Back-line talents Andrew Boyle and David McSharry crossed for first half tries which set UCD on the way to a 21-8 win over Bruff at Belfield.
Trailing 18-0 at the break, flanker John Shine grabbed Bruff’s only try but a penalty from replacement James Thornton wrapped up the result for the students.
UCD led from start to finish in what was a well-contested Division 1B clash. Their out-half Niall Earls opened the scoring with a third minute penalty before Bruff's stubborn defence eventually gave way and Andrew Boyle dotted down.
With just minutes left in the first half, centre David McSharry lit up the game with a terrific individual try. The recent Connacht debutant showed a clean pair of heels to the Bruff rearguard and Earls, who had added a second penalty, landed the conversion.
The second half was a scrappy affair. Bruff raised their hopes of mounting a comeback as Shine scored early on and the influential Brian Cahill tagged on a penalty goal.
But Thornton's successful kick took the pressure off the young students who face a difficult trip to in-form Ballymena in the next round.
Referee: Jonathan Peak (IRFU)