The Warriors failed in their quest for back-to-back away wins going down 20-19 to a Todd Carney-inspired Sharks outfit in difficult conditions at Toyota Stadium in Cronulla tonight.
With his side 11 points down inside the final 15 minutes, Carney backed up his stellar State of Origin effort and helped carry a Sharks outfit missing inspirational captain Paul Gallen, Andrew Fifita and Wade Graham, to produce two vital plays that saw his side home.
The champion five-eighth made a line bust that allowed halfback Jeff Robson to slide in under the posts to put them within five, before producing a 40/20 kick that handed the sharks an attacking scrum on the Warriors' line.
Robson then snuck through to score his second in three minutes, Carney's conversion giving them a one-point lead they would not relent.
The Warriors seemed to have the match in hand after first half tries to Kevin Locke and Shaun Johnson were backed up after the break by a typically barnstorming Konrad Hurrell try and a James Maloney penalty, yet their defence dropped off in the last quarter to let the Sharks back in.
With two minutes remaining the Warriors had their chance to set for a field-goal yet Johnson opted for an all-or-nothing wide attacking play which was shut down and a turnover shortly after eliminated any chance of a golden-point show-down.
The Sharks notched first points of the night with Ben Pommeroy capitalising on debutant Omar Slaimankhel's error to stretch out and score, Carney converting to give the Sharks a 6-0 lead after four minutes.
The Warriors then squared the ledger six minutes later when Locke chased hard to ground a Maloney grubber to the ingoal, as the Warriors began to gain physical and territorial advantage over the hosts.
The Warriors were making easy metres on kick-returns and forward drives to regularly finish their sets on halfway with Maloney and Johnson repeatedly asking the Sharks to bring the ball back from their own line.
Momentum then swung in the second quarter when Sharks stand-in skipper Jeremy Smith looked to have scored off a Jeff Robson cross-field kick yet replays showed a Carney hand had propelled the ball forward to deny them the four-pointer.
The Warriors defended three sets on their own line before Maloney's third line drop-out skewed off the side of his boot and into touch, fortuitously handing his side a pressure-relieving scrum-feed near halfway.
The play proved to be another turning-point, the warriors working the ball into good position before Maloney's cross-field kick was allowed to bounce and Shaun Johnson dragged it in to touch down despite the attention of two defenders.
Maloney's conversion gave the visitors a six-point lead and allowed him to equal Stacey Jones' record of 500 points for the club.
From the ensuing set he made it 501, snapping a field goal four before the break, before an obstruction penalty allowed Carney to add an extra two-points right on halftime.
Veteran lock Micheal Luck was a solid contributor on return from his long injury lay-off but left the field with a knee complaint along with frontrower Ben Matulino who suffered a recurrence of a sternum injury.
The Warriors remain in ninth spot for now although other results could see them slip down the ladder.
They head home knowing they have a week off and a guaranteed two points coming from next week's bye before they look to return to the winners list with an away clash against the Cowboys in Townsville.
Sharks: 20 (Robson 2, Pomeroy tries; Carney 4 goals)
Warriors: 19 (Hurrell, Johnson, Locke tries; Maloney 3 goals, field goal)
Half-time: 13-8 (Warriors)