In a game that promised so much through the first 40 minutes, the Sharks have been overrun by a rampant Melbourne Storm in their round eight clash at AAMI Park.
The Sharks led 8-6 at half time, a score that could have seen them either further in front but for missed opportunities, however the second half was all the Storm, seven tries seeing record a landslide 40-14 victory.
It was a dismal second period for the Cronulla side, who slipped to a fourth consecutive loss.
The match began with Connor Tracey being denied a try in the 6th minute for a forward pass, a Josh Addo-Carr line break put Melbourne on the front foot and then a penalty for a high shot saw Cameron Munster post first points as the Storm led 2-0 inside the first 10 minutes of the match.
Continuing his strong start to the season fullback Will Kennedy broke the line and helped the Sharks move into an attacking position soon after and as a result of a stripping penalty against Munster it was 2-all, Chad Townsend kicking the goal from 20-metres out and in front of the posts.
In the 20th minute the Storm would go back in front, Addo-Carr sprinting 75 metres to score after a Sharks error and somewhat against the run of play it was 6-2 to the home team.
For a second time Tracey had a try disallowed, on this occasion after he was ruled to have been held up, then another scoring chance was squandered with a wayward pass however eventually the Sharks pressure would result in points, Briton Nikora running into a hole off a short ball from Shaun Johnson before running 25-metres to score.
Townsend was successful with the kick at goal and with eight minutes remaining until half time, the Sharks had their first lead at 8-6.
The Sharks continued to enjoy the better of the first half in terms of field position and possession but couldn't extend their advantage as they took a two-point led to the break.
The second 40 began with the Sharks again pressing but as was the case for the Storm's first try, an error saw them score their second, Matt Eisenhuth crashing over from short range at the end of the ensuing set.
The home team then extended their lead three tackles after a penalty was awarded against Johnson was a high shot, Tui Kamikamica running through the middle of the Sharks ruck. Following two successful Munster kicks the score had pushed out to 18-8 in favour of Melbourne.
Yet another Sharks try was called back, the last pass from Kennedy to Tracey ruled forward, with their back luck then compounded by a third Melbourne try for the half, Remis Smith running through a hole then beating the cover in a 20-metre dash to the line.
Munster couldn't add the extras but at 22-8 with under 20 minutes left on the clock and the Sharks had it all to do.
Bad went to worse for the Cronulla side, Jahrome Hughes stepping inside some tired defence to slide over under the uprights, Brandon Smith, who had hardly been sighted all night burst through some brittle defence in continuing the second half demolition.
Two more tries, both to Storm centre Smith added to the Sharks second half pain as the score blew out to an embarrassing 40-8, before a consolation try to Tracey and sideline conversion completed the scoring.
The Sharks will now look to dust themselves off and regroup ahead of what no doubt will be an equally difficult challenge next week when they travel to Penrith to play the Panthers.
Briton Nikora, Connor Tracey tries, Chad Townsend 3 goals
Remis Smith 3, Josh Addo-Carr, Tom Eisenhuth, Tui Kamikamica, Jahrome Hughes, Brandon Smith tries Cameron Munster 4 goals
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