With finals approaching the Sharks needed a confidence boost, and in crossing for with seven tries in a 42-16 victory, managed the desired result in registering a big over the New Zealand Warriors.
The Sharks built up a 24-10 half time lead and went on with the job in the second period, the win pushing them up to seventh with two games in the regular season remaining.
In something of a change to many of their games it was the Sharks who got off to a fast start, a Paul Gallen line break from an Aaron Woods off-load put them in position, before Josh Dugan passed for Bronson Xerri and it was 4-0 Sharks just three minutes into the game.
The try was Xerri’s 12th of the season in what is his first year in the NRL.
Shaun Johnson was successful with the kick at goal and the Sharks led 6-0.
Not long after and the Warriors would respond. After making some inroads through the middle of the Sharks ruck a last tackle kick from Blake Green was tapped down by winger David Fusitu’a, with Patrick Herbert touching down out wide.
The conversion attempt was wide of the mark and the Sharks led 6-4 but in adding to their disappointment at conceding a try, winger Sosaia Feki limped off with a leg injury.
Some enterprising play from the Sharks from inside their own half would see them extend that advantage, Johnson putting Morris into space with a long cut out, the centre sending Ronaldo Mulitalo on a run down the touch line, with the youngster, in only his sixth top grade game throwing an audacious flick pass back to Morris to put the veteran over wide out.
Johnson was able to add the extras and the Sharks were up 12-4 after 17 minutes.
Now with momentum in their favour Dugan started the next attacking raid, then the fullback would also finish it.
Dugan returned a Warriors kick 30-metres, up to the half way line, then four tackles later he would be on the end of a backline shift in finding the try line some five metres in from touch.
Johnson kicked the goal to put the Sharks up 18-4 and with the injection of Andrew Fifita into the game the intensity from the home team lifted a notch.
Showing their trademark flair the Warriors would respond, a loose pass hitting the ground, with Isaiah Papali’i picking the ball up and going over untouched.
The Isaac Luke conversion made the score 18-10 with 12 minutes of the first half remaining.
On the front foot the Sharks again moved into attacking field position and it would be the Kiwi combination of Johnson and Briton Nikora who would make their countrymen pay, the young back rower running the perfect line to score his teams fourth four-pointer three minutes from the break.
Johnson’s conversion put the Sharks ahead 24-10 at half time, while the two points were Johnson’s 1000th points in his NRL career.
The Warriors emerged from the sheds with plenty of intent however the Sharks turned them away after repeat sets on their try line and they would march up the field and score at the other end.
The try came through Braden Hamlin-Uele, the big front rower hitting a Chad Townsend pass at speed, breaking the line and running 20-metres to cross.
Johnson converted from adjacent to the posts and the Sharks were up 30-10.
A Ronaldo Mulitalo try when he won the race to a Xerri kick and the Johnson conversion pushed the score out to 36-10 before some Roger Tuivasa-Sheck brilliance put Fusitu’a over in the corner to make it 34-16 with 17 minutes left on the clock.
The Sharks would make the Warriors pay for an error for the final try of the afternoon, Morris picking up a loose pass and out sprinting the cover in a 40-metre run to the line, Johnson completing the scoring with his seventh goal from as many attempts.
The only concerns to come from the game were injuries suffered by Feki (groin) and Jack Williams (ankle), with scans over the next couple of days to reveal the extent of the damage.
While they will celebrate one of their better victories of the 2019 season, the Sharks will be back at work in the coming days preparing for the Canberra Raiders in a blockbuster set down for a 2pm kickoff at PointsBet Stadium next Sunday afternoon.
Josh Morris 2, Bronson Xerri, Josh Dugan, Braden Hamlin-Uele, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Briton Nikora tries, Shaun Johnson 7 goals
Patrick Herbert, Isaiah Papali’i, David Fusitu’a tries Isaac Luke goal