The Sharks have responded to the disappointment of the previous week in the best possible fashion, routing the Warriors 46-10 in an impressive attacking performance.
After conceding 10 tries at their last start the Sharks arrived at Central Coast Stadium determined to put the Panthers loss behind them and they did that in emphatic style, skipping out to a 24-4 lead at the break, before going on with the job in the second half.
While Braden Hamlin-Uele notched the Sharks first try, as has become his habit, it was the Sharks backline which ran roit, Sione Katoa and Jesse Ramien notching doubles, while Shaun Johnson, Ronaldo Mulitalo and Will Kennedy also managed to get their names on the try scoring sheet.
The Cronulla team was on the board early, Hamlin-Uele, crossing in just the fourth minute, the big front rower steaming onto a Chad Townsend pass before running 20 metres to score adjacent to the uprights.
Johnson kicked the simple conversion and the Sharks led 6-0.
A mix up at the back, with fullback Kennedy colliding with Mulitalo in trying to defuse a bomb, almost saw the Warriors reply, only for the efforts of Josh Dugan in dislodging the ball as his opponent was attempting to touchdown.
It was a piece of luck at one end and the Sharks were able to capitalise at the other, with Kennedy quickly atoning for his error by running through a gaping hole off a Johnson pass for his teams second four-pointer of the afternoon.
Johnson’s conversion from a wide angle made it 12-0 and after defending repeat sets on their line the Sharks would push home their advantage soon after, a brilliant Dugan pass putting Mulitalo over in the north-western corner.
Again Johnson was able to add the extras, this time his kick coming from inches inside the touchline and it was 18-0 Sharks only 16 minutes into the contest.
Following a successful captains challenge, then a mistake by the Sharks, the Warriors posted their first points, winger Ken Maumalo exploiting an overlap to score and when the kick at goal bounced off the upright it was 18-4.
The revival from the New Zealand team would be short-lived however, with the next points going to the Sharks and coming through some Johnson magic, the Sharks five eighth chasing his own kick and getting to a bouncing ball in the Warrior in goal then miraculously grounding it with centimetres to spare.
Despite enjoying a handy 20-point lead at the break Sharks coach John Morris wouldn't have been thrilled with seven first half errors, but if there was any concern as to the final result that was put to bed early, the next Cronulla try coming in spectacular fashion.
With the Warriors on the attack a kick was cleaned up in his own in goal by Johnson, who evaded a couple of tackles, headed up field and found Katoa, the winger who is now the NRL’s leading try scorer dashing the final 65 metres and the Sharks had their fifth try of the afternoon.
Keeping his perfect kicking record intact Johnson was again on target with the conversion, making it 30-4 to the Cronulla side.
That lead would blow out further in the 56th minute, this time from a beautifully worked backline movement, Johnson putting Kennedy into space, the fullback then passing to Ramien who planted the ball down in the corner.
A Blake Green sin-binning for a professional foul meant the Sharks had a one-man advantage and immediately they would add to that lead, a second Katoa try and Johnson goal and it was 40-4 with the floodgates ready to open.
A combination of some sloppy Sharks play and a bit of resolve from the Warriors limited the damage, although when it was back at 13-on-13 Ramien claimed a second in closing out the Cronulla scoring.
The Sharks would concede an 80th minute try to the Warriors due to a lack of concentration at the kickoff but the result had been in no doubt for some time, the Sharks registering their fifth victory of the 2020 season.
While the win will look impressive when reading the try tally, the Sharks will look to address some errors that put them under pressure at times, although the coach will be happier with a defensive effort that only gave up only two tries.
Another bonus for the Cronulla side was the fact that Morris was able to give the likes of hooker Blayke Brailey, skipper Wade Graham and prop Aaron Woods something of a breather during the second half, which also had the positive of providing Connor Tracey, Royce Hunt and Siosifa Talakai some extended game time.
The only injury concern seemed to involve Scott Sorensen who came off in the first half with a knee problem, however the early diagnosis indicated there was no serious damage.
The Sharks now have a six-day turnaround ahead of their second local derby match up of the 2020 season when they play the St George Illawarra Dragons at Kogarah Jubilee next Saturday.
Sione Katoa 2, Jesse Ramien 2, Braden Hamlin-Uele, Will Kennedy, Ronaldo Mulitalo, Shaun Johnson, tries, Shaun Johnson 7 goals
Ken Maumalo, Wade Egan tries. Cody Nikorima goal
4 mins - Hamlin-Uele try, Johnson goal - Sharks 6-0
10 mins - Kennedy try, Johnson goal - Sharks 12-0
16 mins - Mulitalo try, Johnson goal - Sharks 18-0
22 mins - Maumalo try - Sharks 18-4
30 mins - Johnson try, Johnson goal - Sharks 24-4
43 mins - Katoa try, Johnson goal - Sharks 30-4
56 mins - Ramien try - Sharks 34-4
64 mins - Katoa try, Johnson goal - Sharks 40-4
77 mins - Ramien try, Johnson goal - Sharks 46-4
80 mins - Egan try, Nikorima goal - Sharks 46-10