JONSSON College Rovers kicked off the inaugural Cell C Community Cup with an impressive win over GAP Despatch, while there were also victories for wild cards African Bombers, Raiders and Roses United on the opening weekend of the new 20-team national tournament.
In Pretoria, home side Police held out for a bonus-point 35-26 victory against Durbanville-Bellville on the Loftus Versfeld B field.
Leading 27-7 at half-time thanks to a brace of tries from Ruan van Loo and one just before the break by Luka van Biljon the Bobbies seemed to be cruising to an easy win over the team they knocked out at the quarter-final stage of last year's Club Championships.
But Durbell fought back in fine style with tries from Divan Batt and Raynor Becker immediately upon resumption to close the gap to six points. Michael Nienaber dived over for the home side's fourth try but Jody Reyneke scored a brilliant individual try to reduce the deficit once again with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Flyhalf Dillon Laubscher slotted his third penalty for a tally of six out of seven for the day to stretch the advantage to nine points with only a few minutes remaining. Despite a valiant effort from the Western Province club to secure a second losing bonus point, Police stopped the traffic to bag a full house of points and kick off their campaign in fine style.
There were also wins for the two other wild cards in action in Round 1, Raiders running out 45-12 winners over BB Truck Noordelikes in a Pool C encounter played in Polokwane, while in Wellington Roses United beat White River 65-36 in a thrilling encounter at Pelican Park.
Scorers, Round 1:
Pretoria Police (27) 35 – Tries: Ruan van Loo (2), Louis van Biljon, Michael Nienaber. Conversions: Dillon Laubscher (3). Penalties: Laubscher (3).
Durbanville-Bellville (7) 26 – Tries: Marthinus Keyser, Divan Batt, Raynor Becker, Jody Reyneke. Conversions: Theuns Kotze (3).
BB Truck Noordelikes (0) 12 – Tries: Everard Bye (2). Conversion: Zander Byleveldt.
Raiders (28) 45 – Tries: Ryno Hendrikz, Jimmy Baloyi, Jama Ntengo, Dean Swart, Carlo Moodie. Conversions: Shaun Davids (4). Penalties: Davids (4).