Defending champions FNB UP-Tuks scored seven tries in a 53-8 demolition of FNB Wits in Johannesburg on Monday.
Former Junior Springbok centre Dries Swanepoel scored a hat-trick as his team dismissed the threat of last year's wooden spoonists who are still looking for their first win in the FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhhoff International.
Wits coach Andy Royle had called for his side to make a strong start to the game and he got his wish when they drew first blood, but those were also the last points his team would score on the night.
Wing Wilton Peterson grabbed an intercept and put scrumhalf Matt Torrance over for the try which he converted as well.
Stunned by this initial setback UP-Tuks regrouped well and it was not long before they were on the scoreboard with former Junior Springbok captain Wiaan Liebenberg getting over for a try which levelled the scores at 8-8.
That try was followed up by a double from Swanepoel who used his physicality to brush some Wits defenders aside and give his side a comfortable 21-8 lead at the half-time break.
Swanepoel, who partnered Springbok centre Jan Serfontein at Grey College, got over for his hat-trick try which also secured the bonus point for UP-Tuks shortly after half-time, leaving Wits scrambling to get back into the game.
UP-Tuks captain Reniel Hugo was next to score from a driving maul, and wing Jade Stighling and replacement Leneve Damens also got on the scoreboard as the visitors ran away with it.
FNB Wits: Try: Matt Torrance. Conversion: Torrance.
FNB UP-Tuks: Tries: Wiaan Liebenberg, Dries Swanepoel (3), Reniel Hugo, Jade Stighling, Lavene Damens. Conversions: Tian Schoeman (6)
The teams were:
FNB Wits: 15 Ruhan Nel, 14 Wilton Petersen, 13 Divan Ferguson, 12 Mandla Dube, 11 Joshua Jarvis, 10 Ashlon Davids, 9 Matt Torrance, 8 Jason Fraser, 7 JJ Breet, 6 JP Jonck, 5 Rinus Bothma, 4 Devin Montgomery (captain), 3 Gideon Muller, 2 Ashley Kohler, 1 Kyle Wood.
Replacements: 16 Peter van Biljon, 17 James Marx, 18 Rendani Ramovha, 19 Thato Mavundla, 20 Senna Esterhuizen, 21 Nkuli Gamede, 22 Ish Nkolo, 23 Ferdinand Kelly.
FNB UP-Tuks: 15 Warrick Gelant; 14 Jade Stighling, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Ryan Nell, 11 Kefentse Mahlo; 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Carlo Engelbrecht; 8 Rudolph Smith, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 Reniel Hugo (captain), 4 Dennis Visser, 3 Basil Short, 2 Sidney Tobias, 1 Juan Schoeman. Replacements: 16 Corniel Els; 17 Brummer Badenhorst, 18 Jannes Kirsten, 19 Leneve Damens, 20 Emile Temperman; 22 Francois Tredoux, 22 Jacques Rossouw, 23 Andrew Beerwinkel.
Referees: Tahla Ntshakaza, Jaco Kotze