NRL: NZ Warriors star Shaun Johnson tipped as Dally M Medal frontrunner after match-winning performance

NZ Warriors star Shaun Johnson has been tipped as the 2023 NRL's Dally M Medal frontrunner, after another matchwinning performance.

The halfback slotted a goldenpoint field goal against Canberra Raiders on Friday, which hasn't gone unnoticed across the Tasman.

NZ Warriors react to Johnson's match-winning field goal against Canberra Raiders.
NZ Warriors react to Johnson's match-winning field goal against Canberra Raiders. Photo credit: Getty Images

Canterbury Bulldogs hooker Reed Mahoney and recently retired Josh Reynolds are both betting on Johnson taking out the award.

Johnson, 32, is in career-best form, helping the Warriors to third spot on the NRL ladder through 21 rounds.

While many have stood out under the guidance of first-year head coach Andrew Webster, none have risen higher than Johnson.

Dally M voting was closed to the public in round 12, with Johnson tied for seventh and within striking distance of the top spot on 22 points.

Mahoney expects he has only closed the gap since and believes the Warriors star has never played so well.

"I'm goint to go Shaun Johnson," he told Fox Sport's NRL 360. "Obviously, no Origin, so he didn't miss any games there, and the way he's playing and the way the Warriors are going...

"He's leading them through everything - his kick-chase, kicking, try assists everywhere - and he's just been unbelievable.

"It's a good story. He's gone back to the Warriors and he's playing great footy for them."

Reynolds echoes his former teammate's thoughts and sees only a couple of Brisbane Broncos players as potential threats to Johnson's claim.

"Just to add to that, unbelievable," he said. "What he's doing now, he wasn't even doing when he was in [career-best] form... he's such a different player.

"We talked about Adam Reynolds before, but the only thing is [Reece] Walsh will be taking a lot of points for the Broncos, so I think Shaun will be very close."