26 Jul 2015

Johnson suffers season-ending injury

3:42 pm on 26 July 2015

Shaun Johnson National Rugby League season is over after the Warriors' star broke his ankle during his side's 32-12 loss to Manly at Mt Smart Stadium.

See how the match unfolded here

Shaun Johnson injures his ankle as he scores against Manly

Shaun Johnson injures his ankle as he scores against Manly Photo: Photosport

The 24-year-old jammed his leg under the Manly defender, Tom Symonds, as he was scoring a try just before halftime.

Scans established he had fractured his fibula and suffered ligament damage.

He has had a plate inserted as well as two syndesmotic screws.

"It's a huge disappointment for Shaun and for everyone involved with the club," said the Warriors head coach Andrew McFadden.

"He faces a long recovery but he'll have the best medical care available."

McFadden said it was projected Johnson would be able to return to full training late in the year.

Second rower Bodene Thompson left the field with an ankle injury midway through the second half. The full extent of it is still to be assessed.

Meanwhile, back rower Ryan Hoffman is set to return from a calf injury for next Saturday's home game against Cronulla while centre Konrad Hurrell will be available after serving a one-game suspension.

In Saturday's match, the Manly prop Jake Trbojevic opened the scoring with his first NRL try just after the nine-minute mark, before the Sea Eagles had a try ruled out for obstruction.

Then on 26 minutes, Johnson levelled the scores with a trademark stepping dart through several defenders to place the ball on the line.

But his leg was sandwiched in the tackle and the 24-year-old was helped off the field and taken to hospital.

Warriors player Shaun Johnson is injured as he scores a try in the NRL Rugby League, Warriors v Sea Eagles at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. 25 July 2015. Copyright Photo: Fiona Goodall / www.photosport.nz

Shaun Johnson is carried from the field. Photo: Photosport

That might not be the end of the Warriors injury woes though, Bodene Thompson left the field with an ankle injury of his own.

"We're not too sure about Bodene at the moment, he obviously had to come off so it must have been significant," coach Andrew McFadden said.

Manly were actually far more injury-ravaged in the fixture - former Kiwis star Steve Matai was another to leave the field with assistance after a concussion, while two other Sea Eagles players couldn't return after half-time, when the scores were locked at 6-6.

That left the visitors with a one-man bench, but it didn't hold them back one bit as Jorge Taufua scored shortly after half-time, the left wing barrelling over out wide, before his fullback Brett Stewart pounced on a Warriors error to cross again on 47 minutes.

With a 10-point lead, the Sea Eagles never looked stretched after that. Taufua added another try on 52 minutes to make it 22-6 then Stewart went over the line again with 13 to go.

Albert Vete scored for the Warriors to close the deficit to 14 points with eight minutes to go, but it was too little, too late by then.

Matt Ballin iced the victory for Manly with a try with four minutes left.

Manly coach, Geoff Toovey said his side's performance against the Warriors at Mount Smart has given them the belief they can still make the end of season playoffs.

"We know it's going to be tough, we put ourselves in this position but they're a pretty tough team and some pretty tough individuals but collectively, I think we showed tonight we're a pretty tough team as well."

Following the Auckland game, the Melbourne Storm hosted the St George Illawarra Dragons in Napier, in the first-ever NRL match at McLean Park.

It was also the first time two NRL matches have taken place in New Zealand on the same day.