The Warriors season is sinking without a trace.

For the third time in four weeks they have been hammered, going down 42-16 to the Sharks in Sydney.

The result ends any maths-based optimism that they could sneak into the top eight, though reality said that their hopes were over many weeks ago.

This game was finished as a contest with more than 30 minutes to play, when Braden Hamlin-Uele scored Cronulla's fifth try to lead 30-10.


Shaun Johnson had a day to remember, with two try assists and a perfect game with the boot, landing seven conversions.

After a consistent spell in June and July, this month has been ugly for the Warriors, as they have conceded more than 40 points against the Raiders, Roosters and the Sharks.

This was another sub-standard display. They had their moments, but whenever the intensity of the contest lifted the Warriors seemed to fall away

Few players emerged with much credit; captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck put in his usual sterling effort, creating a lovely try for David Fusitu'a and saving another, but he was almost Robinson Crusoe in terms of a positive performance.

The pack was comprehensively outplayed and their fifth tackle options were poor, while the hooker-halves axis didn't really work.

The visitors also lacked structure and direction on attack, and didn't front defensively, with too many arm grabs in an often static line.

The Sharks are a good side – better than their ladder position indicates – but they were allowed to canter for much of the match, and seemingly weren't affected by losing two players to injury in the first half.

Braden Hamlin-Uele celebrates scoring with teammates. Photo / Photosport
Braden Hamlin-Uele celebrates scoring with teammates. Photo / Photosport

On a sunny afternoon, the Warriors made a poor start, falling behind in the second minute. An Aaron Woods offload set Paul Gallen away, with Bronson Xerri beating the cover defence to score near the posts.


The right edge combination of David Fusitu'a and Patrick Herbert then showed what the Warriors have been missing, as the winger climbed to take a Blake Green bomb then released Herbert to dive over.

But it was a short lived revival, as Johnson created space on the left, which led to Josh Morris scoring in the corner.

Five minutes later Cronulla went further ahead, with Josh Dugan, who had a blistering first quarter, powering through four defenders to dot down near the left touchline.

Isaiah Papalii's try, from a short Green pass following a Jazz Tevaga offload, came against the run of play and was timely, as the visitors were under mounting pressure from the Sharks.

But it didn't signal a revival, as Johnson put Briton Nikora into a yawning gap a few minutes before halftime.

The Warriors came out with halftime orders to play more down the middle, but it was the home team that made inroads in the trenches early in the second half, with Andrew Fifita and Hamlin-Uele rolling forward.

After Fifita created momentum, a precise ball from Chad Townsend put the Glenora Bears junior into space, and the 115kg prop ran 35 metres for the Sharks' fifth try.

Only a wonderful Tuivasa-Sheck effort prevented another try moments later, as he held up Blayke Brailey.

The captain then worked some magic, stepping around a bemused Sharks defence before a perfect no-look ball for Fusitu'a in the 60th minute.

But any hope of a grandstand finish was extinguished five minutes later, as young wing Ronaldo Mulitalo finished off a Xerri grubber.

Warriors 16 (P Herbert, I Papalii, D Fusitu'a tries; P Herbert 2 goals)
Sharks 42 (B Xerri, J Morris 2 , J Dugan, B Nikora, B Hamlin-Uele, R Mulitalo tries; S Johnson 7 goals)
Halftime: 24-10