The New Zealand Warriors have been completely outclassed by the Cronulla Sharks on the Central Coast on Sunday, registering their fourth loss in five weeks.
The Sharks cruised to a comfortable 36-point victory in their round-10 clash, obliterating their hapless opponents in a one-sided encounter.
Cronulla raced to an early lead at Central Coast Stadium, scoring the first three tries of the match and exposing cracks in the Warriors' defensive line.
The Warriors botched an early chance to score in the seventh minute of the match — winger David Fusitu'a snatched a fumble on the right wing, and flicked the ball inside to Patrick Herbert, who dived over.
Unfortunately, the powerful centre dropped the ball inches above the turf, and the try was disallowed after it went upstairs.
"Did he drop that ball?" Greg Alexander queried on Fox League.
"Oh, he's dropped it! I can't believe it.
"That is one of the great blunders from Patrick Herbert. Just get it on the ground!"
Warren Smith replied: "They have blown a chance to get themselves on the board."
At halftime, Sydney Roosters great Braith Anasta called the missed opportunity a "disaster" for the Warriors.
"If Herbert scores that try, the scores are level at that time. That really hurt," Anasta said on Fox League.
"This was a shocking start. It just kills the momentum. You turn up to a game, the other side gets out of the blocks quick, and you just want to match it.
"A bit of a nightmare."
A moment of magic from Cronulla five-eighth Shaun Johnson granted the visitors their fourth try in less than half an hour — the New Zealander dived to plant the ball centimetres before the dead-ball line, scoring his first try of the 2020 season.
Although the Warriors were able to register a classy try of their own in the 22nd minute, the Sharks held a 20-point lead going into the halftime break.
Immediately after the interval, Cronulla ran a 100-metre try to put the result beyond doubt, speedy winger Sione Katoa weaving in and out of the defenders to score by the corner flag.
The Warriors mustered a consolation try in the dying moments, but the scoreboard read 46-10 when the final siren sounded. Katoa and Jesse Ramien each scored a double for the Sharks during the carnage.
Cronulla slides up into ninth spot on the NRL ladder after recording their fifth win of the season, while the Warriors remains in the bottom four.
Next weekend, the Sharks will face the Dragons in Sydney, while the Warriors will take on the reigning premiers.