Shaun Johnson has warned he’s still short of his best as he eyes a big performance in his 100th game for the Warriors on Sunday.
Johnson and captain Simon Mannering sat out most of Wednesday’s training run but coach Andrew McFadden confirmed the key pair’s workload was simply being monitored and both would be fit to meet the Roosters in Sydney.
Such is Johnson’s form for the Warriors, the sight of him pulling out of the session led several sports news websites to speculate he was injured. But he later allayed any health concerns, describing his legs as “a little stiff”.
The 24-year-old’s performance in the 28-14 home win over the Storm last weekend continued a blistering recent run of form.
However, the Kiwis playmaker says he will be aiming even higher when his team chase a fourth-straight win, against opponents one place higher than them on the table – the third-placed Roosters.
“I’m getting there. I’ve still got a long way to go, to where I know I can get to,” he said.
“Just because it’s sort-of clicked the last couple of games, it doesn’t mean anything changes for me. I’ve still got goals and things I want to work on.”
Johnson says the playing style employed by McFadden had allowed him to shine behind a hard-working pack.
“The style he’s put together allows me to play my own game within that.
“I like to play off instinct and opportunity and he hasn’t set any hard structures around what I do.”
Several family members are crossing the Tasman to see Johnson raise a century of Warriors games.
Playing it against the same opponents at the same Allianz Stadium venue as his debut midway through 2011 brought back some vivid memories.
“I was just a kid, I was chubby. I’d like to think a lot’s changed, with everything I’ve been through over those 100 games,” he said.
“I’m still going to have that same buzz running out there this weekend.
“The kid from Whangaparoa, I never would have thought I’d play 100 games in the NRL.”