THE defending champions remained unbeaten after the opening round matches during the Fiji Secondary Schools Hockey Association 11 a-side tournament at the Natabua High School grounds yesterday.
Marist Brothers' High School started their Bhasin Cup defence on a high note defeating Saint John's College 1-0.
In the second, Pool A encounter, MBHS drew with Suva Grammar School nil-all.
In the girls division champions, Saint Joseph's Secondary School proved too strong for Saint John's College winning 2-0. The Westmere Cup holders then downed Swami Vivekananda College by the same scoreline.
FSSHA president Laniana Camaitoga said the change in the qualification format had lifted the level of competition this year.
She said Delana Methodist Secondary School from Levuka was making a comeback after a long time.
"The standard of hockey during the tournament is higher than in previous years," Camaitoga said.
"This is because of the introduction of the playoff system. This year, we have Delana Methodist coming in after a long time. They defeated Levuka Public in the playoffs.
"In the girl's competition for each zone, we have the top four schools from each zone qualifying for the nationals expect for Levuka which has two spots.
"In the boy's, there are three from Suva, three from Lautoka/Nadi and two from Levuka. The competition is very stiff as we have the battle of the best.
"The change in the format is a positive step as we have the top teams here. The scorelines recorded are close."
The finals of the 11-a-side tournament will be held this morning before the start of the seven a-side tournament.
Boy's: MBHS 1 SJC 0, NHS 0 DMHS 1, SGS 1 CCL 2, LBSS 0, SJC 1 CCL 1, DMHS 0 SVC 1.
Girl's: LMS 2 SJC 1, CSS 0 LPS 1, STHS 1 SVC 0, NHS 2 THS 1, SJSS 2 SJC 0, ACS 0 LPS 2, LMS 2 STHS 1, CSS 0 NHS 1, SJSS 2 SVC 0, SJC 2 STHS 1, LPS 0 NHS 0.