Rugby World Cup: Who will meet in the quarter-finals?

South Africa and Australia are set to clash in the quarterfinals. Photo / Getty Images
South Africa and Australia are set to clash in the quarterfinals. Photo / Getty Images

A breakdown of how the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals could play out:

Quarter-final 1 (Winner Pool C v Runner Up Pool D)
Likely match-up: Ireland v Wales
Ireland's shock win over the Wallabies has put them in pole position to top the group - they still need to defeat Italy to solidify first place though. But it is still open with Australia and Italy on 10 points each, three behind Ireland. Fiji have a mathematical, albeit near-impossible, chance of getting through from Pool D - they would need a combination of unexpected results to transpire.

Not impossible: Ireland v Samoa
If Samoa get a bonus point against South Africa and Wales lose to Fiji then they would sneak into second spot.

Quarter-final 2 (Winner Pool B v Runner Up Pool A)
Likely match-up: England v France
Providing England beat Scotland at Eden Park, they will top Pool B ahead of Argentina.

Even if France are troubled by Tonga in Pool A, it is virtually impossible that Canada would beat the All Blacks with a bonus point. Their second spot looks safe.

Not impossible: Argentina v France
If Scotland deny rivals England a bonus point then Argentina will finish top dog in Pool B and the 2003 champions would be eliminated.

Quarter-final 3 (Winner Pool D v Runner Up Pool C)
Likely match-up: South Africa v Australia
Samoa are a potential banana skin for South Africa. If the Springboks can overcome them, they will probably face Australia. Samoa would win the pool if they beat South Africa with a bonus point and Fiji upset Wales. The Italians could sneak into second spot if they can mastermind a win over the Irish.

Not impossible: Samoa v Italy
Highly unlikely but still on the cards if Samoa, Fiji and Italy win their final pool matches.

Quarter-final 4 (Winner Pool A v Runner Up Pool B)
Likely match-up: All Blacks v Argentina
The All Blacks' win over France secured a quarter-final berth - they are the only team to collect the maximum 15 competition points so far. Their opponents will likely be either Scotland or Argentina - but that group is relatively open. If those teams both won their games with bonus points (Scotland play England), England would fall outside the qualifying spots. Argentina should beat Georgia in their final match.

Not impossible: France v Scotland
If France beat Tonga by more than 94 points and Canada caused the biggest sporting upset ever by knocking off the All Blacks, then the French would grab top spot.

- HERALD ONLINE

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