Sam Hidalgo-Clyne scored three self-converted tries in the last 10 minutes to guide Edinburgh to an emphatic 48-21 win over the Kings in Port Elizabeth on Friday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Edinburgh are currently fourth in the Pro14 Conference B standings, but it didn’t take long to show why they are such a powerhouse in European rugby. Playing in Port Elizabeth for the first time, Edinburgh were on their A-game from the start and effectively shut the Kings down in the second stanza to claim all the log points on offer.
After making his club debut last weekend, flyhalf Jaco van der Walt earned his first start for Edinburgh in this game and performed admirably despite skewing a couple of kicks at goal. But it was replacement scrumhalf Hidalgo-Clyne whose second-half cameo squashed whatever hopes the Kings had of getting a losing bonus point out of the game.
There was never any real threat of Edinburgh losing, despite the fact that the Kings trailed by only six at the break. The hosts were too inconsistent and too ill-disciplined to cause an upset. Coach Deon Davids’ side conceded two yellow cards.
A clinical display saw Edinburgh score three tries to take a commanding 22-3 lead inside the opening quarter of the match. A try from centre Harlon Klaasen and eight points from the boot of Kurt Coleman kept the Kings in the game.
The second half was a downgrade in quality compared to the first, with Edinburgh only able to add to their score in the 60th minute when Dougie Fife burrowed over from set-phase ball close to the line.
The introduction of Hidalgo-Clyne immediately added spark and spunk to Edinburgh’s attack. Between minutes 71 and 78, he ripped through the Kings’ defences three times to score and to add insult to injury, successfully took over the kicking duties as well.
The Kings finished with a flourish as Dries van Schalkwyk crashed over late in the game, but it was scant consolation.
Kings – Tries: Harlon Klaasen, Dries van Schalkwyk. Conversion: Kurt Coleman. Penalties: Coleman (3).
Edinburgh – Tries: Fraser McKenzie, Viliami Mata, Grant Gilchrist, Dougie Fife, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (3). Conversions: Jaco van der Walt (2), Hidalgo-Clyne (3). Penalty: Van der Walt.
Kings – 15 Yaw Penxe/Masixole Banda, 14 Michael Makase, 13 Harlon Klaasen, 12 Berton Klaasen, 11 Anthony Volmink/Alshaun Bock, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Rudi van Rooyen, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Martinus Burger, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Bobby de Wee, 4 Stephan Greeff, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Stephan Coetzee, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Subs: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Luvuyo Pupuma, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 20 Dries van Schalkwyk, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 23 Jacques Nel.
Edinburgh – 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 James Johnstone, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Viliame Mata, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Fraser McKenzie (c), 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Neil Cochrane, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Subs: 16 Cameron Fenton, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Luke Crosbie, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Chris Dean, 23 Glenn Bryce.