Any remote chance of the Warriors making an unlikely run towards the finals were torn apart by a ravenous Sharks outfit who embarked on a 45-4 feeding frenzy at Mt Smart Stadium this afternoon.
Todd Carney starred for the visitors in his return game after he missed last week's loss to the Panthers leading his side's attack with a ruthless display that reaffirmed the Sharks' hopes of a top-four finish to their season.
The incumbent New South Wales State of Origin five-eighth scored two first-half tries, set up a third, and added a one-pointer on the halftime hooter in a commanding first 40 minutes that all but put the result to bed before the hosts had woken.
The second half then began in the worst way possible for the Warriors, Kevin Locke sailing his kick-off out on the full to gift the visitors a penalty back on halfway.
Two tries to rampaging Sharks interchange forward Andrew Fifita and a double to left winger John Williams extinguished the Warriors' hopes of a comeback, sending many of the Mt Smart faithful towards the exits with 10 minutes left on the clock.
The Warriors suffered a big blow to their attacking and organisational hopes early on when five-eighth James Maloney succumbed to a left knee medial ligament injury which presented young Carlos Tuimavave with his first taste of first grade football.
Prior to Maloney's departure the Warriors had attacked with intent with Lewis Brown coming close to scoring on their opening set before things quickly swung in favour of the visitors.
A Shaun Johnson grubber to the ingoal bounced off Carney's leg before he regathered and streaked away to beat the unlikely chase of prop Russell Packer to dot down for a 95m effort in the fifth minute.
Carney backed that up when the Sharks forwards mowed upfield before halfback Jeff Robson switched the point of attack for Carney to dart over from close range for his second of the day.
An offside penalty gifted Carney his third kick of the afternoon before centre Ben Pomeroy gave Tuimavave a big "don't argue", brushing his tackle aside before drawing fullback Kevin Locke and finding Robson on hand to race in their third four-pointer.
Video replays handed the Warriors their only try of the day on the half-hour mark, winger Bill Tupou pouncing on an Elijah Taylor pass that Robson had raked out, with momentum carrying him across the chalk.
Carney was not finished though, banging over a field goal to send the home sides to the sheds with a 17-point deficit.
He finished the day with an immaculate kicking record of eight from eight in perhaps the most accomplished match the controversial stand-off has enjoyed in his eight-year career.
Whatever Warriors coach Brian McClennan said to his troops at the interval failed to inspire any resistance as last year's grand finalists slumped to their worst defeat in recent years - nearing their worst ever when they went down 54-0 to the Dragons 12 years ago.
With four games remaining before they can enjoy Mad Monday, the Warriors need to produce a drastic change in form to avoid slipping further towards the bottom of the competition ladder.
Sharks 45 (John Williams 2, Todd Carney 2, Andrew Fifita 2, Jeff Robson; Carney 7 cons; 1 pen, 1 FG)
Warriors 4 (Bill Tupou try)