SAPS crashed to a 37-7 defeat at the hands of NMMU in the sixth round of the Eastern Province Rugby Union Grand Challenge Cup at Kemsley Park on Saturday.
The youthful NMMU side put on yet another dominant display of ball in hand against SAPS, who seemingly lacked confidence.
NMMU fullback Lindelwa Zungu registered the first points with a brilliant individual try.
Flyhalf Jordaan Koekemoer stretched the lead to 20-0 at half time with two penalties.
SAPS showed more tenacity in the opening stages of the second half and were eventually rewarded with a try when eighthman Cody Basson took a short pass and headed straight for the line.
Flyhalf Justin Peach further closed the gap with a conversion.
SAPS were later denied an opportunity to get back into the game when they lost a chance from a ruck inside the opposition’s 5m area.
The wet and slippery conditions on the pitch resulted in multiple injuries in both camps.
The introduction of NMMU substitute flyhalf Hendrick Olivier brought about rhythm in their backline and the flat-footed SAPS defensive line was left open.
A dummy pass by NMMU wing Ivan du Preez saw the visitors seal the game with a brilliant try in the middle of the poles.
“NMMU were a better conditioned side and their exposure to Varsity Cup competition makes them a better team,” SAPS coach Riaan Geldenhuys said.
“We were certainly outplayed defensively and our fitness was not on par.”
NMMU manager David Maidza said: “It is important for the guys to keep focused and hungry for wins.
“We are, however, concerned with the injuries in today’s match and where that will put us in upcoming games.”