Frustrated halfback Shaun Johnson admits he needs to find ways to provide the Warriors with some attacking spark as they look to get their campaign back on track in Sunday's NRL clash against Brisbane.

The 27-year-old was hurting after he was outplayed by two-game rookie No 7 Jarome Luai in last week's heavy defeat to Penrith and says he must involve himself more as they seek to avoid a third-straight loss against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

The Kiwi international looked like he'd rather be back at Panthers Stadium rather than answer difficult questions about his side's worst performance of the season and his tendency to go missing when his team is on the back foot.

It's a criticism that has plagued him throughout his career although the mercurial playmaker is just as likely to respond this week with a match-winning performance when his side needs it most.


The Panthers defence gave him little room to move and he also found himself isolated out wide, but Johnson concedes he needs to go looking for work and get himself involved when things aren't going his way.

"Where I'm in the team at the moment I'm floating out the back, Greeny [five-eighth Blake Green] is working the middle, so I'm not seeing as much ball in those sorts of games," said Johnson. "I've got to find a way to get myself more involved without disrupting what the team is doing at the same time.

"That involvement is my big one going forward and finding out how I can inject myself in a different way when a team wants to try and shut me off like that."

Green is sympathetic to his halves partner's plight and believes he has his work cut out for him, with opposition sides marking up heavily on him each week.

The Warriors are a team that need to be firing in unison to perform to their potential, with their back five and forwards creating momentum for the likes of Johnson to work off.

The challenge for them this week is to find a way to allow him to return to his running best against an improving Broncos side looking for their fourth win in a row.

"There's no pointing fingers from us," said Green. "As a group we know what Shaun brings to our team. Plenty of fingers get pointed to him when we win as well. That's part and parcel of playing in the halves, you take responsibility for the good and the bad stuff, but he'll be fine.

"It's just about finding that balance in a game for Shaun. Teams are starting to work out how we're playing. They're really nervous about him getting the ball in space so we've just got to come up with other ways to get him in the game. I'm sure you'll see this week that we'll come up with something for him."


Johnson expects the Broncos will again look to stifle their go-forward and suffocate their attack in the same way they did the last time the two sides met back in round six.

Brisbane generally like to maintain a straight line but were able to disrupt the Warriors' rhythm by rushing up quickly in defence in their 27-18 win at Mt Smart Stadium.

"We actually took a look at a lot of clips from what they did to us last time," he said.

"Similar to the Panthers they got up in our face more than what we expected and they don't usually do that. You watch them defend against other teams, they're pretty passive.

"So we have a sense of what's coming this week. Lucky we've had a bit of a dress rehearsal in terms of what happened against the Panthers but hopefully we're ready for it."

Broncos v Warriors at Suncorp Stadium, Sunday, 4pm
Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 4. Jordan Kahu 5. Jamayne Isaako 6.Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Sam Thaiday 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jaydn Su'a 13. Josh Mcguire
Interchange: 14. Kotoni Staggs 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16.Korbin Sims 17. Tevita Pangai Junior 18. Jonus Pearson 19. Patrick Mago 20. David Fifita 21.Sam Tagataese 22. Jake Turpin 23. Tom Opacic

Warriors: 1. Roger Tuivasa-sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Peta Hiku 4. Solomone Kata 5. Gerard Beale 6.Blake Green 7. Shaun Johnson 8. James Gavet 9. Issac Luke 10. Agnatius Paasi 11. Isaiah Papalii 12. Simon Mannering 13. Adam Blair 1
Interchange: 4. Jazz Tevaga 15. Chris Satae 16. Joseph Vuna 17. Anthony Gelling 18. Ligi Sao 20. Karl Lawton 21. Blake Ayshford 22. Mason Lino

Referees: Grant Atkins, Matt Noyen.

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