Pukke are the only university club left in the running for the National Club Championship title after Shimlas suffered a big upset on Sunday.
Pirates were the last open club to win the title in 2001 as university clubs have dominated the scene over the last eight years. However, this could change as seven open clubs remain in the Premier stage of the competition.
In the first round of results, Pukke kicked off their campaign in style at Tukkies sports ground with a 87-12 victory over Noordelikes from Limpopo. The flood gates, however, only opened in the second half as the defending champions were held 12-0 at the break.
The two oldest clubs in the country, Hamiltons and Pirates, also had strong starts with big wins over Griquas’ Kuruman (83-19) and Mpumalanga champions Middelburg (66-3) respectively.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape clubs caused the shocks of the day as Park stunned Shimlas 27-26 and Buffalo beat Pretoria Police 45-19.
The winners of the first round qualify for the Premier quarterfinals, while the losers will compete in the secondary Plate quarterfinals. This way, all 16 teams still have something to play for, instead of being eliminated after one game.
These matches will be played on Tuesday.
Day One Results:
College Rovers 33 – 25 Impala
Hamiltons 83 – 19 Kuruman
Springs 37 – 14 Welkom Rovers
Pretoria Police 19 – 45 Buffalo
Pirates 66 – 3 Middelburg
Shimlas 26 – 27 Park
Rawsonville 25 – 21 Groot Brakriver
Pukke 87 – 12 Noordelikes
Pukke v Rawsonville
College Rovers v Park
Hamiltons v Pirates
Springs v Buffalo
Noordelikes v Great Brakriver
Impala v Shimlas
Kuruman v Middelburg
Welkom Rovers v Pretoria Police