Interim Sharks coach Peter Sharp has slammed his side as embarrassing in their 24-4 loss to Manly.
Interim Cronulla coach Peter Sharp slammed his NRL side as embarrassing as their Brookvale Oval hoodoo continued in emphatic fashion on Sunday.
The Sharks were hammered 24-4 by Manly, who were rampant in the first half before fading in the second.
The Sea Eagles led 20-0 after 33 minutes and when a Peta Hiku try extended that lead to 24-0 in the 54th minute, the game was all but over.
The Sharks have enjoyed success at Brookvale just five times in 37 matches.
After the Sharks notched their first win of the season over the Warriors last weekend, their performance was a big step back and Sharp didn’t hold back in his appraisal.
“It was terribly disappointing,” the former Manly coach said.
“It was an important game for us in the bigger picture against a quality side away from home, something I was really looking forward to.
“We were miles away in terms of energy levels.
“It was embarrassing, really, really disappointing.”
Jorge Taufua tore the Sharks apart early in his first game of the season after recovering from a shoulder injury.
He put on the final pass for Steve Matai’s opening try in the third minute and scored one himself in the 21st minute.
In between, Brenton Lawrence crossed off a looping pass from Brett Stewart in the 15th minute, the superstar fullback earning three try assists for the afternoon.
Matai earned his double in the 33rd minute, his fourth of 2014.
The Sharks finally got on the scoreboard in the 80th minute through stand-in skipper Wade Graham when Hiku failed to diffuse a Jeff Robson bomb.
Hiku moved to the right wing to accommodate Taufua, with David Williams dropped.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey said he was pleased with his side’s response to their 34-18 defeat to Wests Tiger last week.
“It was a really good turnaround defensively on our energy this week, particularly in the first half,” Toovey said.
“It was a big change from last week.”
Toovey admitted Manly let their foot off the gas in the second half.
“It was very reminiscent of the Melbourne game in the end (when Manly lost 23-22 after leading 20-0), but it was a good effort,” he said.
Andrew Fifita struggled for the Sharks, as did Todd Carney, who was sporting a peroxide blond buzz cut.
Sharp declined to comment on Carney’s game.
When asked if the Sharks had suffered any injuries, Sharp joked: “No, unfortunately.”
Sharp said back-rower Anthony Tupou (knee) would return for Saturday’s clash against premiers the Sydney Roosters at Remondis Stadium, but captain Paul Gallen (ankle) was another week away.
Isaac De Gois is in doubt with a knee injury.
Manly host North Queensland in Gosford in round seven on Friday.