Port Elizabeth - FNB NMMU began their 2011 Varsity Cup season where they left off last year... with a loss, as the 2010 Wooden Spoonists went down 7-38 to a rampant FNB Tuks outfit in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
A lot has been written - and said - about this Tuks team, who have enlisted the help of Bulls guru Heyneke Meyer this year, and they did not disappoint en route to their five-tries-to-one demolition.
After leading by 20-3 at half-time, the visitors added three more tries to also come away with a four-try bonus point - all too valuable away from home.
No.8 Jono Ross was voted as the official Varsity Cup Player that Rocks, having scored a try and impressing with ball in hand and on defence against a passionate Madibas side which clearly missed its captain and star centre Mathew Lutge - most notably on defence.
The hosts, after an early scuffle in the match, conceded first-half tries to winger Hayden Groepes and the barnstorming Ross, NMMU No.10 Marius Muller having given his team a glimmer of hope when he put them ahead by 3-0 early in the match.
The second half was something of a repeat of the first forty minutes, as the home side seemed to run out of composure after a bright enough start.
The Tuks pressure - and hammering - eventually told and new captain and flyhalf Wesley Dunlop scored the first points of the second half when he crossed for his first try in Tuks colours in the Varsity Cup.
Outside centre Jean du Plessis and former Maties star Jurgen Visser (who joined Tuks this year), wrapped things up for the visitors who find themselves on top of the Varsity Cup log after Round One - albeit on points' difference only.
FNB NMMU: 15 Vuyolethu Mazaka, 14 Mayibuye Ndwandwa, 13 Wade
Roos, 12 Bradley Kretzmann, 11 Juan du Preez, 10 Marius Muller, 9 Shannon Rick,
8 Jaco Swanepoel (captain), 7 Theunis Derksen, 6 Ferdinand Gerber, 5 Mzwande
Zito, 4 Schalk Oelofse, 3 Ross David-Anderson, 2 Ulrich Pretorius, 1 Musa
Replacements: 16 Lumka Mbane, 17 Gareth Hartley, 18
Louis Fourie, 19 Maurice Rudman, 20 Martin Ruiters, 21 Jeffrey Taljard, 22
Hlangoluhle Nodongwe, 23 Andile Mrwebi.
FNB Tukkies: 15 Jurgen Visser, 14 Gerhardus Kotzee, 13 Jean
du Plessis, 12 Arno van Zyl, 11 Hayden Groepes, 10 Wesley Dunlop (captain), 9
Neil de Bruin, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Nqubeko Zulu, 6 Warwick Tecklenburg, 5 Franco
Mostert, 4 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 3 Grant Kemp, 2 Chris Crous, 1 Vincent
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Corné Fourie, 18
Sthembiso Mlongo, 19 Wesley Kotze, 20 Clayton Stewart, 21 Marnitz Boshoff, 22
Andries Coetzee, 23 Jean Rossouw
Referee: Quinton Immelman