UJ scored six tries to thrash UKZN 42-8 in the promotion-relegation match in Potchefstroom.
The Impi, who lost the Varsity Shield final to CUT last week, scored the first try of the match and trailed just 13-8 at the break, but were blown away in the second half by a UJ team that had finished seventh on the Varsity Cup log.
UKZN skipper Lwazi Ngcungama's try gave his side the perfect start, but it was not long before UJ hit back, as wing Andries Oosthuizen ran in an easy try after a powerful driving maul.
UJ got the ball over the tryline again after a tighthead, but the try was disallowed after the TMO spotted loosehead Devon Martinus throw a punch at the scrum. The big prop was shown a yellow card which sent his team into the first strategy break trailing 8-5 with a man down.
Things opened up when play got back underway with opportunities at both ends, and it was UJ right wing PJ Walters who strolled over next to the poles after another attacking lineout. The conversion from flyhalf Marais Schmidt gave UJ the lead for the first time in the game at 13-8 despite being down to 14 men.
UKZN made a determined start to the second half, but UJ were able to soak up the pressure fairly easily before striking through fullback Juan Kotze.
The orange tide continued to roll and some desperate defence from the Impi on their own tryline saw replacement Gavin Nyawata shown a yellow card for repeated infringements from his side. UJ swung it wide from the resulting lineout, and Oosthuizen was on hand out on the left wing to surge over for their fourth try which gave them a 29-8 advantage.
UKZN fought hard until the final whistle, but late tries from UJ replacements Dylan Peterson and Wiseman Kamanga sealed the comfortable win.
UJ – Tries: Andries Oosthuizen (2), PJ Walters, Juan Kotze, Dylan Peterson, Wiseman Kamanga. Conversions: Marais Schmidt (4).
UKZN – Try: Lwazi Ngcungama. Conversion: Duncan Campbell.
UJ – 15 Juan Kotze, 14 PJ Walters, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Andries Oosthuizen, 10 Marais Schmidt, 9 Viaan van der Watt, 8 JP Swanepoel, 7 Victor Sekekete, 6 Kobus Porter (c), 5 David Antonites, 4 Shane Kirkwood, 3 Van Zyl Botha, 2 Jannes Snyman, 1 Devon Martinus.
Subs: 16 Qinisile Siphatho, 17 Wiseman Kamanga, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Dylan Peterson, 20 Jacques Pretorius, 21 Jaco van der Walt, 22 Pieter Morton, 23 Hendrik Bredenkamp.
UKZN – 15 Hendrik Groenewald, 14 Shayne Makombe, 13 Brandon Bailing, 12 Kurt Mavrodaris, 11 Hendrik Lategan, 10 Duncan Campbell, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Deon Carney, 7 Zwela Zondi, 6 Lwazi Ngcungama (c), 5 Johan Wagenaar, 4 Adam Wessels, 3 Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2 Dean Muir, 1 Henri Boshoff.
Subs: 16 Mikyle Webster, 17 Bartholomeus le Roux, 18 Gideon Koegelenberg, 19 Sanele Malwane, 20 Nelson Makhanye, 21 Gavin Nyawata, 22 Yandisa Mdolomba, 23 Sizwe Kuhbeka.