The Sharks earned one of their most famous regular season wins in club history.
Cronulla became the first team since 2008 to win after sending off a player in the first half and they did it easily, beating the Warriors 29-10 on Sunday night.
The Sharks even went down to 11 men in the second half, but that didn’t matter against an ill-fated Warriors side.
MATCH HUB: Cronulla Sharks v Warriors, teams, score, video
Will Kennedy was sent off for a hanger tackle in the 17th minute and Jesse Ramien was knocked out in the 54th minute, also for a high shot.
Kennedy picked up Warriors young gun Reece Walsh – who got up immediately – with a swing arm and referee Todd Smith had no choice but to walk him.
The Warriors scored twice in the first five minutes. Kennedy was off the field, but it was all Sharks after that as the Kiwis failed to score in the second stanza despite having the power play.
The last team to win after losing a player in the first half was Manly against Canberra in 2008.
Here are the three biggest takeaways of the game.
HYNES DELIVERS FAMOUS VICTORY
Nicho Hynes was sensational against the Warriors, with Cronulla halfback playing a huge part in the historic victory.
The Sharks outscored the Warriors 23-10 playing with 12 men and Hynes finished with a try, three assists and two assists.
“It was probably one of the best games I’ve been in at a club,” Hynes told Fox League.
“We defended our asses going down to 11 men, it’s such a brave effort. I am proud of this club and where we are heading, especially after a setback last week.
“Fitzy just said we had to put in another 40-minute effort and it would have been one of the best days for the club if we had gotten the win, and we did.”
The win marks the first time Cronulla has won five consecutive home games since 2016, when the club clinched a drought-breaking premiership.
“The Sharks with 12 men, at an 11 man stadium, this is one of the most famous wins in the history of this proud club,” said Andrew Voss on Fox League.
“They absolutely gasp the Warriors.”
Greg Alexander echoed the sentiment.
“For a team that’s down to just 11 players, they haven’t had a bad one. They were absolutely outstanding in that second half,” Alexander said.
THE WARRIORS wave the “WHITE FLAG”
It was arguably one of the worst performances for the Warriors not just this season, but in club history.
The Kiwi side barely fired a shot despite having a men’s advantage for most of the game and a two-man advantage for 10 minutes in the second half.
Prop Matt Lodge was the only Warriors player to run more than 100 yards as their playmakers hid in the second half.
“Dejected Warriors players, heads down. They can’t believe what happened in that second half,” said Greg Alexander.
The Warriors had 70 points put on them by the Storm two weeks ago, but Andrew Voss believes that loss was worse and could derail their entire season.
“I don’t know what was happening to the Warriors defenders while this was going on, it’s almost like they waved the white flag,” Voss said after the Sharks’ final try.
“This last game is kind of an indictment against the Warriors, how many chances did they have to close this game? It will be difficult to watch in the video review, Nathan Brown will ask “boys, are we really serious about entering this competition”.
“Four wins and four losses coming up in this Warriors game, and just outside the top eight, but this could turn out to be a defining loss for them.
“It’s hard to imagine how you’re doing. Last week they had to shake off a 70-point beating at the hands of Melbourne.
HIGH PLATES STORAGE HISTORIC VICTORY
The Sharks will be without Will Kennedy and Jesse Ramien for several weeks after the two delivered nasty high shots on Sunday.
Kennedy’s hanger on Reece Walsh was the result of a lazy swing arm and he will be lucky to miss within a month.
“Oh my God, Kennedy with a coat hanger,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League.
“The legs went under him and it’s just the old-fashioned hanger, he also left the ground,” Greg Alexander said.
Ramien was thrown out for an ugly tackle that saw his shoulder make contact with Euan Aitken’s head.
“It’s very, very lucky. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had just walked for it,” Andrew Voss said on Fox League.
Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon said: “(Kennedy) was obviously sheepish and disappointed, but he’s proud of the guys. It’s tough right out of the box so I gotta check it out and so does Jesse.
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