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

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

  • Share:
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."

  • Share:


2013 Rugby League World Cup

Rugby League World Cup hailed greatest

Rugby League World Cup hailed 'greatest'

This years' Rugby League World Cup has been hailed as the greatest of all time by the organisers. Australia claimed their 10th title by beating New Zealand in the final in front of a record attendance.

Nigel Wood: Encouraged by the large attendances at 2013 World Cup

Wood wants lasting legacy

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood is confident the sport will capitalise on the success of hosting the World Cup.

Australia: The winners of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and the team of the tournament

RL World Cup review

We take a look back at the highs and occasional low from probably the best World Cup to date.

Most Popular


Sports Day Survey

Sports Day Survey

Have your say on school sport and what activities children do outside of school.

Good Week/Bad Week

Good Week/Bad Week

Sky Sports takes another look back at the last week and picks out our best and worst moments.

Super League stats

Super League stats

Who has kicked the most goals this season? Which player is penalised the most? Find out here...