PORT ELIZABETH – Touring Scottish side Edinburgh were too strong for a poor Southern Kings side that conceded seven tries in a 48-21 PRO14 defeat at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday night.
The hero for the visitors was replacement scrumhalf Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, who came on late in the second half, scoring a staggering 21 points in less than 10 minutes by way of a hat trick of tries and three conversions.
Edinburgh were dominant throughout, although the Kings had hope in the second quarter when they scored a flurry of points against the run of play.
Apart from that clinical scoring, the home side were outclassed and undisciplined, resulting in two yellow cards against them.
The Scots burst out of the blocks, scoring excellent team tries within seven minutes through captain and lock Fraser McKenzie and flank Viliame Mata.
The bad start for the Kings got even worse when prop Schalk Ferreira was sin-binned for a swinging-arm tackle, giving former Golden Lions flyhalf Jaco van der Walt an opportunity to push the score out to 15-0.
Kings flyhalf Kurt Coleman pulled three points back, only for the Scots to sweep up field from the kickoff and lock Grant Gilchrist went over between the uprights.
It was all going the way of Edinburgh, but the Kings had a stroke of luck when a spilt ball from the attacking Scots went the way of centre Harlon Klaasen, who sprinted 50m for a try.
And the Kings were right back in it when Coleman kicked a penalty two minutes later to make it 22-13 on the half-hour mark, and a minute before the break the Kings’ comeback on the scoreboard was complete when Coleman nailed his third penalty.
After all that scoring in the opening quarter, it took 20 minutes of the second half before Edinburgh scored a vital try, with wing Dougie Fife going over in the corner.
The conversion was missed, but the visitors had a significant 27-16 lead.
And it was just about game over for the Kings when shortly after that try, fullback Yaw Penxe was yellow-carded for a professional foul near his tryline, and from the ensuing pressure, Hidalgo-Clyne grounded the ball against an upright and converted his try.
Hidalgo-Clyne was at it again two minutes later for his second try, and when his conversion went over, he had scored 14 points.
His game-changing cameo was complete when he scored his third try two minutes from time.
It hardly mattered when Dries van Schalkwyk scored for the Kings after a lineout rumble.
Kings 21 – Tries: Harlon Klaasen, Dries van Schalkwyk. Conversion: Kurt Coleman (1). Penalties: Coleman (3).
Edinburgh 48 – Tries: Fraser McKenzie, Viliame Mata, Grant Gilchrist, Dougie Fife, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (3). Conversions: Jaco van der Walt, Hidalgo-Clyne (3). Penalty: Van der Walt (1).
African News Agency (ANA)