Rugby World Cup semi-final history

Australia celebrated setting up a semi-final against Argentina — who thrashed Ireland 43-20.

A last-minute Bernard Foley penalty completed the first ever Southern Hemisphere clean sweep of World Cup semi-final places and set off a storm of controversy as Australia headed off a Scotland upset.   -  REUTERS

Argentina's convincing 43-20 win over Ireland and Australia's dramatic 35-34 defeat of Scotland on Sunday ensured that for the first time all four World Cup semi-finalists would come from the southern hemisphere.

With defending champions New Zealand thrashing France 62-13 and South Africa seeing off Wales 23-19 on Saturday, the weekend's quarter-final results sparked plenty of soul-searching regarding the state of northern hemisphere rugby union.

Below AFP Sport looks at the semi-final and final split at previous World Cups:

1987 Semi-finalists — Northern: France, Wales. Southern: New Zealand, Australia.

1987 Final — Northern: France. Southern: New Zealand. Winner: New Zealand.

1991Semi-finalists — Northern: England, Scotland. Southern: Australia, New Zealand.

1991 Final — Northern: England. Southern: Australia . Winner: Australia.

1995 Semi-finalists — Northern: England, France. Southern: New Zealand, South Africa.

1995 Final — Southern: New Zealand, South Africa. Winner: South Africa.

1999 Semi-finalists — Northern: France. Southern: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

1999 Final — Northern: France. Southern: Australia. Winner: Australia.

2003 Semi-finalists — Northern: England, France. Southern: Australia, New Zealand.

2003 Final — Northern: England. Southern: Australia. Winner: England.

2007 Semi-finalists — Northern: England, France. Southern: Argentina, South Africa.

2007 Final — Northern: England. Southern: South Africa. Winner: South Africa.

2011 Semi-finalists — Northern: France, Wales. Southern: Australia, New Zealand.

2011 Final — Northern: France. Southern: New Zealand. Winner: New Zealand.