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Rugby | Pro14

Sam Hidalgo Clyne © Getty Images

Sub’s hat-trick makes sure for Edinburgh



A hat-trick of tries in the final quarter hour of the game from reserve scrumhalf Sam Hidalgo-Clyne helped Edinburgh kill off a gutsy Southern Kings comeback and complete a comprehensive 48-21 Guinness Pro 14 win at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday night.

Edinburgh scored seven tries to two and it looked like they might manage even more than that when they made a quick start to the match by racing into a 15-0 lead after just 11 minutes.

However, the Kings managed to restrict them after that, and from the 20th minute through to the 60th the visitors were unable to add to their scoring.

Just though when it looked like the Kings might hang on for a competitive end score, Hidalgo-Clyne dropped in for three rapid fire tries that afforded his team a degree of comfort as they rounded out their bonus-point win.

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Although the Kings did score a driving maul try, with Dries van Schalkwyk dotting down, on the hooter it was no more than a consolation score for the hosts.

The win means that the Scottish team will return from their South African sojourn with one win and one defeat from their two games. They lost to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last Friday night.

Edinburgh started as if they had a train to catch, swarming onto the attack from the opening whistle and after an initial thrust at the line from former Golden Lions pivot Jaco van der Walt, it was lock Fraser McKenzie who barrelled his way over the line.

Fullback Blair Kinghorn, who was at the heart of much of what went right for Edinburgh on attack, then got an off-load away to big blindside flanker Viliame Mata, who ranged up outside him on the right touchline.

He might well have been tackled were it not for his little feint inside that flummoxed the Kings defenders and enabled Mata to waltz over the line as easy as you like.

Van der Walt succeeded with the first conversion attempt but not the second, but then added a three pointer to push his new team into a comfortable 15-0 lead.

TMO DECISION

Although Kings flyhalf Kurt Coleman drew three points back for his team in the 13th minute, Edinburgh were dominating possession and it was no surprise when off an attacking lineout the ball was released and the other lock, Grant Gilchrist, came round the corner to score near the posts.

With Edinburgh leading 22-3 and completely dominant, it looked like it might be a massacre at that point.

However, a fortuitous Kings try that came about when a rare dropped pass from the visitors was kicked though by Berton Klaasen for namesake Harlon Klaasen (they are not related) to galvanised Schalk Ferreira’s men and seemed to sap a bit of the precision and perfection out of the Edinburgh play.

Two further Coleman penalties before the break brought the Kings right back into at halftime (22-16) and that remained the score until the 60th minute, which was when Edinburgh capitalised a period of prolonged pressure on the Kings line by working the short side off an advancing scrum and wing Dougie Fife dotted down.

With an 11 point deficit the Kings would have felt they were still in the game but then came a try where the TMO was consulted before it was awarded as Hidalgo-Clyne looked like he might have released the ball from his control just before dotting down against the post.

He then scythed through a gap near the line to make it a brace and take his team into the forties before he completed his hat-trick by forcing the ball down between the posts.

Hooker Stefan Coetzee was probably the Kings’ best player on the night and his hard working efforts resulted in the Kings winning some ball on the ground and thus preventing the Scots from exerting the dominance throughout the match that was promised in the first 20 minutes.

However, with the Kings forced into their own half for much of the game and also forced to make way too many tackles – 14 of which were missed in the first half – there was always some inevitability that the dam wall would eventually break.

That said, the Kings should be lauded for an improved defensive effort in the middle stages of the game as well as their refusal to let the head drops after their disastrous opening 11 minutes.

SCORES

Edinburgh 48 – Tries: Sam Hidalgo-Clyne 3, Fraser McKenzie Viliame Mata, Grant Gilchrist and Dougie Fife; Conversions: Jaco van der Walt 2 and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne 3; Penalty: Jaco van der Walt.

Southern Kings 21 – Tries: Harlon Klaasen and Dries van Schalkwyk; Conversion: Kurt Coleman; Penalties: Kurt Coleman 3.



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