Bookies pick 4 NZ sides to fight out Super Rugby title, not a SA side in sight

Cape Town - South Africa's representation in the semi-finals of this year's Super Rugby tournament will be non-existent, if bookmakers are to be believed...

As the tournament nears its halfway point, leading SA bookies BET.co.za have installed no fewer than four New Zealand sides atop the odds.

The Hurricanes, the current Overall leaders, are favourites for the title at 8/5, followed by eight-time champions, the Crusaders, at 61/20.

The injury-plagued Chiefs are perhaps somewhat surprisingly third favourites at 6/1, followed by the Highlanders at 7/1.

The Lions, beaten finalists the past two seasons and currently atop the South African Conference, are next best at 21/2, followed closely by the Australian Conference leaders, the Waratahs (25/2).

Following them, it would be a massive shock if any of the Rebels (26/1), Blues (57/1), Bulls (61/1), Stormers (63/1) or Sharks (77/1) played a role come the semi-finals which are due to start on July 20.

The less said about the Brumbies (129/1), Jaguares (209/1), Reds (209/1) and Sunwolves (999/1) the better...