There have been many overseas players from the NRL that have graced the hallowed turf at Headingley Carnegie, but not many have come close to wing wizard Scott Donald.
The Aussie ace was an influential member of the Rhinos’ winning side of the late noughties. During his playing career with Leeds, he won the Super League title three times and the World Club Challenge. Donald also claimed a spot in the Super League Dream Team two years running in 2007 and 2008.
Donald spent four fabulous years with the Rhinos from 2006-10 after playing in the NRL for North Queensland, Parramatta and Manly. He notched an incredible 93 tries in 145 appearances and was known to the Rhinos supporters as ‘Scotty D’.
Nowadays, he resides in his native Australia and is now working as a police officer in Queensland.
A few years later and Donald returned to his old stomping ground as he guided Australia police team to World Cup glory after beating Fiji in the final 18-16 on July 15, 2013 – at Headingley.
Despite Donald bagging a brace, he was part of the Rhinos side that suffered a shock defeat to future Rhinos coach Brian McDermott’s Harlequins side 28-24 at the Twickenham Stoop back on June 14, 2008. This defeat came after a nine-match winning streak.
Rhinos’ prop Jamie Peacock scored the opening try in just the fourth minute from close range, Kevin Sinfield converting for a 6-0 lead. Harlequins then struck twice from Will Sharp and Scott Hill, ex-Bradford Bulls player Henry Paul adding three goals including a penalty kick, which left the Rhinos trailing 14-6.
Donald then touched down just before the break after a miss-pass from Rob Burrow in the corner. Sinfield converted to reduce the deficit to just two points.
After Harlequins scored through Chad Randall, which Paul converted, Senior closed the gap after he took in a sensational pass from McGuire to score in the corner, Sinfield missing the conversion.
Quins’ then added a further eight points (Sharp try, Paul conversion and penalty) to give them a 28-16 lead.
However, scores from Burrow and Donald set up a nailbiting finish, but Sinfield missed both attempts as the Rhinos crashed to defeat.
(Tries: Sharp 2, Hill, Randall.
Goals: H Paul 6)
Leeds Rhinos 24 (Tries: Peacock, Donald 2, Senior, Burrow. Goals: Sinfield 2)
June 14, 2008 Super League, at Twickenham Stoop
Harlequins: Melling, Bryan, Clubb, Howell, Sharp, Hill, Orr, Temata, Randall, Ward, Worrincy, Paul, Mbu. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Rinaldi, Haggerty, Janowski.
Leeds Rhinos: Webb, Smith, Ablett, Senior, Donald, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Bailey, Ellis, Peacock, Sinfield. Subs: Tansey, Worrall, Scruton, Jones-Buchanan.
Referee: Ashley Klein.