Late Johnson penalty sinks Roosters
A last-gasp Shaun Johnson penalty goal saw the Warriors snatch a 14-13 victory over the Sydney Roosters on Sunday afternoon, in a dramatic contest at Mount Smart Stadium.
With less than a minute remaining on the clock and his side trailing 13-12, Johnson made no mistake with his penalty from 20 metres out, giving the Warriors their first victory in three matches.
Just four minutes earlier it had appeared that Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce was going to kick his side to victory for the second week in a row, after he nailed a field goal following two earlier attempts which were charged down by Ryan Hoffman.
As it turned out the would-be hero became the villain for the Roosters, with Pearce the player found to be offside as the Warriors pressed hard inside the attacking 20.
Earlier a pair of Roosters errors had gifted the Warriors with both of their try-scoring opportunities in the first half, with a Blake Ferguson drop resulting in James Gavet strolling over from close range, before Daniel Tupou was stripped one-on-one by Shaun Johnson and then compounded his mistake by committing a professional foul with six minutes to go.
Down to 12 men, the Roosters couldn't scramble in time to stop David Fusitu'a one minute later, with Shaun Johnson adding his second conversion.
In between that the Roosters crossed via Kiwi centre Joseph Manu and earlier saw a chance go begging when co-captain Boyd Cordner fumbled the ball over the line.
With the Warriors up 12-4 at the break, the hosts appeared to have added further points early in the second period, but Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad was denied a try on NRL debut after the NRL Bunker found an indiscretion in the lead-up.
The visitors took that piece of good fortune and ran with it, scoring via a Shaun Kenny-Dowall intercept minutes later, which following Michael Gordon's conversion, clawed them back to within two points.
It was at that point that momentum shifted in favour of the Roosters, who would have scored another try a short time later but for a miraculous last-man tackle from Roger Tuivasa-Sheck which denied Jake Friend from a metre out.
After enjoying a glut of possession inside the attacking half, the Roosters opted to take a penalty from in front of the sticks to even things up with 24 minutes remaining.
After Pearce nailed his field goal attempt the Warriors found themselves on the attack as the final minutes clicked over, and appeared to have blown their chance before referee Ashley Klein called play back for the offside penalty which would decide the match.
New Zealand Warriors 14 (James Gavet, David Fusitu'a tries; Shaun Johnson 3 goals) def. Sydney Roosters 13 (Joseph Manu, Shaun Kenny-Dowall tries; Michael Gordon 2 goals. Mitchell Pearce 1 field goal) at Mount Smart Stadium. Half-time: 12-4. Crowd: 13,126