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'Something I'm glad is out of the way' - Shaun Johnson reflects on Warriors return

Thankful his Warriors reunion is over, Shaun Johnson believes he's coming into the kind of form that can revive a Cronulla NRL campaign plunging close to finals oblivion.

The celebrated Warriors halfback of eight seasons said he was gutted to fall short 19-18 against his former club, admitting the match in Wellington had played on his mind for some time and was like nothing he had experienced.

While the emotions weren't as thick as if the game had been staged at his old Auckland stomping ground of Mt Smart Stadium, Johnson said his nerves had escalated before kickoff.

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The Sharks star admitted it would different facing his former teammates but said he couldn’t wait for Friday’s match in Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS

"It was different, it's something I'm glad is out of the way now," he told AAP.

"Even like running out there and seeing them warming up at the other end of the field, things like that (felt strange). But once you're into it, it's like a normal game."

The crowd largely left the 28-year-old alone aside from booing as he lined up the first conversion, of a Briton Nikora try he had created.

Johnson brushed that aside, having predicted there would be some fan antagonism after his acrimonious exit from the club last November.

Banter with former teammates throughout the game was light-hearted, he said.

Johnson couldn't be blamed for Cronulla's fifth straight loss, which could leave them in the bottom four by the end of the weekend.

He looked sharp on a dangerous right edge and admitted he was feeling close to his best form after missing five games with a torn hamstring that required a careful return initially.

"I'm really starting to find my feet, stringing some training sessions, stringing some games together," he said.

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The former Warriors halfback claims that Kearney didn't like him. Source: 1 NEWS

"It's been a disruptive start to the season so it's been disappointing in that sense. It's definitely giving me confidence by completing training and getting through games."

Johnson's opportunities will continue to be limited if his team keep racking up the high penalty and error counts that sunk them in Wellington.

"I thought the amount of ball we gave them, they probably should have put a fair score on us," he said.

"Just shooting ourselves in the foot at the moment but I think we still scored more tries than them (3-2). It's been the story of our last five games to be fair, which is really frustrating."

Sharks Shaun Johnson during the NRL rugby league match between the Warriors and Sharks at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Friday the 19th of July 2019. Copyright Photo: Grant Down / www.Photosport.nz
Shaun Johnson in action against the Warriors. Source: Photosport


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