Rugby League World Cup: Shaun Johnson relieved after New Zealand beat England

Last Updated: 24/11/13 2:00pm

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Shaun Johnson celebrates his match-winning conversion

Shaun Johnson celebrates his match-winning conversion

Sky Bet

New Zealand playmaker Shaun Johnson says his match-winning score against England at Wembley on Saturday was redemption for his worst performance of the tournament.

Johnson came to the Kiwis' rescue with a last-minute try that levelled the scores in the World Cup semi-final and then kicked the conversion to seal a dramatic 20-18 victory.

"It was a bit of a blur, to be honest," said the 23-year-old, whose tally of 12 points took him to within six of the World Cup record of 76 set by Australia's Mick Cronin in 1995.

"The whole match we'd been hitting the right edge and I looked up and saw a bit of space on the left and just went to that side.

"I got a pass, saw someone come at me, was able to beat him and just scored."

Johnson maintained his composure amid a chorus of boos from the 67,545 crowd to kick the all-important conversion.

Tough kick

"It was probably handy I scored nearer to the posts," he said. "In the circumstances it was a tough kick and I guess I can thank the England crowds for warming me to that throughout this tournament.

"It's been pretty vocal in each stadium we've played. I was just happy I put it over."

Johnson was critical of his overall performance and blamed himself for the try from Sam Burgess that put England in front 14 minutes from the end.

"I was real dirty on myself," he said. "I was just trying to solve things on my own at that point in time and he made he look like a fool.

"Defensively I wasn't there and that's what I've built my whole game on this tournament. I guess if it wasn't for that play at the end, it would have been pretty hard to live with myself if we had to go home."

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