The impressive mid-season resurgence of the Sydney Roosters' Jersey Flegg side came to an end tonight after a disappointing 18-4 loss to Cronulla.
The Roosters trailed by two at half time and threatened to edge in front in a riveting second half display by both sides.
In a dramatic final few minutes, NSW Under 17's star Shaun Kenny-Dowall looked to have levelled the scores following a breathtaking 100m burst up field, but was dramatically held up just as he reached down to score.
The Roosters had several opportunities to hit the lead in a pulsating second half, but a combination of poor handling and bad options cruelled their chances.
Late tries to Sharks flyer Dane Neilsen and a second four-pointer to Bryson Goodwin sealed the Roosters' fate.
"We had our chances," coach Jim Dymock said.
"I don't know why we didn't take them, but Cronulla certainly played well.
"It's not the end of the world, we'll just keep working hard at training and try to turn it around."
After a dour opening, Cronulla posted first points through classy centre Goodwin, who crossed over on the left touchline to break some resilient Roosters defence to give the home side a 4-0 lead.
But the defending premiers hit back minutes later when ex-Shark Scott Porter's clever cross field kick was nabbed by Troy Savage to level the ledger.
The young Roosters fought on bravely to hold out numerous Cronulla raids, but went into the break 6-4 down after a late penalty goal to Goodwin extended the Sharks' lead.
Cronulla threatened to further their lead in the opening seconds of the second stanza, but a desperate try saving tackle from Shaun Foley brought rampaging Sharks forward Leonard Ropeta to his knees.
Foley and classy half Anthony Watts were the best in a disappointing all-round effort, with the side aiming to refocus before next week's clash against the high-flying Eels.
Premier League regular Aidan Kirk also threatened Cronulla's line on numerous occasions.
On a sour note, touch back-rower Michael Burns was taken from the field midway through the first half with what appeared to be an elbow injury.
CRONULLA SUTHERLAND SHARKS 18 (Bryson Goodwin 2, Dane Neilsen tries; Bryson Goodwin 2/3 goals) defeated SYDNEY ROOSTERS 4 (Troy Savage try; Scott Porter 0/1 goals) at Toyota Park, Friday 17th June 2005; Referee: Ricky McFarlane.Like