It was a win forged on an outstanding defensive performance and despite a few anxious moments for Shane Flanagan and his coaching staff the victory was well deserved, with the Sharks the better team for the majority of the contest.
In inflicting just the second loss of the season on the Warriors at Mt Smart, and what was also only the second loss in their last nine games for the Kiwi outift, the Sharks moved to 26 competition points and into a position to push for a top four finish.
The Sharks began the match with excellent energy and enthusiasm and controlled the ball and field position in the early exchanges. On the back of that dominance they would put first points on the board when Jonathan Wright ran onto a short ball from Wade Graham and into a gap in the Warrior defense to touch down.
Carneys conversion attempt bounced off the upright, only his second miss in 30 attempts at goal this year, but the Sharks had an early 4-0 lead.
The Sharks would continue their enterprising play and extend their advantage in the 25th minute and this time skipper Paul Gallen, in his first game back since Origin 2, had a major hand in the try.
Picking up the ball from the base of the scrum Gallen broke to the right but to the surprise of the Warriors defense passed to the inside and to the left, to Ben Pomeroy with the centre running 10 metres to score almost untouched.
Carney kicked the goal and after 25 minutes the Sharks led by 10.
The home team would respond and a Sharks error, then a Warrior penalty put them into an attacking situation and four tackles later post first points, Manu Vatuvei using his strength to get the ball down in the corner.
The last 10 minutes of the half was all the Warriors as they mounted a number of attacking raids at the Cronulla line, however the Sharks defense held firm and they would go to half time in front 10-4.
The Sharks added to their lead six minutes into the second half and they did it in unusual circumstances when a kick rebounded off the back of a Sharks player, Andrew Fifita picking it up and scampering down field. Fifita found Michael Gordon, who passed to Jeff Robson, before Pomeroy threw the ball for Nathan Stapleton to finish the movement and ground the over the line.
Carney kicked the goal and the Sharks had a two-converted try lead at 16-4.
As good as the try was for the Sharks they paid a heavy price, when in throwing the last pass Pomeroy was severely concussed and taken from the field on a medi-cab. Jayson Bukuya came onto the field to take his place in the centres.
A penalty in the play the ball and a Carney goal put the Sharks 14 points in front, but the Warriors would edge closer with a Konrad Hurrell try in the 68th minute.
The Sharks held the upper hand at 18-8 but the Warriors had the momentum with still some time on the clock.
Then when Vatuvei jumped high over Stapleton to score in the corner, followed by Shaun Johnsons picture perfect conversion from the touchline, the Sharks camp was nervous with five minute to go.
Johnson made a line break in the closing moments but when the final pass sailed over the sideline the Sharks were then able to close the match out and claim the valuable two competition points.
In his first game back Gallen was strong for the Sharks, playing over 70 minutes and putting in a typical non-stop performance, but the captain had a number of willing allies.
Fifita again led the way in the middle of the park, his effort all the more impressive considering it came against perhaps the biggest forward pack in the NRL, Isaac De Gois was a tower of strength at hooker and Carney controlled the game brilliantly at five eighth.
The Sharks will return to Sydney on Sunday, assess the bumps and bruises and attempt to regroup ahead of another crucial game against the Newcastle Knights at Remondis Stadium.
Jonathan Wright, Ben Pomeroy, Nathan Stapleton tries, Todd Carney 3 goals
Manu Vatuvei 2, Konrad Hurrell tries Shaun Johnson goal