On this Day – 2nd May

Andrew Dunemann last minute drop goal

ON THIS DAY in 2003, Leeds Rhinos welcomed Wakefield Trinity Wildcats to Headingley the week after the heart break of defeat in the Challenge Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Daryl Powell recalled Danny McGuire to the side after he had missed out against the Bulls on selection and he immediately made an impact as he crossed for the opening try of the game.

Wakefield produced a spirited fightback and looked to have earned a deserved draw that would have been one of the shock results of the season until Andrew Dunemann secured a dramatic win to maintain his side’s 100% start to the league campaign. 

Daryl Powell, the Leeds coach, was forced into four changes to the side which went so close in the Millennium Stadium, the most notable being Chev Walker who had a bout of tonsillitis. 

The Rhinos took an early lead courtesy of two penalties from Kevin Sinfield before Jamie Rooney replied with two kicks to level the score.

Leeds had to rely on Sinfield to kick them back in front on 37 minutes with his third penalty before Wakefield’s resistance finally cracked on the stroke of half-time, Matt Diskin releasing Danny McGuire for the game’s opening try which Sinfield converted to make it 12-4 at the break. 

Rooney kept Wakefield within touching distance with his third successful penalty on 43 minutes before Shane McNally’s spirited side wasted a great opportunity to level the game when Colum Halpenny spilled the ball as he was about to go over following a sharp break from Dallas Hood. 

Halpenny’s blunder was soon forgotten when Waisale Sovatabua powered through the Leeds defence to score in the corner and with Rooney adding a superb conversion from the touchline the game was all square at 12-12.

In the final minute, with Sinfield injured in back play, Dunemann stepped up again to win the game, just as he had down in the previous league game at Castleford.

Leeds Rhinos: Connolly; Calderwood, McKenna, Senior, Cummins; Dunemann, McGuire; Bailey, Diskin, McDermott, Furner, Poching, Sinfield. Substitutes: Mathers, Jones-Buchanan, Feather, Ward. 

Wakefield Wildcats: Halpenny; Sovatabua, Ellis, Seers, Wells; Rooney, Davies; Korkidas, March, Hood, Knott, Field, Vowles. Substitutes: Slattery, Jeffries, Wrench, Snitch. 

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington).

ON THID DAY in 1924, the legendary Arthur Clues, heritage number 841, was born in Liverpool, New South Wales.

Arguably, the greatest character ever to play for the club, the former Sydney policeman arrived as a Test player, having appeared in all three games against the touring ‘Indomiatables’ in 1946.

That earned him a formidable reputation, somewhat ironically, of taking no prisoners – having been sent off in the Test at the SCG. Historian Robert Gate summed up his contribution best saying, “When the name Arthur Clues crops up in conversation, eyes light up or brows furrow, for he is the stuff of which memories are made. Tall tales are told about Arthur and many of them are true. In short, he was both beguiling and brutal, riveting and ruthless.”

A magnificent broken field runner, possessor of a wonderful kicking game and sublime side step for such a big man, he led form the front, eventually taking on the captaincy.

He was thwarted in his quest for major honours not least at Wembley in 1947, Leeds having made the decider without conceding a point but going down to Bradford. In 1949-50, he was joint top try scorer with 16.

Magnificent for fostering team spirit, he took on the club’s directors with as much passion and disregard as he did opponents and it was no surprise – but a massive disappointment – when he transferred to neighbours Hunslet.

A cricket lover, he played for Bill Fallowfield’s side that raised thousands of pounds for charity and claimed to be the only player to score a try and hit a century at both the SCG and Headingley.

His famous sports shop in the city centre served many junior sides – invariably at his own expense. In his later years he was a very valuable, long serving member of the Sport’s Council and its Sports Aid Foundation and was captain at Moortown golf club. In total, he made 236 appearances for Leeds, scoring 74 tries for a total of 222 points.

Find out more about Arthur Clues by clicking here

Arthur Clues

ON THIS DAY in 2000, Leeds took on Salford at Headingley in the first game after the Challenge Cup final defeat to Bradford at Murrayfield. Leeds ran out comfortable 42-16 winners on the day with Karl Pratt scoring twice along with efforts from Keith Senior, David Barnhill, Ryan Sheridan, Iestyn Harris and Barrie McDermott.

There was also a try on debut for Australian Graham MacKay, who joined the Rhinos from French Rugby Union side Beziers. MacKay had previously played Rugby League in Australia, making his debut in 1988 with Western Suburbs.

At the end of the 1990 season he was swapped by Wests in the short-lived and controversial draft system which existed in Australian rugby league solely in the 1991 season. The move proved beneficial for MacKay has he joined Penrith Panthers and was a member of the Panthers successful 1991 premiership side. Following the grand final victory he travelled with the Panthers to England for the 1991 World Club Challenge which was lost to Wigan. Mackay made his representative debut for New South Wales on the wing in game I of the 1992 State of Origin series. He also played in game II of 1992. In 1992 he made his international debut with he Kangaroos in a Test match against Papua New Guinea in Townsville. Mackay scored two tries in a man-of-the-match performance. He was chosen in Australia’s World Cup squad in England but did not play in the final.

Mackay regularly competed for a New South Wales wing spot against Andrew Ettingshausen, gaining selection in State of Origin game III of 1993 and game I of 1994.

Mackay quit the Panthers at the end of 1994 to link with his former coach Phil Gould at Easts. He spent the 1995 season there and returned to good goal-kicking form booting 20 goals in just 13 games.

In 1996 he joined the South Queensland Crushers for that club’s second season in the ARL. Following a pay dispute with the cash-strapped Crushers, he joined the neighbouring Gold Coast Chargers, and captained the Chargers during the final two years of the club’s existence. Following the demise of the Gold Coast, Mackay signed with his sixth club, the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles for the 1999 NRL season.

In 2000 he moved to Europe to initially play Rugby Union but was snapped up by Leeds when new signing Paul Bell was forced to retire after just four games. His form for the Rhinos was impressive as he helped them go on a 13 game winning run. He enjoyed a busy winter as he played for Scotland at the 2000 World Cup before joining up with Leeds Tykes Rugby Union side to help them win promotion to the top flight of English Club Rugby Union for the first time.

He then switched to Bradford Bulls, where he won the 2001 Grand Final, scoring a try and kicking a goal in the win over Wigan before he was on the move again in 2002 to Hull FC for his final season in England.

Graham MacKay