A late try to Toby Rudolf broke the gallant New Zealand Warriors spirit and sealed a spot for the Sharks in the NRL 2020 top eight after winning a close contest 22-14 at Kogarah.
Rudolf powered over the Kiwi defenders on a warm Sunday night after it looked like they would hang on to a 14-12 lead they had held after a litany of Sharks mistakes.
The Sharks had to win because of who they have to face in their final games and now hold an unassailable three-win buffer over four teams chasing below them on 14 points.
In a uplifting moment before the game bench forward Andrew Fifita saw former Sharks player Fine Kula in the crowd who is being treated for Brain cancer and gave him the jersey off his back.
Then in a rare treat for Sharks fans the Cronulla side scored first with a perfect kick ahead from captain Shaun Johnson setting up Sione Katoa's 15th try of the season and they looked like they could go on with it.
But in a mistake ridden first half both teams repeatedly ruined their attacking chances with errors,and it was Johnson again who created the Sharks second chance with another crossfield kick, for Ronaldo Mulitalo to score after Josh Dugan missed grounding the ball confusing everyone.
The Warriors didn't give up and hit back just before half time and then leveled the scores before forging ahead with a penalty goal-before a rampaging Rudolph changed things for the Sharks and then Ronaldo Mulitalo flew over again in the corner in the dying minutes to finish the job.
Next week the Sharks play the Roosters at the Sydney Cricket ground after the premiers are starting to show some good form at the back end of the season before facing the red hot Raiders in the season finale at Kogarah.