From a safe distance, IBTimesUK takes a look at the scrums, tackles, fights and injuries sustained during the first round of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Rugby World Cup 2015
Tonga's Soane Tonga'uiha is seen in action during their Pool C match against Argentina at Leicester City Stadium on 4 October 2015Andrew Boyers/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Wesley Fofana of France scores his team's fourth try as he is tackled by Madalin Lemnaru of Romania during their Pool D match at the Olympic Stadium in London on 23 September 2015Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
Japan's Luke Thompson is glimpsed before a scrum in their Pool B match against Scotland at Kingsholm, Gloucester on 23 September 2015Andrew Boyers/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
A view of a scrum during the Pool D match between Italy and Romania at Sandy Park, Exeter on 11 October 2015Andrew Couldridge/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
South Africa's Duane Vermeulen and Samoa's Tim Nanai-Williams clash during their Pool B match at Villa Park, Birmingham on 26 September 2015Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Japan's Koliniashi Holani tackles USA's Eric Fry during their Pool B match at Kingsholm, Gloucester on 11 October 2015Eddie Keogh/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Scotland's Richie Vernon is tackled by South Africa's Handre Pollard during their Pool B match at St James' Park, Newcastle on 3 October 2015Phil Noble/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Fiji scrum-half Nikola Matawalu loses control of the ball and fails to score a try during a Pool A match against England at Twickenham on 18 September 2015Adrian Dennis/AFP
Rugby World Cup 2015
Tonga's Joe Tuineau tackles Namibia's Chrysander Botha during their Pool C match at Sandy Park, Exeter on 29 September 2015Paul Childs/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Uruguay scrum half Alejo Duran tugs the shirt of England lock Joe Launchbury during their Pool A match at Manchester City Stadium on 10 October 2015Damien Meyer/AFP
Rugby World Cup 2015
Julian Savea of New Zealand All Blacks has his shorts pulled by Shalva Sutiashvili of Georgia during their Pool C at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 2 October 2015Michael Steele/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
Italy's Enrico Bacchin is tackled by France's Pascal Pape and Frederic Michalak during their Pool D match at Twickenham on 19 September 2015Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Ireland's lock and captain Paul O'Connell is seen in action during a Pool D match against Italy at the Olympic Stadium in London on 4 October 2015Martin Bureau/AFP
Rugby World Cup 2015
Henry Speight of Australia passes the ball as he is tackled by Rodrigo Silva and Matias Beer of Uruguay during the Pool A match at Villa Park in Birmingham on 27 September 2015Michael Steele/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
Bernard Foley of Australia goes over to score their second try during their Pool A match against England at Twickenham on 3 October 2015Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
Bryan Habana of South Africa scores their third try during their Pool B match against the USA at the Olympic Stadium in London on 7 October 2015Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
David Pocock of Australia scores his side's opening try during their Pool A match against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 23 September 2015Michael Steele/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
Ritchie McCaw of New Zealand leads the Haka during their Pool C match against Argentina at Wembley Stadium on 20 September 2015David Rogers/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
A bloodied Bradley Davies of Wales is seen in action during their Pool A match against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 1 October 2015Phil Walter/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
Mike Ross of Ireland tries to break free from a knot of Canadian players during their Pool D match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 19 September 2015Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
General view of the action during the England-Australia Pool A match at Twickenham on 3 October 2015Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
France's Eddy Ben Arous clashes with Italy's Lorenzo Cittadini during their Pool D match at Twickenham on 19 September 2015Russell Cheyne/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Mike Brown of England and Sam Warburton of Wales clash during their Pool A match at Twickenham on 26 September 2015Andrew Winning/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Scotland lock Richie Gray and Samoa's Teofilo Paulo scuffle during a Pool B match at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 10 October 2015Bertrand Langlois/AFP
Rugby World Cup 2015
A scuffle breaks out between Australia and Fiji players during their Pool A match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 23 September 2015Stu Forster/Getty Images
Rugby World Cup 2015
France's Benjamin Kayser is seen after the Pool D match against France at the Olympic Stadium, London on 23 September 2015Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Blood runs down the face of South Africa's lock Victor Matfield during their Pool B match against Samoa at Villa Park in Birmingham on 26 September 2015Bertrand Langlois/AFP
Rugby World Cup 2015
Liam Williams and Dan Biggar of Wales lie injured during their Pool A match against England at Twickenham on 26 September 2015Andrew Winning/Reuters
Rugby World Cup 2015
Scott Williams of Wales is stretchered off during their Pool A match against England at Twickenham on 26 September 2015Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

With 40 matches down, the Rugby World Cup has become a knockout contest between the hemispheres – north vs south. Defending champions New Zealand are playing France in the highest-profile game of the quarter-finals, which also feature Australia against Scotland, South Africa vs Wales and Argentina against Ireland.

The South Africans have only lost twice in 30 tests against Wales. The Springboks have the best strike rate at the World Cup, having won the title twice since rejoining international competition in the post-apartheid era. Bryan Habana has equalled Jonah Lomu's mark of 15 World Cup tries and could earn the record outright with another touchdown against Wales. On the plus side for the Welsh, they beat South Africa in Cardiff in November 2014 and came through the toughest group of the tournament.

While the All Blacks are the undisputed number one team — with their intimidation tactics starting before kick-off with the ceremonial Haka — they have struggled to exert serious supremacy in important recent World Cup matches against the French, who thrive on their reputation for being unpredictable.

Six Nations champions Ireland have won 12 and drawn one of their 20 matches against Argentina but the Southern Hemisphere side has a 2-1 edge in World Cup encounters. The Irish have never won a World Cup quarter-final and they will be without captain Paul O'Connell, who injured his hamstring against France, and flanker Sean O'Brien, who is serving a suspension.

The Wallabies are strong favourites after topping a group containing Wales and England, and face a Scotland team that lost every match in the Six Nations tournament and struggled to hold off Samoa 36-33 to seal second spot in its group here. But the two-time champion Australians are wary after losing two of their last three matches against the Scots.

England have been knocked out – the first time a tournament host has failed to reach the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals, but London Mayor Boris Johnson showed England still have the power to crush the opposition – if the opposition is a 10-year-old Japanese child.

Boris Johnson: Watch Mayor of London knock over Japanese child during game of street rugbyIBTimes UK