Defending champions College Rovers sent out a strong warning to the rest of the field at the 37th national club championships in Stellenbosch on Saturday.
They overwhelmed invited team SK Walmers 46-0 (half-time 34-0) in the main match on the opening day at the Danie Craven Stadium.
Rovers, who increased their unprecedented winning streak to 57 in 58 games in the process, will play Winter Rose in Monday's first quarterfinal, after the Border champions shocked Varsity Cup side Shimlas 18-12 to condemn the Free State students to their third Plate event in as many years.
There were no such slip-ups for fellow Varsity Cup sides Maties, NWU-Pukke, Tuks and UJ, who all recorded big wins on the first day of the week-long tournament, while open clubs Welkom Rovers and Park also made it through to the last eight.
The tournament, which features the 14 provincial champions, the Limpopo winners as well as an invited team in a 16-team draw, continues on Monday with Cup and Plate quarterfinals.
College Rovers are attempting to become the first team this century to retain the Club Champs title, with Maties (1997 and 1998) being the last side to do so.
The past 12 tournaments have delivered 12 different champions, with university teams winning nine times - Shimlas (1999, 2002), Maties (2000, 2005, 2007), Tukkies (2003), and Pukke (2004, 2006, 2008).
The only non-university clubs to win in this period were Pirates (2001), Hamilton (2009) and Rovers (2010).
Day One results:
UJ 91 Noordelikes 21
Park 28 Progress 27
Shimlas 12 Winter Rose 18
Springs 36 Welkom Rovers 40
Pukke 117 Kimberley Police 0
Roses United 22 Tukkies 39
Maties 61 Middelburg 20
College Rovers 46 SK Walmers 0
Quarterfinals - Monday, September 19:
College Rovers v Winter Rose - 11.45, B field
Maties v Tuks - 13.30, B field
UJ v Welkom Rovers - 15.15, Stadium
Pukke v Park - 17.00, Stadium
SK Walmers v Shimlas - 10.00, F field
Middelburg v Roses United - 10.00, G field
Noordelikes v Springs - 11.45, F field
Kimberley Police v Progress - 11.45, G field
* Only the winners of Monday's matches will stay on for Wednesday's Cup and Plate semifinals.
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