The Free Staters opened their account with a half-century of points as they beat the Valke by 50-14 in Bloemfontein, the Lions were too strong for the Leopards and won 45-19 in Johannesburg, and the defending champions from Pretoria had too much class as they beat DHL WP by 45-26 at home.

In Bloem, the Toyota Cheetahs outscored their visitors from the East Rand by eight tries to two, with Liyabonga Maplanga and Marcey de Waal each bagging a brace, while Tiaan Kriek added five conversions and a try for a personal haul of 15 points.

The Lions underlined their status as one of the unions with the best age-group teams as they comfortably beat the Leopards, scoring seven tries to three in the process.

Marno Grobbelaar, Tiaan Wessels and Kelly Mpeku got six between them, with each player crossing the Leopards' try-line twice, while Sam Francis converted five.

Juann Else scored his second brace in as many weeks as he helped the Vodacom Bulls to solid win over DHL WP, with the men from Pretoria scoring seven tries in total at Loftus Versfeld, including a penalty try, while the Capetonians responded with four of their own - three by their captain and openside flanker Paul de Villiers and one by hooker Luca Bakkes - to ensure they leave Gauteng with a bonus point.

The Cell C Sharks, who had a bye in the second round, host the Vodacom Bulls in Durban this weekend, DHL WP are at home to the Lions in Cape Town, and the Leopards take on the Toyota Cheetahs in Potchefstroom.