The FNB NWU-Pukke Young Guns got their campaign off to a convincing start by beating the FNB Wits Young Guns 60-8 in Potchefstroom on Monday.
Fullback Rhyno Smith notched a hat-trick amongst the nine tries that the home side ran in against Wits who are the newcomers to the competition.
The NWU-Pukke outfit made the most of their dominance, and were ruthless in their execution as they took a commanding 34-0 lead into the half-time break through five tries and three conversions from flyhalf Kobus Du Plessis.
The Wits side managed to get a late consolation try through hooker Rowan Kovel, but they could not stop NWU-Pukke from scoring four tries of their own in the second half and slumped to a heavy defeat.
NWU-Pukke will travel to Bloefontein to take on UFS-Shimlas next week, whilst Wits will have to travel to Pretoria to face defending champions UP-Tuks.
For FNB NWU-Pukke Young Guns:
Tries: Smith 3, Makhavu 2, Pienaar, Wepener, Liebenberg, Morrison
Cons: Du Plessis 5
For FNB Wits Young Guns:
NWU-Pukke Young Guns: 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Blessing Makhavhu, 13 Jaap Pienaar, 12 Marnus Tack, 11 Ryno Wepener, 10 Kobus Du Plessis, 9 Pieter Smith, 8 Jaco Buys, 7 Dean Basson, 6 Mark Reinecke, 5 Emile Odendaal, 4 Alex Du Plooy, 3 Gawie Liebenberg, 2 Thomas Dreyer, 1 Reginald Standem.
Replacements: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Wynand Breytenbach, 18 Durren Filies, 19 Loftus Morrison, 20 Chriswill September, 21 Gihan Megannon, 22 Eswyn Heyns, 23 Jandré Venter.
Wits Young Guns: 15 Christopher Mills, 14 Joshua Jarvis, 13 Ryan Pinto, 12 Luca Zambetti, 11 Ish Nkolo, 10 Keegan Rylance, 9 Ettiene Wessels, 8 Cameron Shafto, 7 Peter Smit, 6 Richard Crossman, 5 Daniel Bope, 4 Matthew Phillips, 3 Lebogang Lekganyane, 2 Rowan Kovel, 1 Daniel De Gouveia.
Replacements: 16 Shaun Dendiere, 17 Hikekani Mongwe, 18 Matt Stallwood, 19 Brendon Wessels, 20 Jarryd Fernandez, 21 Alastair Blair, 22 Lyle Joubert.