Shaun Johnson showed his old club no mercy as he helped the Sharks right the wrongs of a week ago and hand the Warriors a resounding 46-10 defeat at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The former Golden Boot winner had his fingerprints all over the 36-point win with a try, a hand in three others, excellent goal-kicking landing seven from eight attempts and generally showing great finesse in anything he did.
After the 32-point walloping by the Panthers in round nine, the Sharks definitely meant business at Gosford in round 10.
Cronulla may be in a four-way logjam with the Rabbitohs, Wests Tigers, and the Sea Eagles – all with five wins – fighting to stay in, or get into, the top-eight. But the big win over the Warriors lifted the Sharks from 10th spot on the ladder into equal eighth with South Sydney.
Alongside Johnson, Toby Rudolf also seemed to have a point to prove. A mooted early departure from the Shire to join the Warriors in 2021 appears unlikely to eventuate with the Warriors' big men seeming to take their frustrations out on Rudolf with some huge hits.
Match: Warriors v Sharks
Round 10 -
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Central Coast
The 24-year-old came off the bench for 62 quality minutes that proved his value to whichever club ends up securing his services; that included 19 runs, 179 metres, 31 tackles and two tackle busts.
For the Warriors it was their first loss in their home-away-from-home of Gosford after wins over the Dragons, Cowboys and Broncos.
The opposition's quick scoring early never let them get into a rhythm.
That was compounded by a few players needing concussion tests and then Blake Green was sin-binned for holding back Wade Graham in a ball-chase midway through the second half.
It took only three minutes for Braden Hamlin-Uele to score the Sharks' first try and by the 15th minute Will Kennedy and Ronaldo Mulitalo joined him for the Sharks to shoot out to an 18-0 lead.
Josh Dugan, moved to centre from fullback just before kick-off, has to be applauded for a sneaky around the corner pass for his winger.
The Warriors finally got their act together seven minutes later and a simple left side move through the hands had winger Ken Maumalo over in the corner.
Todd Payten's staff had other concerns with three players – Wayde Egan, Jack Hetherington and Patrick Herbert – all taken from the field in the first half for HIA tests. Herbert did not return.
In a repeat of the first half, the Sharks scored early in the second with winger Katoa sprinting 60 metres after supporting Johnson, who had collected a Green grubber kick in his own in-goal.
Johnson orchestrates length of the field try for Katoa
If that wasn't impressive enough, Katoa danced and jigged around Peta Hiku turning the Warriors centre inside-out before an aerobatic put-down. It was the Sharks fifth try of the afternoon.
Katoa scored again with Jesse Ramien also scoring a double in the second half.
The Warriors scored a late consolation try with Wayde Egan scoring in the dying seconds from some superb Jazz Tevaga lead-up work but it was too late to dim the Sharks' celebrations.