Southern Kings 21, Edinburgh 48: Hidalgo-Clyne scores a hat-trick
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne came off the bench to bag a hat-trick and set up another try as Edinburgh surged to a 48-21 victory over Southern Kings.
Three tries in the opening 19 minutes put Richard Cockerill’s side in command in Port Elizabeth but the hosts reduced the deficit to six by half-time.
However, Dougie Fife sealed the bonus point and scrum-half Hidalgo-Clyne delivered a brilliant cameo display to claim 21 points himself in seven minutes.
Edinburgh lost against the Cheetahs seven days earlier but had since been joined in South Africa by seven Scotland internationalists following the end of the autumn Test series. Phil Burleigh, Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist, Cornell du Preez, Jamie Ritchie and Rory Sutherland all started and Ben Toolis came off the bench after helping Scotland to victory over Australia.
Edinburgh started with intent and Fraser McKenzie went over inside three minutes after some sustained pressure near the Kings try line. Cockerill’s team crossed again three minutes later when Viliame Mata sprinted clear.
Edinburgh lost Neil Cochrane to injury 11 minutes in following a high tackle by Schalk Ferreira but the home skipper was sent to the sin bin as a result and Gilchrist went over as Edinburgh kept up the pressure following a lineout on the five-metre line.
Recent signing Jaco van der Walt took his tally with the boot to seven points to make it 22-3 but his dropped pass soon offered the hosts a lifeline and Harlon Klaasen broke away to score. The South Africans were lifted and Kurt Coleman’s kicking saw them chip away at the lead.
Edinburgh enjoyed some pressure early in the second half but there were no more scores until the hour mark when Hidalgo-Clyne fed Fife following a scrum five metres out.
Hidalgo-Clyne then took centre stage, converting all three of his own tries in the final 10 minutes, before Dries van Schalkwyck scored a last-minute consolation try after du Preez was yellow-carded.