20 Jul 2013

Johnson shades Marshall as Warriors win

6:52 am on 20 July 2013

The New Zealand Warriors have scored a 24-14 comeback win over Wests Tigers in their National Rugby League clash at Leichhardt Oval.

Benji Marshall's heir apparent, Shaun Johnson, stole his thunder in Marshall's last game at the Tigers' spiritual home, after the former Kiwis captain requested an early release from the club at season's end.

Marshall was unable to match the brilliance of his young New Zealand test team-mate as Johnson scored two tries either side of half-time and delivered a second-half masterclass to haul the Warriors back from an eight-point deficit, and all but extinguish the Tigers' flickering finals hopes.

Johnson kept the Warriors in touch at 14-6 down at the break with his side's only first-half try, before igniting the revival with another in the 56th minute, a 95-metre runaway four-pointer.

The 22-year-old then laid on the match-winner for skipper Simon Mannering with a well-placed kick ahead after shredding the Tigers' defence.

Seemingly headed to rugby union after being unable to reach an agreement with the Tigers, Marshall was teary-eyed at kick-off after receiving a rousing reception from the loyal crowd.