The Warriors have come away with a one point, 19-18 victory in Wellington against a Sharks side who spent the bulk of the game on the back foot.
After some early point scoring in the first half, the Warriors dominated both possession and field position, but failed to score any points off the back of it all, and Cronulla went in at the break with a 4 point lead.
The Warriors opened the scoring in the 5th minute with a penalty goal to Issac Luke. The Sharks hit back though with two tries in five minutes.
In the ninth minute, Cronulla built good momentum and had players in motion when Chad Townsend linked with Shaun Johnson, who ran up to the line and held up a short ball for Briton Nikora, who ran through a yawning gap to score an easy try. Johnson converted.
The Sharks then scored again in the 14th minute after Matt Moylan made a break through the Warriors right side defence, then threw a pass to Bronson Xerri which bounced up off his shoulder. Xerri batted the ball back and Chad Townsend caught it before running away to score to the left of the sticks. Johnson converted again.
In the 24th minute the Warriors struck back when Blake Green scored a good solo try, when he ran a good line back through the ruck to score to the left of the posts. Luke converted to reduce the deficit to just 4 points.
The Warriors then had 5 consecutive sets inside the Sharks half, but failed to make any change to the scoreboard. On the few occasions the Sharks had the ball, they were either hammered by the Warriors defence, or turned the ball over near halfway. But their defence remained stoic and strong.
The second half started just like the first, with a penalty goal to Luke after the Warriors failed to breach the Sharks defence yet again.
And just like the first half, it was the Sharks who replied with a try, this time through a speculator to Sosaia Feki, who collided with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in cover defence and then producing a 360 degree spin in the air to avoid the touchline before miraculously getting the ball down despite holding it behind his back. Johnson converted from touch.
In the 62nd minute the Warriors finally scored another try when Kodi Nikorima broke the line and scored a good try despite having Moylan holding onto the back of his jumper. Chanel Harris-Tavita converted.
With 13 minutes remaining in the game, the Warriors were again on the attack when Andrew Fifita hit Lachlan Burr off the ball and was sin binned. Harris-Tavita kicked the penalty goal to level the scores.
With 6 minutes remaining, Harris-Tavita has a woeful attempt at field goal. A minute later though Green has a shot and nails the field goal to give the Warriors a one point lead with 4 minutes remaining.
On the siren Townsend had a shot at field goal, but it just misses the upright and is waved away.