When your game time is limited, you have to make the very most of every opportunity that comes your way and in Round 10 of the Guinness PRO14, Edinburgh’s Sam Hidalgo-Clyne did exactly that.
Named the Guinness PRO14’s Young Player of the Year two seasons ago, the 24-year-old served up one of the most sensational cameos of the season with his mesmerising 24-minute display in his side’s 48-21 victory at the Southern Kings.
The Spanish-born Scotland international shone with a late hat-trick of tries and converted all three of his scores himself.
Despite having started just five Guinness PRO14 games so far this season, Hidalgo-Clyne is now the joint third-highest try-scorer in the league behind the Toyota Cheetahs’ Makazole Mapimpi and Munster’s Alex Wootton – he has also kicked 44 points.
Just four minutes after entering the fray, the Edinburgh man collected the ball from a scrum and then popped a pass right to tee up Dougie Fife for the visitors’ fourth try of the game.
In the 71st minute, he got his unlikely treble up and running by placing the ball against the upright from close range before then sharply darting forward from a ruck to crash over for his second of the evening.
And with the clock winding down, another speculative leap saw Hidaglo-Clyne heap more late woe on the Kings, the replacement bagging a hat-trick inside seven minutes and nervelessly adding the extras from the tee.
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