NRL: Sharks thrash hapless Warriors

Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors is caught between the legs of Nathan Stapleton of the Sharks during the round 22 NRL match. Photo / Getty Images.
Manu Vatuvei of the Warriors is caught between the legs of Nathan Stapleton of the Sharks during the round 22 NRL match. Photo / Getty Images.

Warriors 4
Sharks 45

The Warriors' hopes of making the NRL Playoffs are surely over after suffering a 45-4 thrashing by the Sharks at Mt Smart Stadium today.

It was the Warriors' fourth consecutive loss, and another disappointing performance filled with the same missed tackles and missed attacking opportunities that have plagued them this season.

In their last two games the Warriors were guilty of blowing an 18-point lead, but today they faced the opposite dilemma after falling behind by 20 points in the first half.

And it didn't get any better for Brian McClennan's side who ended up conceding seven tries in what can only be described as a rout.

They were unable to deal with the attacking threat of Sharks' five-eighth Todd Carney who capped off an exceptional night with two tries, six conversions a field goal and a penalty.

The Warriors lost influential playmaker James Maloney to a medial knee injury early in the first half and without his leadership looked unable to take advantage of a number of promising attacking positions.

It was the Warriors' third highest loss and will heap the pressure on McClennan who has seen his side go from good to bad to terrible, over the course of six weeks.

The Sharks drew first blood in the fourth minute when Carney blocked a Shaun Johnson kick with his foot, before collecting the rebound and sprinting the length of the field for the first try of the match.

Carney doubled the Sharks' lead ten minutes later, muscling through the Warriors defence from close range to open up a 12 point lead.

It went from bad to worse for the Warriors soon after when Maloney had to be helped off the field following an ugly fall after running the ball.

He didn't return and neither did the Warriors' form - unable to capitalise on a number of handy attacking positions before conceding a penalty out in front that Carney easily kicked over.

Then when Colin Best fended off Carlos Tuimavave to break free on the left flank, there was only going to be one outcome - a simple offload to Jeff Robson saw the halfback easily run in for the Sharks third try.

The Warriors finally troubled the scorers in the 30th minute when Bill Tupou was first to react and bundled the ball over the line after it was stripped from Elijah Taylor.

Carney completed an exceptional half slotting a dropkick on the halftime whistle.

The Sharks picked up where they left off at the start of the second half when Andrew Fifita and then John Williams touched down.

Williams then made it two in seven minutes before Fifita completed the scoring, silencing the diehard Warriors fans that made it to end of the match.

Sharks 45: Todd Carney 2, Jeff Robson, Andrew Fifita 2, John Williams 2 tries; Carney 8 goals, dg
Warriors 4: Bill Tupou try.

HT: 21-4

- HERALD ONLINE

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