NRL world rallies around Shaun Johnson after Warriors star cops 'disgusting' online abuse

The veteran NRL halfback has hit back at his critics after the tough criticism.

Shaun Johnson has called out the online trolls for their comments on his dipping form following the Warriors star's sad injury. Warriors fans copped another blow this week as coach Andrew Webster announced Johnson would miss four weeks with an Achilles injury following the New Zealand outfit's humiliating 66-6 loss to the Titans on Saturday.

Johnson looked hampered during the shocking result as broadcast cameras cut to the veteran halfback in the dressing room looking dejected after the match. And following the club's record defeat, it was confirmed Johnson would miss a number of weeks after re-injuring his Achilles.

Shaun Johnson (pictured) has called out the online trolls for their comments after the Warriors halfback will miss four weeks due to injury. (Getty Images)
Shaun Johnson (pictured) has called out the online trolls for their comments after the Warriors halfback will miss four weeks due to injury. (Getty Images)

“He’s going to be out for at least four weeks," coach Webster said on Tuesday. "It’s all around the Achilles. He had ice on his hamstring, he had some hamstring tightness on the weekend but Shaun rehabbed it, it felt amazing and we took our time with him but he’s just not come back the way he wanted.”

Webster confirmed: "We've made a decision, we're all on board and we're going to give him what the right amount of time is to get him back in shape ... he's just not physically there (at the moment)." Since the unbelievable defeat at the hands of the Titans, the Warriors have copped criticism for a lacklustre showing with the team fighting to make the top eight.

And Webster hit back at suggestions there were internal issues within the club having looked like a completely different team from last year. "I'm really confident it's nothing, I feel like they're a happy group," he said.

Since the defeat, Johnson has copped plenty of the criticism with his form dipping in 2024. Johnson was the Dally M halfback of the year in 2023, but has failed to recapture his scintillating form on a consistent basis. And the NRL world has rallied around the veteran halfback after he revealed the abuse he has received online since the weekend.

“Just like you I see the comments and damn some of you are savage ha,” Johnson wrote on his Instagram account. "Perspective is key," he continued. "I am at the stage where 80 minutes doesn't define me like it once did...I am frustrated but will be doing everything to get back to the level I know I can." Fans rallied around the popular No.7 with Johnson a strong chance to come back after four weeks to help guide the Warriors back into finals footy.

Webster was named Dally M Coach of the year last season after leading the Warriors to within one win of the NRL grand final, before they lost to premiers Penrith in the preliminary final. The return of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and the signing of Kurt Capewell looked to have strengthened the Warriors for this season but they've failed to replicate the type of form that saw the 'Wahs' win over fans in 2023.


Johnson nearly won the Dally M medal last year and was without a doubt one of the best players of the season. However, his reoccurring injuries have curtailed his season with Addin Fonua-Blake also coming under pressure to return to his destructive best in the final stretch of the campaign. This comes as Fonua-Blake announced he is leaving the Warriors to join the Sharks in 2025.

Regardless, Webster is predicting his team bounces back in round 17 and shows more energy to prove the doubters wrong. "I thought we were hitting form. We didn't beat Melbourne, but I physically thought we were great for a month, and we certainly weren't great on the weekend," he said on Tuesday. "Our tackling was poor and it was hard to see ... we looked flat and slow and lethargic."