NRL: Andrew Webster hails Shaun Johnson's sacrifice to turn out for NZ Warriors' victory over Parramatta Eels

NZ Warriors coach Andrew Webster has hailed the selflessness of halfback Shaun Johnson, who risked missing the birth of his second child to turn out for his team's victory over Parramatta Eels.

Throughout the week, speculation was rife over whether Johnson would be available for the trip to Sydney, with wife Kayla due to give birth any day now.

To make matters more significant, Johnson, 32, brought up his 200th appearance for the club, and missing the win would have allowed the veteran to notch his milestone at home against his former side, Cronulla Sharks, next week.

On Thursday, Kayla Johnson indicated on social media that her husband would travel and he duly took his place in the No.7 jersey to steer the Warriors to victory.

In the week, coach Webster outlined there was no pressure on Johnson to play at the expense of missing the birth of his child, but, at Johnson's own insistence, the halfback wanted to turn out and right the wrongs of last week's loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs. 

"That was all driven by him," said Webster. "Him and his wife came up with that decision, not us.

"As a club, we were super supportive of him to stay home. I get it, it's a worrying time if you're going to be there or not.

"It's only a three-hour flight, but flights stop at 7:30 at night. He can't get home now, he's got a 12-18 hour anxious wait to get home.

Shaun Johnson.
Shaun Johnson. Photo credit: Getty Images

"The big thing about Shaun is he just wants to win, he wants to win with his teammates. He didn't want to go home to New Zealand to have his 200th, he wanted to do it here, with his mates tonight.

"They wanted to win together and they wanted to fix last week."

Johnson wasn't the only player bringing up a milestone. Dylan Walker (200 NRL games), Addin Fonua-Blake (150) and Wayde Egan (100) all had significant games on a special night for the club.

Earlier this season, the Warriors ruined Canberra Raiders' celebration of captain Jarrod Croker's 300th game, winning 36-14 at the Australian capital.

At the risk of concentrating on the milestone before the result and having the same thing happening, Johnson played his part in keeping the Warriors' emotions in check at Western Sydney. 

"Shaun's big thing was he just wanted it to be about the three guys he was doing it with," continued Webster. 

"The four of them ran out first, Shaun placed himself fourth. Shaun's about the team and us getting a result.

Shaun Johnson.
Shaun Johnson. Photo credit: Photosport

"He's really proud of his 200th, we're super proud of him and the other three milestones. They're special milestones - they're not 50-gamers, they're big moments in players' careers.

"The thing we made about it was let's celebrate by having a win. It's not a great feeling when you have a milestone and don't get to celebrate it in the sheds.

"We didn't tip all our emotion into it, but we mentioned it at times and we celebrated it at times."