In Dupont's case it meant France were allowed to bring on Maxime Machenaud with four minutes remaining despite having used all eight of the permitted injury replacements.
"Discipline let us down today, but with the chances we had we managed to put them in danger", he said.
Meanwhile France coach Jacques Brunel insisted his medical team had not made the decision.
"There are so many players involved, we played a number of phases (41), it was hard to clear out the ball a number of times", said Schmidt. Owens initially tapped his head as if suspecting a head injury, which heralded a confusing passage of play in which the French medics attending the player appeared to confirm the injury was to Dupont's leg, only for the fourth official to confirm the diagnosis of the independent match doctor - who never entered the field of play - that Dupont was going off for an HIA.
Sexton's teammates also heaped on the praise following the stunning victory.More news: Leeds United Sack Head Coach Thomas Christiansen Following Cardiff City Defeat
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"It was a stop-start game, there were lots of penalties and lots of potential penalties that cause some very slow ball".
Jalibert, 19, produced a lively performance at the Stade de France but limped off the pitch after half an hour. Cruelly, Jalibert's match was cut short when he, too, hurt a knee in collision with Bundee Aki's.
France was still in contention after Sexton missed his first penalty of the night and Thomas scored the only try of an otherwise locked game. As Kearney admitted, they got out of jail with Sexton's late act.
France G Palis; T Thomas, R Lamerat, H Chavancy, V Vakatawa; M Jalibert (A Belleau 29), M Machenaud (A Dupont, 66; Machenaud 75); J Poirot (D Priso 54), G Guirado (capt, A Pelissié 73), R Slimani (C Gomes Sa 54), A Iturria (P Gabrillagues 60), S Vahaamahina, W Lauret (M Tauleigne 66), Y Camara, K Gourdon.
Ireland now face Italy at the Aviva Stadium next Saturday.