Jazz Tevaga celebrated with Shaun Johnson in Auckland after the great Kiwi agreed to return to the Warriors, but he has a personal score to settle with the Cronulla star on Sunday.
The pair are close to the pitch but fierce rivals and when the Sharks beat the Warriors 46-10 at Central Coast Stadium last July, Johnson let Tevaga know. Tevaga wants to become square since that day.
Believing he was set to do so in the second leg last September after the Warriors took a 14-12 lead, Tevaga rushed to Johnson to let him know the Sharks were about to go. lose – only for Cronulla to score two tries in the last four minutes and snatch a 22-14 victory.
Tevaga knows he might not get another chance to have the final say on Johnson after Sunday’s game against the Sharks at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
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“Last year when we faced the Sharks at Gosford he scored a try and he started yelling at us,” Tevaga said. “We played them again towards the end of the year and when we scored I ran up to him and patted him on the head.
“Then they scored two minutes from the end, and I was on my hips, and he came up to me and patted me on the head and said, ‘come on, brother.’
“I learned that lesson so when I caught up with him at home the other week I said ‘brother you don’t have to play us. Just say your hammy is tight or something like that. that. ‘But he was like,’ no.
“We won’t have too many of these battles anymore, so I can’t wait to play him. It’s always fun to face your friends but I’ll try not to hurt him because we need him for the year. next. “
Tevaga, who recently resigned with the Warriors for two more years, revealed how he was supposed to go out to lunch with Peter Leitch, better known as Mad Butcher, and Johnson while they were in Auckland during the NRL booth. . only representative on weekends.
When the utility Warriors could not be present, Johnson called to tell him that he had also signed with the club until the end of the 2023 season.
“I was like ‘happy days’, and I caught up with him that night for a few beers and we celebrated,” Tevaga said.
“I saw him at the airport, and I was like ‘come back home brother, we need a half-back’. He said, ‘oh brother, I don’t think that will happen’ Then he called me and said “I wanted to tell you in person that I’m coming home”.
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“Hopefully we can get one on him on Sunday because it pissed me off last year. He didn’t let me forget it, so I’ll be looking forward to winning against him.
After losing 19-18 to St George Illawarra in overtime last weekend, the Warriors need to come back to start winning games if they are to advance to the final.
With Matt Lodge this week alongside Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Chad Townsend and Reece Walsh as midseason rookies, the Warriors are a solid team but have lost their last four games.
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“Every game from now on is a must,” Tevaga said. “We don’t have a lot of chances left, we know that. No matter how we win, we just have to win.
“You watch every game, except the Storm and Roosters games, we put ourselves in a position to win but we still haven’t learned how to finish games and win games.
“I think we have two games against the top eight teams – Penrith and the Rabbitohs – but every other game we should [expect to] to win.
“We haven’t talked about it, but we all know we’re in a position we’d rather not be and in every game we play we have to try to win.”