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NRL Warriors' Johnson wants more ball

14:41 Fri Apr 13 2012
Shaun Johnson
Shaun Johnson is looking for better ball control from the Warriors. (Getty)

Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson isn't happy with his on-field leadership this season, but he thinks he'll do a lot better if his team can hang on to the ball.

The Warriors return to Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday after two poor away losses to take on South Sydney, who are on a roll with two consecutive victories.

Johnson was impressive when helping the Warriors to the grand final in his rookie season last year but isn't happy with either his or his team's efforts in their meek surrenders to the Sydney Roosters and Canberra in the past two weeks.

"There's a lot of room for improvement there, but it'd certainly help if we could complete a few more sets and hold the ball to get through our sets," he said.

"If we turn the ball over far too much and far too early in the tackle count, it just forces us to make a lot more tackles than they would and it's not good. It's so much harder for a half to get involved in a game when all you're doing is defending."

Johnson says the team is determined to improve in front of their home fans but is wary of the threat the Rabbitohs present out wide.

"They've got a couple of really good back-rowers in Dave Taylor and Eddy Pettybourne so it's important for our edges to really aim up this weekend," he said.

"We've been letting our middle boys down over the last couple of weeks so we've got to really focus on that."

The Warriors haven't been helped through injuries to experienced players Micheal Luck and Jacob Lillyman, and they received another setback on Thursday when fullback Kevin Locke was ruled out after his injured leg failed to recover in time for Sunday's game.

He will be replaced by utility Krisnan Inu, who is set to play his 98th NRL game after last appearing in the Warriors' 36-20 win over Parramatta last month.