Shaun Johnson continues to step up when it matters most for Warriors
2 May, 2022, 9:14 am
Last season when a Warriors game came down to a golden point shoot-out, it was almost inevitable that they were going to lose. Not so this year.
Shaun Johnson kicked the golden point winner in the 21-20 victory over the Raiders on Saturday in Redcliffe to make it the second time this season he’s won a game for the club in such a thrilling manner.
Golden point wins don’t do much for the Warriors’ points differential, which was hammered by the 60-point loss to the Storm the previous week.
It’s still keeping them outside the top eight, but the fourth win of the season shows how much of an impact Johnson is having.
“Even if he’s had an off day, he wants the ball in his hand. He’s the ice man, he just knocks them over.”
Knowing Johnson can land field goals under pressure gives the whole team a lift during pressure situations.
When Tom Starling threw a forward pass to Corey Horsburgh one minute into extra time, there was a real confidence and determination with how the Warriors marched down the field, all the time Johnson communicating with Egan about where he wanted the ball.
When it came, Johnson side-stepped Horsburgh and kicked the winner.
“You go into golden point now thinking you’re going to win the games,” Egan said.
“Maybe in previous years we thought we were going to lose, without that old, calming head.
“It gives us a lot of confidence going into those golden point scenarios.”
The Warriors seemed to have unearthed a new star in five-eighth Daejarn Asi, who was exceptional in his debut for the club.
He had played 10 games for the Cowboys over the 2020 and 2021 seasons, but coach Todd Payten was happy to give him a release to join the Warriors for the rest of this campaign, and he played an integral part in the victory.
“He was brilliant,” Egan said.
“Coming in three days before the game to meet the boys and learn a whole new system, he was outstanding.
“He set up Euan (Aitken) for a try which got us back in the game and he also set up a try in the first half. He really impressed me.
“Bringing a new kid in like that with not much notice is hard,” he said.
“So we simplified his job and we’ll build on that over the next couple of weeks if he’s going to remain in the team.
“Obviously, he showed how much of a talent he is, and we had a short turnaround last week, so we couldn’t get many reps in, but he was really good under the circumstances.”
But the Warriors won’t be able to have a first half as bad as the one against the Raiders and Egan knows it.
“It was very poor. We missed a lot of tackles, we gave away too much ball, our kick chase wasn’t on and we just invited them into the game,” he said.
As for the second half, another gutsy performance where they’re able to keep hold of momentum, and they should be able to see off the team from the Sutherland Shire.
“It is tough to bounce back after getting a hiding like that (against the Storm),” Egan said.
“Credit to the boys, we dug deep at the back end of the game and found a way to win, which is pleasing.”