Ireland secured top spot in pool D and avoided a clash with New Zealand as Joe Schmidt’s side made it four wins from four with a 24-9 victory over France in Cardiff.
Ireland took a narrow 9-6 lead into half-time but the Irish put in an incredible second-half performance as France failed to match the Irish intensity with Rob Kearney and Conor Murray securing a well-deserved victory.
However, the win did come at a cost with Peter O’Mahony suffering knee ligament damage to rule him out of the rest of the tournament, while Jonathan Sexton (groin) and captain Paul O’Connell (hamstring) also doubtful to feature again in the World Cup.
It will be a quarter-final with Argentina for Ireland next weekend as the Pumas wrapped up second spot in pool C as they ran riot with a 64-19 demolition of Namibia.
Juan Martin Hernandez, Matias Moroni, Horacio Agulla, Facundo Isa and Lucas Noguera Paz all crossed the line in the first-half before further tries from Matias Alemanno, Leonardo Senatore, Julian Montoya and Tomas Cubelli wrapped up a convincing nine-try win for the Pumas.
Ma’a Nonu celebrated his 100th cap with a try as New Zealand secured top spot in pool C with four wins from four as the All-Blacks secured a convincing 47-9 win over Tonga.
A second-half double from Nehe Milner-Skudder, while further tries from Ben Smith, Tony Woodcock, Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Cane also crossed over before Nonu’s special moment late on as the world cup favourites set up a quarter-final with France.
Australia secured top spot in pool A as the Wallabies made it a 100% record in the pool stages with a hard-fought 15-6 win over fellow quarter-finalists Wales.
Five penalties from player of the tournament candidate Bernard Foley helped the Aussies to victory but after being reduced to 13-men when Will Genia and lock Dean Mumm were yellow-carded, the Wallabies produced a stunning defensive display to hold onto the win.
The Wallabies will face Scotland in the quarter-finals after they edged out Samoa in a tight affair in pool B as Grieg Laidaw produced a stunning display to help his country to a narrow 36-33 win.
Skipper Laidlaw scored a late try and kicked 21 points as first-half tries from winger Tommy Seymour and flanker John Hardie also helped Scotland bag a narrow win over the already eliminated Samoa.
Pool B winners South Africa secured top spot during the week and they will now face Warren Gatland’s Wales – who had to settle for second in pool A after defeat to Australia – for a place in the semi-finals
Scotland’s qualification meant Japan just fell short of a place in the quarter-finals but they capped off an incredible World Cup with a 28-18 win over the USA.
Kotara Matsushima, Yoshikazu Fujita and Amanaki Mafi all crossed the line to hand Japan their third win of the World Cup becoming the first side in 28 years to win three games and not advance to the knockout stages.
England wrapped up their disappointing World Cup campaign with a comfortable 60-3 victory over minnows Uruguay but that victory won’t make up for a nightmare campaign for Stuart Lancaster’s men.
Nick Easter scored a hat-trick of tires in his first start in four years, while Jack Nowell also crossed the line three times. Anthony Watson added two tries to his name, while Henry Slade and a penalty try completed the ten-try rout over the South Americans.
Italy survived a late Romania comeback in pool D as the Italians wrapped up their campaign with a hard-fought 32-22 victory with 17 points – including a try from Tommaso Allan helping Italy to a second victory.
Romania pulled off a superb comeback against Canada and nearly done so again with late tries from Valentin Poparlan and Adrian Apostol but it was too little too late and tries from Allan, Leonardo Sarto and Alessandro Zanni was enough to see Italy hang on.
Round Five Results
Australia 15-6 Wales
England 60-3 Uruguay
Samoa 33-36 Scotland
USA 28-18 Japan
Argentina 64-19 Namibia
New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
Italy 32-22 Romania
France 9-24 Ireland