jonny. They weren't in the dressing room at the time, but the update I can give you is that it doesn't look great with Paul, it looks like an upper hamstring, but we're probably going to have wait until to tomorrow to get that scan just to make sure that the inflammation has decreased just a little bit. Johnny - it looked like an abductor to me, but that's not the learned eye of a medic. We're probably going to get Johnny scanned tomorrow and Peter O'Mahony as well."
The roof of the Millennium Stadium was closed but the green-clad fans in the crowd of 72,163 nearly took it off with a passionate rendition of Ireland's Call and the Irish players responded by tearing into the early exchanges.