FOR the first time in the history of the tournament no European side will play at the semi finals of the Rugby World Cup after the quarter final results at the weekend.
On Saturday South Africa proved to be a step too far for a battling Welsh team in a match that ended 23-19. Wales were missing Liam Williams, Scott Williams, Jonathan Davies and Leigh Halfpenny and the Springbok power took over in the second half.
New Zealand meanwhile were in wonderful form to overcome France 62-13 and book themselves a place in the semi finals. Among the All Black scorers was Julian Savea, who scored a hat trick in the nine-try demolition of the French side.
On Sunday Ireland were missing too many key players and Argentina took advantage in a 43-20 win. The Pumas had a storming start to take a 17-0 lead and although Luke Fitzgerald stepped up for an excellent try for Ireland the comeback wasn’t to be. Paul O’Connell and Jonny Sexton could only look on from the sidelines as Argentina moved further in front in the last quarter.
Finally Australia beat Scotland in the last minute of a thrilling match to win 35-34. In the first half Australia’s Adam Ashley Cooper and Michael Hooper were among the scorers. As the game went on Greig Laidlaw’s boot kept Scotland in touch. The game ended in late drama as a controversial penalty awarded to Australia saw them ahead at the final whistle.
Now it is set that for the seventh time in eight tournaments a southern hemisphere nation will take home the Rugby World Cup trophy. Next Saturday New Zealand face South Africa and on Sunday Australia take on Argentina in the 2015 semi finals.