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Johnson keeps confidence with kicking boot

Shaun Johnson wants to keep Cronulla's kicking tee for the NRL finals after a nervy few moments reclaiming it in Sunday's win over the Wests Tigers.

A noted kicker throughout his career, Johnson was not meant to take on the duties in Sunday's clash with the Tigers after battling a quad injury.

However he made a last-minute decision to take over from Chad Townsend, booting home four from five to help the Sharks to the 25-8 win.

But after his first attempt hit the post early in the match, he admitted even he began to question his decision to reclaim the tee.

"The competitiveness got the better of me," Johnson said.

"Chad was going to kick. Chad actually did a lot of work leading into that first goal kick. I said: 'You sweet?'

"He was still trying to get his breath back. He was honestly gassed. I said, 'chuck it here, bro'. He said, 'are you sure?' I said, 'yeah, give it here'.

"Then I missed it and thought, 'f***, Chad probably should have taken it'."

Goal-kicking has been noted as Cronulla's Achilles heel in 2019, with the Sharks having lost five matches where they have scored more tries than their opposition.

Johnson, Townsend and Kyle Flanagan have all been first-choice kickers in matches this year, with Johnson having taken on the main role in most games.

Kicking could be a crucial component for Cronulla in tight finals games over the next month, beginning with Saturday's knockout clash with Manly.

But Johnson said the constant talk about the Sharks' record with the boot in 2019 didn't have him second guessing himself.

"The criticism you cop. I take it with a grain of salt. I feel like I'm the best kicker in the club and I'll always put my hand up to do that role," Johnson said.

"I'm glad, especially in that second half after not having kicked for a couple of weeks.

"Whether they go over or miss I would still be the one to put the hand up for the result. As a kicker it's a challenge you love.

"When that first one hit the upright it was an absolute shank, it was such a poor strike. But again it was my first strike in a couple of weeks."

© AAP 2019