But a strong England side threw away a 13-0 and 28-17 lead to go down 35-28 as Hosea Gear grabbed a hat-trick to ensure the Maori celebrated their centenary in style.
And Johnson, who will announce a revamped elite squad next month, called on his side to learn from their mistakes.
"It rankles losing that game because there was a definite chance to win it," said Johnson. "I am a bit grumpy.
"There are so many good things to come out of this tour, it was a bit annoying not to finish it off. But ultimately they probably deserved it.
"There were some harsh lessons for some players but that is why we are here."
"These guys have improved game on game and in the first half they did very well.
"But we were not aware enough when they went the length of the field to score [their first try] and we lost a bit of composure in the second half.
"They were more dangerous in attack and we struggled to convert pressure into points - that really cost us.
"We didn't handle their runners at the start of the second half, and if you concede four tries, you are probably going to lose.
"We probably kicked away too much ball in the second half when we could have backed ourselves a bit more."