Some late brilliance from halves Todd Carney and Jeff Robson has enabled the Sharks to escape with a nail-biting 20-19 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at a slippery Toyota Stadium on Saturday night.
With the Warriors leading 19-8 and in virtual cruise control, the Sharks needed something special from their chief playmakers and the Robson-Carney pairing stepped up to the plate in inspirational fashion.
Carney kick-started the revival in the 69th minute with a superb offload to set up a try for Robson under the sticks, before producing a brilliant 40-20 that handed Cronulla ideal field position for what proved to be the match-winning try.
On the following set, Robson produced a neat step and dummy to score from close-range, allowing Carney to slot the conversion from a relatively easy angle and put the Sharks in front by a point.
The Sharks' sixth successive home win came on a night when centre Colin Best was celebrating his 250th NRL game and the club notched 500 premiership matches at 'Shark Park'.
They managed the victory minus inspirational skipper Paul Gallen, who failed to back up from last Wednesday night's grueling Origin encounter.
An error from Afghanistan-born Warriors debutant winger Omar Slaimankhel during a kick-return handed Cronulla possession for their opening points in just the sixth minute.
The Sharks continued down the short side for winger Isaac Gordon to send in-form centre Ben Pomeroy fighting his way over for the try that was converted from out wide by Carney.
The Warriors struck back in the 12th minute when full-back Kevin Locke snuck in behind Sharks full-back Matthew Wright to get downward pressure on a Shaun Johnson grubber kick.
Five-eighth James Maloney slotted the conversion to level the scores up at 6-all.
Video referee Russell Smith rightfully denied stand-in Sharks skipper Jeremy Smith a try a few minutes later, ruling Carney had knocked the ball forward from a Robson kick in the lead-up to the Kiwi international swooping on the scraps.
The Warriors fared much better with the video referee six minutes before the break when several replays revealed Johnson scoring from the scraps of a Maloney cross-field kick.
The Roosters-bound Maloney was successful with the conversion, confirming his 500th point for the New Zealand club.
Maloney opened up a 13-6 lead for his side a couple of minutes later with a sneaky field goal.
Frustration was getting the better of the Sharks leading up to half-time when Pomeroy was placed on report for a forearm to the head of Ben Henry.
Carney landed a penalty goal on half-time to send the Sharks into the break trailing by five points.
Rookie Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell used his considerable bulk to crash over down the short side in the 51st minute to push the Warriors out to a 17-8 lead.
Maloney added a 41m penalty goal a few minutes later to extend the Warriors' lead by a further two points.
But the two late Robson tries, both converted by Carney, gave the Sharks a remarkable victory in front a delirious home crowd.
Cronulla Sharks 20
Tries: Robson 2, Pomeroy
Goals: Carney 4
New Zealand Warriors 19
Tries: Locke, Johnson, Hurrell
Goals: Maloney 3
Field goals: Maloney 1