Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson believes a pinch of luck helped him nail two match-winning field goals to steal a thrilling come-from-behind 20-19 NRL victory over Canberra tonight.
The 27-year-old was thrilled with his side's resilience to fight back from 19-12 down late in the second half to clinch their historic third consecutive season-opening victory after Issac Luke's 76th minute try helped them back to within one point.
Having been on the wrong end of some close encounters in recent seasons – including a heart-breaking golden point loss to Manly and a previous narrow defeat against the Sea Eagles in Perth last year – Johnson was pleased he could deliver for his side after banging over two field goals inside the last three minutes at GIO Stadium.
"It feels really good," Johnson said.
"Sometimes you need a bit of luck on your side and I definitely think I had that tonight.
"There's been times in my career where I haven't been able to step up and nail those kicks so it's really nice to get on the bus back to Sydney knowing that I could come up with that play at that time of the game for my teammates.
"We made it very tough on ourselves but the resilience we showed to stay in the game and come up with plays like that at the back end, we've got to really enjoy it."
Johnson credited the organising skills of new halves partner Blake Green for helping to work the side into position and said the five-eighth had told him to step up and take both shots at goal.
Despite playing below his best among a scrappy team performance, the Kiwis test star said he was focused on what he needed to do to clinch the result.
"Nothing was on my mind, I was just clear and in the moment," he said.
"I didn't over-think it. Greeny did a terrific job helping me get into that position.
"He told me to take it and I was able to slot in there clear minded and swing away at it."
Coach Stephen Kearney was pleased with Johnson's heroics but felt the No7, along with the rest of the side, had plenty of improvement them ahead of next Saturday's away clash against the Roosters in Sydney.
"I was really pleased that he stepped forward to do that," Kearney said.
"I know it sounds a bit harsh but I don't think we played particularly well, Shaun included, but he put himself in the picture to finish the game the way he did after the boys gave him the opportunity, and he did it.
"But like all of us, he's got room for improvement, and we need to focus on that."
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